While it seems that you can’t meet anyone unless you are dating online, many people are reluctant to join the online dating world. The horror stories that circulate about cat fishing, crimes, assaults, and stalking from past dating site users are more than a little scary. However, there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure that you don’t become one of these horror stories.
1. Don’t Give Out Personal Information Online
Don’t tell someone online where you work, what your schedule is, your phone number, your address, or anything else that could be used to stalk you or commit a crime on your property. Instead, save that kind of information for when you meet up. This will also ensure that you have something interesting to talk about. You should also be cautious with the information that you give out on the first date. Think of it as keeping your past shrouded in mystery.
2. Always Meet In A Public Place
Coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, malls, theater productions, and other public events are all good places to meet. You will want to go somewhere you can sit and talk, but not anywhere that you might be trapped or unable to leave. Public locations also give you a lot of information about the way that your date behaves around other people as well.
3. Don’t Put Children In Your Pictures
If you are a proud single parent, you will still want to keep your children out of your pictures. There are people go prey on single parents, looking to get access to their kids. Instead, only mention that you have kids to someone once you have messaged back and forth a few times. You will keep both yourself and your children safer this way.
4. Consider Doing A Google Search
Most of the time, people who have a history for abuse, crime, or violence will have some information about them online. Simply put their name into Google or do a reverse image search with their picture. If something comes up, then you know that you shouldn’t meet up with them. Many women have found men they went on dates with on sex offender registries after they have already gone on a date.
5. Always Have A Back-Up Plan
You should always have a friend who can come pick you up or a way to get home if something happens to your car. This way, you will never be put in a situation where you need a ride from your date. Even if they seem harmless, taking them to your home on the first date is something you will want to avoid.
Overall, if you take a few simple steps, you can date online with confidence. Always be careful with your personal information, make sure that you don’t give out information about where you live, think about the photos that you have put online, and trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid, just be cautious.