Dating Safety

Although every woman’s timeline for getting back into dating is different, most eventually give it a try.

Internet dating has made the issue of meeting men of an appropriate age a whole lot easier, but it can make dating a bit more complicated, too. It’s hard not to get a thrill when you find potential matches through an Internet dating site. There can also be disappointment if those potential dates fail to return emails or calls or turn out to be not right in some other way. It’s a good idea to meet a potential boyfriend found through a dating site sooner rather than later, before you build up too many false expectations and hopes about him being “Mr. Right.”

Internet Dating

Worries about meeting people through an online dating site are normal. At first, you don’t have the chance to see your potential partner in person, and so you can’t determine whether he is right on the basis of what he says and the way he acts around you.

Although online chatting with a man might give you some sense of his personality in advance of meeting him, you can never be sure about a person until you meet face-to-face. Established online dating websites take steps to keep your information private so that your first date, if you choose to have one, is determined by you.

By being careful and following a few tips, online dating can be safe and may eventually lead to a satisfying relationship:

Don’t reveal your identity until you’re completely ready to do so. People can make up who they are, so until you are sure that the person you are talking to is actually who he claims to be, don’t disclose your name and contact information.

After corresponding with a person for some time, ask for an up-to-date picture. You should have an accurate image of the person you might date. If the person does not want to send you one, you may want to discontinue contact.

If there is any pressure and you do not feel comfortable, end the online conversation. There’s no need to place yourself in an awkward position. It is acceptable in the online world to end the conversation whenever you want to, so definitely terminate the dialogue early if you want to.

During your ongoing online conversations, keep a lookout for conflicting messages. Inconsistent stories should be a reason for concern.

Dating Safety

The thought of going on a date, especially if you are meeting someone for the first time, can be scary. Minor risks associated with dating are an unpleasant few hours; more serious risks are violence or date rape. Although serious threats are unlikely, you should always take precautions to protect your safety.

Here are a few dating safety tips that apply to meeting a man you’ve met online or through a friend:

Gather as much information about the guy you will meet before you actually meet him. If a friend is setting up the date, ask your friend to tell you as much as he or she possibly can about him. If there are any red flags, you may want to reconsider going on the date.

Do not meet someone until you are ready. If a man who is interested in you keeps insisting on going out, even though you are not totally comfortable with the idea, let him know that you’re not ready. If he continues to insist, it might be wise to end the conversation with him.

Once you are out on a date, you can get to know about a person in several ways. For example, consider talking about things you care deeply about. Share your opinion of books or movies that you have seen. Although it may be best not to discuss religion or politics when you first meet (unless you are certain that you share similar views), you can try a friendly debate on a less sensitive topic such as why your favorite sports team is better than other teams. By engaging in a friendly debate, you can see whether he deals with a difference of opinion in a good way. If he gets angry, then he may have a problem with his temper—a sure sign that he might not be a good partner.

Use your own transportation when you meet an online acquaintance for the first time. Meet in a neutral place like a coffee shop—not at your home or office.

On a first date, do not drink alcohol, since it could affect your judgment. If you do drink, be aware that date-rape drugs could be slipped into your drink when you go to the restroom. Bad choices can lead to really bad consequences, so hold off on alcohol until you are very comfortable with the person.