This is part two of my post on Safe Online Dating. The original article was written for Candid Slice: http://www.candidslice.com/16-must-have-survival-tips-for-online-dating/ . Thanks to Bob Leah of Candid Slice for the photos.
So you have corresponded with someone well enough to be very interested in them. So how do you proceed safely? Please remember people are not always who they seem to be in emails or online conversations, and more specifically in person.
1. Make your first meeting safe. Arrange to meet in a public place during daylight hours. Don’t let your car be visible from where you meet. Be there early so your car and your license plate are not visible and leave after the other person does. Tell a friend where you are going; and that either you will check in with them or have them call you, just to be sure you have support if you need it. You can also let a friend track your phone on a GPS map.
2. It is a good idea to buy your own coffee, snack or meal. That way there are no expectations or guilt trips available for you or them in case things go sour.
3. If someone says something out of line or inappropriate, or makes you feel uncomfortable, drop them!! Online dating can be a gamble. One man I messaged with, seemed nice until he told me he was on his bed while he was talking to me and that he just had his underwear on! Needless to say I felt a bit uncomfortable and disconnected from him as quickly as possible.
4. Think about why this person is looking for a date. Does it correspond with your motivation? Another man I spoke with had lost his wife to cancer three years earlier. He was extremely nice and I really liked him. After we corresponded a few times, I gave him my number. He called me the next morning to see how I had slept. Okay, that was kind of intimate, but it was a nice gesture.
Then he called me that afternoon to “check” on me. We hadn’t even met yet! So I stopped communication with him. I felt he was still grieving for his wife and his son had just moved out and he was lonesome.
Because I felt sad for his losses, I explained very kindly to him that I felt he was still grieving for his wife and felt like he needed to be needed. I never heard from him again.
5. Be very wary of desperate people. It will be harder to break off with them if things don’t work out. Clingy, over eager people may have relationship or emotional problems that they need to resolve before starting a new relationship with you.
Unless you feel comfortable with it, I would only put “single”on my profile instead of widowed or divorced. Remember you are looking for a date, not a lost puppy or someone to rescue you. I know this may stir up a hornets’ nest but: if someone is separated from their spouse, be aware that some people will lie, try to make you feel sorry for them, and make you get sucked into a triangle that you will get hurt from. Granted there are people who genuinely are nice and honest. Ask for proof. If it hurts their feelings then that’s their problem. Get the facts first.
6. Be very careful if you are lonesome. Someone may be able to sense your loneliness and take advantage of you. Be confident and wary if you are going to go online to date. Do not settle for less than what you are looking for in a date. Remember dates could lead to deeply meaningful relationships. Do not be in a hurry!! Chances are good that you and that special someone will be alive the next day or week for you to get to know each other better.
7. Do not accept drinks from strangers. Do not accept opened bottles or canned drinks. Do not leave your glass or bottle with this person until you know them very well. I am sure you have watched enough television to know why this is dangerous. Be careful!!
8. Do not go home with someone you don’t know! Wait until you feel comfortable with them and know them well.
9. Do not date a guy or girl who does not treat you or others with respect. If your date loses their temper with the wait staff or becomes jealous or suspicious of you, dump them! Chances are good that they will eventually lose their temper, become more jealous or suspicious of you and may become violent with you too.
People who have ego or other emotional baggage may treat waiters and those attending to their needs, as if they are servants instead of people. This kind of behavior should not be excused. They have issues!! Everyone has a right if there are problems with the food or the service to make a valid complaint to the manager. But it can be done politely. More often than not the manager will make amends for whatever the problem is.
10. The key guidelines are simple: 1.Go slow; 2. Listen to your gut feelings; 3. Be wary; 4. Drop them if anything feels wrong; 5. Don’t give out too much personal information; 6. Have backup support! There are many things that can happen to a guy or a girl on a date. Stay frosty.
If you didn’t read Part 1 of Safe Online Dating here is the link: