Who would have ever thought that getting a date was as simple as getting online from the comfort of your own home? This is a great addition to our society since it has helped many find love that wouldn’t have been looking for it any other way (let’s face it, there’s tons of really shy people in this world). Of course with everything good comes a drawback, and when we talk about online dating we see that safety is one of the biggest concerns.
Is online dating safe or is it a major risk to one’s wellbeing? Well, you’re about to find out.
First things first, here’s the truth about online dating safety.
When it comes down to your own personal safety, you shouldn’t entrust ANYONE to make sure that you stay safe. You need to make sure that you’re truly the one taking action on this front. Once you understand this, you’re ready to start implementing the following guidelines for online dating.
Always remember that online dating isn’t always what it seems to be.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the people you meet through an online dating site are fake because you found them online, but the truth is that they can make you think that they’re someone they’re not. That’s one of the contributing factors when MTV rolled out the hit show Catfish.
The profile, picture, and even the conversations can often seem too good to be true. Don’t just rely on the online interactions when it comes to falling for them. Guard your heart close, and yourself even closer. Always remember that in order to truly know whether or not this person is “the one” that you’ll have to spend time with them in real life before being able to reach your conclusion safely.
Be careful when creating your username.
Sure, it can seem that all of the good ones are already taken but don’t fall into the simplicity of using your real name. There are weird people in the online dating scene, so you don’t want everyone to know who you are. Protect your real name and only give it to those who you can truly trust. The last thing that you want to do is become the victim of a stalker. Sorry that I had to put it that way, but we must not ignore reality here.
If the red flags come up, don’t ignore them.
Our intuition often serves to the best of our interests. If you don’t pay close attention to the other person that you’re considering a relationship, you could be setting yourself up for failure or disappointment. Watch their body language, how they treat others, how they talk, and most importantly how they treat you. If a red flag comes up, make sure you start steering away so that you don’t become the next liability.
Be careful when it comes to your personal information.
Here are some of the things that you should only share with someone that you trust, not just anyone. It should take time for someone to find these things about you.
- Where You Live
- Where You Work
- What You Drive
- Who Your Kids Are
- How Much Income You Have
All it takes is one slip-up to put you at risk, so as long as you guard this information you’ll be able to safely date online without having to worry about bringing the “creepy ones” home with you.
Know your standards and UPHOLD them.
We create the life that we want to live, but you’d be surprised how many people live in a life that isn’t even close to one that they’re truly happy with. The one thing that they have in common is that they either don’t know what their standards are or they simply don’t follow them.
When it comes to dating, this also means that you need to set your boundaries. What is it that you want to do on your first date and what are you willing to do? How about on future dates? What do you want from a relationship? What can and can’t be accepted? These are just a few things that you can answer in order to define your standards. Once they’re in place, follow them and nothing less. Only more.
Know how long you prefer communication to be online.
Here’s are some guiding points that you can use to make sure that your relationship doesn’t start losing its fire before you have a chance to turn it into a reality. However, set your own standards on this front to make sure meeting in person is something that you’re truly comfortable with.
- If you aren’t in the same country as the person that you’re considering, a couple of months is usually the best timeframe to meet.
- If you’re local, it’s usually best to meet within a couple of weeks of meeting the person that you’re talking to.
- If you’re out of state, usually a month is what you’re looking at.
Meeting in person is the only way that you can tell whether or not the relationship is one that you really want to pursue. This is why it’s important not to overlook the chance of meeting in real life, as long as you feel that it’s safe and something that won’t make you feel awkward.
Know when it’s time to take it from the internet to the phone.
This goes hand in hand with setting your boundaries. If you meet someone that you start to adore enough to want to hear their voice, make sure that you feel it’s the time that you do so. Being comfortable is critical when it comes to building up towards having a relationship with someone.
If you don’t want to give out your personal phone number to the other person, but you want to talk to them, you do have options thanks to the information age. There are many online dating sites that have a phone program integrated so that you can call the other person using an anonymous number. You can also get a Google Voice number which keeps your personal details private.
Don’t put yourself in a trap, plan for the unexpected.
Things happen without us even expecting them. When you meet up with someone you met online, you want to make sure your safety is the top priority. Let someone know where you’re going to be in case they can’t reach you or something unexpected does occur. When you become unprepared, you can be taking your situation from positive to negative in the blink of an eye.
Know how brief to keep your first dates.
You don’t want to spend all night with someone that you started to dislike. Instead of tying yourself down to dinner or a movie, give coffee or happy hour a try. This will help you set a limit that still allows you to see if there’s a bond between the two of you before you commit to longer dates.
Online dating can be safe, but you have to make sure that this is the type of situation that you maintain and create at all times. You do pave your way through life and when it comes to dating it’s not any different. Online dating can lead to marriage as it has for many people, or it could lead to a night that you want to forget. It boils down to how much effort and awareness you put forth.