If possible, most people would avoid spending extended periods of time with people that they didn’t know. Sometimes, however, it simply cannot be helped. Especially when you consider that you are living during the time of online dating. Or, it could be that you are playing tour guide to the friend of a friend, or something equally as awkward. No one wants to be stuck with someone else, twiddling their thumbs, pleading for time to speed up. Use this helpful advice to make sure that you know precisely what to do in such a situation:
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Choose Your Location Carefully
Since you don’t the person all that well, it is important to think carefully about where you want to meet them. This is because this will have a large impact on how the encounter will go. If this is the first time that you will be seeing each other face to face make sure that the venue is as public as possible. For instance, look up “restaurants near me” to find which ones are the best for this particular occasion. This way, you will feel safe at all times. It also means that you won’t have to travel for too long to get to your destination.
Check with the Other Person
If possible, it is a good idea to see if the other individual has any preferences or restrictions. While you don’t need to know their favourite food, you do need to know if they are allergic to anything. Also, if they happen to be vegetarian or vegan, you are going to need a heads up. Most people won’t volunteer such information so it is important to ask them ahead of time. It will also help that individual feel more relaxed knowing that they are being included in the preparation process as well.
With friends or people that you know, conversation can flow quite smoothly. With those who are mere acquaintances or even strangers, this is less likely to happen. This is why you should think of some neutral topics that you can broach if you feel an awkward silence settling in. This will help to get the conversation flowing. At the very least, it will give you something to talk about until you feel as though a safe amount of time has passed. Avoid questions that are close ended as these can typically be answered with a quick no or yes. Instead, pick subjects that are interesting but not scandalous or polarizing.
Have an Exit Strategy
After a while, it’s going to be time to say goodbye. This means having to deal with the check. If this is your first meeting, it is typically best to split the bill. This way, there’s no awkwardness to contend with. You may even want to broach this at the very beginning. If you can’t think of how to end the encounter, a good excuse is a foolproof method. You can talk about how you need to meet a friend or run an errand.
Now, you know what to do if you need to dine with someone who you are not well acquainted with.