Posted by: Shar & Mare | August 29, 2009

Aren’t all those people online like, Killers or something?

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.




  1. Nice article! I don’t think online dating is any scarier than going out with someone you randomly meet at a bar or even at the grocery store. At least with online dating, you can find out a lot about them by reading their profiles… Even though people may fudge on the facts a little, I’ve found that a lot of personality comes out just in the text.

    Of course, I’d much rather go out with someone that I’ve known for awhile from work or a class… or someone that is a friend of a friend. When you don’t know anyone at all, it is a good idea to play it safe and stay in public places.

  2. I personally dated what is estimated nearly 500 men in about 2 year time most of them were from dating sites. At first I was not so good at it and had some not so safe dating practices but as time went on I got better at it and ended up having a lot of fun meeting a lot of great people in the process. Internet dating is not scary nor is it dangerous you just have to use common seance and be smarter than the to give away personal information. I always gave away a secure email, used my cell phone (I checked with my carrier to make sure it was private first) and parked far from where we were meeting. I also made sure to email the person first to get a feel for the person before I ever met them. I also really read their profiles you can really get a feel for the person just by what they read. It is not the date that is the problem it is telling them they are not a match for you that is the problem. So yes go out and date it is fun-much better than sitting at home and watching tv alone. To many people think love is like fast food that you can just drive up and ask for what you want. No the only way to really find out what you really want in life is to go out and experience it first hand.

  3. Loving the advice. “Common says tells us to take our time.” Very true.

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