Online Dating Safety Tips

Online dating offers lonesome people an unprecedented opportunity to find that special someone, or just to make some interesting friends. While the world might not be full of "loonies," there are just enough of them out there to make it a possibly risky adventure. Follow these basic safety tips to minimize the possibility of a dating disaster happening to you. 1. Post recent photos of yourself that really depict how you look. Don't try to make potential dates think you are something you are not.

Honesty will always pay off for those who are sincerely seeking a companion. 2. Don't plan too big a date for your first meeting.

Just get together for a cup of coffee during your lunch break. Leave yourself an out if the date is a disaster. 3. Don't drink too much when you're getting acquainted with them. Alcohol is well-known for its ability to make a person lose their better judgment.

It can also make someone seem much more interesting and attractive to you than they actually would be on a day-to-day sober basis. 4. Meet in a public place. To be really safe, let someone know about the meeting, and ask them to contact you at a predetermined time to make sure you are safe.

Don't forget to take your cell phone with you, so you can phone for help if you need it. 5. Watch out for would-be dates who seem to want to be all things to you without admitting to any flaws. Some will try to get you to think they are super-adaptable and would fit into any type of situation.

Very few people are really like this. Look instead for someone who is not afraid to pin themselves down. 6. Set up a separate email account just for dating correspondence. Make it anonymous, and don't call yourself by a name that has sexual overtones.

Doing so will attract the wrong type of potential dates. 7. Pay attention to your gut feelings.

Maybe you can't put your finger on what exactly is wrong, but if you have reservations about progressing forward with a particular person, back off. Our intuition is often a step ahead of the game, picking up on weird comments or behaviors that our conscious mind might not notice. Trust your instincts. 8.

Remember that identity theft is a very real possibility these days. To protect yourself, first, stay anonymous with your potential date until you are sure you can trust them. This means you don't reveal your phone number or street address prematurely. It also means you don't leave your purse with them while you go to the ladies' room.

9. When you're having those first few real dates, don't leave your drink unattended. Consider the possibility that they might slip something into it. 10.

Don't let them pick you up in their own vehicle. Instead, drive yourself or get a taxi. Don't leave with them or go to their home afterward until you've had enough dates to know you can trust them. Similarly, don't take them home with you either. Hopefully, you'll be getting together with someone who is trustworthy and enjoyable to be with.

Just in case, be sure you follow these safety tips when venturing into the world of online dating.

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