If you are single after divorce, you may have never thought that you’d be ready to date again. But once you have recovered from the heartbreak and are back to feeling like your old self, you will find that you are ready to open yourself up to love once more. And a great search method, especially for divorced singles, is the method of dating on the internet. But because the web is a vast world that is made up of all sorts of people who might not have the same good intentions as you, if you don’t practice the proper safety precautions, you pose the risk of running into someone more terrifying than your ex-spouse. Here’s how to avoid such an incident:
Share—but not too much. The whole point of using online dating is to get to know new people in the hopes that one of them could be eligible in the form of a date, friend or even long-term relationship material. But if you give away too much information to a possible match before you have spent a decent amount of time communicating with them to discover whether or not they are who they say they are, then you could be asking for trouble. Be cautious of anyone who is pushing for too much detail from you in the beginning and never disclose the following until you feel secure that your new online friend is worthy of your trust:
- Last name
- Personal email address
- Phone number
- Home address
- Business address
- Access to your financial accounts
- Anything else that would be identity revealing
Take things nice and slow. Because much of the awkwardness that comes with traditional first dates is eliminated with dating online, most people are more comfortable communicating and sharing with others over the internet than in person; so often relationships move faster online. But just because you’ve spent endless hours and many a sleepless night chatting it up with your cyber-crush doesn’t mean that you need to accelerate at warp speeds when it comes to meeting them face-to- face. And even when that time comes, it’s imperative to continue taking things slow. Enjoy the beginning “get-to-know-you” stages of the relationship—if there is a real connection, then there’s no need to rush it; there will be plenty of time to get to know one another on a more intimate level later.
Put safety first on your first dates. When you’ve finally reached a point where you feel that it is an appropriate time to meet in-person with your online match, that is awesome—but you aren’t in the homestretch yet, my safe online dater. Not to worry, though—you can still have fun; just make sure that your first date-nerves come from excitement and not from fear for your safety by keeping the following advice in mind:
- Don’t accept a ride from your date. While it’s a nice offer, you don’t want this person to know where you call home and you definitely don’t want to be trapped in a car with them if the date doesn’t go as planned. Use your own ride to meet your date and be sure to let a friend know where you are going.
- Pick a popular, public spot. The first few dates with your online match should not be spent at their apartment or on some deserted private beach. Choose instead a public spot and even consider making it a double/group date so that you have other people with you to ensure your comfort and safety.
- Be aware of what is happening around you. While that bottle of Merlot sounds mighty tempting, it’s best to skip any alcoholic drinks during these first few meetings so that you can be in complete control. Keep an eye on your drinks, your belongings and don’t forget to listen to your gut if it tells you that something isn’t right—your intuition is rarely wrong.
Sabrina Jackson is a guest post author who enjoys sharing her tips for safe dating. In addition, Sabrina is also a contributor for Adult Dating Sites where she gives advice to online singles for picking the best dating sites for them.