What Are the Dangers of Cyber-Dating?

The guy you find online is not always the love you hope he will be.The guy you find online is not always the love you hope he will be.

While for some dating online can yield the love of their life, for others attempts at Internet dating do not end as happily. Before you dive head first into the Internet dating pool, consider some of the dangers associated with the practice. By allowing your head, not your heart, to guide your cyber-dating efforts you may be able to avoid some of the folly that could befall you as you seek love online.

Undisclosed Criminal Records

When meeting someone online it is important to remember that the information you have about this person is cursory at best. If this potential-online lover has a criminal record, he may not disclose this information. In an attempt to keep daters safe, some dating sites run criminal background checks on their daters; however, this practice is far from an industry standard so it is wise to carefully explore the fine print to determine if your site conducts this practice. Reluctant daters can run their own background checks for a fee with an online background check company. If you choose not to do this enter the relationship carefully, remembering that you don't really know much about your online Romeo.

Relationship Status Lies

One of the things that those you meet online can easily lie about is their relationship status. Some online daters are not single as they advertise, but are instead involved with someone or even married and simply looking for a fling. While dating a married individual online doesn't present a physical danger, it can result in emotional danger if one party becomes emotionally committed not knowing that the other is already spoken for.

Financial Problems

Some disreputable people troll dating sites looking not for love but instead for someone to take advantage of financially. If someone whom you meet at an online dating platform or chat room proclaims her love to you, but then begins to ask for financial assistance or money of any kind, you are wise to be wary. Requests for cash to buy plane tickets, money to pay bills or avoid jail, or cash to get out of a financial crunch often indicate that the online dater is not being entirely honest in her wishes.

Hooking Up with a Stalker

When you meet someone online you are at a major disadvantage as you can't see first hand who this person is or gauge his intentions in a face-to-face meeting. While you may be eager to hook up with the Mr. Right who has won your heart online, you should do so carefully, avoiding giving up personal information about yourself before your initial meeting. When planning this first meet-up, arrange for it to be in a public place, ensuring that this individual doesn't know private information such as your address until you are sure that he isn't going to take the romance too far or act in an untoward fashion.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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