Dating is an important pastime for many people, offering a chance to connect with new people, have fun and search for romance at the same time. While dating is usually presented in a positive light, becoming aware of potential risks helps you become a savvier, smarter dater so you can make the most of your dating experiences.
Dating another person automatically opens you up to emotional risks. During the early stages of any relationship, it's easy for two people to feel very differently about important issues. You may feel you have a strong future together, while your date may see the relationship as more casual. Dating also carries the risk of trusting someone who may not return your honesty. Finding a balance between protecting your emotions and building trust is one way to deal with these risks.
Serious Red Flags
Some dating risks are more serious and should signal the immediate end of a relationship. Dates who are psychologically or emotionally manipulative may try to pressure you into unwanted situations or show signs of physical aggression. Some dates may use verbal abuse, including frequent insults or over-aggressive teasing, which can result in low self-esteem. If an individual abuses drugs or alcohol, you may be putting yourself at risk, especially in cases of driving under the influence.
Online Caution Signs
Even if you don't join an official dating site, you may meet someone online who piques your interest. Avoid revealing your personal information and meet in public spaces during your first dates. Other risks include potential emotional frustration. Online interactions lower inhibitions and often become intimate and confiding very early, which doesn't always translate to real life. Keep interactions casual and flirtatious, but not overly serious, and use phone calls and photos to gain a better sense of a potential date before you meet.
Workplace Slips and Falls
Dating a co-worker carries numerous risks, including unwanted attention from co-workers or employers, going against company policies and increased pressure in the case of a breakup. When dating complications occur, it can be difficult to maintain a professional distance. Even if you plan to keep your relationship private from other co-workers, it's important to review company policies, especially if one of you holds a supervisory position. Discuss your options realistically, even if you don't expect a breakup.
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