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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to Play it Safe While Dating Online

Keep your personal information personal.

Don’t give out your phone number, address or personal information until you feel comfortable and safe doing so. This is important to remember both before you meet someone (when exchanging messages online) and if you choose to meet them in person.

Take it slow.

When you’re dating online, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, just as it is sometimes in person, and start revealing too much about yourself or decide to meet someone in person after just a couple conversations. Remember, it’s much easier for someone to come across in a positive way when you aren’t sitting right across from them. Give yourself a few extra days, conversations or just a little more time than you think you should before you take the next step.

Beware of the "perfect catch."

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. As noted before, pay close attention to details and take more time to discern who someone really is. If the person seems like prince or princess charming, it might be a red flag to keep in mind. Another red flag to look out for is someone who asks for money, your bank account number or any financially related accounts. These people are most likely trying to scam you.

Look out for pretenders.

Sometimes married men and women will get on dating sites and pretend to be single. Look for clues to tell you whether or not they might be in a relationship but are just "surfing." Sometimes you can tell by their profile stating they are only looking for "friends" or you might inquire about holes in their relationship history or profile.

When to meet.

After exchanging e-mails online for awhile and having several conversations on the phone, you might be ready to take your online relationship to the next step and meet in person. Make plans for a short date or coffee, but always have something to do afterward. Have friends who know where you are and what you’re doing, and always meet in a crowded public place.

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