Online Dating: How to Prepare Yourself for the First Meeting

The Internet dating wave has officially become a typical way to meet a partner. The taboo that was expressed when you told someone “I met him/her online!” is now replaced with a, “Wow, that’s so cool, so did my brother!” It is a nice change, but that should not diminish the safety precautions and tips that one needs to take to ensure a safe first meeting with your online date.

Meeting people online is a great way to broaden your dating horizons. There are numerous sites that allow you to pick the “perfect” person for personality and lifestyle. There are many sites and opportunities to meet people online, however, safety precautions should be used in each and every situation.

Before meeting your date in person, ask to do a background check. It does not have to be an intense, investigative process, however, you should find out some key information about the person you are about to meet. Find out where they work, grew up, what high school they attended, etcetera.  They may be hesitant to share this information, but without any background knowledge, you may be entering into an unsafe situation.

Also, do not be afraid to ask about a best friend and ask to speak to that person about the person you intend to meet. Investigate on your own to find out the facts of this person. Although other parties can lie, at least you are making a consistent effort to be safe, and to enter into a date prepared. You never know when you could meet a married man or woman or a fraud.

The first meeting with your potential girlfriend/boyfriend is by far the most scary dating scenario besides the blind date. Always pick a neutral location for both parties, and meet in a public setting. Before hand, tell several friends when and where you will be meeting this person, and do not hesitate to bring them with you for precaution. By keeping the site neutral and public, you are less likely to be harmed should something go wrong.

During your first date, you should never leave your drink unattended. In fact, abstaining from alcohol is not a bad idea. When you consume alcohol, you are more likely to lose inhibitions and insight on what could potentially be a dangerous situation. Enjoy the evening, but be prepared to end it of your own wits.

Never go home with your date after the first meeting. Not only are you bringing your date into your home territory, you become more comfortable and things can easily spiral out of control. It is best to call it a night and go home to your separate beds. One evening does not ensure that the person is honest and reputable, no matter how in love with them you may already be.

After the first meeting, when you are armed with more information about the person, continue investigating to make sure that this person is legitimate. It may feel as if you are being paranoid, but being prepared is the only defense you can arm yourself with when meeting and falling for a stranger.

We have all heard the horror stories by now, and unfortunately, some of us have lived through them only to be heartbroken and ashamed. If the party you are meeting is ever defensive about you asking questions, or refuses to answer general questions about their personal life, find out why.  Your safety is important.

By now, some of us have found the people of our dreams online, and to them, cheers! But to those still searching, always be careful and safe in your internet adventures. The best defense is a good offense.

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