Playing it Safe
The Internet has become the hot new place for
smart, eligible people to find romance, and those looking for love are swarming
into cyberspace. As a result, many individuals have begun relationships online
with people they have not met and know little about.
With so many people communicating via the Net
and deciding to date virtual strangers, it is important to be safe and be
smart. Common sense can go a long way to keep you safe. Here are some
guidelines for playing it safe:
Watch out for
someone who seems too good to be true.
first communicating solely by email or online chat. Be vigilant in noticing odd
behavior or inconsistencies. If someone is evasive, this is a red flag.
"Listen" to your correspondent's words. The person at the other end may not be
who or what he/she says. Trust your instincts. If anything makes you
uncomfortable, walk away for your own safety and protection.
Find out as much information as you can.
Learn to ask many
questions. Find out where he grew up, where she works, and how he is connected
to his community. These are clues to finding out who this person really is. Be
suspicious, if someone is unwilling to reveal any personal identifying
information. Probe any discrepancies in their stories. If your correspondent is
unwilling to answer your questions, this is another red flag. Continue with a
great deal of caution.
Honesty is the key to
Represent yourself accurately. Exaggerating or deceiving
is easy online. Areas to be particularly cautious about are marital status and
physical appearance. Begin with a request for a picture and send them a recent
one of you. If someone is unwilling to send a recent photo, this is warning
sign. If he or she continuously comes up with an excuse, it is because that
person has something to hide. Having a scanned photo is available at Kinko's
for less than ten dollars, so there is no valid excuse for not doing it. After
you have exchanged photos, continue to fill in the gaps, so that the other
person does not create you in their image. Keep it honest.
Talk on the telephone and
continue to learn more about your correspondent.
A phone call can
reveal a lot about a person's communication and social skills. It is worth the
cost of the call to protect your security. But do not give out your phone
number to a stranger. Trust takes time to develop. Only when you feel
completely comfortable should you furnish your phone number.
Don't rush into anything.
online and then arranging a date in a relatively short time can be dangerous.
Take time to find out who this person really is. If someone is pressuring you
to get together before you are ready, this is another warning sign. If anything
feels strange as you get to know this person, then it is time to back away and
look for another match.
If you decide to meet for a
date, proceed with caution. Arrange the meeting on your terms. The following is
a guide to ensure that you have a safe encounter:
Before you go out with someone new, it is
important to get as much information as you can about the person you will
1. Always ask for a full name, address, and telephone
number before agreeing to go out with someone you have never met.
2. Never go out with someone who will only give you a pager or work
phone number. (There is a very good chance of a spouse in the house.)
3. When someone gives his or her phone number, find a reason to call
unexpectedly. This may help you to find out if she is married or he is living
4. Find out where the person works and if
you can call him or her at work
First Date Know-How
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Meet more people, make more dates, and have more
Be careful when agreeing to meet anyone in
Set the conditions for your date and do not let the
other person change them. Remember, you really do not know someone until you
spend time with them in person.
1. Always tell
someone where you are going with your date and when you will return. Leave your
date's full name and telephone numbers with that person and write it down. For
a small fee, you can leave information regarding where you are going and all
the pertinent details with a service called SmartDate at
http://www.smartdate.com. If your date wants you to keep it secret, this is a
very big red flag. Protect yourself.
2. Always meet in a
public place that you are familiar with on your first date. Stay near other
people in a lighted area. Getting together for coffee is a pleasant, casual way
to get to know someone.
3. Never allow yourself to be
picked up from your house. Giving your address out to a stranger is not safe.
Arrange your own transportation so that you can leave if there is any sign of
4. Pay attention to everything that this
person has told you about him or herself. If you find out that your date has
lied about anything, this is another red flag.
not bring your date back to your house after the first meeting. You do not know
this person. Use the same kind of common sense and rules that you would use in
any type of dating relationship.
Be smart and be
safe. Take control of your future. Know what you are getting into before you
invest your heart, money, or your life. Information is the key.
Article written by Linda Alexander, Esq.
Linda Alexander, Esq. is
president of WhoisHe.Com and WhoisShe.Com, a professional service that provides
(for a small fee) a personal profile and background check on your cyber-date or
potential mate. WhoisHe.Com furnishes the most current public record
information, usually within twenty-four hours of your request. WhoisHe.Com has
helped thousands of people discover the truth about the people they are meeting
both online and off. For additional information about this service call
800/503-3756 or send email to CheckHimOut@WhoisHe.Com or
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safety tips, be bold.
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