Tried and true advice to avoid Internet scammers and find lasting love!
Contrary to outdated notions, online dating is not just for losers. In fact, millions of hopeful singles log on everyday looking for Mr. and Mrs. Right. Even your future soulmate could be as close as the click of your mouse! You just need the right online dating advice. After all, for every fairytale ending, there are stories of disappointments, bad dates and scams.
Unfortunately, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you engage in regular contact with someone whose photos you've seen, whose bio you've read and whose voice you may have even heard over the phone. But, as we all know, there are predators are out there, so you have to be careful.
With that in mind, here are 10 tips for staying safe, having fun and potentially connecting with your perfect match online:
1. Vet him before meeting him. You must be diligent from the get-go. The other day, I was with a girlfriend, and she showed me the latest text conversation between her and a man that she met online. He lived in another city and wanted her to travel to meet him. His end of the conversation turned sexual. I advised her to cut communication immediately. This man was not soulmate material.
2. Be careful about the image that you project in your profile. If you are serious about finding your future husband, posting provocative photos in skimpy attire is not the message that conveys that. Keep it classy. Also, be honest about your age and weight. One of the biggest complaints from dating site users is the dishonesty about those two things. When you meet in person, you will not be able to hide it, and won't that be embarrassing?
3. Take your own transportation. You do not want to be stuck in a guy's car if he is creepy or makes you feel uncomfortable. Being able to leave when you're ready is important.
4. Meet your date in a public place … such as a coffee shop or an outdoor mall. Avoid secluded places like parks, or isolating activities like hiking.
5. Don't worry about hurting his feelings; your safety is paramount. Trust your gut. Women often tell themselves that they are being silly when they feel that something is off, or they are afraid of hurting someone's feelings. Your intuition will tell you if you should cut the date short and move on, listen to it.
6. If he gets too personal, asks for financial information or a loan, run! People have all kinds of sob stories. It is not your job to fix them. Most likely, he is a pro, and scamming women is his job.
7. Have fun. Dating is supposed to be fun. Keep it light. The first few dates are to see if there is a romantic connection and common interests. Let your personality and sense of humor shine through.
8. Let him do most of the talking. The first couple of dates are the prefect time to find out about him. If you listen more than you talk, you will find out everything you need to know.
9. Don't jump into a relationship too fast. Get to know this person, his friends and family. One of the best ways to assess the character of a man is by the company he keeps.
10. If you feel burned out, take a break. For some people, online dating ends up becoming like a second job. If you find yourself exhausted, getting negative or bitter, take a break from it and do something special for yourself. Spend the day at a spa, take a class to learn a new skill or a drive up the coast. It will give you a new perspective on life and love.