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Safe Online Dating: How To Date Online Safely !!!

Of course there is no practical way to make meeting a stranger absolutely safe, but here are some effective ways to help reduce the risk.

Before the first date!

1. Get an anonymous e-mail account.

RESIST posting your real name anywhere online. Remove it from chat programs, and any email accounts that you use for recreational correspondence.   If you need to get one, try Yahoo or Gmail.

2. Take time!

Nothing will give you better prospective than time!  Has your date's habits, mood or language inexplicably changed?  Are you becoming more suspicious of something with time; perhaps something just doesn't feel right?

3. Get a phone number!

Chat on the phone a few times...  what can you hear in the background? Do background noises match the information you have been told? Is the household supposed to have children, pets, etc.?   Listen, Listen, Listen!   Remember to block caller-ID's until you chose to give your number.   Note that if you have been asked to call an 800# it's likely that your phone number will be recorded on the recipient's phone bill.

4. Verify the phone number!  

Call Directory Assistance and insure that your date's phone number matches the name they gave you...  If your date's number is unlisted, Directory Assistance will verify that 'so and so' has a number, but its unlisted. Try submitting your date's phone numbers and email address to Google. What did you discover? Also try using the 'image-lookup-tool' on the Google image tab to see if your date's photos have been posted anywhere (else) online.

5. Call at unanticipated times!  

Someone who cherishes you will always delight to take your call!  Does someone unexpected answer the phone?  Does your date seem irritable that you are calling unexpectedly?  Perhaps they have something to hide.. Don't be a pest, but try a couple of unanticipated times over a few days...   just to sense the temperature...

6.  Ask to have a family photo!   

Is your date a 'family man?' Is (s)he proud of the children?  Do the kids seem to match the details you were told?

7.  Get a physical address and mail a card.  

Use a return address that will not reveal your identity or your physical address (i.e. just use your screen name and a PO Box or work address) and see if the card is returned for any reason. Allow a minimum of 10 days to receive returned mail if the address turns out to be bogus.

8. Ask about previous relationships.  

Was your date previously married?  In any long term relationships?  Why did the relationships end?  Does there seem to be any remorse?   Should there be?  Does your date seem to have recovered from the separation or dissolving of the relationship?  Always ask "What would the other person say about you?"   Listen, listen, listen!   If it feels right, ask questions. If it all feels wrong, ask questions.   Clarify!   If it doesn't seem to add up, it might not!

For the first date!

1. Clarify everyone's expectations.  

Nothing hurts a relationship or friendship more than poor communication!  If you are both on the same wavelength you are less likely to get hurt.  If you are not on the same wavelength, perhaps its best to wait until you are!

2. Always use common sense.  

Just because you have known someone online for some time, do not let down your guard any sooner than with a 'traditional' date.

3. Double date if possible.  

Your best friend is dying for the details anyway!  If you judge that to be too awkward, ask if perhaps your best friend might also take in the same activities and kind of keep an eye peeled for you!

4. ALWAYS conduct early dates in very public places.  

Go to a restaurant in the mall. Go to a club at a hotel. Always be near other people..  If you want to take a walk hand in hand, let it be in the mall.  Want the great outdoors?  Walk near the surf on a popular beach.

5. AVOID relying on your date for transportation.

If you want to end the date or need to end the date, don't be left in the unenviable position of being hostage to transportation.  Do not leave your car behind!

6. Think Ahead.

Anticipate some snags, and pre-plan your response. It can't hurt to know in advance where police and fire stations are.

7. Never leave your food or beverages unattended.

Powerful new drugs exist that can make you prey to the other person's wishes and hardly recall anything in the morning.  If you start to feel ill, insist on calling a friend or taking a cab if you are too ill to drive home.

8. Let someone know your plans.

Tell someone who you are going to be with, including name & phone number. If it's convenient, notice your date's license plate number and leave the information on your answering machine at home or with a friend.  Agree to be home at a certain hour, or to call someone to let them know you will be late.

Now...  if you have done your homework, and prepared correctly, both you and your date can relax and have a good time....  and the folks who love you can relax too!

Written by George C. Jobel, a former pastor, a veteran Internet suitor, and the father of 3 beautiful daughters!    email


Site Created by George C. Jobel
(603) 491-4340