Although online dating has obviously proven itself to be a worthwhile endeavour for countless men and women around the country, the system itself isn’t always…perfect. The relative anonymity provided by the internet allows people to construct an online persona that may or may not be indicative of their true personality, appearance and/or general level of sanity. Although a run-in with one of these individuals may prove to be somewhat of a turn-off, or, in more serious cases, even somewhat frightening, there are a few techniques you can use to ensure that your experiences with online dating remain largely positive. We’ve outlined a few ideas below:
Strategy #1: Don’t just settle for online chatting.
Granted, it’s somewhat exciting to anxiously await a new e-mail or message from your latest online dating crush. That being said, you may be able to better deduce the real “identity” of your new connection through more direct communication, such as a phone call. This quick and easy “icebreaker” can help you make a more accurate assessment of this new individual and help you decide whether or not you feel comfortable taking your relationship further.
Strategy #2: Ask for more information.
Looking for something in an online dating profile that you don’t see? Ask for it! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be curious when assessing whether or not you would like to pursue an encounter with a fellow online dater. If your requests are met with resistance or evasiveness, this could be a sign that something isn’t quite right, particularly if the question is something as simple as, “Can I see another picture of you?” If this is indeed the situation you find yourself in, proceed with caution.
Blair Nastasi, PR Director of PriceDate.com, an innovative new dating site, said, “Don’t be afraid to ask your date for more information or additional photos. If someone is unwilling to send more photos or the info they are telling you doesn’t add up, that should be a red flag.”
Strategy #3: Go With Your Instinct and Don’t Be Afraid to Do Some Digging
The chances are good that, if you’re feeling that the person you’ve connected with is either too good to be true or that something is “off”, your instincts are trying to tell you something that you should definitely listen to. Although it’s obviously possible that these worries could be completely without merit, it’s always better to be “safe than sorry”, particularly when interacting with people you haven’t met before.
If you have a bad feeling about something, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing a background check or additional research. The internet is chock full of handy, dandy background check services and many of them are affordable. Although some people might find this extreme, it’s certainly preferable to finding out about your date’s shady history or criminal record the hard way.
Strategy #4: Meet In A Public Place
Ultimately, the best and most reliable method for fending off crazies is to ensure that you can quickly create and successfully execute an ‘escape plan’, should a situation arise where this is necessary. Always plan your first date for public, easily accessible locations. In the event that your date isn’t at all who you thought they would be, you can remove yourself from the situation without much effort.
All of these defensive tactics aside, it’s also worth noting that online dating continues to evolve and develop over time. Newer services, such as PriceDate (find more information here), an auction format dating site that forces men to ‘put their money where their mouth is’, are helping to transform how many of us think about romance in the digital age, and are creating a more safe and secure environment for both men and women in the process. Enjoy!