Online dating safely

It has become more acceptable to find love on the Internet...
So what precaution does one need to take to keep safe and enjoy the experience of finding love.
Just like any new relationship, disappointment, disillusionment or a broken heart might be the result of your investment rather than love and contentment...but that applies equally to meeting through a friend as it does on line.  However the anonymity of online contact and the potential to be dishonest or predatory can be much more easily obtained.
So what can you do to protect yourself as best you can?
Firstly look at the site you wish to use and get a feel for its purpose - if you are looking for a long term relationship with a truly available single person, avoid the sites that use certain words to describe their clients activities...  naughty, discreet marrieds, etc.
Look for a site that will protect your anonymity and personal information... and possibly your photo until you are ready to release it.
You may find it useful to use a site that tries to match your personality or interest, although this can be quite vague and one must remember this is a business; therefore you may be sent less congruent matches as they will want you to feel they have generated lots of choice and opportunities for you!
Common complaints and heartbreak I see in the practice involves deceit, using people for own gain, intimate sexual exploits they feel O.K to start with then end in disaster, people talking like they are fond of or deeply attracted to their new partner...making plans for or intimating there will be a future, only to end it abruptly or change their mind.
Not all people using dating sites or in life in general are honest or well adjusted and well cautious.
Dating online means that people are often faced with lots of choice - all at once! Not everyone paces them self and chooses to date one person at a time.  Some will make a decision to see as many as possible, some will start to engage and then be side swiped by a new face appearing or an offer for a date coming in.  This extraordinary flurry of opportunity of choice and activity means that you may be happily dating unaware that the other person is on the look out to 'upgrade or have a change' at any moment.
Be always aware and take it for what it is..... an opportunity with no guarantees.
Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.

Copyright  © counselling in gloucestershire 2014
Wise words for Internet dating

This may seem sexist but factually women need to be extra cautious as they are easier to physically overpower....although men are just as much at risk from fraudulent women that wish to contact them  for other reasons other than an honest relationship.

  • Do not give out your number or email or address
  • Invest in a cheap phone with a separate number
  • Open a email account that does not reflect or give away your name for when you feel you can progress to exchanging mail outside of the site
  • Do not give personal info...children's of work not be forced to reveal info about you that can identify you or your address (place of work, professional title)
  • Don't use sexy names...unless you want that type of encounter...which would be higher risk
Practically, you can do a lot to keep yourself safe.
  • Always meet in a public place
  • Don't get picked up by your date
  • Give someone the details of where you intend to meet
  • Take number plate of any vehicle that your date arrives in (tell them before hand that you would like to do this) if they object you should be suspicious.
  • Have your phone with you... check in with a friend during the date
  • Do not consume too much alcohol and always keep your drink in your sights :going to the toilet could give someone the opportunity to spike your drink- a drink can be spiked from bar to table - beware!!
  • Do not give out any bank money details or discuss income/wealth
  • If you are not working towards meeting friends or work mates if the person is supposedly single... then be cautious; what are they hiding if the relationship is deemed to be progressing.
  • It is personal choice but consider carefully when you wish to be intimate... Lust is alive and passion exists...but love takes time to grow!!
Good luck on your search


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