No matter how much the danger of online dating is stressed, people will never stop looking for love online.
This explains the rising number of internet dating websites.
Come on, we are in a cyber world where people spend most of their waking hours online. In fact, people connect with others online more than they connect with people in real life.
Is it possible to find true love online?
People have married those they met online, especially via social media and internet dating websites, and they have a great relationship. Study reveals that 17% of marriages start through online dating.
Is it possible to meet terrible people online?
The internet offers great anonymity through which people can hide under to do unpleasant stuff.
Some people have lost money, properties, and even their lives to people they met online.
As I’m typing this, I’m watching the story of a woman who was stabbed multiple times and beaten to a coma by the man she met on an internet dating site and another woman who was eventually murdered by him, on Investigation Discovery channel.
So you can have a positive or negative online dating experience depending on the kind of people you meet.
It’s not only about where or how you meet, it’s also about who you meet.
This is why you need to take precautions in your online dating activities.
The following tips will guide you in your online dating experience :
1. Be selective about the information you share with your online date.
While it’s good to communicate and be transparent, you also need to exercise caution on the information you give out about yourself. You can talk about your interests, job, dreams and aspirations, hobbies etc.
But talking about your savings, income, and your inheritance might be TMI (too much information). It can put ideas into your date’s head. The devil can use anybody, don’t make yourself an experiment.
So be careful not to give out information that can put you at a risk to be exploited.
2. Don’t swallow everything your date tells you hook, line, and sinker.
I understand that trust is important in every human relationship but you also need to be cautious. Remember you don’t know this person, so you can’t afford to believe everything you’re told.
Be sensitive enough to detect any foul play. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt but also prepare and look out for unpleasant surprises.
3. Carry out a background check on your date.
This is to verify the things your date tells you about himself/herself and also know who they really are.
Some people have discovered that their date is married by digging through their old pictures on social media and others have found conflicting information through that too.
So don’t just sit back and relax and believe everything you’re told. Be your own FBI. Do some research. You can never be too careful.
4. Don’t do nudes, please.
Stories abound of people who have been blackmailed by those who have their nudes. It’s easy to be clouded by emotions and do crazy stuff to show your love or physical features to an online date. And often, the result is usually blackmailing.
Remember you don’t know this person enough to trust them with your nudes. Even with people you’ve known for some time, sharing of nudes is still discouraged.
No matter how tempted you are to share nudes, don’t. If you’re feeling pressured by your date to send your nude, that’s a red signal.
5. Be careful with giving out your hard-earned money.
A lot of people have been scammed/robbed of their money by their online lovers. These scammers capitalize on their lovers’ emotions to make monetary demands.
While it’s good to offer help if you feel like it or if your online date is really in need, beware of the kind of help you render or the business deal you agree to. Don’t do what you’ll regret doing if it turns out that your online date is all a lie.
6. If you agree to meet your online date, do it in a public place.
I know some of us have taken the risk of meeting our online friends in private venues but this isn’t right. What if we’ve only been lucky? Some people haven’t been that lucky.
Meet your online date in a public place – a restaurant, a garden, or your house with family or friends around.
You can go with a friend(s) to your meeting venue. They can also hang around without your date knowing. Your safety is important. You cannot be too safe.
7. Tell your family/friends about your online date.
This is not the time to be private or secretive. Let someone know who you’re getting involved with online. Apart from the fact that they won’t be blinded by emotions like you, they’ll offer useful counsel and even go to the length of verifying your date’s identity.
Some people who were unfortunate to be killed, scammed or maimed by their online date have gotten justice because there was a witness, usually a relative or a friend. What if there were no witnesses?
If you don’t like letting people into your life affairs, getting involved in online dating is a time to loosen up a little. You’ll be doing yourself a world of good by doing so.