Maybe dating in real life just isn’t for you or maybe you’ve been traumatized by the guys in your area. For those that are reaching out to find someone like them that will hopefully knock their bobby socks off, there is always the virtual dating world. There are places you have to pay to meet members and there are other places where people aren’t screened and you never know who you’re meeting. Sorting through these is almost as confusing as knowing how to properly date and meet someone you want to have a relationship with. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts of the on-line dating scene.
DON’T… meet right away.
So you’ve recently started talking to a person that you feel has a great connection to you. You spend countless hours e-mailing or even instant messenging them during your on-line hours. This person is someone you truly want to meet in real life. Do NOT agree to meet right away. Maybe you’ve talked every night for a week, however, this hardly constitutes any adequate time to build up enough trust to meet a stranger that two weeks ago you never knew existed. Be smart. While it’s fun to plan a meet-up, it’s also a very dangerous situation to be in – especially with a stranger. Get to know the person and build up trust so that you can feel comfortable meeting.
DON’T… give them money.
If you’ve EVER seen a tv court case, you’ll know this is a bad idea, although every day people are doing it. They meet someone online, they profess love and before you know it you’re handing over hundreds or thousands to this “prince” or “princess” charming. In retrospect you may see them as loans in certain aspects, but, they’ll always insist that any money given was a gift of love. Best bet is to not even consider money loans. Early on in a relationship it’s never a good sign.
DON’T… tell them where you live.
When you first start talking to someone on-line, make sure you don’t give them a clue as to where you live. Sure, they may know the town name or general area of your town in, say, New York State, but do not tell them right off the bat where you live. This is so dangerous. If they aren’t a decent person this can open up a world of stalkers, theft and possibly even rape in the worst of cases. This isn’t to say that down the line it isn’t all right, but you need to know this person very well before giving them such personal information.
DON’T… meet alone.
Meeting someone off the internet alone is just as dangerous as telling them where you live. The person on the other end meeting you may be harmless, but always carry with you the ‘what if they are dangerous’ thought. Agree to meet in a public place with a friend or two. If they insist on you meeting them alone, consider that a big red flag. Reconsider meeting this person if they keep insisting on you and you alone showing up on the first meeting.
DO… let others know where you’re going.
So, the date is set and you’re all prepared to go meet this wonderful person face to face for the first time. Make sure you have concrete plans and even if you are going with a few friends, be sure to let family and others know where you’re going. This isn’t just for safety’s sake, however, it also gives others a way to contact you in case of an emergency. Be sure that you and this new person stick to the plan and not even for one second consider straying unless you notify someone else of a change in plans.
DO… carry a cell phone.
Carrying a cell phone seems pretty irrelevant when it comes to online dating. However, what if when you do meet this magical person they turn out to be your worst nightmare? You want a way to contact someone else in the event you need a ride home or need real help. All cell phones have a free 911 service — even if your phone plan is cancelled or you forgot to buy minutes for a pre-pay. Not only this, if an emergency outside of your situation happens, you’re able to be contacted immediately. A lifesaver no matter what, in the long run.
DO… remember to think before acting.
I’ve actually seen this many times from friends who meet online and end up in real relationships. It seems that online dating gives ou a chance that some people that meet face to face don’t get — a chance to converse about many matters that sometimes don’t get brought up right away. However, if you’ve only known this person a few months, remember that who we are online is not always who we are offline. Don’t ever rush into a sexual relationship when meeting people online. Take it like the beginning of a new relationship and spend the time actually talking to each other, seeing how they act in real life situations.
Internet dating has opened a world of love to those who wouldn’t likely find a potential partner in their current area. While I’ve experienced the good side to internet dating, many have experienced the bad. Remember that you are going into this situation just like it were a blind date. Keep a level head and you won’t have much to worry about when meeting someone from the online dating world.