Written by: Shani Fowler
Remember when dating was a slightly beer goggled face to face event, eyes connecting across a smoky bar? You met someone, fancied them, took them at face value and arranged to meet up again! Oh how things have changed. Of course face to face romance does still occur but now-a-days there is a lot online profiling, and finding a love match electronically has become big business. Whilst the shift in dating patterns is fantastic for a great many, for example if you don’t get out much as you have little ones, or pubs and clubs are no longer your bag – a little caution should still be exercised when meeting an online date. Here are some online dating safety tips:
Let someone know
Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of your new hot date that you forget to let someone know where you are going. Someone should always know where you are going to be and who you should be with.
Don’t agree to being picked up by your date
Remember you are meeting someone you do not know and you wouldn’t accept a lift from a stranger would you? Arrange to either drive yourself there or have transport in place for someone to get you there and pick you up.
Take your phone
Your phone is your lifeline on many an occasion and this is no exception – always take your mobile. Maybe have someone call you at a certain time to check that you are okay. Another good idea is having a code if something is not right where you can make your excuses and leave – even if it’s not a security issue, you may need rescuing because your date is less Mr Darcy and more Mr Bean!
Don’t reveal your address
We can often talk too much when we are nervous and give things away about ourselves without realising it. Be sure to keep exactly where you live under wraps at first. Issuing your date with postcode for their satnav and telling them yours is the one with the blue door is not recommended.
For your first few dates it would be prudent meet during the day time and a public place. Decline any suggestion of remote or private places and remain where it is populated and also keep an eye on your mobile making sure you keep a good signal.
Don’t get drunk
It might be tempting to indulge in a little Dutch courage to calm the nerves to get through the date, but don’t over indulge. Having your judgement seriously impaired is not a good idea when you are meeting someone you don’t know very well. Plus if they do turn out to be Mr Dreamboat/Miss World then you don’t want them scooping you up off the floor thinking they are embarking upon a relationship with the local Wino!
Looks can be deceiving
Remember the online profile might not live up to the expectations in real life full 3D! Be prepared that the tall dark professional may actually be a medium sized slightly balding plumber! People can tend to get a little carried away with the whole “marketing” of themselves and just as you may have lengthened your height and (..ahem) reduced your build for your love match profile so might someone else!
Enjoy the experience
Internet dating has taken a great leap forward in recent years and thankfully no longer viewed as a lonely hearts club. It has a great benefit to many people. It spares you the trawl round bars on freezing nights out hoping you will stumble into someone you could connect with. Now you can sit in your front room and surf through your potential suitors whilst watching Ant and Dec.
Most people using dating sites are genuine, they want to find that special someone, and many successful relationships are formed this way. As long as you are security conscious in the first instance and have a realistic view of online dating there is nothing to hold you back. Keep the faith and your Prince Charming will come!