Tips For Safe Online Dating

Every year tens of thousands of marriages occur as a result of people meeting through online dating. Here at DisabilityDating we aim to offer you a safe and fun online meeting place that makes sure you’re in control of your experience every step of the way. Just to get you started, DisabilityDating has drawn up some tips on dating safety:

Take it slowly

Although it’s exciting to think your future mate might be somewhere on the site, go slowly and always be at least a little suspicious to start with.

Even though you think you know a person because you have been chatting online remember to use common sense when deciding whether to meet up with someone you’ve met online. If you feel you’re being pressured into meeting up with someone too soon, or being asked to reveal more about yourself than you’re ready to do so, you have to question why. Relationships take time to build and you should move at a pace that you feel comfortable with.

Take time to get to know the person

If you make a connection with someone online, it's tempting to want to meet right away, but give it enough time to be sure that person is genuine.

If you suspect that something is not quite right, keep asking questions and insisting on answers (and proof of those answers). You’ll either drive that person away or you will start to see the real person, which hopefully would be a very good thing.

Speak on the phone before meeting

If you decide to speak with someone on the phone, ask the person for his or her number. Use telephone-blocking techniques (check with your local phone company) so he or she can't get your number through caller ID. If the person is hesitant about providing a phone number, that should give you something to think about.

If you give out your number, always use a mobile/cell phone until you know the person well enough (could be after several meetings) to provide your home number. It's safer to give out a mobile/cell phone number instead of your home phone number.

Meet in a public place

When meeting for the first time, never allow your date to pick you up from your home. In fact, your date shouldn't even know your home address yet!

If you met traditionally, at work or at a social gathering, for example, you already know how to proceed. But in this cyber forum you have only been meeting with your minds and the next step could be meeting in person!

If you decide to meet, choose a safe place, such as a restaurant during a busy time. Be sure to tell a friend where you're going and what time you plan to return. Give your friend the person's name and phone number.

Go dutch by paying half of the bill

For some people there is an expectation for the man to offer to pay the bill. Unfortunately, some men ruin the gesture by expecting something in return. Therefore it may not be a bad idea for you to go dutch. Pay half the bill so that you won't feel under any obligation to "return" the favour.

Remember that alcohol affects your judgment

The biggest threat to a person's judgment, when on a date, is alcohol. Not only does it affect your judgment, but alcohol also lessens your inhibitions. If you are drinking, keep your drink in sight at all times and don’t get so drunk that you don’t know what you are doing.

Use your own mode of transportation

Provide your own transportation to your public meeting place and make sure you have more than enough gas. When the date is over, do not allow the person to follow you.

Don’t let them know where you live

If you want to see them again, arrange a second date and then take it from there. Never invite someone you barely know to your home on a first date.

Avoid secluded areas

Remember - stay in a public place for your first date and avoid secluded areas such as parks.

Listen to your gut

If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. And if you haven’t met them before, and you know at the beginning of the date that something doesn’t feel right, then leave immediately.

Always let someone else know where you're going

Be sure someone knows where you are going and who you'll be with. You might even consider arranging a time to call and check in. Or you could arrange to meet up with friends later that night.

Always remain alert

Even if you’re having a great time and the chemistry is great, it’s a good idea to remain alert the whole evening. Make sure you have a mobile/cell phone on you.

Dating safely is very important. In the initial stages of dating and online dating, you are still getting to know someone you know very little about. By creating a safe environment to know the person, you’re creating a better situation for yourself.

And finally...

Don’t let this online dating safety advice scare you off.

There are many honest, warm, and wonderful people out there, who are looking for friends and romantic partners. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to find lots of nice people to choose from. Have fun!