Although it sometimes seems as if the entire single universe is now dating online, there’s still a big group who haven’t taken the plunge into this particular pool yet. I’ve shared dating stories with friends who are single and haven’t yet tried the online thing. They have different reasons for this but safety seems to be a big concern with the majority. I get a lot of wide-eyed looks and comments.
Aren’t all the people online like Killers or something?
Why are you doing that? All the guys are married and cheating!
What if someone you meet drugs you and kidnaps you and … .
While scary things can happen, you’re not necessarily setting yourself up for a starring role on “48 Hours Mystery” when you date online. If I’ve learned one thing over my time in the online dating world it’s this: Keep common sense in first gear and drive slowly.
There are a few points I like to keep in mind when “shopping” at an online dating site. First, you can write anything you want in a posted profile. Always wanted to be a World-Class skier? You can say that in a profile…it doesn’t make it true any where except in your imagination. Second, you can say anything you want on a first date. Yes, I’ve skied down Dead Man’s Curve. Never mentioning of course that Dead Man’s Curve is what you named the little hill behind your house when you were seven. Talking on the phone tells you more about a date than a profile, in meeting you learn more than you did in the phone call and many, many dates, over time, will give you the whole picture about this person who just may be ‘the one’. Common sense tells us to take our time…good advice.
When you’re ready to meet an online match, do it in a public place. Somewhere that you feel comfortable and safe – and ask questions! One friend told me that he hates to do that, especially on a first date, because it feels like he’s conducting an interview. Well, guess what, it IS an interview! I’m not saying you and your date should come armed with a questionnaire but this is the time to probe and question and learn about one another. An online match once told me that he met a woman who he fell for rather quickly, the first date as a matter of fact. It wasn’t until the third date that he finally got around to asking how long she’d been divorced. She wasn’t, she was still very much married. Ouch! Would sure have hurt less finding this out on the first date, or better yet the first phone call. So go ahead, be nosy you’ll be happier.
Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable having a new person come to your home to pick you up then arrange to meet them somewhere. A decent person will understand this because they’re using common sense and taking their time too. One of my girl friends told me that she does background searches on anyone she’s seen more than five times. Personally, I think that may be a bit extreme at that point but, hey, if that’s what she needs to do for her own personal comfort level, then that’s what she should do. Although I do have to relate one personal story to you here: I was home on a rainy, boring Saturday and, just on a whim, I plugged the name and profession of an online match into Google (we hadn’t met yet). What I found made my blood run cold, he’d been convicted about eight years previous for sexually molesting his six-year-old daughter! I immediately went onto the dating site and blocked him from communicating with me. THAT, by the way, is what you do when someone turns out to be far less than savory. You don’t confront them with this information, you don’t call them, email them or communicate again in any way…you WALK AWAY…period.
Call me Pollyanna, but I do believe that most singles are sincere and basically good people, however we all need to find our ways of weeding out the bad apples. Taking your time in getting to know someone allows us the space to do just that. No need to rush, after all if the person you’re with is that elusive Soul Mate that we’re all looking for then you’ll have a long beautiful lifetime together… and you can find out a lot about a person in that amount of time.