Happy Virtual Love Day!
When it comes to online dating, there are two types of people: Those who support it and those in opposition. Although I’ve heard and experienced online dating horror stories, I have always been (and still am) a true supporter of online romance. I’ve never considered myself desperate for love, but sometimes you look at your social circle and the places you frequent and think to yourself “how am I ever going to meet someone new?” Given how popular online dating is, I know I’m not the only one with those thoughts.
My friend Scott met Debra in a Myspace group for fans of the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars back in 2003. Scott lived near me in Southern California and Debra lived clear across the US in Florida. Through a series of email messages and phone calls, they decided to meet face to face at a concert for their favorite band in New York 2 months later. Within 8 months, Scott moved to Florida and they were married. He and Debra are still together and they’re expecting their 2nd child this October. Crazy, isn’t it?
Clearly, that’s the kind of romantic success story that you don’t hear about every day. But it happens, and when it does it’s amazing! On the flip side, you can also experience quite the opposite. But that’s why it’s important for online daters to exercise good judgment and use caution when trying to find romance on the interwebz. Don’t get blindsided by Cupid’s arrow. Go into online dating with your eyes open and remember these useful tips!
- Choose your photos wisely. If you’re not modest by nature, there’s no need to shield who you are. However, keep in mind these images are available for the world to see. Just because you delete them, doesn’t mean someone hasn’t already saved them (creepy!). Select a series of photos that give an accurate depiction of your appearance, your style, and your personality. Do you enjoy hiking? Love playing the piano? Incorporate your interests into your pictures!
- Personal Information: Never post your full name, address (work or home), personal/work email, or phone number online. It’s practically a stalker invitation. If you want someone to have your phone number, give it to them once you feel comfortable. Don’t ever feel pressured.
- Trust your gut instinct. If someone is saying things that sound too good to be true, they probably are.
Meeting In Person:
- Always, always, always pick a public place. Never have a stranger pick you up from home, or meet someone at their house. As a rule, you should try to have your own transportation. Whether you drive yourself or have a friend or family member drop your off. Safety first!
- For a first date, avoid movies, dinner, or any activity that could keep you together for more than an hour. Arrange to meet up for a coffee, or during your lunch break. If you are not interested, you can make a quick exit. If you like the person, you can always arrange to meet them again.
These tips might sound overly cautious, but it’s best to be safe! Be yourself, have fun, and hopefully you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams. Happy online dating!