Skipping the recommended introductory coffee meeting and breezing past the informal lunch date, our ESSENCE.com relationships editor jumped to going out for drinks for her first date with a man she met online. Breaking one more rule, she went in for the kiss, and now wonders if her transition from computer screen to the bar scene was moving too fast.
After a month and a half of getting out of my shy zone, I finally went on my first official date with someone that I met online last week. My friends will tell you that I tend to do things to the extreme. So, with this guy I kind of already knew that I might skip the recommended 30-minute meeting for coffee followed by a longer lunch date and jump right to getting together in the evening. I also work an awful lot, so a daytime coffee meeting is fairly unrealistic for me. We decided to get to know each other over a few beers at a local bar in his neighborhood. We talked about politics, travel, school -- all the first date basics. A few hours into our chat, he leaned into me, drew me to him and kissed me. Just like that. I wish I could say that I was caught off-guard, but I wasn't. I kissed him back. "What are you doing?" I asked myself, nervously smiling at him and biting my bottom lip. After settling up at the first spot, we walked and talked through a few neighborhoods, kissing along the way as we searched for new scenery. Often wound too tightly, I allowed myself to relax around this man and really enjoyed his company and our conversation. But I wasn't entirely pleased with myself for kissing him on our first date. Things can move so quickly in New York City -- one minute you're checking out a guy's online profile and the next minute, you're standing at a corner, French kissing under a streetlamp. Lately, I've been genuinely interested in what it's like to take things slow. Riding home in the back seat of a taxi, I felt my face move between a grin and a question mark. Did I do the right thing? Going about my first online date the "wrong way" made me understand why the experts say to meet for coffee and then for lunch before an evening date. Chances are you won't be so quick to pucker up with your date after a cappuccino at 3:00 p.m. Moreover, it's harder to tell whether your guy actually makes a good match after you've gotten your hormones involved. Still, at the end of it all, I had a wonderful time with a really interesting man, who I hope to see again.