The Web has replaced your neighborhood bar when it comes to people trying to find romance. Because of this, relationships are started with people who are virtual strangers.
As the web expands into human relationships and dating, it is in your best interest to exercise caution. Use your common sense. Here are some rules for playing it safe:
Watch out if someone seems too good to be true.
Take advantage of electronic mail or chat or facebook to get a feel first. Be vigilant in noticing peculiar behavior or inconsistencies. If someone is evasive, this is a red flag. "Pay attention" to your correspondent's words. The individual at the other end may not be who or what he/she says. Go with your instincts. If you are not comfortable at the start, the best thing is to walk right away.
Get as much intel as you can.
Learn to ask many questions. Find out where he grew up, where she works, and how he is connected to his community. You will be like Columbo trying to find out a person's profile. Be suspicious, if someone is unwilling to disclose any personal identifying information. Probe any discrepancies in their stories. As you ask your questions, if you see that there is hesitancy in getting the answers, be cautious. Continue with a great deal of caution.
It is best to be honest from the get go.
You should describe yourself as accurately as you can. Exaggerating or deceiving is easy on the web. Be truthful about the basic things such as marital status and how you look. You can start by exchanging pics. If someone is unwilling to send a current photo, this is warning sign. If he or she continuously comes up with an excuse, it is because that person has something to hide. In today's digital age, coming up with a picture is a no brainer. After you have exchanged photos, continue to fill in the gaps, so that the other person does not create you in their image. Keep it honest.
Talk on the telephone and continue to learn more about your correspondent.
Talking reveals valuable information about a person's temperament and quirks. It is worth the cost of the call to protect your security. Try to be stingy on giving out your phone to anybody you are not comfortable with. Take your time to see if a trusting bond is there. Give them your phone number only when you gain that feeling of comfort.
Don't rush into anything.
Meeting someone online and then arranging a date in a relatively short time can be dangerous. Take time to find out who this person really is. If someone is pressuring you to get together before you are ready, this is another warning sign. Remember that if your gut instinct is not right, do not hesitate to walk away and move on to the next candidate.
If there are no red flags and you decide to meet, just proceed with care and dictate the terms of the first meeting. The following is a guide to make sure that you have a safe encounter:
Before you go out on that first date, it's critical that you get more information.
1. You need to know the name, address and phone number of the other party before even setting up the date.
2. If the only number you get is a cell or pager, the deal is off, walk away. (Probability is high that a wife might be at home.)
3. If you do get the home number, invent a reason so you can call them there without advanced notice. This may help you to find out if she is married or he is living with someone.
4. Find out where the person works and if you can call him or her at work
Be careful when agreeing to meet anyone in person. Be in control when setting up the date and try not to let the other side change the arrangements. You need to spend time first with your date before you let them control the conditions.
1. Always tell someone where you are going with your date and when you will return. Make sure you give them your date's full name and contact numbers just in case. There are also websites these days, like smartdatedotcom, where you can register dating information such as these, for a small fee. If your date wants you to keep it secret, this is a very big red flag. Protect yourself!
2. Keep the location of the first date in a public place. It must be where there are other folks and preferably well lit. Getting together for coffee is a pleasant, casual way to get to know someone.
3. Never allow yourself to be picked up from your house. Giving your address out to a stranger is not safe. Try to have your own transportation, so if it does not work, your exit strategy is simpler.
4. Pay attention to everything that this person has told you about him or herself. If you find out that your date has lied about anything, this is another red flag.
5. Do not bring your date back to your house after the first meeting. Remember that you are out with almost a virtual stranger. Use the same kind of common sense and rules that you would use in any type of dating relationship.
Be smart and be safe. Be in control. Know what you are getting into before you invest your heart, money, or your life. As in both your professional and personal life, information is the key!