Prudence should be taken in any dating situation, whether you were introduced by a friend, met at a church function, or met online. Here are some practical tips for safe online dating:
Always protect your personal information. Utilizing your profile’s email messaging system and exclusive chat option allows two people to get to know each other in a safe, guarded manner. These options serve as a buffer, allowing time after the initial greeting to determine compatibility without compromising security. Report any concerns about a user to the customer service staff.
Do your own check-ups. Google First. Many employers are now exploring social websites and searching a person’s name to learn more of their background. There is probably more personal information online than we care to know about—but this dynamic can assist us in making informed decisions about people we meet online.
Don’t move too quickly. Take your time, be cautious with all personal information, and enjoy the process. If they are truly the person from the profile, it will show over time. Respect should permeate the communication and conversation early and throughout any relationship. Solicitations for money or personal information before ever meeting should never happen.
Meet face to face. If you’ve had regular communication with a person and things seem to be headed on the right track, then you may want to take it to the next step. Don’t let the phone calls and emails go on too long before meeting, however. If there is a legitimate reason you can’t meet in person (job, family, etc.) then at least begin to video chat. This will help avoid being Catfished and it will give you a more complete and realistic view of the person.
A courtship period should ensue as you get to know each other better. If anything seems peculiar at any time, ask a friend for guidance or advice before responding.
Learn the best practices of using an online dating service by downloading our FREE Online Dating Guide For Catholics.