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What To Look For When Deciding to Meet Someone You've Talked to Online
More and more people are turning to the internet to meet interesting people, and why not? It's a great way to get to know someone a bit before you get too involved with them. It gives people a chance to set aside some of their initial prejudices and actually get to know someone first.
Some people actually spend a lot of time talking to people that either have no intentions of ever meeting, are too timid to meet, or simply feel they cannot meet due to various limitations. It can be a rewarding experience if approached with a little common sense.
Unfortunately, the media often paints a dim picture of internet relationships. Many would have you believe that it's only deranged stalkers and unfaithful spouses that prowl the internet for their next victims. Although, I'm not denying that happens, it doesn't mean that everyone has bad intentions. Personal computers are utilized by millions of people, all types of people, from all walks of life, who surf the internet. I do agree that the internet does allow for more potential for deceit due to the anonymity factor and this factor can be tricky for teens to detect as well as less experienced adults.
I had friends who worried about me meeting people online after my divorce. In fact, some of them did all they could to discourage it. They loved to tell me about the horror stories the media fed them. But, I have met quite a few people from online chats, including my husband. I've met some wonderful people and I've met some strange characters. I would have never met my husband had it not been for the internet. Don't be afraid to explore this option for meeting people. Mr./Miss Right may be waiting for you. Please remember, that you still have to use common sense and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I have created a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to meeting the people you chat with.
Free Online Dating Advice
- Do not reveal too much personal information about yourself. Would you walk up to a stranger and give him your address? Treat online conversations the same as talking to a stranger on the street. Be careful about giving clues as well. You'd be surprised how many clues added together can lead someone to you. There is so much information on the internet about us. Google yourself and you'll see what I mean.
- Do take note of any personal information and clues they give you. Keep notes if you have to. They don't have to know you're doing it.
- Do spend some time getting to know the person before you ever agree to meet them. Please understand that even though you may ask all the ‘right' questions, you can never be certain they have been 100% honest with their answers. Spending time with them allows the opportunity to arise where you may cover the same topic again and this time get a different answer. That's important to discover before you a meet a person.
- Do not assume that the picture they sent you is really them or, even if it is them, that it is anything close to what they look like today. Ask them how current the picture is. They may lie about it but at least you gave them the opportunity to tell you. Often people use their most flattering picture which can be 10 years ago and 25 lbs ago. For women, this is often a picture from their glamour shot session a few years ago. I've been guilty of that. But, I'm honest and tell them it's a glamour shot. Most women don't walk around looking that pretty everyday. I'm not saying this should keep you from meeting them, but be aware that the person you go to meet may look different than the picture you've seen. You need to think about how much that difference means to you. Sometimes people use pictures of someone else. Typically, people that do this have no intention of ever meeting in person since they know they will be found out. However, I have met someone who did that and he was forced to come clean when it came time to meet. Yes, it did change things for me and ended our chatting.
- Do watch for inconsistencies in their stories. Inconsistencies are a red flag. This may mean they are married or talking to multiple people and telling different stories to different people and having trouble keeping it all straight.
- Do not meet in person until you've heard their live voice. Hearing their voice will allow you to access their level of confidence and let's face it, some people just have voices you cannot tolerate. I made that mistake once. With so many free options there is no excuse not to hear their voice. Since you have a computer, you have access to Skype and as long as you have a microphone and speakers you're good to go.
- Do watch how they act around other people such as waiters or waitresses. How people treat wait staff is a good indicator of how they treat people. If they are rude to a waitress they will be rude to anyone. Also listen carefully as they talk about other people in their life such as their mother, their boss, or their ex. Is this the type of person you want to be around?
- Do not agree to meet someone you have weird feelings about. Trust your intuition. If you decide to meet them, only meet in a public place, particularly if you're meeting them alone. If you go alone, at least make sure someone knows where you are going and as many details as you know about the person you are meeting. Married people, or people when less than honorable intentions, are not as likely to agree to meet in public. This is a red flag to watch for.
- Do pay attention to how they make you feel when you're around them. If they appear to be overly nervous or overly flattering take note. This could just be normal jitters, but it could also signal trouble. Personally, I would not agree to a second date while on the first date. Agree to resume chatting online. This allows you to step away from the situation before deciding if you want to see this person again or not.
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