5 Tricks to Meet New Friend at Ease

If you are meeting an online new friend in person for the first time, consider a coffee date. I am not just talking about dating offline but also meeting a casual new friend. It takes time to build a new comfortable friendship. Until then, you need to get to know each other, which involve many things, including hanging out together and seeing what you have in common. In the beginning, it is hard to chat with someone you don't know well; especially if you do not meet them physically for a long time and you don't feel comfortable seeing them. Get around it through a coffee date first. It is a safe and cheap way to connect. Here are the 5 tricks.

1. Locate a Casual Place

Coffee dates can be anywhere which allow a conversation, not too crowded or noisy, accessible to public transport, offer cheap drinks and food with casual decoration. Do not pick a cozy café or restaurant on the first meeting with a new friend. You are not a sale or insurance agent that set an environment to sell a policy. This is not a date. It is for you to get over the first meeting as friends. Play down the setting to be casual and informal.

2. Schedule the Time

When you tell someone you are meeting for coffee break, make known to them the time and when you are leaving. Coffee Break is supposed to be within an hour and a half preferably not exceeding two. This helps to remove any awkwardness of a meet up that drag too long and you both are not sure what to say or whether you should stay throughout the whole afternoon. Remember, you are not on a date but a coffee break to create an impression. Make someone at ease on the first meeting.

3. Prepare for Your Meet Up

When you have decided on the date and the venue, always arrive 15 mins early, ensure you have enough cash with you (just in case, they do not accept credit card) and think of a few small talk topic (i.e. profession, latest current news). As this is not a date or a business meeting, pay for your own coffee. If you find that you both click on small talk, great! This is what coffee dates are all about. If not, end the meet up with less drama by informing them you have another appointment. Make a promise to catch up later.


4. Leave by Yourself

Always leave by yourself when the coffee dates are over. Do not initiate for a lift. It might seem silly to take precautions when it comes to meeting friends (after all, it's not exactly the same as meeting a romantic date), but it makes you feel more comfortable. When you feel more comfortable, you are naturally more willing to chat with them again the next time.

5. Follow Up

Regardless of how the coffee breaks turn up, always follow up. We are not talking about meeting your Mr Right or Miss Right. This is not just a date but social network etiquette.

If you both click the first time, plan something more fun and take another step to know them further. Invite them for a casual meal, watch a movie or to get involved in some common sports such a cycling, bowling, pool to build this friendship.

If you both don’t click the first time, don’t fight and create enemy. It is still important to connect after the meet up. No one likes to feeling that they aren't liked. Simply send them an SMS or email telling them it was nice to meet them. End the message by saying, "Perhaps we'll connect again sometime."

Sometimes, it is too early to tell from the 1st meeting if you both click. It takes a few times to decide if you really want to be friends or not. Before you write someone off as "not friend potential", give them a few more chances. Meet them again for coffee a few weeks later and see if you are able to forge a new friendship. No harm knowing more friends.