Ten Ways to Keep Yourself Safe with Online Dating

Before you begin to enter the online dating pool, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe. Not everyone you talk with online will be who they claim to be, so there are a few things you can do to protect yourself while still seeking your mate online.

1. Wait

You can get to know someone a bit before you actually meet them in person. This will allow you to weed out some people who are online only for a hook-up as well as potential problem dates who may not want to invest the time to interact online.

2. Meet in Public

When you meet for the first time, perhaps for the first few times, consider meeting someplace public where you will always be around other people who can help intervene if things go wrong.

3. Bring a Friend

Meet face-to-face with a friend at your side who can keep an eye on you and your date. This will keep you from finding yourself alone with your date (unless you want to) and provide a buffer if the date isn’t going well. Encourage your date to bring a friend as well, so it doesn’t seem unbalanced.

4. Safe Transportation

Consider in advance how you will come to and go from the first date(s). Until you are comfortable with your partner, you should be sure that your routes home will be either in a vehicle you drive, public transportation or public walks home. Avoid areas where you might find yourself alone or alone with your date until you feel that you know them well enough to know you are safe with them and with them knowing where you live.

5. Keep Contact

When meeting someone for the first time, find a friend or family member willing to be your point of contact. Let them know when you are leaving for the date and call or text them as the date comes to a close or gathers enough steam to carry on for a few more hours. If something does to wrong, your friend will know to immediately contact the necessary people.

6. Trust Your Intuition about People

When your gut is telling you something is wrong, whether it is during your first face-to-face meeting with your date or long before you meet in person, learn to trust it. Though someone might simply be a bit needy, another might be a potential stalker. Neither is good in your life and the second is especially dangerous.

7. Stand Your Ground

You know what your own comfort level is. There should be warning bells if someone is trying to push you into doing something you aren’t yet comfortable to do. These people not only make for bad boyfriends and girlfriends, but that domineering personality could be an indicator of an abusive or manipulative personality.

8. Learn the Site

Some of the best steps come into play long before you meet face-to-face. One is knowing the dating site you use to connect. Learn how to block problem users, report issues, and manage your own account. If you aren’t tech-savvy yourself, find a friend or family member who is and ask them to help you with it.

9. Narrow Your Search

Though some people prefer to cast a wide net when looking for potential dates, that isn’t always necessary. There are a number of sites that will allow you to seek out a mate whose interests or background more closely reflect your own. This could help your own comfort level when it comes to trusting your intuition.

10. Protect your Identity

Keep your private information private online. This goes beyond your dating profile, which can be seen by many and as such should not allow anyone browsing the site to pinpoint where you live and/or work. You should also give out only limited information about yourself when you chat to individuals you don’t know. Until you feel comfortable with your would-be date, don’t give them an opportunity to track you down at your home or work.

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