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Top 10 Internet Dating Safety Tips

Learn how to enjoy the benefits of online dating while keeping yourself safe. 1. Know what you want in a partner.

It is imperative to have clarity on what you want in a partner otherwise you might get the grab-bag surprise. By knowing what your requirements (non-negotiables), needs, and wants, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches by dating “just anybody”. If you are lacking clarity on what you want, seek the help of a relationship coach.

2. Write a very specific profile.

By writing a very specific personal ad you will weed out many of the “undesirables”. Be sure to include the following in your ad:

· Type of relationship you want (i.e. long-term committed, recreational dating only).

· Personal habits (i.e. non-smoker, non-drinker, non-drug user, avid reader).

· Your values (i.e. Christian values, ONE woman man, hard-working, devoted mother of 3 young children).

· Recreational activities (hobbies, sports, visiting friends).

· Anything that is important to you (i.e. loves to travel, works out at the gym daily).

Sure you will get fewer responses, by being specific, but you will be getting more qualified individuals responding to your profile.

3. Guard your anonymity.

You can safe-guard your anonymity by:

· Never reveal your last name, phone number, email address, home address, or place of employment in the ad.

· Choose an internet dating site that either provides a double-blind system or its own email within that dating site thereby ensuring that your identity is protected until you decide to reveal it.

· Turn off your email signature file when sending email from your email address.

· Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal information. Most internet dating sites have the ability to block a specific person should you feel it is necessary.

· Use selective blocking (*67 in my area – check your phone book), before making your first phone call to this unknown suitor. This will prevent your phone number from showing on their caller ID.

4. Take it slow.

Be sure to take the time to get to know this person before agreeing to meet them in person. Email for a while. Then talk on the phone. Before deciding to meet in person. Be sure you like and trust this person before letting them know where you live.

5. Always talk on the phone before meeting.

Conversation on the phone will reveal a lot about your potential date. Does he have a foul mouth? Is she moody? Does the conversation flow or is it forced?

Talking on the phone will also help you gather more information about this person. Are there children in the background? Does she have a roommate? Is he living with his mother?

6. Ask a lot of questions.

Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions so that you can determine if you even want to date this person.

7. Meet in a safe public place.

The first time you meet, it should be:

· In a public place – resist the urge to stroll along the beach on a moonlit night.

· Both parties driving in their own cars to the agreed upon meeting place.

Always let a friend know where you are going and when you will return. Leave your date’s name and telephone number with your friend.

8. Be cautious and watch for red flags.

Below are some of potential red flags:

· Provides inconsistent or inaccurate information about their age, interest, appearance, martial status, profession, etc (who wants a liar).

· Refuses to speak to you on the phone after establishing an email dialog (may be emotionally unavailable).

· Does not give you their home phone. Only their cell or work number (may be married).

· Or anything else that makes you uncomfortable, pay attention to your instincts.

9. Pay attention to how your date treats others.

Is he barking out orders to the waitress? Does she complain about the service? Does she talk non-stop about her ex? If so, she is probably someone you will want to avoid. It is a matter of time before you will be the target of their complaints or anger.

10. Have a plan for a graceful exit, should you feel it is necessary.

Meeting for coffee after work, will allow you enough time to see if you want to see this person again without obligating yourself on a date for hours on end. You might want to schedule a date where you have to leave at a specific time for another obligation.

About the Author

Life and Relationship Coach, Author, Speaker, Teleclass Leader, & Syndicated Columnist.

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