Tag: online dating

How To Keep Online Dating Safe: What You Should Know Before Meeting an Internet Date

More and more people are trying out online dating sites to meet that special someone. It’s no longer embarrassing to answer, “So how did you meet?” by saying that you met on the internet. Internet dating has many benefits, but there are safety issues to consider, since the ‘net allows for greater anonymity and therefore, a greater chance that your date could be lying to you about who he or she really is.

Online Persona

Anyone who has heard about adult predators masquerading as 13-year-old boys in order to prey on impressionable youth knows that it’s easy to pretend to be someone you’re not online. To make sure that the 28-year-old stockbroker you’re talking to isn’t really a 45-year-old bus driver, keep an eye out for inconsistencies. If he tells you a detail of his life on Monday that drastically changes by Wednesday, feel free to call him on it. If you’re paying attention, you can usually weed out the liars fairly easily.

Dirty Talk

Unless you are looking specifically for an “intimate encounter” on a free chat line avoid talking about your sex life until after you meet your potential date in real life. If the person you’re interested in says that he or she is looking for a long-term relationship, but keeps asking for sexy pictures and talking dirty, there’s a good chance you’re not on the same page and you should move on to the next potential mate.

All in the Details

Before you meet potential dates, keep the specific details of your life to yourself. Do not give them your home address or tell them where you work. You can tell them what part of the city you live in or what you do for a living, but avoid saying, “I live on Maple Street” or “I work on the corner of 8th and Preston.” You may even want to hold off on giving your last name; at least until you’re relatively sure you can trust them.

Get All the Info You Can

While you want to be careful with sharing your own personal details, you should get as much information from the other person as possible. He or she may not want to share specific information either, but you should, at the very least, see pictures (more than one, to be sure it’s not some random image grabbed from the internet) and get the person’s phone number.

For women, this step may be more important. Since it is statistically more likely that he poses a threat to you than vice versa, you can insist on getting his full name and any other details that will make you feel more secure. You could also try Googling him to see what comes up, but don’t freak out if you find contradictory information; your town might have more than one John Smith.

For the Record

Never meet a stranger for a date without telling someone where you’re going. Write down his or her name, phone number and any other important details and leave them with your roommate, friend or co-worker. It may be a good idea to have a friend make a mid-date phone call to check if everything’s going okay.

Pick a Place

For your first meeting, pick a neutral, public place where you both feel comfortable. Don’t pick your favourite coffee shop or the bar at which you’re a regular. If the date goes awry, you don’t want to risk running into the person at a place you frequent. Do not get your date to pick you up. Make your own way to the meeting place and have a reliable way to get home.

Behave Yourself

While on the date, limit your drinking in order to stay sharp and watch your drink just like you would at the bar. Flirting is good, but avoid getting all touchy feely if you want your date to take you seriously for more than one night. Even if your internet match is perfect and the date is awesome, you should still resist the urge to invite him or her back to your place. Keep some mystery for the second date!

Factors Which Contribute To Internet Dating Success

The online dating success report which appeared in the “Crunch Time” section of the Times Magazine looked at the statistical likelihood of receiving contacts based on the profile photographs which singles chose to post. This was based on a survey undertaken by US dating site OKCupid.com. The dating service monitored the number of contacts and dating conversations which were generated in relation to their members’ profile pictures with rather interesting findings.

What the Internet Dating Survey Says About Singles

In general, a woman was found to be statistically likely to generate more new contacts if she:

  • Posted a MySpace style photograph
  • Chose a photograph which showed an “interesting” pursuit such as playing a musical instrument.
  • Posted a profile picture which showed cleavage.

Males were found to be more likely to increase their number of new contacts if they:

  • Chose a picture of themselves with an animal
  • Posted a photograph which exhibited their muscles

Factors Which Decreased Online Dating Success

For both sexes, those with a profile picture which showed the participant drinking had a reduced effect on the number of contacts received on average. Interestingly however, whilst men posing with animals were up to 50% more likely to increase their contacts, when women were pictured doing the same, this reduced their success rate by almost a quarter.

A similar incongruity was to be found in the reaction to photographs where the dater chose to use “eye contact”. Whilst this slightly increased the success rate for women daters, men who looked directly at the camera but did not smile, received fewer contacts.

For more information on how profile pictures worked for the members, see the fully detailed report from the data mining carried out which can be found on the OKCupid site blog.

Choosing a Dating Service

These dating statistics clearly suggest that photograph choice can affect dating performance but a carefully selected dating service may also hold the key to success. There are an overwhelming number of services out there so online daters need to think about the type of person they wish to meet and search for the site which is most likely to have these members.

There are lots of differentiated sites available – dedicated faith oriented dating services for example; if it is important to meet someone of the same ideological persuasion this might not be a bad place to start.

Online Dating Review Sites

There are a number of review websites available which enable research into a cross section of online dating services. This way, singles can find several possible sites which are most likely to meet their criteria. DatingSiteReviews.com allows the user to search through categories such as “Award Winning Dating” or “Wealthy Singles Dating” and covers sites across Australia, Canada and the UK.

Once a potential dating service is found, it is advisable to find out as much as possible about the site before signing up. The UK based onlinedatingtips.org gives the following advice: “Always read the Privacy Policy, About Us page, and the FAQ page. Each of these will give you a good look into the philosophy of that service.”

Free Online Dating

Finally, whilst it may not be the key to dating success, how much singles wish to pay for their service needs to be a consideration; many online dating services offer individuals the opportunity to sign up for free but, to actually view contacts and start dating conversations, a member will more often than not have to pay a fee. Thus when viewing potential sites, online daters should make themselves fully conversant with all the financial aspects of the service prior to signing up.

Convenience, Security and Selection When Using Internet Dating Sites

For those unsure of online dating, the negative aspects such as honesty and cost prevent them from exploring this method of introduction and meeting new singles. Internet dating can be an easy and fun way to interact with new people and even find someone special. Here are a few of the “pros” of online dating.

Log On Anytime

Today, most daters have an extremely busy schedule. So it should come as no surprise that many of them prefer the flexibility that online dating provides. Singles can come home from a long day at work or night out on the town with friends and log on to see their matches and emails of interest. They don’t need to put the rest of their life on hold just to meet new people.

Double Blind Email System

Daters don’t have to give out their real name, last name, email address, or any other personal information with the double blind email system most Internet dating sites provide. This means that singles can log on, send emails, and get to know someone new without jeopardizing their own personal safety. Daters can take their time in revealing information about themselves, which makes the process of getting to know each other easier and more comfortable.

Coffee Dates for First Meetings

The first time singles meet a new date, it can be so nerve wracking they may not be showing their best self. But with the invention of coffee dating, singles can agree to meet someone for an hour in a relatively safe environment. Singles can arrange for the end of that first meeting in advance, which eliminates the awkwardness of telling a date it’s time to leave.

Wide Selection of Singles

Internet dating dies are flooded with so many different types of people that singles are sure to meet at least a few people of interest. A large cross-section of people are represented so even those individuals with the pickiest of tastes are able to connect with someone. Moreover, singles are likely to meet someone new that they live or work by, but for whatever reason was just never able to meet in person.

Blocking Bothersome or Creepy People

Like any form of dating, there are bound to be one or two people that bother or creep out their dates. Anytime singles meet new people, they are putting themselves in a vulnerable position. To help put singles at ease, many dating sites offer the ability to block a profile. If someone makes the single feel uncomfortable for any reason, they can prevent the person from contacting them or viewing their profile.

Relatively Inexpensive Way to Meet New People

In many cases, Internet dating is just a few dollars a month for a membership. By contrast, other singles activities, like going out to bars, hiking, taking a class, or even hiring a matchmaker, can be much more costly. Many sites offer specials for three or six-month packages, making it easy and cheap to meet someone new.

People today tend to hear the more negative points of online dating which sometimes overshadow the positive points. Negativity seems to catch the attention of the news media and therefore it gets more attention. But the points in this article should offer proof to singles still unsure about online that it is an easy and safe way to meet someone special.

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