Safety Precautions To Take Before Dating Someone You Met Online
Nowadays, everything and anything is done online, and that also includes dating. And it is not surprising to know that there is a robust growth in online dating sites bolstered by the steady increase of its registered members. As more and more people gain confidence in making transactions via the Internet, analysts say that people who engage in online dating are actually more willing to pay subscription or registration fees to avail of credible and safe services.
Online dating continues to appeal its users primarily because of the anonymity involved. In February 2005, an academic survey on online dating showed that 94% of those who are into online dating saw their online dates again after their first meeting, and that the relationships that formed thereafter lasted for an average of at least seven months, with 18% of them lasting for more than a year.
However, it is also this element of anonymity that makes online dating, as opposed to the usual dating practices, more potentially risky for those seeking partners. Since the usual ways of judging a person up close through his body language, physical appearance and other factors are totally absent in online dating, a psychopath could very well pretend to be your average normal guy, and a married woman can easily pass off as a single woman.
But online dating can be fun if one knows how to take heed of signs that would tell you that something is or isnít real. The following are some of the things to watch out for:
1- There is always a high probability that the person youíre talking with is married. An MSNBC research reveals that about one third of online dating service users are married! And that is on top of the fact that men and women often lie about their true civil status and age. Watch out for tell-tale signs such as when people ask for your number but not giving theirs, irregular and hurried calls, not sharing their last names although you have given yours, and give very few, if not zero details on families or friends.
2- People who insist on having your email at the first talk. The market for online dating is a goldmine and many dating sites have a lot of creative and stealthy ways of marketing their services. Do not give out your email address at first contact because the next time you check your email, your inbox would be full of spammed online dating messages.
3- It is natural for men and women to pretend to be younger or older than their age. Anyway, these are white lies that would not be hard to miss or ignore once you come face to face with that person. Whatís worse and even more traumatic is the possibility of being preyed upon by online stalkers. Try asking your potential online partner if he would be open to a first time date with a chaperon in tow, or to group dating, or to meet in a public place. If not, drop him or her. Thereís something sinister about a person who wants to be alone with you in a private place during your first meeting.
4- Watch out for money scams. There are just too many con artists and scam artists around the world, and the Internet is their playground. Be wary of those who try to ask money from you for whatever reason. Unless you have already met the person and have some personal knowledge about the actual circumstances, never give in to such requests. But it would be safer to cut off the communication. There is simply not a single ounce of integrity in someone who asks for money from someone he hardly knows anything about.