Online dating doesn't have to a be a scary experience. Many people have successfully found relationship partners through the Internet, and you can too, if you know how to set up a profile that guards your safety, and take precautions when meeting potential suitors. Finding a good date – or even love – on the Internet is a delicate balance of knowing what to put on and exclude from your online dating profile, including personal identifiers, pictures, and contact information. With the following tips in mind, you'll be able to create an interesting profile that highlights your personality and interests, while keeping you safe from unwanted attention. After finding someone you'd like to date, apply our suggestions to make your first meeting comfortable and one to remember.
While it can be a good idea to detail your interests and personality while creating an online profile, it's best to leave out personal information like your full name, address, and phone number. Try using a generic, gender-neutral nickname instead of one that will give out personally identifying information, like your birthdate. Listing your school or place of employment can be dangerous as well because it can provide a potential predator regular access to you. Even using your real email address to communicate with potential dates can be risky, and it might be better to either use the online dating site's messenger service, or set up a free email account with an ISP for this specific purpose. Putting up recent, but modest pictures can spare you from unwanted harassment. Having several phone calls between you and your potential date can be a great way to establish a rapport and see if you have a connection with him before meeting in person. Blocking your phone number from visibility or using a prepaid service can protect your privacy while you get to know him. If your potential date refuses to speak with you over the telephone, or provide you with more than one picture, you may want to reconsider your interactions with him, as this could mean that he is not being fully honest with you.
When meeting someone you've interacted with over the Internet, it can be prudent to stage the encounter in a public place, as this can decrease the risk of a crime taking place. Always advise others of your plans and whereabouts so they can come and get you if you require assistance. An even better suggestion is to always carry your cell phone with you, and to have a friend accompany you to the meeting place, so he or she can monitor the interactions between you and your date. You can even arrange a “safe call” so that your friend can call you at a specific time during the date, and you can relay code words to convey if the date is going well or if you want to leave. Taking your own transportation to and from the place where you will be meeting will give you the ability to end the date and leave the area any time you feel uncomfortable. Consider only meeting someone after you have different forms of contact information for him, and have conducted a background check to verify his real identity. Don't be afraid to ask for personal references, either. Always avoid going to his house after your first date.
Creating a safe profile and taking precautions when meeting dates can make Internet dating more relaxed and fun. Many of the people on Internet dating sites are just like you – looking for interesting individuals to spend time with. When creating profiles and looking for dates, assume that most of the people you'll interact with are good, but always be aware that some may have ill intentions. Above all be open but listen to your instincts, and leave a situation and cut off all communication, if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable.
Check these links for further information about online dating safety:
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