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Published September 29, 2013

16 Must Have Survival Tips for Online Dating

Ever try online dating? Could be scary business, if you don’t use some safety tips. Face it, in reality you really can’t know the person from one or even two messages or meetings. These are some helpful hints from my experience and from advice given by a friend, who over several years, had close “friendships,” and now has a wonderful man in her life.

 1. Know what are you looking for in a date. Are you looking for companionship, for a date, a serious relationship, a party partner, or that special “Mr(s). Right?”

2. Know the qualities you would like in a potential date? I know from experience what I would like to have in a relationship with a guy. I am not desperate, so I am in no hurry. I can wait for the best match for me.

3. Get recommendations for the best online dating site! The questions help the service’s computer to find the person most closely matched to your personality and interests. Answer as many as you feel comfortable with. MyCupid is one that asks lots of questions about everything. Even though someone may answer lots of questions, they may not answer them honestly. Just be aware that this may be the case. I feel if I spend the time to fill out some questions, then they should too.

If a person is too lazy to answer at least 20 questions, don’t bother with them, or check back later to see if maybe they just didn’t have time to fill them in at the start.

4. Look for the picture of the “candidate.” If someone doesn’t have a picture, they may be afraid they don’t photograph well or they may want to remain anonymous. Almost everyone has a cellphone camera or at least a friend with one. I say if you don’t have enough confidence to put your picture up, or even one that a friend recommended, then I’m not interested. It’s not likely that person is a good prospect, unless you like playing Russian Roulette. Of course, it has happened that someone put up a picture of someone else. So again, be wary.

5. Don’t start off your first message to someone with, “Hello gorgeous/handsome.” It is a “pick up” line as old as the hills! If one is looking at my picture, they are only seeing my physical appearance. I would like for someone to comment that my survey revealed a lot of qualities they found interesting or intelligent. (My survey answers and profile are there to show my uniqueness, things I am interested in, or not interested in. Hopefully this weeds out the ones I really wouldn’t want to date. Just be sure their intents are the same as yours.

6. Do not ever give your phone number to a stranger, no matter how good they sound! Message back and forth on an email site you don’t use much or one you use just for dating services. If the other person thinks it’s a waste of time or boring, tell them that you feel safer getting to know them better first before you meet them. If they don’t like it, then drop them. You and your safety are more important. You are not in a hurry!

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7. In your profile, don’t give away personal information. If you must give your name, only use your first name. People can google you and find out where you live. If you connect with someone and find that you don’t like them after a few messages, you don’t want them to call you repeatedly trying to convince you otherwise.

Don’t give the name of your town or your address away nor the business you work for.

8. In your profile you can narrow the field by posting things that would turn off the person you wouldn’t want to date anyway. Be honest about the person you are, yet leave some things unsaid, until you have met them and know them well enough that you feel absolutely comfortable with them. It may take time but the wait will be worth it when you do find the person who is just right for you.

16 Must Have Survival Tips for Online Dating - 19. If the first thing they want to do is meet you, and your profile indicated that you wanted to message back and forth first, then that person very likely didn’t read your profile or didn’t care what you wanted. If you state you are interested in a person who is less than 30 miles from your home and someone from Texas writes you, they did not read your profile. Don’t bother with them, they probably just liked your picture.

10. Listen to your gut feeling! If someone doesn’t sound right or you get a bad feeling from their profile or picture, do not even answer them. You are wasting your time and theirs. If you send them a refusal, they may want to know why you didn’t want to date them. Just drop them. My experienced friend told me this. It seems cold but in the big picture, it’s better.

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11. So everything looks and sounds good so far. Meet in a public place during daylight hours. Don’t let your car be visible from where you meet. Be there early so your car and your license plate are not visible and leave after the other person does. It is a good idea to buy your own coffee or snack or meal. That way there are no expectations or guilt trips available. Tell someone where you are going and that you will check in with them or have them call you, just to be sure you have support if you need it.

12. If someone says something out of line or inappropriate, or makes you feel uncomfortable, drop them!! Online dating can be a gamble. One man I messaged with, seemed nice until he told me he was on his bed while he was talking to me and that he just had his underwear on! Needless to say I felt a bit uncomfortable and disconnected from him as quickly as possible.

13. Think about why this person is looking for a date. Does it correspond with your motivation? Another man I spoke with had lost his wife to cancer three years earlier. He was extremely nice and I really liked him. After we corresponded a few times, I gave him my number. He called me the next morning to see how I had slept. Okay, that was kind of intimate, but it was a nice gesture.

16 Must Have Survival Tips for Online Dating -2Then he called me that afternoon to “check” on me. We hadn’t even met yet! So I stopped that communication. I felt he was still grieving for his wife and his son had just moved out and he was lonesome. I wouldn’t recommend dating a desperate person; it will be harder to break off with them if things don’t work out and they need to resolve some of their issues.

Remember you are looking for a date, not a lost puppy.

14. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go online if you are desperate. You may meet other people who can sense that desperation and take advantage of you. Be confident and wary if you are going to go online to date. Do not settle for less than what you are looking for in a date. Remember dates could lead to deeply meaningful relationships. Do not be in a hurry!! Chances are good that you and them will be alive the next day or two for you to get to know each other.

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15. There are many things that can happen to a guy or a girl on a date. And many more small tips for safety. Do not accept drinks from strangers. Do not go to their home, unless you have established a good relationship with them. Do not date a guy or girl who does not treat you with respect. If your date loses their temper and becomes violent, dump them! Chances are they will eventually lose their temper and get violent with you too.

16. The key guidelines are simple: Go Slow; Listen to your gut feelings; Be wary; Drop them if anything feels wrong; Don’t give out too much personal information; Have backup support!

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  • Elaine Estes


  • I love stories and legends, whether they be educational, humourous, silly or touching. I grew up on the fairy tales and later grew to love legends from different times and different cultures. Find other stories and legends from Elaine, by visiting her own blog “joyful2bee“. All my articles.

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