Every once in a while a story comes out in the news about a person who has had a bad dating experience with someone they’ve met online. Men are fearful that every woman will turn out to be crazy. Women on the other hand need to know that they will be safe with their date.
I’m here to tell you that the same people who date online also date offline, so when it comes to dating safety, these rules will apply for both.
Let’s start with the fact that about one-half of the single population in the United States are now dating online. This number is huge and should give you the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone in cyberspace.
Here are my rules for safe online dating.
1. Have a phone pre-date.
Not everyone gives good phone, but if the phone call is awful and you’re struggling to keep the conversation going, chances are you’ll have a bad experience on your date. After a few email or text exchanges, I recommend scheduling a phone date. Keep the phone call to 20 minutes or less, as you don’t want to reveal everything about yourself before you meet IRL. If you click on the phone, that’s terrific. Suggest putting a date on the calendar, sooner rather than later. If you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair or in a deposition, be kind and let the person know that you don’t think you have enough in common and wish them the best with their search. If someone is unwilling to take the time to call you, then move on to someone who values your desire to hear his or her voice.
2. Do a Google search.
I’m often asked if someone should search their date on Google and the answer of course is yes! Everyone does. However, just like you shouldn’t kiss-and-tell, you should not Google-and tell. By revealing and questioning your date about your findings on Google, you will come across as a stalker and just might get canceled on. Knowledge is power, up to a point.
3. Check their Facebook photos.
A picture tells a thousand words, or does it? Those posting old prom shots or photo-shopped pictures can get old when you go on a date and barely recognize him or her. My recommendation is to hop over to Facebook or Instagram and view real-life photos. If the photo from last night’s concert resembles his or her online dating profile shots, you’re in pretty good shape. Better yet, view some of their selfies, which are less than polished.
4. Listen more than talk.
If your date seems to be a drama queen or catastrophizes and plays the victim, they’ll let you know early on. This is a red flag that if the relationship goes south, it might not be an amicable departure. For this reason, I stress that you should wait before allowing someone to know where you live. You should continue to meet in a public place for your early dates. Let them talk about ex’s, bad dates, and all the reasons why they are still single and sit back and listen.
5. Trust your gut.
Trusting your intuition is the number one way to make a decision whether to go on a date with someone or not. Take your time in getting to know him or her and enjoy the courting process. If stories aren’t adding up or if you feel in your heart there’s something wrong, you just might save yourself from a future heartbreak.
Contact us for more information on how to create an Irresistible Profile to attract your dream date.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of CybeDatingExpert.com and was an early adopter of Internet dating. Julie’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
This week we’re featuring Petty’s song, Here Comes My Girl.
After a long day of work or a difficult day, coming home to that one special woman who melts your heart says it all.
It’s romantic, loving and who wouldn’t want to be that girl?
Thank you Tom for all of the musical memories. We hope you’re enjoying your birthday.
Do you have a favorite Cyber Love Song?
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Overwhelm her with 5-dozen roses on a third date will send her running for the hills. Giving her a card and a box of pharmacy candies may put you in the dog house. What should one do?
A recent gentleman wrote to me needing help on selecting a birthday gift for his new girlfriend of two months.
He met her on OKCupid and she actually sent me him an email first, which was rare for her and somewhat out of character because she admits to being shy. The funny thing is, if he came across her profile he would have considered her “out of his league” and probably wouldn’t have contacted her .
I’m 2 months into a relationship with a great woman (seeing each other now 1-2 times a week). My birthday was last week and I mentioned that I don’t usually make a big deal about it. I was sick, but she brought me soup and two cupcakes because “she wasn’t sure what my favorite flavor was”, I loved the sentiment.
My question is; Her birthday is next week and I’ve found a reasonably priced necklace ($80.00) very similar to one on her pinterest board and from a store she’s mentioned regularly. I’d love to get her the necklace along with the obligatory nice dinner, but I’m worried about making her feel awkward about the expense. Any thoughts?
The New Guy
Hi New Guy!
Thanks for your email and congratulations on your new relationship.
Birthdays can be stressful and confusing early on in a relationship. If someone shows up with a card and candy, it might not be viewed as very romantic or thoughtful. If someone goes over-the-top and buys something extravagant, it can cause an unneeded pressure on the woman.
I think your suggestion of dinner and a necklace that looks like one you’ve viewed on her Pinterest board shows her that you are paying attention to things she likes (not many guys take the time to look at their date’s Pinterest boards) and adds a personal touch, since it shows that you listen to her when she mentions stores she likes. Because the gift is under $100 and within your budget, it isn’t over-the-top and I’m sure she would appreciate it, along with a romantic dinner to celebrate her special day.
I don’t think she’d feel awkward at all, but she’ll realize that you’re someone worth having in her life because you made the gift about her and not about yourself.
On a personal note, when I was at the 2-month mark with my boyfriend, he had the same dilemma. He didn’t know what to get me as a gift, but knew he wanted to do something special for me. Excited about our new relationship, he selected a necklace with a mutual friend whom I had mentioned I really liked. The best part is that he picked it out on his own and loved it too!
It was a silver key on a chain, which is a popular look now. He selected a very simple one, not one filled with diamonds and I still cherish it today as something personal and intimate.
I think you’re right on track and your new girlfriend will be happy with the way you celebrate her birthday together. I know you think you’re a lucky guy to have found her, but she’s a lucky girl as well.
Keep me posted.
Wishing you much love and joy,
Do you have a dating question for Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.com. Want to stay in touch? Sign up for the Free Cyber Dating Expert Weekly Flirt Newsletter.
To start of the week, we’d like to wish Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon a very Happy Birthday.
So let’s put on the DJ hat and share the perfect song for our Cyber Love Song of the Week, “Keep on Loving You,” a song that reached #1.
Turn up the volume and hug your loved one today.
Do you have a favorite romantic love song?
Listen to our other Cyber Love Songs.
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It’s time to put the DJ hat back on for our Cyber Love Song of the Week.
This week marks Mark Farner’s birthday. The lead singer/guitarist of Grand Funk Railroad’s classic song, “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home” is the longest song he’s ever recorded at 10:09.
It’s the title track of their third album and we’re proudly featuring it as our Cyber Love Song of the Week.
Are you ready to turn up the volume and hum along?
Do you have a favorite Cyber Love Song?
Click here to listen to our other Cyber Love Songs.
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