In Part One we looked at the first two key elements of the dating process - The Search and The Selection. Now it's on to the next bit. A rather old fashioned name but probably still accurate.
It must be said that in this age of ‘I want it and I want it now' this next bit can be very short or even left out completely. Not a good plan, take it slowly and the end result will be so much better.
The next stage is to move the communication forward to a more interactive technology: the telephone. If you can have an interesting and enjoyable telephone conversation with an almost complete stranger of the opposite sex then it's a good indicator of the potential for a satisfying relationship.
This is not a test
This is not some sort of test that you both feel you have to pass, it should be gentle and informative allowing for a dialogue of discovery. If all goes well here then it should look good to arrange a meeting. There is now a frisson of expectation that will carry you forward hopefully into a new life after divorce.
There can be set backs
However, it must be remembered that at this stage many of the people out there are probably communicating with three or four other people at the same time. It can be mayhem and people can disappear from your radar without warning.
This can be hurtful especially if you felt that you had begun to build up a rapport. Unfortunately that's just part of how it all works. You just have to deal with it and persevere. Take heart, it will be worth it in the end.
To make a success of the first meeting it is wise to prepare for it. It's a bit like redecorating a room, the more time you spend preparing it the better the end result will be. Now most first dates take place in anything from Starbucks to a pub neither of you have been to before or even a chic downtown bar.
Choose a public place to meet
In practice it's always best for the woman to choose a venue as she can feel safer in the knowledge of being somewhere she knows and it also allows the man to show he understands that. This part of this preparation is all about where to meet and about keeping safe, is so very important.
Now you have that sorted what about the event itself. Well you will start by knowing a bit about what he or she looks like but remember some of those pictures can be taken a few years ago. This is never a good idea. Keep your picture up to date, be proud of who you are and what you look like. That way the first glance you have of him or her will not disappoint.
Get ready to enjoy it
You need to be in the right frame of mind for a first date. Start by realising that this is not your Driving Test or a paper in your History Finals at university, it's a date with someone you think you might quite fancy! It's meant to be fun, relaxed and enjoyable. The key is to remember some key facts about him/her from your messages and telephone conversations.
There is nothing worse than getting basic facts mixed up with someone else you were talking to on the telephone last night. It's so important to remember their job, interests and basic family circumstances. Saying "How long have you worked in marketing" to someone who is an accountant is going to do nothing for your credibility or your memory skills. You might even come over as a serial dater and that is not what you want to be.