Safe Dating Tips
|Online dating is generally extremely safe because it is distance dating and lets you get to know your potential matches anonymously before you meet in person. This makes most people feel more comfortable and also allows you to pace yourself and be selective (which you should be).
However, there are still some basic safety rules for online dating you should observe before giving out personal contact information to a relative strangers or arranging to meet them. Even though everything is online, it's still easy to get carried away, so take things slow. These tips may seem obvious, but following them will ensure your safety and make sure you have only good online dating experiences. And you never know: Mr. or Miss Right might be just around the corner!
Always trust your instinct -- after all, it's gotten you this far in life already
Take your time and look at lots of different profiles to get a feel for what kind of person you want
Never publish your phone number or email address
Don't take anything at face value -- it's easy to lie online, and many people do
Ask lots of questions when chatting with your potential mates
Make sure you feel comfortable with whoever you are chatting with, at all times
If someone is abusive or rude, block them immediately
Don't give your home or work address to anyone you have not met in person
Before agreeing to a date, make sure you know as much about the other person as possible
Don't allow yourself to be talked into anything -- you're the one in charge
Take your time to get to know someone -- don't be rushed
A patient person will be happy to wait until you are ready to meet
Make sure anyone you're talking to is willing to provide photos and information about himself or herself
Ask your date to leave a message on your voicemail beforehand, if possible
Chat on the phone for a while before arranging a date
Always meet in a well-lit public place
Always tell a good friend where you are going and who you're meeting
If possible, step away and call a friend during the date to confirm that everything is ok
Always carry a cell phone on a date
Schedule lunch dates -- they're convenient and they have a time limit
Always make your own travel arrangements to/from a first date
Do not accept a ride home on the first date or reveal your address
If you're traveling far, always make and confirm your own hotel arrangements
Make sure you have as much information about your date as possible
Keep your first date to a specified time limit so you always have an "exit" point
Never feel like you owe it to someone to meet them -- you don't!
These rules might seem like overkill, but the reality is that you are introducing yourself to complete strangers and should definitely take precautions. Following these and other safe dating strategies will make sure you can relax and enjoy yourself safely and without the fear that someone will take advantage of you.