While hundreds of thousands of singles across the globe use the Internet to meet their soul mates, every once in a while you hear a story about someone who trusted their online love match a little too much.
It’s true that dating has its dangers, and that point is underscored when using the Internet. However, you don’t need to fear this type of technology. With common sense and smart dating practices, you can meet new people with confidence instead of fear. To that end, here are some points to remember.
Online Matches Are Strangers
Perhaps the biggest falsehood Internet daters buy into is that their online match is a friend. While the ability to chat with an online match before you meet them is a definite plus, the reality is that until you get to know him or her you need to proceed as if your Internet date is a complete stranger. Only when you truly get to know them over time will you be able to assess whether they are right for you.
Be Cautious When Giving Out Personal Information
The great thing about Internet dating is that you don’t need to give out your phone number, last name, or address until you’re absolutely ready to do so. Use this to your advantage. Never let someone pressure you into going around the double-blind email system or giving them personal information until it feels right. Trust your gut instinct. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, they may be an online dater to avoid.
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Meet Out at a Public Location
Never have a first date pick you up at your house or even walk you to your car until you see them out a few times. Meet them at a location away from your own neighborhood and in a very public place. Coffee shops are the perfect location to meet a blind date and talk. If you do set up a date later, continue to meet them out rather than have him or her pick you up at your place.
Know the Signs of Con Artists
Being smart about dating doesn’t mean being cynical. So pay attention to details when you first meet someone. If a date asks you for money, tells you a sob story to get your bank account information, or insists on meeting you anywhere but a public place: leave immediately. If the person you’ve just met seems weird or “off,” take heed and protect yourself. Some people are simply up to no good.
Be a Confident Single
No one likes to be alone without the prospect of meeting the right one. But the truth is, some people don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Don’t lower your standards or give in to someone you don’t really trust. Being single is a superior option to being taken advantage of. If a situation doesn’t seem right for any reason, have the confidence to believe that something better will be along very soon.