My take on it is that the anonymity confers an ability to be forthright in a way that the face-to-face presence of another person inhibits, and the process of emailing back and forth and saying nice things about each other is sufficient ego enhancement and thus, becomes self-sustaining. Simply move on to another bin full of candy and have a sample of that one. The game is to set up a date as a means of having someone to eat with, the end being to go out to a restaurant and not be alone. Men only underestimate their weight by a little; that is not a biggie. Anticipate that face-to-face, the person will look different than on the dating site and be forgiving.
So, a word or two about how to set up a first meeting.My best advice is to agree up front to a venue that keeps it brief. That way, if it is painful and clearly not a match from the get-go, you have a built in time limit and it's not awkward to end it. Maxine Cohen is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has worked with individuals, couples, and families since 1989.If the connection is good, one of you can always suggest extending the time together by taking a walk and/or going to dinner. But knowledge is power and a little bit of heads up on the reality of what's going on out there can be a valuable thing. One last caveat: Don't take what happens personally. She is an expert on all aspects of the divorce transition-from how to tell the children in the best possible way, to riding the emotional roller coaster and grieving the loss, to dating and rebuilding a life that is satisfying and good.Maxine is also a writer, having contributed columns to Orange Coast Magazine and the local editions of the Orange County Register and the LA Times (Daily Pilot) for the past 10 years.
My own experience is that, for the most part, people are honest. Rules of the game that seem to apply more often than not.They are not an X-out but it is good to keep them in mind.