For busy single parents, how else are you supposed to meet people and start dating?
Dating online is convenient and probably appears on its surface to be much safer than traditional dating. You can proceed at your own pace and only as far as you feel comfortable – and you don’t have to worry about somebody slipping something into your drink.
However, the relative anonymity afforded by online dating means that some measures of caution need to be exercised.
By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your online dating experience is successful and safe!
What to Look Out For When Dating Online
When it comes to online dating, you really don’t know the person that you are talking to. All they are to you is a series of words and possibly a photograph.
With that sort of ambiguity, it can be easy to create any number of impressions or images.
There are extreme examples of physical meetings going awry because someone was not who they initially said they were.
These instances are rare and no more frequent than similar stories involving traditional dating. However, they do necessitate some basic guidelines to make sure you are dating online safely.
Stay Within Your Comfort Zone
While growing as an individual means stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks from time to time, this is not the case when it comes to online dating.
As a parent, you know how important it is to keep you and your children safe. When you’re dating online, never proceed at a pace that makes you feel uncomfortable.
In a physical setting, you can generally get a “read” or “vibe” as to the sort of person you are speaking with. However, online dating makes that sort of guy impression more difficult to come by and recognize.
It may take you many conversations before you feel comfortable enough to actually meet somebody – and this is perfectly acceptable!
At some point, you’re going to have to jump into meeting in real life if you want to date but never do so if you are feeling uncomfortable about the situation.
It all comes down to the fact that you don’t know this person at all. If they begin to pressure you into meeting sooner than you are ready, it may be a good idea to nip the relationship in the bud.
Do Some Digging
If at all possible, see if you can find out any information about the person through mutual friends and acquaintances. Facebook is a great place to start to see if you have any friends in common.
The internet has made the world infinitely smaller and chances are good that, between you and your online interest, you share at least one common relationship.
Use this to your advantage! Any information that you can find out about a potential romantic prospect is bound to be beneficial – if only for your own peace of mind.
If you don’t have any mutual connections, then follow the above advice and proceed at a pace you are comfortable with.
Meet in Public
When it does come time to meet your online interest for the first time, a little common sense goes a long way!
It is probably a good idea to make your first meeting public rather than in private. Until you know somebody well enough, you should forego the seclusion of dinner and a movie at one of your homes and instead opt for a restaurant or coffee shop.
This is especially important when little ones are involved since you don’t want a complete stranger to know where you live too soon in the relationship.
Until you know somebody well enough and are comfortable with them, having people around when you meet is beneficial. It allows you to get a better feel for the type of person you are speaking with while maintaining a safe amount of distance from them with other people around.
Tell a Friend or Family Member
Abductions are a very real and scary possibility nowadays so you should never venture out to meet somebody without first telling a friend or family member where you are going.
Again, you don’t know this person very well at all – at least not yet. So, when you meet them, simply tell a friend your plans including your date’s name, where you are going, and what time you expect to be home.
Stay Safe, Singles!
Being a single parent doesn’t mean you should never date again or that the opportunity will never come around.
With the advent of online dating, it’s easier for busy parents to meet suitable mates and form long-lasting relationships.
Just keep in mind that online dating provides a sort of anonymity that can be potentially dangerous in certain situations.
Follow the above tips to enjoy a safe and exciting dating experience!