Most tips are just common sense, and should be used in any dating situation. The most important ones are to meet in a safe, public place, and make sure you’re not feeling pressured.
Watch out for someone who seems too good to be true. Begin by communicating via email, then look for odd behavior or inconsistencies. The person at the other end may not be who or what she says. Trust your instincts. If anything makes you uncomfortable, walk away for your own safety and protection.
Careful, thoughtful decisions generally yield better dating results. Guard against trusting the untrustworthy; suitors must earn your trust gradually, through consistently honorable, forthright behavior. Take all the time you need to test for a trustworthy person and pay careful attention along the way. If you suspect she is lying, she probably is, so act accordingly. Be responsible about romance, and don’t fall in love at the click of a mouse. Don’t become prematurely intimate with someone, even if that intimacy only occurs online. If you mutually decide to cross the point of no return, be smart and protect yourself.
A newest photo will give you a good idea of the person’s appearance, which may prove helpful in achieving a gut feeling. In fact, it’s best to view several images of woman in various settings: casual, formal, indoor and outdoors. If all you hear are excuses about why you can’t see a photo, consider that she has something to hide.
A phone call can reveal much about a person’s communication and social skills. Consider your security and do not reveal your personal phone number to a stranger. Try a cell phone number instead or use local telephone blocking techniques to prevent your phone number from appearing in Caller ID. Only furnish your phone number when you feel completely comfortable.
The beauty of meeting and relating online is that you can collect information gradually, later choosing whether to pursue the relationship in the offline world. You never are obligated to meet anyone, regardless of your level of online intimacy. And even if you decide to arrange a meeting, you always have the right to change your mind. It’s possible that your decision to keep the relationship at the anonymous level is based on a hunch that you can’t logically explain. Trust yourself. Go with your instincts.
Pay attention to displays of anger, intense frustration or attempts to pressure or control you. Acting in a passive-aggressive manner, making demeaning or disrespectful comments or any physically inappropriate behavior are all red flags. You should be concerned if your date exhibits any of the following behavior without providing an acceptable explanation:
When you choose to meet offline, always tell a friend where you are going and when you will return. Leave your date’s name and telephone number with your friend. Never arrange for your date to pick you up at home. Provide your own transportation, meet in a public place at a time with many people around, and when the date is over, leave on your own as well. A familiar restaurant or coffee shop, at a time when a lot of other people will be present, is often a fine choice. If you decide to move to another location, take your own car. When the timing is appropriate, thank your date for getting together and say goodbye.
If you are flying in from another city, arrange for your own car and hotel room. Do not disclose the name of your hotel and never allow your date to make the arrangements for you. Rent a car at the airport and drive directly to your hotel. Call your date from the hotel or meet at the location you have already agreed to. If the location seems inappropriate or unsafe, go back to your hotel. Try to contact your date at that location or leave a message on a home machine. Always make sure a friend or family member knows your plans and has your contact information. And if possible, carry a cell phone at all times.
Never do anything you feel unsure about. If you are in any way afraid of your date, use your best judgment to diffuse the situation and get out of there. Excuse yourself long enough to call a friend for advice, ask someone else on the scene for help or slip out the back door and drive away. If you feel you are in danger, call the police; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Never worry or feel embarrassed about your behavior; your safety is much more important than one person’s opinion of you.
While liars, cheaters and imposters certainly ply their craft on the Web, you’ll also find them in nightclubs and offline dating services, cocktail parties or even sitting across from you at your local cafe. Regardless of where you meet someone, dating is never a risk-free activity, but a little caution will reduce your risk in matters of the heart.
By Trish McDermott
Now it’s time for safety-conscious you to use a ladies search to find a quality date!