In the early appearance of the internet, every person was warned never to meet anybody from the internet. There was this misconception that every person on the internet was a murderer, a thief, a cheat or a serial killer.
Presently, online dating has become fun and is no longer seen as strange; people are beginning to embrace it as normal. Some people have even gone ahead to have long lasting relationships that led to marriage with partners they met online. A recent survey in Match.com shows that one in five people in a committed relationship, and one in six people married during the last three years, met their partners on the internet.
The internet gives us so many opportunities to meet different people. It is still necessary to go about it with common sense. Getting to meet new people on the internet, as exciting as it may seem, there are still risks.
Below are some recommendations and safety tips to abide by when considering online dating for you to have a safe and positive experience.
Get to know the person you are meeting well.
Do not be in too much of a hurry to meet someone you just met on the internet. Have enough conversations with that person to gauge how compatible the person will be with you. Your conversations mustn’t be limited to online chats; you can go further to have telephone conversations with the person. A phone conversation might help you get a clearer personality of the person. Take it slow, but not too slow. Get to know the person well so you can check for inconsistencies or red flags before you commit yourself.
Do not give out too much personal information.
Always remember that no matter the level of connection you feel or the number of times you have exchanged messages, you are still chatting with a stranger whom you have never met before. Therefore, limit the amount of personal information you share with them.
Trust your instincts.
Sometimes, it just seems so easy to build emotional connections on the internet. The feeling that you have found someone whom you can click with so well, can lead you into ignoring some red flags or inconsistencies. Avoid falling into that situation. Pay attention to your instincts or any warning sign you see that makes you think the person might not be who they say they are. Look for consistencies or inconsistencies in your conversations or their behaviors.
Meet in public places.
The first time you decide to meet them should be in a public place. A wide open space with a lot of people is preferable. There would be enough eyewitnesses in case of any situation. Plus, there is safety in numbers. Someone will always be available to come to your rescue in case the date goes wrong.
Do not let them pick you up from your house.
In this early stage, you shouldn’t give them your home address. You should meet them at the chosen location. It’s wiser that you drive yourself, so you don’t rely on them for transportation. Having your car is far safer than relying on someone who will end up controlling your movement — when you can leave and how long you can stay.
Tell a friend or any of your family members about the date.
Before going out on a date, make sure you let someone know about the date — the location and the person you are going on a date with. Share their contacts, pictures, etc., anything that can be traced.
Don’t get drunk.
Avoid getting drunk during your date. Research shows that you are more likely to make decisions that you will regret while drunk than when sober. You don’t want to wake up in the morning wondering why you did what you did.
Online dating is a wonderful way of meeting new people and getting hooked up. Although, it is still advisable that you take the necessary precautions and use your common sense to have an enjoyable and satisfying experience.