|Take your time getting to know someone before you have your first meeting. |
Taking time getting to know someone, first through emails then on the phone, can give you a true feel for how they really are. It also gives you a chance to listen for the signs that this person is not being honest with you. Pay attention! Do they stick with the same story or does it seem to change a lot? Is there something they seem apprehensive to talk about it? If so, try to find out why. On the positive side, taking time to get to know them also gives you a chance to build the foundation of a strong relationship, so donít skip over this important step!
Donít give out personal information that can be traced to your home or your work.
The last thing you want is to have someone that you donít end up feeling comfortable with coming to your door at home or at work. That can only spell trouble. (Can you say ďstalkerĒ?) This is information that should be a privilege given only after you have met at least once, if not more. A cell phone or pager can always be used to be for contact, other than e-mail, with someone. These are harder to trace back to home. Just be sure that if you are returning a call, and want the number to stay anonymous, that you have your home number blocked. Check with your phone company to see how to do this.
Make sure you are meeting at a familiar location.
Go where you know! You need to be somewhere that you feel safe and you know the area. That gives you more control. I even made sure a friend or family member was there to keep an eye on me at first. It made me feel as if there was a guardian angel watching over me.
Take your own car, or transportation.
First of all, in the spirit of not letting someone know where you live right away, you obviously donít want to let them come pick you up at home (no matter how old fashioned you might be). This is something that can come at a later date when you are sure you want them to see your home. When you take your own car, you have more control of when you leave and where you go. If you donít like someone or somehow donít feel comfortable, you can leave!
Be certain to give a close friend or family member all the details.
By this I mean ALL the details. They should know your plans for the evening and when you expect to be home. You should also be sure to give them all the information on the identity of your date and their picture. If your plans change and you are going to be home later, just give them a call. Sure, this sounds like you are back home with your Mother again, but at least your safe. It really canít hurt!
Listen to yourself!!!
This one canít be stressed enough. We are all equipped with some sense of intuition. Whether it is faint or screaming in your ear. You should listen to what your senses are trying to tell you. Don't try to ignore or rationalize your fears. It is a simple golden rule for life: ďIf you donít feel safe, you probably arenít!Ē Donít ignore this! If at any time you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, end the date immediately. It is better to be wrong than be harmed.
The above are the rules that I used to guide me during my journey through online dating. I found them very successful. In fact, because I was able to get to know my dates before we met, I felt safer than on so-called "traditional" first dates. You just don't get that opportunity when you meet someone at a bar, club, coffee shop or by any other means.
Keep in mind, these rules are only my suggestions. Your safety is truly up to you. Use your common sense. Make up your own rules. Whatever you do, stay safe and play safe and you will have a lot more fun!!
About the Author
Jennifer Lester is an online dating expert who offers her advice and guidance through the world of online dating at her web site: http://www.lovepersonally.com Ė The tour guide for your online dating experience.
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