Online dating can be a fun and reward experience for busy people who are tired of scouting the bar scene. Over the last few years online dating has developed into a legitimate means of finding a long lasting relationship as more and more people turn to online services to find people they relate too. However, there are still those people just looking for a sexual experience, or who might mean to do you harm. The key to dating online is to remain safe. Here are some tips to help keep you safe when dating someone you met through an online dating service.
Never give out your personal information to a potential date. While using your real name is fine, giving out your phone number and address is not.
Arrange to meet in a public place. Make sure you go to a busy mall or restaurant. Any place where there are plenty other people to see you. While you are there make sure to talk to at least one clerk, waitress, or bartender so that there is someone who can attest that you were there should something bad happen.
Be aware of your surroundings and take mental notes of were you are. Drive your own car to the date and return in it. Don’t accept a ride or give someone a lift.
If it is possible make your first date a double date with a friend you trust. Your friend can always split if you decide you need time alone with your date. If you can’t find a double make sure to give a close friend or relative a written note telling them where you will be and who you will be with. Specify a time that you will be back and let them know to call the authorities if you have not returned within a few hours of that time. If your potential date sends a picture print it out and leave a copy with your friends. While you shouldn’t give out your personal information, if you date gives out his or hers write it down and leave it with your friends.
Never go back home with your date the first time you meet them. Don’t invite them to your home either. Don’t rendezvous in a hotel or any other secluded area after dark. I understand that sometimes the desire to spend more time with someone you like it overwhelming, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You can always make a second date.
There is no reason why a person should steer away from online dating. It is not any more dangerous than traditional dating or blind dating as long as you take a few precautions. While the majority of people you will meet online are good, make sure you are on the lookout for anything that doesn’t seem “right.” Always trust your first instincts, no matter how silly they seem. Have a good time dating online!