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How To Avoid The Major Potential Dangers And Scams In Online Dating?

Aug 28, 2008
Popular thought is that everyone on the internet is dishonest or dangerous. However, the vast majority of them aren't. But you still have to keep your eyes open and be aware that the nice person that you've been chatting with might not be who they say they are. There are a few simple things that you can do in order to avoid dangerous situations. But the most powerful weapon you have is your gut instinct.

While some types of danger can be emotional, another type is physical danger. If you ever feel physically intimidated by someone, leave the situation immediately. You should never have to fear for your safety while on a date.

Tip 1: Meet your date in a public place, in an area that you feel comfortable in

Be sure you do this. After exchanging e-mails and talking on the phone, you might feel like you know your date pretty well, but you haven't interacted with them in person.

Even if you have received sweet e-mails from them you should be aware of how they conduct themselves. If you get any bad feelings, be cautious. Feeling jittery or anxious on the first date might just be nerves, but it could also mean something more. Set your dates in public places before you feel comfortable enough to go somewhere more intimate with them. Don't rush things and don't let your partner pressure you into rushing things either.

Tip 2: Google your date

Once you have your potential match's name you might want to type it into a search engine and see what comes up. You can find information that matches what they're telling you for example if they say that they work for a real estate agency and you find the agency website with his picture and information on it, you know that they are telling the truth. If you type in your date's name you might discover that they are not who they say they are or you can even find out if they are a felon or a sex offender. As scary as this sounds, it only takes a minute and if this is the case, you'll be glad that you did.

Tip 3: Remember that your date might not be telling the truth

When meeting someone online you have to recognize that all you know about them is questions that they filled in on a survey and what they tell you. Everyone wants to present themselves in the best light, so sometimes there is a little bit of exaggeration in their profiles. For example, if someone is currently unemployed they might enter their job as something that they want to do instead of something that they are currently doing.

While you can make your profile as honest as possible, it doesn't mean that your date has done the same. But sometimes honesty is not even the issue. It can also be the information that they withhold. Someone could write that they enjoy having a drink with their friends and omit that they don't stop after one drink.

Tip 4: Look for inconsistencies

Keep in mind the things that they have listed on their profile and if you start picking out too many inconsistencies, be wary. Also note if there are any behaviors that they didn't list on their profile. Being rude to a waiter shouldn't be a deal breaker, but if you notice that the rude behavior extends to people, note that this could be their regular behavior.

Tip 5: Communicate with your partner clearly

If you assume that the you and your object of affection are mutually exclusive, then you could be in for a rude awakening if you should find out that they are still seeing other people. It's also easy to get over involved with someone and only find out later that they're not as enraptured as you are.

More pitfalls include not being clear about what each person wants out of the relationship. Without communication, you may find that one person wants to date casually while the other wants a long term relationship. Some of these factors can change over time, but you're in danger of being hurt if you assume one thing or another.

Tip 6: Recognize when you're being taken advantage of

After building up your trust in a controlled setting, such as e-mails and text messages, it can be all too easy to think that there is nothing wrong with behaviors that soon become exhausting.

This can happen on many levels. You can suddenly find yourself paying for expensive dates, presents, and other incidentals that your partner wants. While it's great to provide your date with nice things and treat them for special events and birthdays, there comes a point where your partner becomes too expensive for you to keep up with. If your partner knows that you don't have a lot of money to spend on going out to eat, but still insist on doing it, this is a clear sign that they want to drain cash that you don't even have.

Tip 7: Don't give in to pressure

You can also find yourself being pressured into doing things that you don't want to do. As cliché as it sounds, if you are really enamored with your partner and want to please them they can take advantage of this and ignore your needs and comfort for their own satisfaction.

Make sure that your relationship is mutual. Put your foot down if there is something that you will not do for your partner. If you find that there are too many things that you disagree on then you both might be better off with a different partner. Try to compromise, but don't let yourself be a doormat.

Tip 8: Try to be objective

It's tempting to ignore the things you don't like about someone and focus on the things that you do. But if there is a particular part of their personality that you don't like, you have to remember that it's very difficult for people to change the behaviors that they've had their entire life.

Tip 9: Don't be paranoid

While there are dishonest people looking for someone to take advantage of, there are ten times as many honest people who are looking for someone special. Trust your instincts. A little caution goes a long way but don't become suspicious of everyone that you meet.
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