Online Dating -- The do's and don'ts of the online dating world

The world of online dating is fraught with scary stories and tales of financial risk. If you’re ready to ** put your profile** up on a site, make sure that you take steps to protect your privacy, don’t get scammed, and don’t put yourself in danger.

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Don’t Get Catfished

A catfish is someone who creates a [fictitious online persona] to manipulate people. Some catfish are just lacking in confidence, others are just messing with people, and some are creeps or thieves.

Catfish may want different things. They may

  • just want a relationship, so they hide behind a fake identity. Don’t fall for a fake.

  • want to manipulate you. If they’re in love after two chats, be ready to back away as they may be jerking you around.

  • want money. If anyone asks for cash to help them out of a tough spot but can’t meet you in person, break the connection.

When setting up your online dating profile, connect with caution. If you develop a positive connection with someone, check them out to make sure they’re real. There are multiple platforms you can review, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, remember that you’re just making sure they’re real. Don’t be a stalker.

Stalking and Getting Stalked

The best bit of online dating advice out there is to remember that social media platforms, including dating sites, create a false positive. Few people get on Facebook every day to post that their life is boring and nothing happened today. Yes, you should check out any interesting connections to make sure they’re real. However, you’ll never really get to know them by checking them out online.

Additionally, stalking is creepy , whether you’re doing it or someone is doing it to you. Don’t be that person. If you’re interested, arrange a physical meeting in public and see how things go.

Clinging Vines Can Strangle

Being clingy in a relationship may be fun in the early stages, but if your connection gets nervous, BACK OFF. The last thing you want to let a potential date know is that you had no life before they turned up. They’ll want to know why.

Message daily, just a “good morning, have a great day,” or a “good night, hope you’re well!” You have a life. Never let anyone know they’ll be the center of your universe; some will run from it and some will take advantage of it.

When You Need a Counselor Instead of a Date

Your ex may have been a jerk. They may have hurt you. However, that’s not the fault or the responsibility of your new connection. Too much attention on your ex indicates

  • you’re completely scarred, and scared, and won’t be a good girl or boyfriend

  • you’re still hung up on your ex and will bolt if you get the chance

  • you like to blame everyone else for what’s wrong in your life.

First Date? Location, Location, Location

Meet someplace neutral. If you know a restaurant where it’s easy to have a conversation, suggest it. Don’t suggest a meal; it takes too long and not everyone can easily afford a full meal. Try a mid-afternoon meeting for a soda or iced tea and suggest splitting an appetizer. If you know of a park where you can meet and enjoy a beverage together, do that. No burdens, no expectations, just getting together somewhere you can both leave easily.

Keep Conversation 50/50

This is a chance to learn more about an interesting person. To learn, you’ve got to listen. Family, school, and work are all great topics to get people talking. If they lean in a bit, dig a little deeper. Be fascinated, not obsessed.

Dating can be awkward, and the online process can be a little weird. While trying to put your connection at ease, always pay attention to your gut and your safety. Go nowhere with a first date where you can’t easily get away or get to your car. Keep your phone on you and be ready to step away to make a call if you need an exit.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash