Post by Ellie Stevens
In today’s 2012, gone are the traditional methods of dating—nowadays, singles everywhere are heading straight for the internet in search of that special someone. And if you happen to be a single senior who is looking for love or companionship, senior dating sites are great places to meet your match.
But because the internet provides such anonymity, it unfortunately also provides a place where financial predators, con artists and other dangerous villains wreak havoc on innocent online daters like you. To avoid finding yourself in a potentially harmful situation, before signing up to a senior dating site, be sure to arm yourself with the following safety tips to ensure a safe and successful experience:
Keep personal information personal. When composing your online dating profile and communicating with fellow senior singles, never give out any personally identifying details that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with in the hands of a stranger. This includes material like your last name, home address, phone number, financial info or access to your accounts.
Take things slow. When you meet someone over the internet who you would like to meet in person, the idea of a first date can be very exciting. However, it is very important to take the time to get to know one another over the internet first. Most senior dating sites allow you to build an online connection through voice chat, video chat, email, etc. Utilize these tools to learn more about the person, watch for red flags or inconsistencies, and determine if your online friend is trustworthy enough to take things to the next level.
Plan a safe first date. If an online relationship has progressed to the point of a face-to-face date, no matter how well you think you may know someone from your internet contact with them, you must continue to place safety as your number one priority. Follow these tips for a safe first date:
- Never rely on your date for transportation—use your own ride to meet your date in a crowded, public place.
- Tell someone where you are going—let a friend or family member know your whereabouts as well as the name of your date. Be sure to call when you arrive home and keep a cell phone handy in case you need to reach someone in an emergency.
- Be observant of your surroundings—forgo the alcohol for the first few dates and keep an eye on your drink as well as belongings like your wallet, purse and phone.
Listen to your intuition. If at any point you feel uncomfortable while using a senior dating site, don’t ignore that feeling. Should your gut tell you that something is wrong while in communication with someone you met online, listen to it and cease all contact with that person. Never be ashamed or embarrassed of your safety precautions. Anyone who is pursuing you for the right reasons will understand and respect your need for safety.
Ellie Stevens is a guest post author who shares with us her tips for safe online dating. In addition, Ellie also owns Best Senior Dating Sites where she provides resources for seniors looking for an online match.