Dating can be intimidating plus if you add the element of meeting people you have never met, such as with online dating and you may be wondering “What am I getting into?”
Taking some precautions will set your mind at ease, at least with this part of dating!
Technology has added a new twist on the traditional way of meeting. Meeting people through friends work or school allowed you to feel more comfortable since you knew something about them before dating them. There are many dating apps and sites that utilize Facebook because their rationale is that you will feel more comfortable dating someone’s friend. The problem is, how well do we know every one of our friends? We all have friends that we barely new years ago, much less now. Since the average person on Facebook has 230 friends, ask your friend how well they know the person and also keep this in mind if you are using some sites that use “friend” referrals. Online dating sites such as Match.com or have the benefit of meeting people outside of your social circle and location.
Statistics show that at least 1/3 of profiles are either fraudulent or deceitful. That could mean that someone has a completely fake profile, is married or that they simply lied about their age or height. It is easy when chatting with someone to feel a false sense of “knowing” that person, which is an illusion until you meet them in person. Try to meet them within the first week or two so that you are comfortable continuing with someone that is truly who they say they are. Whether you decide to meet someone for coffee or dinner remember these tips:
-Always drive to and from the location where you are meeting separate or use Uber
-Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. (Especially for evening plans)
-Limit Alcohol! The only way to be really safe is to be aware and not impaired in any way, be smart.
-Make sure to never let your food or drink unattended, you need to make sure that they cannot be tainted or drugged. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence so eliminate the opportunity.
-Never tell someone your personal information, phone number or address until you know them better.
-Never give money to anyone that you met online! Almost daily there are stories of another (usually a woman) that has been scammed by people that are very convincing.
Google them and Background checks are inexpensive and easy to have done, if you feel that something is off and are still interested in the person after the initial meeting, this may be a good way to get more information.
–Catfish, the MTV show shows how often people have online relationships with people that are never truthful. People want the connection so badly that they believe anything they are told. Most find out they are in a “relationship” with someone completely different than who they thought.
It is fascinating how easily we can create a perceived sense of intimacy through texting or by talking alone. It should be a red flag if they cannot meet in person, this includes someone that gives excuses for why they may need money even if they are in uniform. I personally have received contacts from Linkedin that were suspicious in the way that they tried to create a personal connection in a strange way. They each had hardly any other connections and their use of language didn’t seem to be in correct English even though they claimed to be. This was hardly unique, I have also received many emails that were scams on a regular basis. We need to be very skeptical and listen to our intuition.
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