Staying Safe on Dating Websites
Dating online has become a more and more accepted practice, with many dating websites boasting thousands of members. What began as a niche service in the 90s has grown into a full fledged industry in recent years,
with as many as 20% of American adults having participated at some point.
Online dating websites can be a fun and exciting way to meet new people, and with more people signing up every day, you can easily find people that are compatible to your tastes and lifestyle. When visiting online dating websites, however, it pays to practice safe habits. Although most people on these sites are going to be trustworthy individuals, there is nonetheless a need to participate as safely as possible. Practicing a couple of safety tips can keep dating websites a fun and secure experience.
Appearances and conversations on dating websites can be misleading. It can be very difficult to get a realistic perception of people online, especially if they are actively trying to be misleading. Do not blindly trust anyone based on your experience with them online. Predators will naturally attempt to construct a misleading personality online, making themselves appear trustworthy and safe. No matter your experience with someone online, do not give out personal information. This includes phone numbers, and especially addresses.
Again, although most people on dating websites are perfectly trustworthy, this is not something you can safely judge over the internet. Giving out personal information to a stranger can lead to severe repercussions later on, such as stalking or harassment. All it takes is one piece of personal information for a stalker to track down their targets. Give yourself peace of mind by preserving this information on dating websites.
If a relationship on dating websites progresses well, and you want to meet with someone, there are some precautions that should be taken. First of all, always meet in a public place around other people. Never agree to meet at someones house or apartment. The same goes for secluded areas. Especially for the first meeting, agree only to a public place. You can meet somewhere at a designated time in order find someone so as to avoid having to give out a cell phone number. If you are worried about being able to find someone, buy a prepaid disposable phone and give the person that number instead of your real phone.
The first time you meet someone, let a friend know that you are going out on a date with a stranger, and what time that they should expect you to return. You should also consider taking mace on the first date for a little peace of mind. Be sure to carry it with you at all times.
When you meet someone, keep the meeting in the original location, at least for the first date. While you can use common sense here, avoid getting in their car, or going to secluded locations. The first date is a great time to judge your potential partners personality. Even if the first date goes well, it is still a good idea to stick to public places on the second date. A couple of dates in and you should be getting a good idea for their character and trustworthiness. If you feel comfortable, you can slowly release personal details and move more freely with them.
Dating websites can be a fun way to meet new people, but be safe and practice common sense when using these dating websites.