A few hundred years ago, it was commonplace for a bride and groom to have absolutely no say in their matrimony. The families of the couple determined that their marriage would be advantageous and the groom’s family would essentially buy the bride with money, land, or livestock.
In our day-and-age, the most successful way that singles find love is through online dating sites. According to New York Daily News, approximately one-third of all new relationships begin through online dating sites. If you are single and ready to mingle, using an online dating site for singles to find your significant other is your best bet.
If you are reading this and thinking “Are dating sites safe?”, we applaud you. People who cautiously approach online dating is what makes it safe. The anonymity and the number of vulnerable people make it a target for predators, scam artists, and people with poor intentions. Because we care about your safety, and we want your path to love and happiness to go smoothly, we put together a list of ways to find the love of your life online safely:
- Only use safe dating sites.
You probably already know of a few online dating sites that have a skeezy reputation. If you want to avoid the kind of creepers who those sites, stay away from them. On the other hand, there are several online dating sites for people who are honestly looking for a long-term companionship. Many of them have specific focuses that can help you find someone in a similar walk of life, including your faith, your interests, or your age range. A good safe online dating site will:
- Have a good reputation with other users. Read online reviews about a dating service before you sign up.
- Will require background checks for membership, to keep fraudulent or shady account members away.
- Will have a comprehensive privacy statement that specifically says they will never share your personal information with anyone unless you specifically give permission.
- Create the image that you convey on your dating account carefully.
While you cannot control the actions of others, you are in complete control of the persona that you convey online. Sometimes, sinlges feel that posting provocative pictures, usernames, or information about themselves will make them more attractive to potential mate. However, being provocative with your online persona may discourage potential suitors with good intentions, while making you a target for creepers.
- Keep your personal information undisclosed until you are ready to meet.
While the ability to remain anonymous is used by creepers, it’s also your tool for staying safe. To stay safe at all times, do not give out any information about yourself until you’re ready to meet in person. This means:
- Use generic information. You are a teacher or nurse; do not say the school or hospital you actually work at.
- Only communicate through the dating service’s messaging system. Many predators want to get you off of the official channel of communication is soon as possible, where they are not being monitored.
- Do not let yourself get carried away. If the profile seems too good to be true, it probably is. Keep an eye out for inconsistencies. Be cautious if your suitor makes excuses for not meeting in person (or video-conferencing). Above all, trust your instincts.
- Follow strict safety guidelines when meeting.
When you are ready to meet someone that you’ve connected with on an online dating site, be strict about following these rules:
- Always meet in a public place. Drive yourself there, so that you have the freedom to leave if you get uncomfortable.
- Make sure a friend knows where you are. Have them call at some point throughout your date, and have a predetermined code to let them know you’re safe and things are going as planned. This is also a good way to abandon the meet up if your alarm bells are going off.
- If you have a negative experience, report it to the online dating service you met them through. This is important for keeping the online dating community accountable and safe.
Online dating is a great way to find love. Unfortunately, it is also a place unsavory characters exploit. You can find the love of your life online, you just need to be smart about it.