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Is the Internet a Safe Place to Date?

The Internet is every bit as safe as conventional dating as long as you use your common sense and take precautions. Let's take a look at how to make sure you remain safe as you negotiate the sometimes bumpy terrain of Internet dating.

It is tempting to get to know everyone who contacts you online who has read and enjoyed reading your profile but be as picky and as discriminating as you would if you met someone in person. Through reading the words other people type you can pick up bits and pieces about their personality and this helps you form a mental snapshot of the kind of person you are communicating with. If you come across a person who does not appeal to you or someone who is obviously not compatible with you then be polite to the person but move on and keep looking. When you do find someone who interests you take as much time as you need to get to know the person by communicating in cyberspace.

It cannot be stressed enough, be as cautious as you need to be and always use your instincts. If you sense that a person is wrong for you or if the person is downright obnoxious or offensive then end your online communication and continue to search for other people who are more appealing to you. Ask as many questions as you need to discover what a person is about and never give out too much personal information about yourself too soon. It is never wise to be too trusting when you meet someone by way of the Internet. Realize that some people who evade certain questions may simply be shy and as cautious as you are while others may have something to hide and should be avoided.

At some point share photos or more than one photo with a person you are getting to know online. Consider sharing photos that show different sides of yourself such as a serious picture, a humorous picture, a picture of you relaxing and so on. A picture really is worth a thousands words. You can tell a lot from a photo. Encourage the other person to do the same and this can help move the relationship along.

If you feel comfortable with the person and decide to talk on the phone then arrange a time that is good for both of you. Ask the other person for their phone number and you call them. As a precaution when you call make sure you block your own number, whether it be your home, work or cell number. If the other person does not want to give you their number and instead insists on calling you then that is a red flag that something is not right. Even if the first telephone conversation goes well, it is recommended that you do not give the other person your home number until your first face to face meeting or maybe even after a couple of meetings. Let safety rule the day.

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