Online Dating Safety
3 March 2010
So you've taken the plunge and set up a profile online... (If you haven't, what are you waiting for!) What now? Sit back and wait for the messages to flow in, or go looking, the choice is yours. Whatever you choose to do, here are a few practical guidelines to think about.
Flirting and dating on-line is no different to doing it off-line, just a lot safer and easier if you do it right. Most of the 'rules' are common sense. Your mother was most probably right - you just don't have to admit it.
Create The Right Impression
Make sure your profile is not misleading. Give the wrong idea and you'll be sure to get the wrong response or no responses at all.
Think About What You Say
When contacting another member for the first time or responding to a message, think about it. As tempting as it may be to walk up to a stranger at a party and place a hand on their sexy butt, chances are you wouldn't. So don't do it online, unless of course there is a large sign that says 'Touch Me!'
The greatest thing about being online is the safety and privacy it affords you. Just be careful! When you start corresponding with people don't give out your personal details too early. Build up a sense of mutual trust first. Keep your last name, telephone number, email address, place of work and exact family details private until you are ready to share them.
Don't be Pushed
Watch out for people pressing you for your personal details too early and too often. Also, hang back on meeting off-line until you are ready.
Keep an eye out for changes in content and style in the messages you receive. If Mr Loving Kindness suddenly starts sounding like Carlos the Jackal on testosterone it may be an idea to back off or move on.
This is the big one! You mailed each other, chatted and are ready to take the plunge and meet for real. Whilst taking your brother from the commandos with you may ensure your safety, chances are your date may get nervous, or prefer him to you!
Make your first few meetings in public places, ideally at lunchtime if you can. If you have a mobile phone take it with you and possibly take a pre-arranged call. Tell someone where you are going and try to have plans for after your date - don't be caught out with "so what are you doing after dinner?". Have your answer ready. Don't give out your home or work address and don't give in to pressure.
And guys, all this applies to you too. The chances of being taken for a ride by women may be less, but don't discount it.
Most importantly, relax, have fun and keep things safe.