Dating, a get-to-know-you activity that precedes courtship and possibly marriage has been around for as long man can remember. With the advent of the internet, dating became possible online and people in two different continents can now date. Online dating has ups and downs. On the up side, people living in two different continents do meet online and actually get married. On the down side, predators and other evil characters use online dating to trap unsuspecting persons and endanger their lives and virtues.
As a way to deal with the envisaged dangers, a number of online safety tips have been developed by relationship experts who have taken time to research situations.
Interestingly, many of the online dating safety tips are equally important safety tips that offline daters should be using to promote their dating for great and secure dating experiences. Some of the online safety tips that are applicable to offline dating include but not limited to the following:
• Trust your gut feeling – this is sometimes described as intuition, natural feeling, and instinct. Whatever name you call it; this is one of the greatest safety mechanisms that the Creator has put in all living beings. Can you remember the times you are in a situation and you feel, this is not right or this is just cool? That is your gut feeling at work. If you respond they way you feel in company of a date or cancel a date for such feelings, you can hardly be wrong.
• Look your dates straight in the eye – many people lie during dating conversations. The antidote to having a date tell you a load of lies about himself or herself is to look them straight in the eye. If the person is lying, they will put their heads down, fret or do a number of other distractive things just to make sure you are not able to read the mind or body language.
• Be circumspect but prepared to trust – it is easy for people to lie on a date. You have no way of immediately confirming whatever you are told. Some lies result of boasting to impress. It is common among dates that feel intimidated by their dating partner and are looking for ways to feel up to the level in their hearts where they have placed their partners.
• Asking lots of questions – Asking a lot of questions on the first meeting will help you know about the background of the person you are dealing with. It would help dating partners to establish consistency or inconsistency in the character of the other partner.
• Ensure that you are feeling comfortable – while on a date, watch out for those unsettling feelings. Be sure you are feeling comfortable and if not, it would be wise to cut the outing short so that you can re-examine yourself. This may safe you a lot of danger. This is akin to gut feelings.
• Be prepared to terminate meeting with a disrespectful or abusive date – some people are transparent. The gold fish, they say, has no hiding place. Some people would bring their character out immediately. Do not hesitate to terminate dating with such persons.
• Get some background information of the person you are going out with – do not go out with someone you barely know. Check out the person’s circle of friends, connections and activities. This will save you from being mixed up with someone who has dirty or criminal background that could smear your character.
• Make an advance decision to stick to the dating rules and strict moral standards – you are the most important person in this project. You are responsible for the choices you make. Do not allow anybody to talk you into doing you something stupid such sex on the first date or premarital sex. If you see it coming, run.
• Go on a date only in well-lit public places – while dating, do not visit a date alone at home or anywhere for that matter. Meet only in public places that is well lighted where other people around are able to see the two of you together. An otherwise gentle man or lady could easily change into a monster when enveloped with a feeling of sensuousness that is aroused in the presence of the opposite sex when alone.
• Ensure that a good friend knows where you are going and the person you are meeting – this will mean that there would be someone to raise alarm if there is danger. It would be great if your date knows that your friends and neighbors know that you are going out with him and where. If he or she is uncomfortable with the idea, it is because there might be ulterior motive.
• Ensure that you have a charged cell phone on a date – it might come in handy in some situations.
• Always make your own travel arrangements to/from a first date – do not accept a ride home on the first date.
• Start early and finish early – always start out early and target and really leave early in the day before dark.