Online dating is a modern and convenient way to meet someone new. It provides you with an easy way to meet people outside of your current social circle, and even to match you with dates by specific preferences or interests. Looking for a trans partner, then head to a trans dating site. Looking for an open relationship, head to a casual dating site. Want to have a discreet affair, head to an affair website. Looking for love, then head to a general dating site. Below are just a few tips for keeping online dating safe.
Not everyone you meet online will have honest intentions, so don’t overshare. No need to immediately disclose details such as:
For some reason it is tempting to post a fake or dated photo online—or a photo from years ago. Some people take the opportunity to over embellish, and even outright lie about their life. If your intention is to never meet in person, then this might work—but if you are looking to date, or even hook up, you must be as honest as you want your online interest to be.
It is important to fill out as much of your profile, and relationship match info as possible. People who don’t take the time to do this, may be catfishing or fraudulent—or at the very least not too invested in dating online. Use your profile as an opportunity to express your personality, but also to reiterate your online dating goals.
Just like meeting someone new in person, you must trust your gut. If something about the person doesn’t sound or feel right, then discontinue your interaction. To test their sincerity and honesty, don’t be afraid to be direct. Ask if they are married, and confirm that they are still looking for the things they say they want in their profile. Also, ask a few personal questions—that you ask again in a few weeks to see if they provide the same answer.
There is no need to rush to meet you online interest in person, that is unless you are both just looking to hookup. If you are truly looking to date, message and video chat first—then exchange phone numbers when you are comfortable. When you are ready to meet in person, meet in a public place—and have an out if things turn south. If you are hooking up and meeting in private, share your plans with a trusted confident who will check in with you to make sure you are ok. If the person you meet is not the person in the picture—leave ASAP.
Last but not least, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In real life, you may have a strict one person at a time policy, but when dating online you should reach out to several of your matches—and get to know a few people before you considering exclusively chatting with one person. Also, keep in mind that not everyone presents themselves the same in writing as they do in person. Some people will be more eloquent in writing, but not when speaking. Some will be funny on the phone, but not in writing. So, keep your options open—and video chat before taking things to the next level.
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