Online dating is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to meet people you might compatible with.
Millions of people are using it because it does work. One in four marriages today starts with online dating.
When I talk to singles, many tell me fear is what stops them from using online dating. This is especially true of people who are in their 40’s and older. They are afraid of online dating scams and are uncertain how to feel safe in this new dating process. They wonder how they will be able to know if the person they are talking to is really who they say they are. How do they know the person is even single? These are valid concerns, but with a little information and a plan, you too can be successful at finding your perfect partner using online dating.
Not that long ago I was wondering those same things. I had not been on a first date in over 28 years. Online dating seemed like a good way to get back into the dating world. I could start in my own home behind the safety net of my computer. Before long, I was out there meeting new people and eventually met my next love.
Whether you are meeting someone online or in person, there is always some concern surrounding how honest the other person is being. Are they really who they claim to be? This can be something as simple as a white lie to someone looking to take advantage of you. So how do you proceed with caution and protect yourself while still having a positive attitude about dating?
My first piece of advice is to trust your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about the person, assume it might be for a good reason. It is always advisable to check the other person out and move slowly in the beginning. Here are a few safety tips to help you out.
- Don’t give too much personal information too soon.
- Set up a separate email account just for online dating.
- Only give out a cell phone number.
- Make sure you get their last name and phone number before you meet them.
- It is ok to do a Google search before you meet them. This can be a good way to verify some of the information they have given you.
- Drive yourself to the first meeting, and make sure it is a public place where you feel comfortable.
I always suggest a phone conversation with someone new before you meet them. You can learn a lot about someone from a phone call.
Some women are concerned that the guy they are meeting might not be single. Some of the above tips will help you sort out someone who might be on an online dating site but are still married. By getting a last name and a phone number, you can at least make sure they are who they say they are. If you cannot find any information on this person anywhere online, it might be a warning sign. If you only get a work number and not a cell number, this can be a clue they might be married. Also if they are only available to talk at odd times, you might also want to ask more questions. This is another time when your instincts really do help. If something seems off about the person, it just might be for a good reason.
Online dating can be fun and a great way to increase the number of people you can meet. Remember to go about it with a positive attitude, have fun, but be cautious. Take things slow at first. Get a full name and phone number always. Share one or two emails but then move on to a phone call. If everything seems good at that point, pick a time to meet for coffee at a public location and keep the first date short and sweet. If all goes well, now it is time to really start to get to know more about this person to see if they might be “the one.”
One final note, don’t ever give someone that you do not really know money or help in any way. This is a sure sign of a scam. Be prepared to protect yourself so you can enjoy the dating process. Yes, there are some dishonest people out there, but most of the people are just like you, looking for love.
[Lori Ann Davis]