If you are tired of going out and seeing and dating the same people or are having problems dating, sometimes online dating can be the way to go. While online dating has had it’s fair share of negative attention, it can also be a positive and enlightening experience. Whether you are new to online dating or a pro, helpful tips can always come in handy and the safety pointers below should help to ensure that your online dating experience is a good one, and most importantly, a safe one:
Picking and signing up for a dating site should require some research. Many online dating sites out there are general and offer matches depending on hobbies and interests and others offer matches for a particular group type. For example, some sites are for Christian dating, some for certain ethnicities, etc., so it is good to take the time to find about more about a site before you sign up and create a profile.
Your instincts are usually right and you are feeling them for a reason. If after a couple of internet chats, emails, and even phone calls, you feel something is not right- it’s probably because it isn’t. Your instinct can usually help you decide whether it is a good idea to move forward with this person, cut contact with them, or slow things down to give you a better opportunity to make a decision about the person. Always trust your gut- it is the best tool you have.
It’s very important to limit the amount of information you give someone before you know and trust them. Giving out simple information such as your full name or telephone number are easy ways for people to figure out how to track you down, figure out where you work, or even where you live. Your home phone number alone is enough to find an address- so guard this personal information until you are comfortable sharing it.
Eventually, after sharing conversations over the internet, exchanging emails, and eventually telephone conversations, you both might start talking about meeting in person. Ease into it and only meet in person when you feel completely comfortable and trusting of the other person- if you have to be talked and convinced into it- you are probably not ready.
Do not allow your date to pick you up at your house- take your own car or get your own transportation. It is too soon and you probably don’t know enough about the person yet for them to know where you live, as it could be potentially dangerous to you. Be sure to carry a functioning cell phone with you at all times, and if, for any reason, you begin to feel uncomfortable- leave immediately.
After deciding that you are ready to meet, choose a public place for your date, such as a restaurant, lounge, cafe or place where there are plenty of other people around. Do not agree to meet in secluded areas such as parks or inside their home. Always let a friend, family member, or someone you trust know where you are going, with whom, and around what time to expect a phone call from you letting them know you are okay.
Try to avoid drinking alcohol on your date, it can impair your judgement and lower your inhibitions. Drinking too much alcohol can make you miss signs that are red flags and affect the judgments you are making on the actions of your date, which could in turn, put you in a dangerous situation. If you do have a drink, remain alert, watch it carefully and never, even for a minute, leave it unattended.
Leaving your wallet or purse unattended is a quick and easy way for your date to go through your stuff and find out more about you or steal personal information or items. One quick look at a drivers license could allow them to jot down your address before you return. Always take your belongings with you to the bathroom, to step out to use the phone, or any other time you get up from the area you are in.
Even if the date is going very well and you are feeling very comfortable around your date, do not let your guard down. Just because they have told you they are sweet, caring, religious, honorable, etc. doesn’t necessarily mean it is true so always proceed with caution. You never know the real intentions of someone once they think they have your trust until you’ve been on enough dates to trust the person more.
At the end of the date, you might know whether you want to pursue another date or not . Be clear about your intentions, and if you turn down another date be sure that the person does not become angry and does not watch you or follow you home. Be cautious with a date who is overly aggressive and demanding. Only agree to other dates if you feel comfortable doing so and you don’t give in to anything that you have to be coerced or forced into.