Mini Date Lesson #2: Keep It Short

Mini Dates are 15-30 minutes, with both people expecting the meeting to be short.  There’s an art to setting up an enjoyable first meeting, especially when it’s so quick.

Once we had exchanged a few messages or talked on the phone briefly, I would bring up the topic of getting together if he didn’t. I started with the expectation that the date would be short. After a few messages or phone calls, I would ask, for example, “Would you like to meet briefly to say hello in person?”

Starting a Mini Date

Besides making sure I did all the things I needed to do to show up on time, relaxed and ready for conversation, I let the Mini Date start itself.

Usually, I would buy my own coffee or beverage. It my date made a gesture of it, I would let him buy it. I have friends for whom this topic is A Big Deal and carries a lot of meaning.  For me, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or energy in our first few minutes of meeting negotiating who’s buying whom a $1.75 drink.

Once we sat down, I would do three things: take my sunglasses off my head and put them on the table, hang my purse on the chair, and set my coffee cup down. These were important because of how my friends taught me to *end* the Mini Date.

Ending a Mini Date

Almost always, even when I really liked the person I was meeting with, I would say goodbye after 20-30 minutes.

At first, I did this because both of my friends strongly recommended it. They both said that ending the first date within half-an-hour was probably the most important thing they did differently from other people attempting to use online dating sites.  Both of my friends (separately) said that this one thing made them successful in the area of using online dating sites to start long-term relationships.

With time, I noticed that ending the Mini Date on time did several helpful things:

  • Helped me practice ending a date, which was important for a southern woman used to always being hospitable, even at her own inconvenience.
  • Gave me time to think about the interaction before proceeding to another date.
  • Gave us both the chance to say “no thanks, I’ll keep looking” before investing more time in the interaction.
  • Allowed me to go on *many* Mini Dates.

Although ending the date on time felt unkind at first, with experience, it came to mean that I actually respected our time enough to not waste it.

Here’s my favorite way to complete the date, which both of my friends did a version of. When it was time to part ways for the day, I would put my sunglasses back on my head, put my purse on my shoulder, and pick up my coffee cup. These cues made it easier for me to say, “Thank you so much for taking time to meet in person! It’s time for me to leave.” Then I would stand up, hug or hand shake, and walk away.


Read more in this series: