Online personals and dating can be a very fun venue towards meeting that special someone. However, one’s safety should still be the top priority. Did you know that most online dating services do not pre-screen their users? This means that they cannot ensure that the people you meet through their sites are safe enough to be dealt with. So, this makes you call the shots when it comes to screening them.
Here are a few tips to make online dating less risky and more fun:
1. Anonymity Breeds Safety, For Awhile
Giving your real email address, personal web site URL, last name, phone number, place of work, home address, or any other information that identifies you in your profile or first few emails that you exchange with other members makes you an easy victim. Turn off your signature file, or make sure that it does not have any identifying information, when sending emails to a member through your own email.
2. Photo Perfect Request
To give an idea of the person’s look, thus make you a tad safer, request for a picture. A scanned photo won’t cost so much, so not much alibi can be given for not doing it.
3. Lean on Common Sense
Trusting your online acquaintances easily can make you easy bait. If your gut feel tells you that someone is lying, there’s a big chance that he or she is actually lying. Then, don’t go justifying his or her acts. Look for someone that deserves your trust. Online intimacy is very dangerous. Don’t indulge yourself on such endeavor at the click of a mouse. Logical thinking will save you a lot of trouble.
4. Call First, Don’t Drool Just Yet
A person’s skills when it comes to communicating can be easily gauged through a phone call. Though it might cost you some moolah, it still is worth it than risking yourself to falling for an anti-social. However, to make things a lot safer, use a cell phone or a pay phone instead of using your land line. Unless you are absolutely comfortable with the person you are calling, don’t give your home phone number at once.
5. Delay the Meeting
It is advisable to take your time and get to know the person as much as possible first before saying yes to a face to face meeting. If he seems to be only spouting or keying saccharine words that you want to hear, the person on the other end might have a questionable honesty. Don’t feel like you are obligated to meet anyone, you still have the last say on whether you are ready to meet the person or not. You are free to change your mind if anything feels not right.
6. Psychoanalyze or End up with a Psycho
You should pay attention to any signs of intense frustration, anger or any displays of aggressive behavior. If the person is trying to control or pressure you, stop the communication. Here are the other alarming manifestations of bad behavior that when spotted, should make you stop from communicating with your online friend:
– giving dubious info about appearance, age, interests, profession, marital status, etc.
– refusal to converse with you over the phone when you have already established online intimacy
– consistently not giving any direct answers to direct questions, etc.
– overly agreeing to your every statement
– asking you to provide travel arrangements
7. Offline Meeting
Before meeting your online friend, tell someone reliable where you will go and when you will return. Leaving your date’s name and phone number is a good idea. Bring your mobile phone. Don’t make your date pick you up at home. Have your own transportation and meet somewhere public. During the date, don’t leave your drink unattended. After the date, leave on your own too.
To make online dating work, it is imperative that you exercise caution. Have ample time to get to know the other person, don’t rush yourself or allow anyone to rush you into doing anything. It’s better to be safe and dateless for a while than sorry.