Host: Do you have any guidelines for setting up the first meeting?
Toni Coleman: Absolutely, that first meeting is going to be very important, especially, since you met a stranger online and you really do not know anything about one another, the first thing is always going to be safety. I encourage people that at that point if they have already shared phone numbers and last names then they have some basic information about each other. They might even have some sense of where each other lives. So, what I recommend is that they never, even if it has been going well so far, they never get picked up at their home or they do not agree to meet at either one of their homes. Instead they should meet in a public place. Because of the first meeting and you have a picture of this person but you have not experienced them, first hand in person, I tell them to keep it short. I think a great first meeting is over coffee, something simple like that, perhaps lunch, something that is easy. If it is coffee or lunch and it is not going well, it is a very easy, easy out for either one of the people to say, "Oh, I got to get back to the office," or "I got to run because I am meeting friends later tonight.
" If it is going really well, then you can say, "Gee, this is fun. Do you want to go get something to eat together?
" you can make it into an early dinner kind of thing. So, it gives you that flexibility and it makes you easier on both people and it is just a little more relaxed, it is a more relaxed environment. So, you do not plan to be at each other's home, you do not plan this big, long and bold date, do not plan something that is going to require somebody or both people spending a lot of money or investing a lot of time. Keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it fun.