In a world where men and women are busy and social time is limited to computer interactions, text messaging, and emails — the popularity of online dating is skyrocketing. Gone are the days where there is a stigma associated with meeting a partner online, but there is still one thing I always worry about: safety. My father would have my ass if he thought I was not being safe when I was meeting up with virtual strangers. I think most of us are in tune with our ‘gut’ and trust our instincts, however there are still some basics I want to make sure each of you lovely ladies know so you can stay safe.
Before you even consider meeting this guy in person please take into consideration the following tips and safety guidelines from Alex Wise, Senior Editor and co-founder of Loveawake dating site:
- First and foremost ALWAYS trust your gut. I said it before already, but I cannot stress this enough. If something about the guy seems off pay attention! If you are talking with him through emails and messengers and he gives clues to being possessive, jealous, or quick to anger it is probably best to not plan an actual date with him. If before you meet he is already questioning why you are still active on the dating site, RUN and run fast.
- A lot of women are quick to share every last detail right off the bat. We do this under a guise of being an “open book” or being upfront and not playing games. Ladies, please, slow your roll. Do NOT share personal information too early. Keep your last name, exact location, and other identifying information a secret until you have assessed how your gut feels about him.
- I have heard it suggested that you should create an email account just for your online dating profiles and while I did not do this when I was utilizing online dating I see the reasoning behind it. How many of us have blogs, Facebook pages, and more all with information about us linked to our emails? It is pretty easy to search out where email is linked to on the internet so this is something to consider.
- Lastly, please remember that you will get what you pay for or not in this case. Free online dating sites have been toted by guys I know as “fuck finders” and nothing else. If guys are serious about finding somebody they care about and want to spend some time with they will pay for the service. I am not saying that you cannot find people looking for long term relationships on a free site, but you have to weed through a lot more non-serious profiles to find them.
The flirting and conversation is going great. Suddenly you are staying up late just to chat, you get butterflies when his name pops up in your messenger, and you cannot stop smiling. It is time to meet up and you are over the moon excited. AWESOME! Be excited, you deserve it, but be safe!
- Tell somebody where you are going and be sure they have your date’s contact information and name. By this time you should have a full name and phone number for the person, so share it with somebody you trust. Most first dates are not hours long, so set a check in time and stick to it! If your date is going great and you are going to extend it then excuse yourself to the restroom and shoot them a quick text.
- Always drive yourself to and from the meeting, so that you can leave if you realize it was a mistake. Along the same vein stay sober! Nobody wants to have a sloppy drunk on a first date and it restricts your ability to leave if things take a turn for the worse. So, stay clear headed and in control.
- Lastly meet in a public place. This sounds like pure common sense, but you would be surprised how many friends I have had go to a guy’s house, so he can make his famous lasagna on a first date. No lasagna is worth my safety, so thank you but no thanks; I will wait a while and just take your word for it.
There is a lot of love out there in the world and an ocean of possibilities when it comes to how to find it. I am a firm believer in being active in your search for love if that is what you want. If online dating is how you want to search for love then I implore you to go about it safely. Do not feel silly telling somebody where you will be. Do not let a man guilt you into giving away your address, so he can come and drive you. You are strong, you are in control, and you are in charge of your own safety. Trust your instincts, use these tips, and then go tear up the dating world you sexy thing you!