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Musings, tips and the occasional rant from the world of online dating.

January 29, 2006

Chemistry.com First-Meeting™ – How It Works

by @ 1:30 pm. Filed under Online Dating

A First-Meetingâ„¢ is supposed to be an informal in person meeting. You setup a mutually agreed upon place and time to see if there is any chemistry. The suggested length of a First-Meetingâ„¢ is about 30 minutes or so. They say that should be long enough to gage whether or not there is any chemistry or not.

How to Initiate a First-Meetingâ„¢

You can attach a First-Meetingâ„¢ request to an email or you can just send the request from the email page for your match. Either way you then have to select your First-Meetingâ„¢ preferences.

The first question you have to answer is your availability: “What are the best days and times for you to go on a First-Meeting™?” You are given a grid of times by hour from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for each day of the week. You click the chechbox for each time you are available. Once you answer this question and click next a pop up asks you to read some safety tips and click a box that you have read them.

On the next page you are asked: “What kinds of food do you like to eat on a date?” You once again click a bunch of boxes next to things like American, Italian, Pub Fare, Fast Food, Dessert and Coffee or any if they all look good.

Next you answer: “What are your favorite date activities?” You can choose from Meet for coffee, a drink, dinner, movie, for a party, sporting event, a walk or any.

Lastly you are asked: “What do you expect from your date?” Things to check off under this question are splitting the check, showing good manners, good conversation, knowing when the date is over and others.

After the Questions What Happens?

Once the other person has accepted and filled in their preferences, the system then offers up a suggested meeting place based on your answers. Something that fits the times for both of you and something that is roughly halfway between you based on zip code. Or you can select an alternative and suggest another time and place if you wish.

Once you have both agreed on a time and place when you go to the active matches page next to them you will see that a First-Meetingâ„¢ has been set. When you click the button next to it a box pops up with all the meeting information. It also gives you the opportunity to cancel should you need to.

It is a nice little idea for an online dating site to include a system for helping people to actually meet. Unfortunately this system is a little awkward to use. Most of the material on the Chemistry.com site talks about informal meetings at a coffee shop for 20 or 30 minutes yet the system asks you for all kinds of dating info preferences. It is not clear what they are for or how the system uses that information. The help with facilitating an in person meeting is great though. It is something that other online dating sites should look into adding to there offerings. They should just make it a bit more user friendly.

Once you have met when you log back into Chemistry.com you are asked to give the system some feedback. Mostly though you are deciding whether or not you want to keep in contact with the match. If you do the system lets both of you no what the other decided. I will post more about that in a future post.

Have you used Chemistry.com? Gone on a First-Meetingâ„¢? What did you think of the System? Let us know in the comments.

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