THE FIRST ONLINE ENCOUNTERS
Be careful about the information
you give out. Never supply your last name, outside email
address, personal website address, home address, phone
number, place of work, or other identifying information
in your profile or in your initial emails. If anyone
tries to pressure or deceive you into revealing personal
information, immediately stop corresponding with them.
AS YOU GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Trust your feelings, move cautiously, and choose carefully.
As you correspond, be on the lookout for strange behavior
or inconsistencies. Ask questions and be sure you are
satisfied with the answers. If you think someone is
lying, they probably are. Take note of conversation
topics. If a person tends to steer the conversation
towards sexual themes, walk away. Take all the time
you need before moving to a more personal relationship.
WHEN THERE'S MUTUAL INTEREST
Photos can help you get a more accurate
idea of who someone is. Get pictures of your friend
in different settings - at work, at play, etc. Let
the other person win your trust gradually. Don't confuse
interest with trust. Your new friend should gain your
confidence through consistently honorable, forthright
behavior. Don't become prematurely personal or intimate
with someone, and never engage in sexual conversations.
Talking by telephone can give you
a better view of your friend's personality, social skills,
and character. However, do not give out your personal
number. Always call from a pay phone or a phone with
Caller ID blocking until there is absolute trust. Listen
to the person you are getting to know, and pay close
attention to both what they say and what they do. Ask
questions and be sure that you are satisfied with the
THINKING ABOUT MEETING IN PERSON
Meet when YOU are ready - do not
be pressured into it! Any kind of pressure to meet is
almost always a sign of less-than-honorable intentions,
so do not tolerate it. Don't be afraid to change your
mind about meeting. If someone argues about meeting,
finds flaws in your thinking, or pressures you, DON'T
meet him or her. An honorable person will understand
the risk involved with online dating, and respect and
even insist on your caution.
Don't go alone! Double or group date
for your first meeting. Always tell someone where you
are going and when you will return, and leave your date's
name and phone number with that person. Never have your
date pick you up. If you decide mid-date to go somewhere
else, drive yourself. Meet in a safe, public place.
DO NOT meet in your residence - or theirs. Be safe
now. There will be time for solitude later.
When meeting outside your area: If you're flying in,
make your own transportation and lodging reservations,
and keep them to yourself. Don't meet your date at your
hotel. If the meeting location you've chosen seems unsafe
or inappropriate to you, go back to your hotel. Always
make sure someone knows your plans and has your contact
information. If possible, carry a cell phone at all
Be concerned if your date
never introduces you to colleagues, friends, or family,
or if they look very different from photos posted online.
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