Online Dating Safety|
The First Online Encounters
Be careful about the information you give out. Never supply your last name, outside email address, personal website address, home address,
phone number, place of work, or other identifying information in your profile or in your initial emails. If anyone tries to pressure or deceive you into
revealing personal information, immediately stop corresponding with them.
As You Get To Know Each Other
Trust your feelings, move cautiously, and choose carefully. As you correspond, be on the lookout for strange behavior or inconsistencies. Ask questions and be
sure you are satisfied with the answers. If you think someone is lying, they probably are. Take note of conversation topics. If a person tends to steer the
conversation towards sexual themes, walk away. Take all the time you need before moving to a more personal relationship.
When There's Mutual Interest
Photos can help you get a more accurate idea of who someone is. Get pictures of your friend in different settings—at work, at play, etc. Let
the other person win your trust gradually. Don't confuse interest with trust. Your new friend should gain your confidence through consistently honorable,
forthright behavior. Don't become prematurely personal or intimate with someone, and never engage in sexual conversations.
Talking by telephone can give you a better view of your friend's personality, social skills, and character. However, do not give out your
personal number. Always call from a pay phone or a phone with Caller ID blocking until there is absolute trust. Listen to the person you are getting to know, and
pay close attention to both what they say and what they do. Ask questions and be sure that you are satisfied with the answers.
Thinking About Meeting In Person
Meet when YOU are ready - do not be pressured into it! Any kind of pressure to meet is almost always a sign of less-than-honorable
intentions, so do not tolerate it. Don't be afraid to change your mind about meeting. If someone argues about meeting, finds flaws in your thinking, or pressures
you, DON'T meet him or her. An honorable person will understand the risk involved with online dating, and respect and even insist on your caution.
Don't go alone! Double or group date for your first meeting. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return, and leave
your date's name and phone number with that person. Never have your date pick you up. If you decide mid-date to go somewhere else, drive yourself. Meet in a
safe, public place. DO NOT meet in your residence—or theirs. Be safe now. There will be time for solitude later.
When meeting outside your area: If you're flying in, make your own transportation
and lodging reservations, and keep them to yourself. Don't meet your date at your hotel. If the meeting location you've chosen seems unsafe or inappropriate to
you, go back to your hotel. Always make sure someone knows your plans and has your contact information. If possible, carry a cell phone at all times.
Be concerned if your date never introduces you to colleagues, friends, or family,
or if they look very different from photos posted online.