Safety First With Online Dating

Safety First With Online Dating

We’ve all heard about them, sometimes its hearsay, sometimes its first hand. But dating disasters have been a part of courting since getting to know someone became a prerequisite to having a relationship with them.

Pre internet, there were a whole range of potential dangers to dating. When dating, you are getting to know someone. This in itself entails you do not know them, yet you are spending time with them. This creates a risk which, when it goes wrong, turns into a dating disaster.

When you go on a date with someone incompatible, you have a pretty bad time. Its not fun. But thats the extent of the damage. It costs you one night of your life to learn someone is incompatible with you and that is it. Sometimes though you meet people who are not only incompatible, but are out to harm you for their own benefit. In these situations you could be in danger, your person or property could be at risk. It is from these occasions that dating disaster legends and myths are born.

Unfortunately, in their infamy, these legend have enough power to turn people away from looking for love and happiness.

A relatively new innovation came to dating recently, the internet. What many people don’t understand about this though is that as far as dating safety is concerned, nothing changed. All the internet did was provide a new way of meeting people. Thats it. Despite the communication options the internet brings, to date someone, you still have to meet them in real life and spend time with them.

If you have missed the fact that internet dating is just a forum to meet people, you may make one of the following two mistakes:

1. You believe using the internet to meet and communicate with people is actually getting to know them. Therefore, when the real life meeting occurs, you have a false belief the potential partner is already “known” and therefore dispense with your typical early dating precautions.

2. When you meet someone who isn’t right for you, you blame the internet rather than the incompatible personality

At some niche dating websites, finding a bed mate rather than a soul mate is the goal. On these dating sites the two issues above are exaccerbated. When all someone wants is sex, they don’t want to get to know you, they don’t particularly care that you don’t know them. So they will hide from you the characteristics they think you don’t want to see and only give you what they believe you do want to see. This is not dating. So don’t expect the norms of dating to apply.

Internet dating sites are the modern form of a newspaper ad, the olden days social event, or the blind date set up. Its a forum to meet people. Thats all. The quicker you understands this, the safer and more successful your internet dating experiences will be.

At Dating Down Under, we put safety in dating first. How can you have a successful dating experience if it is not a safe dating experience? For this reason you’ll find a plethora of tips and guidelines about safety and online dating throughout the website. Generally though, the following guidelines are essential:

1. Understand the role dating sites play. Ie. They are there to help you find people. Thats where their purpose ends.

2. Recognise niche websites attract the personalities they advertise for. If you don’t like certain personalities, don’t join the sites which attract such people.

3. Use the communication features of dating sites to screen people before you give them your contacts. But recognise this is just a screening process, not getting to know anyone.

4. When you progress your dating into the real world (Ie. when you decide to really meet someone you found on the internet) recognise the person you have been communicating with may have been a facade. So approach the situation with the same caution you would with any first date. And start to get to know the person. YES. This is your first date. NO. Those long chat room sessions were not.

5. If you are ever unsure, particularly in the early stages, put safety first.

6. Don’t give up because of a bad experience. Remember, all the internet is, is another place to meet people. You could just as easily have met this “bad experience” at a bar, sports event, church or social group.

Jayde Johanssen, worried about incidences of internet dating predators, espouses safety primarily with internet dating, particularly at adult dating sites

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