Before you go on your first cyber date, you must learn how to handle online dating because you may become a victim of several falsehoods. You may be under the impression that you know everything about the other person. This may not be true because the other person may not have told you the truth.
Your online friend may be using someone else’s photograph, an old photograph or one that has been altered to make him look better than he is. He may have lied about his age, income or physical condition. The male online friend with whom you have been chatting may not even be male. In fact, everyone lies a little about themselves. On the Internet a person’s looks don’t matter and his personality shows through. This can also be dangerous, because you don’t get a chance to see, or hear the other person, to try and make out if he or she is telling the truth.
It is not wise to give out your full name, address, telephone number, where you work etc. Use an online dating service that keeps your e-mail address confidential by using an anonymizer or re-mailer. You can also use a free e-mail account for online dating.
An online romance can turn into cyber-stalking. Let the online relationship develop slowly. If the other person is lying about something, it will be difficult for him or her to be consistent. Keep copies of his or her e-mails and compare details revealed at different times. Contradictory information will reveal that the person is lying.
Consult your close friends to help you to keep things in perspective. It is better to be honest about yourself, right from the beginning. If you tell lies that become known to your friend at a later stage, it may break up the relationship.
Use a public phone, when you want to move from chatting to your first conversation. You can reveal your number later, if you find that you are comfortable with the other person. Even then, caller ID can help you to be sure of the other person’s number. If things don’t work out, you have the option of blocking the other person’s calls. Don’t accept their calls if they block your caller ID.
Always arrange the first meeting in a public place and go with a friend. Remember that you don’t know this person and keep the first meeting short. See if the person has told you the truth about himself or herself and if not, stop the relationship right there. Never leave the place and go to the other person’s home or a secluded place, for the first few meetings. Don’t be afraid to report any threats or attacks to the police.