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TalonRider

Date Safely When You Date Online!

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It's a good idea to take precautions when meeting people online, just as you would in the offline world. The following tips are just some of the things you might want to consider as you begin online dating. These tips are not designed to scare you, but to encourage you to be smart, use common sense, play it safe, and have fun.

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Online Conversations

Remain anonymous. You should avoid being identified online. Start by getting a free, anonymous email account. Never give out your real name, phone number, or address in chat rooms or in personals ads. If you decide you want to give out personal information anyway, be sure you're giving it to someone you can trust.

Be honest. Be truthful in your personals ad and in online conversations. Make your intentions clear. If you're just flirting, be sure that the other person isn't taking you seriously. Being honest can prevent disappointment for both you and your potential date. Just remember - you could end up meeting this person. You don't want to hurt others' feelings with false impressions.

Always pay attention. Listen to your intuition - it's your best defense. Use common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Even if you feel it, it's a smart idea to save saying "I Love You" for a face-to-face encounter. Pay attention to habits and moods - are they changing? If something doesn't feel right, feel free to stop communicating with that person.

Wait till you're comfortable to call. Let the other person bring up the idea of talking on the phone. When he or she asks for your number and you're not ready to give it out, politely say "no," but ask for a number you can call when you're ready. If you decide to call, pay attention to who answers the phone and the background noises you hear. Do they match what you know about the person?

Take it slowly. Spend as much time communicating electronically as is necessary for you to feel comfortable enough to actually meet the person. Don't be coerced into meeting face to face. If someone really wants to meet you, he or she will wait untill you're ready.

First Face to Face Meeting

Tell someone your plans. As soon as you have concrete plans, tell your best friend or a family member exactly where you'll be. If you have a mobile phone, enter some emergency phone numbers and bring it along.

Err on the side of caution. Just because you feel like you already know your date doesn't mean that you actually do. Treat this first date just as you would any other first date. Use common sense and good judgment.

Use your own transportation. Don't rely on your date for transportation. If things aren't going well, it will be easier for you to leave if you have your own way home. If you aren't driving, make sure you have enough cash in your pocket for a cab ride, or arrange for a friend to pick you up at a designated time and place.

Agree to meet in a public place. Go to a popular restaurant, cafe, museum, park, or any public place where other people hang out. Double date with a friend if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don't agree to meet anywhere isolated, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable for you.

Safety tips courtesy of DatingClass.com

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