As the world is turning more towards Internet technology and the use of Social Media increases, more and more people use Online dating services to meet and date new people. It is especially helpful for those people that either don't have enough time to have an active social life, or for the shy ones that would otherwise never dare taking the first step.
All that glitters is not gold though - the same goes for Internet dating. If you follow the news closely, you'll occasionally hear of women - or men - that have been betrayed and cheated out of their money by a person from a different country who promised them love in return for their paycheck. Remember that initially, the other person is a stranger, so no matter how long you have talked to them online, always remember your safety measurements for meeting strangers.
In addition, we recommend the following guidelines:
- Do not send any money via anonymous payment services such as Western Union or Money Gram, or via (international) bank transfer to someone who promises you love, friendship, a relationship, or sexual favors - especially if they reside in a country other than yours.
- If you receive many long emails, look for signs whether those emails could have been sent to multiple recipients. Signs are, among others: generally written, no personal approach, your name is not mentioned, no references to anything you have written previously.
- Get a functioning phone number from your potential date and talk to them on the phone to ensure they are "real".
- Once you two decide to meet, make sure it is in a safe public place at first
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going and arrange a time with them for a phone call. Let them also have your date's phone number.
- Carry your cellphone, if you have one, and have some emergency numbers handy.
- If you have a bad feeling about a person or feel uncomfortable, don't feel obliged to stay or carry out any (sexual) favors that you two agreed on before.
Remember that if you feel harassed online, you can easily just block the other person's email address. You are not obliged to continue talking to them. Always trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling, you probably have a very good reason for it.
If you trust your instincts and follow some common sense guidelines, I am sure your online dating experience will be positive and fun! Enjoy!