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Safety Guide to Online Dating

Updated on January 12, 2014
Love is in the air
Love is in the air

Never use your real name on your profile when joining online dating sites. Instead,think up a fun and eye catching screen name that is unique to you.

Always remember to put your safety first

Dating online can be a great way to meet new people,especially for single parents,and those of us who work a lot. The Internets ease of use makes finding your soul mate as simple as clicking a button. I feel that online dating is even better than traditional dating in some ways,because if your not feeling the sparks fly online,then you have no need to go through an uncomfortable meeting with each other.

Even better is the fact that you can sometimes get to know somebody much deeper that way,which is somewhat odd,but true. Think about it. If your chatting to somebody online,with the goal of possibly meeting them in person,you will likely already know quite a bit about them before you even lay eyes on them. This is because online,you will usually talk a lot more than you actually would on a first date.

But of course,as with most things in life,online dating has its drawbacks. You never really know for sure who is on the other side. They could be a man pretending to be a female,or vice versa. They could be a pedophile,only after you in order to get access to your children. They could even be a murderer or rapist. Whether you are a male of female,one thing you must remember when looking for a date online, is to use good judgement.


The date button
The date button

If somebody contacts you that does not have a photo on their profile,be wary. They probably do not want to be seen on that website for a reason.

There is no such thing as being too cautious

When you first start talking to somebody online that interests you,probably the farthest thing from your mind is your personal safety. But you absolutely must keep it a top priority at all times,even in this beginning stage. It is at this point where you may give out your phone number in haste,without using proper judgement beforehand.

A person can do a lot of things with just a phone number if they have the desire to do so. Whether it be a land-line,or a cell phone,there are ways to find out where you live by just having your digits. The Internet is chock-full of information,and yes,even information on you. People are interested in finding out about others.The owners of such websites know this,and use that knowledge to hand out YOUR personal information.

A good rule of thumb is to not give out your phone number,or other personal information, to anybody that you have talked to for less than two weeks,or somewhat less depending on how much time you have actually spent chatting. That may seem like a long time,but it is going to keep you safe from those that are less than honest about their intentions.

In two weeks time,this person will either keep talking to you until you are comfortable enough to exchange phone numbers,or they will disappear from your online world,never to be heard from again. If they pull the disappearing act,then they probably were not being completely truthful about something,and have moved on to an easier target. You should congratulate yourself for not falling for it.

It is estimated that at least 10 percent of new accounts created each day on free dating sites are from scammers. It is your job to steer clear of that 10 percent.

Intuition - The key to safety

If you have a gut feeling that something just isn't right about the person you are talking to,you are probably correct in that assumption. Intuition is something that we all have,although some of us are much more in tune with it than others. Have you ever had the feeling that something was going to happen,and then it actually did happen? This is your intuition speaking,and it only speaks when it is necessary. Pay close attention to your innermost feelings,and they will not lead you astray.

Even if you can't think of a valid reason as to why you're feeling this way,you should always trust your instinct. There is likely something this person has said,or has done,that has set off warning bells in your subconscious mind. And the mind is a very powerful thing.

An estimated 20-40 percent of people on dating sites are married. This is why you must be careful when searching for love on the internet. Always listen to your gut feeling!

Meeting for the first time

The time has come where you feel comfortable enough to meet up with your date in the real world. You have exchanged phone numbers,and spent a great deal of time getting to know one another. This is great! I have heard many successful stories of online dating,and many times it can even lead to marriage. Online dating gives you the chance to really sort through all of the single men and women out there,and find the one that is a true match for you. But remember,this is your first time meeting. Some people are very good at lying,and you will have no idea that they are being anything less than honest with you.

I wouldn't go as far as taking a friend along with you on the first date,but do make sure that people know where you are at,and who you are with. A good idea is to even give them your dates full name and phone number,just as a safety precaution. If something should happen to where you are unable to be found,they will atleast have this information to give to the authorities. It might sound silly,but there are many instances where people did not err on the side of caution,and later paid the price. Also,it is a good idea to avoid alcohol during your first get together,as this can leave your brain feeling foggy,and cause you to make rash decisions.

You could also consider having a friend or family member call your cell phone at a predetermined time,just to check on how things are going. Agree on a code word or phrase beforehand,that will let them know that something is not right,without actually saying it in front of your date. If need be,they can then come to where you are at,and make sure that you make it home safely.

Have fun!

Don't worry yourself so much that you forget to have fun. After all,that is what dating is all about. Not everybody that you meet is out to get you. You just have to be careful who you are lending your trust to. Keep your mind clear,and remember that this is a first date,even if you feel like you have known them for years. Your safety is extremely important,and you don't want to learn that the hard way.


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    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 8 years ago from California

      I have to admit, I've never understood the whole dating online concept. But I like that you're willing to help with advice for those who are out there doing so. Having a friend call and agreeing on a code word is a good idea!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Lisa, Sounds like good advice. Always trust your instincts. Good hub.