Rules of internet dating safety

I entered the online dating world as an "innocent," completely naive to the rules, world, and nuances of meeting someone online.

Now, my friends ask me to help them with online dating.

That way, if something unexpected does happen, they know how to reach you, where to look and what's going on. That way you both can determine if you like each other, and if so can choose to continue and make the date longer if you like.

You never know who you're really meeting, and most of the time it's going to be just fine — but it's always good to be safe.7. If not, the expectation has been set that it's a short time, and you can graciously walk away without being tied to a show, dinner, or a movie.8. Give yourself permission to "see" with your eyes, mind, heart, AND intuition.

And, if you're out of state or out of country, try not to let more than a couple of months pass. Meeting in 3D brings a whole different aspect to a budding relationship and let's you know if you want to continue to invest in it.3. Don't share private information right away (your address, where you work, kind of car you drive, how much money you make, where you live, etc.).

I know, I know — he or she may seem wonderful, you may have gone from online flirting to talking on the phone, but be cautious until you really get to know the person and find out what their true intentions are.

The vast majority of people using dating sites are sincere and honest in the information they provide and in their reasons for joining.

However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.

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If you notice even YELLOW flags, pay attention and don't make excuses for them. Decide how you want to be treated, what you're willing and want to do on your first and future dates. Don't say you like hiking if you've never gone or haven't hiked in 20 years.Take things slowly and share more information when you feel comfortable doing so.It is impossible to get back information once you have given it away.You may be thinking, "duh," but sometimes profile names are hard to think of and you may feel like it's easier to just use your name. What if someone interested in you is a little bit on the creepy side, or there's someone you've had to block from contacting you.Do you really want them to have your name, the kind of work you do, and the area you live in (usually mandatory in your profile) to make it easier for them to find you? Set a limit on how long you'll stick to online communication.

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