Every online dater knows (or should know) the obvious safety rules of a first date: meet at a public place, do not give too much personal information and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Here are two more tips that I learned through my less than perfect dating experiences:
1. Google first, date later – in other words, do your homework. Once, I found a potential date on a news website (an obvious red flag) but warning signs are not always as easy to detect. Does your date have an endless amount of new female face book friends? Could be a ladies man. Does his basic information found on Google differ from what he told you? I am not advocating an entire stalking session but a quick Google search could save you an endless amount of time and effort.
2. Demand a phone call – texting does not count. This will prove to be not only a safety measure but a time saver as well. Anyone who can spell has the ability to appear calm and together over text messaging. Add a smiley face and an exclamation point and your pending date has just made himself fun and enthusiastic. Once, I was in the midst of texting with Mr. Happy Go Lucky (cue the smiley faces) when we decided to take our conversation to the next level. Within minutes, my phone date had become not only gloomy and a bit odd but I suspected by his slurred speech that he was heavily intoxicated as well. Needless to say, that first date never happened and I owe it all to our real live phone interaction.
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