Perhaps you've heard stories on the news about a person who decided to meet up with another individual they had chatted with online, and never returned home. These occurrences are rare when it comes to online dating, but you need to adhere to some safety tips to make sure that your online dating experience is fun and safe.
Make sure to trust your instinct. If you have a gut feeling that something may not be right about the other person, stick with your instinct. You should always be feeling comfortable with whoever you are chatting. If someone is abusive, block them immediately. There are plenty of other ads to look through, so take your time and view a good number of them.
Before agreeing to a date, make sure you know as much as possible about the person. Never publish your phone number or email address in personal ads. Additionally, don’t provide your home or work address to anyone you have not met. Don’t allow yourself to be talked into anything…you are the one in charge!
Take your time to get to know someone…don’t feel rushed. A patient person will be happy to wait until you are ready to meet. Chat on the phone for a while before arranging a date to get to know each other.
When it comes to the actual date, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Always meet in a public place that is well known and convenient to you.
- Tell a friend where you are going and who you are meeting.
- Carry a cell phone on the date, and if possible, phone your friend during the date to confirm that everything is fine.
- Try to meet at lunchtime and have a time limit.
- Make your own travel arrangements. Don’t accept a ride home on the first date or reveal your address.
- Keep the date to a time limit so that you have an ‘exit’ point. This way, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, you can politely leave.