Treat Them Like Strangers
Even though you have chatted online, exchanged emails and probably even talked on the telephone extensively, you still don’t really know the person. Seeing a profile picture, reading about their favorite movies and activities and chatting about their hopes and dreams is great, but you still don’t know the real person. Treat your date like a stranger because that’s what they are to you, even if you feel otherwise. Pretend you have just met the person when you go out for the first time and take all the same precautions you would take with a complete stranger, despite knowing the details they have given you online.
No Personal Info
Don’t provide too much personal information online. Cyber dates can possibly be cyber stalkers. They may not even look like the person they claim to be in the profile picture. Giving out your home address, your regular email address or telling them where you work is not a good idea. Keep the details of your life close to the vest until you have been out a few times and truly have a good gut feeling about them.
When you decide to meet for the first time after an online relationship has blossomed, it can be very exciting and fun. To make sure it stays that way, only agree to a first date in a very public place. Meet the person there and don’t agree to have him drop by and pick you up. This gives away your address and leaves you without your own transportation to get away if the person does not meet your expectations.
Some people may still feel awkward telling friends about online dating, even in an age where so many people are doing it. Get over it. Tell your most trusted friend when you’ll be going out with someone you met online. This should be a rule for the first several dates until you feel completely comfortable with the person you are dating. Let them know where you are going, what time and when you’ll be home. Promise to give them a call when you are back home safely and have a plan of what they need to do if you don’t. They should be able to identify the person you are going out with on the website where you met.
On a more positive note, if you have a clear vision of who Mr. or Ms. Right is based on a certain faith, lifestyle or other factor, then you may be happier signing up for a niche dating site instead of going with the most popular ones. Sometimes it’s best to sign up for both. Some sites are specifically for people of the Christian faith or Jewish faith for example. Others may be strictly for gays and lesbians. You might as well look where you think the kind of person you’d connect with might be.