Don’t Be Fooled By ZOOM Chemistry! 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Meeting For The First Time
You’ve been talking over Zoom and things have been fun and flirty – you’re feeling Zoom chemistry. You’re starting to feel like you two know each other. It’s easy to think that this relationship has legs. Now that the world is opening back up with more and more people getting vaccinated, the next step is meeting for the first time in person.
Your expectations for meeting for the first time can say a lot about what happens next…
Meeting for the first time in person is different when you’ve already spent time getting to know each other over Zoom. You believe you’re meeting with someone you know and not a total stranger. Without knowing it, you probably feel more hopeful because you’ve already created a connection and want it to work out between the two of you.
Particularly through the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely you were vulnerable with one another over Zoom. You both opened up and shared things, created a bond, and in your mind (and possibly in your heart) it’s already a relationship.
Your expectations may have you invested in this person being “The One,” so we caution you to beware of the traps you can fall into.
Meeting over Zoom (Skype, Facetime, or any other video chat) is smart anytime, not just during a worldwide pandemic. You can identify that the person really is who they say they are. You can interact and discover a lot about each other.
Are these discoveries really the things that matter to make love last?
Technology has made it easier to connect with other singles looking for love than in any other time in history. However, meeting via video technology has certain limitations that you must be aware of particularly if you’re looking for soul-satisfying, long-lasting love.
Don’t Be Fooled By Zoom Chemistry! 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Meeting For The First Time
Don’t Jump In Too Quickly
Beware of Zoom chemistry and do not go exclusive BEFORE meeting for the first time. The connection you feel via video chat may not translate to real life. We want to caution you against planning a long romantic date when meeting for the first time in person.
The truth is you don’t know if that chemistry will translate to real life. So much of attraction is chemical, so it requires all of your senses.
The spark of attraction only truly exists when you’ve shared the same physical space together. You cannot forego this important ingredient for lasting love. Down the road as a couple, you’ll have challenges to face and without that chemistry in the beginning there is no glue to hold the relationship together.
About 1/3 of our clients have come to us after a divorce from the person they tried to make it work without chemistry. Marrying your best friend works only if you want to be physically intimate with that person from the get-go.
A current client of ours enrolled in coaching with us after spending 5 years in an on-and-off relationship with a man who she knew was a good man. He’s kind and thoughtful and he really does love her. However, she didn’t feel an attraction to him, and they rarely shared physical intimacy after the first couple of months together. When the world shut down and they quarantined together, it became clear that friendship was not enough to sustain the stress on their relationship.
When meeting for the first time, see if your budding friendship includes the desire for something more.
Nothing Is Real Until You Meet In Person
Several years ago, we had a client who did not heed our warnings about Zoom chemistry. He developed a relationship with a woman who lived in another country over Skype. He was convinced this was true love. They planned a two-week trip together in her country and he was so sure she was his soulmate.
As soon as he saw her at the airport, he knew he’d made a mistake; and now they had two weeks to spend together. It turned out to be an expensive fantasy, not just monetarily, but also with time and effort. It was a difficult experience for him because he longed to share his life with someone.
Even if you’ve spent hours video chatting, have shared your sacred secrets, and convinced yourself you two are in it to win it, you still don’t know if you’re going to have that spark of attraction when the two of you are together in person.
When meeting for the first time, treat it as an opportunity to see if the rush of feelings and chemistry translates to real life. Then you can plan a romantic date together and begin to discover if the two of you are a values match.
Beware Of Filling In The Blanks
Are you aware that your brain fills things in for you? Ever see one of those misspelled memes on social media and feel proud you can read it? (These are usually set up with the expectation that only the smartest people can accomplish the task.)
Here’s the deal, everyone’s brain fills in the blanks. Some brains do it faster than others and that’s the only difference from one person to the next.
Ever talk with someone on the phone, eventually meet them in person, and discover they don’t appear as you imagined? Or perhaps this happened when meeting a friend of a friend that you’ve heard a lot about, or going on a blind date.
Usually, your awareness of having filled in the blanks only kicks in when the imaginary person in your mind’s eye doesn’t match the person standing in front of you.
Your brain is wired for your survival, and it takes a shortcut guiding you toward what is familiar. It utilizes the Law of Association, clumping things together and deciding, “This is like that.” This allows you to make quick decisions without gathering a ton of information. Basically, your brain clumps things together to make you more efficient.
The longing and desire for a life partner – a soulmate – will drive your mind to fill in the blanks in a positive fashion. This process is unavoidable because it is a function of your survival, however, you can bring this process into your conscious awareness and heed our warning: Nothing Is Real Until You Meet In Person.
Set yourself up with little to no emotional investment through video connections and hold off on any future plans of a relationship until you know what it’s like to be in the same room with a potential match.
A client recently came to us after ending a 4-month Zoom relationship. Her date was more comfortable sharing his intimate thoughts and feelings virtually and didn’t want to meet in person at all. She realized that she had created an emotional connection in her mind that didn’t exist in real life.
When meeting for the first time in person don’t bring your fantasies and expectations along with you. See the person as they show up for you in the moment. You’ll be able to evaluate the person better and potentially avoid heartache.
Stop Dating Backwards™
Dating Backwards™ is when you give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Despite your desire for a real connection and the delusion of Zoom chemistry, don’t put your lovability in the hands of a stranger.
Whether or not you are worthy of love is not up to this other person. Ultimately it is up to you to know you are worth loving. You don’t get love from another person; you share love with them. The love you seek is inside of you.
Dating Backwards™ can be your default strategy if you’re looking for this other person to fill you up so you feel whole. Your soulmate will compliment you but will not complete you. The “You Complete Me” myth of the Jerry Maguire movie will set you up in a co-dependent relationship.
When meeting for the first time, stay open and curious about your inner dialog and check in to see if you’re twisting into a pretzel to earn love. You don’t have to prove your lovability. You are worthy of love exactly as you are.
When Dating Backwards™ you end up excusing bad behavior and justifying red flags because you are blinded by hope. Instead, give them the space to prove that they are worthy of your heart.
Ultimately, all the great conversations you’ve been having over Zoom are just a hypothetical. Actions in real life reveal character and whether you two share the same values is revealed over time.
Several years ago a client of ours was getting to know a man who lived several hours from her, so they spent a lot of time talking on the phone before meeting in person. He had a habit of asking her hypothetical questions to serious life situations to see if they were a good match. Unfortunately, all his surveying didn’t change the fact that they didn’t have any chemistry when they met for the first time in person.
Take your time and let someone who is basically a stranger earn your trust. Once they have shown that their words and actions are congruent and earned it, then you can give them the benefit of the doubt when they disappoint you or make a mistake.
Meeting For The First Time Isn’t A Do-Or-Die Situation
Putting too much expectation on the first meeting can kill a budding relationship. Don’t plan an elaborate date. Don’t invite them over for a romantic home-cooked meal. And definitely don’t leave it open-ended.
A 24-hour whirlwind date may sound exciting and magical but it’s more likely an indication that you’re making risky decisions.
Make your first meeting short, 60-90 minutes max. Use it to see if the Zoom chemistry you felt over video translates into real life. Who knows, they may smell funny to you or be a lot bigger or smaller than you had anticipated. You may have an intellectual connection but not a physical one.
Having a timeframe gives you an out if things don’t go well. If things do go well, you can always schedule another date and plan something more elaborate.
A past client of ours who lived in a large city planned a first meeting with a man who lived a few hours away. He planned to take the train to her city and stay the whole weekend to do some sightseeing with her. Unfortunately, their first meeting was awkward, and it only got worse when she started playing host and showing him the sites. They decided to spend Sunday apart and didn’t see each other again.
Taking smaller steps will help you make wiser decisions and putting off romance and intimacy can help create a stronger attraction. There is something to be said for creating anticipation through the dating process.
Don’t Bail Out A Sinking Ship
What if all that Zoom chemistry doesn’t translate into real life? Or what if the conversation is stilted in person and the date becomes excruciating?
It’s not your responsibility to make sure the date goes smoothly. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something upsetting happens. You don’t have to tiptoe around uncomfortable subjects or go along to get along.
How the two of you handle conflict will reveal a lot about the possibility of a relationship. So have the uncomfortable conversation if you need to. It’s better to find out now whether you can navigate disagreements together.
When meeting for the first time, allow conflict to reveal the truth about your compatibility. This doesn’t mean that you should manufacture a disagreement. But don’t avoid the uncomfortable conversations; they can be very revealing.
We had a client who was great at being easygoing. However, the guys she was dating never moved the relationship forward to request exclusivity. We asked her to start making requests with one particular guy she was seeing to see if he was capable of honoring her request. He very quickly disappeared because he only liked her when she was convenient and easy to get along with. He was clearly looking for someone to hang out with, but not a relationship with a commitment.
You won’t spend your life with a partner and never have a disagreement or an argument. It’s better to let the bud die on the vine. Speak up and allow any bumps or conflicts through the dating process show you if the two of you can reconnect when things go sideways.
Do Not Change The Plan
What if the Zoom chemistry is real, everything goes perfectly and the two of you really hit it off? Does that mean that you should extend the date and see where things go?
It can feel tempting to act impulsively and have a spontaneous, romantic adventure. You’ll have plenty of time for that. Instead, stick to the plan and you’ll both be left wanting more (which will help create more anticipation and romance for your next date).
When meeting for the first time the desire for it to be special should not get in the way of taking things slowly. It takes time to know who someone really is. By taking your time you allow the space for true intimacy to blossom.
We had a client who thought that men would fall in love with her because she had honed her sexual prowess. So, she would always rush to have sex early on. She would get emotionally attached and they never stuck around.
It wasn’t until she started delaying physical intimacy and invested time to get to know each other out in the world that she started having more satisfying relationships with men. This eventually led to her going exclusive with the man she is now married to.
When meeting for the first time stick to the plan and trust that you’ll have plenty of time for adventure and romance as the relationship grows.
Zoom chemistry can fool you into thinking you’ve found the one before you meet for the first time in person. Take a few simple steps to avoid turning your budding romance into yet another dating horror story.
Are you ready to go beyond Zoom chemistry, leave fantasy relationships to Disney, and discover the soulmate relationship you truly desire? Download our special report, “7 Steps To Soulmating™.” You’ll receive our top dating strategies that have helped thousands to change their love patterns and finally create their soulmate relationship.
About the authors
Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.