How to Have a Safe Online Dating Experience
Are you thinking about joining one of the many online dating sites? If so, you may want to protect yourself by taking certain precautions.
Thinking about putting up a personal profile on one of the many online dating sites? Welcome to the club! You are, or possibly soon will be, in the company of millions of people who’ve done just that. With the explosion of online personals and dating sites, men and women from all walks of life have found the ultimate vehicle to meet others with a common interest. Internet dating is an amazingly fun and exciting way for singles to make connections they couldn’t have made otherwise.
However, with the fun and excitement of meeting others online comes great personal responsibility. Unfortunately, as the many news stories attest, not everyone understands that responsibility and post more than necessary information about themselves. Information such as their names, emails, addresses, phone numbers, and more on their public profiles, evidently clueless that they may be putting themselves in harm’s way.
As always, your own personal safety should be a top priority when posting information about yourself on the Internet. Never assume that others who view your profile online will have the best intentions. So always be careful of how much you reveal about yourself in a public profile.
Just in case you didn’t know, most online dating sites do not pre-screen their new member sign-ups. This means that they cannot ensure that the people on their dating sites have honorable intentions or are safe to deal with. So, this makes you responsible to carefully screen the people who contact you.
With that said, never post your real email address on your profile, nor in the first few emails, you exchange with other members. In fact, any information that identifies you in your profile or in emails may open yourself up to become the latest victim on the nightly news. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, in the world we live in today, you absolutely must be careful.
But before you think it’s all bad, let me assure you that it’s not. In fact, just as in the off-line world, there are still decent people who can be trusted and whose intentions truly are honorable. You just have to exercise caution.
When you meet someone online and you feel in your gut that they are not being honest with you, there’s a good chance that you are right. Use your head, don’t rush to intimacy with someone you’ve just met online. Online intimacy with someone you honestly don’t know can be very dangerous. Don’t indulge yourself on a whim. Thinking things through can save you a lot of unnecessary troubles.
If you do meet someone who truly sparks your interest, take your time. Exchange phone numbers and get to know the person as much as possible before saying yes to meeting face to face. But, once again, as always, use caution when passing your phone number to someone. If you realize after a phone conversation or two that the person is not trustworthy, you don’t want that person to be able to look up your street address with the number you supplied him or her. If possible use an unlisted number or a payphone.
Don’t ever feel obligated to meet someone face to face. If they seem like they are trying to push you into meeting with them, back off. If they seem desperate to meet with you, then they most likely have a problem and should be avoided. No matter what, you still have the last say on whether you are ready to meet the person or not. If something doesn’t feel right, you are free to change your mind.
If you do decide to meet with someone you’ve met online if at all possible, take a friend. If you do go alone, tell someone reliable where you will be going and what time you’ll return. Leave information about the person with your friend. Information such as name, phone number, a copy of the photo your date sent you or that was included on their profile should be enough. Be sure and take your cell phone. Don’t let your date pick you up at your home residence. Use your own transportation and meet in a public area. Also, don’t ever leave a beverage you may be drinking unattended. With the date-rape drugs floating around out there, you just can’t take a chance.
Don’t ever rush yourself or allow anyone to push you into doing anything. Take your time and get to know anyone you’ve met online. It’s always better to be safe at home, without a date, than to wind up with a psycho in a very bad situation.
So, if you are patient about finding the right person and take these precautions, then you will have a much safer and enjoyable online dating experience. And who knows, you just might find that special someone.