For anyone new to Internet dating, the possibilities must seem quite mouth-watering. Once you’ve signed up, you can start your quest to find your soulmate by browsing through as many descriptions as you wish, messaging whoever catches your eye. But as much as a dating site for singles like this seems to represent a convenient way to search for a companion, you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls. Here are several tips for safe and healthy online dating.
1Never use obvious identifiers
Dating sites will ask you to choose a username, something easily identifiable to anyone who is seeking to get in touch. Until you establish clear lines of communication with a potential partner, a certain degree of anonymity is required. The last thing you would want to do would be to divulge information which would enable another site user to snoop around other areas of your social media – or find out where you work or study.
2Always be cautious with images
When connecting with someone in an online environment, it’s important to appreciate your online communication might be personal and private, but you are actually in a public arena. No matter how turned on you might be by your new love interest, resist the urge to express this by forwarding steamy or suggestive photographs. There is no telling what could happen in the longer-term. When a relationship comes to a conclusion and the individuals have parted under a cloud, it’s not uncommon for revenge to be enacted by someone posting candid photographs, simply out of spite. It would be best to pre-empt that happening at all, as experiences like this can be stressful in the extreme.
3Establish boundaries from the outset
When you get into online dating, you are essentially interacting with a complete stranger. You will know nothing about their character, or the type of relationship they are really looking for. So a piece of valuable advice would be to ensure both parties clear of the boundaries you wish to establish. That way there will be none of the misunderstandings which can so often cause a relationship to derail before it has even got started. The key to making the most of your online dating experience is, to be honest, and aboveboard with any potential partner at all times. That way there will never be any surprises and the sense of chemistry will develop much more naturally.
4Don’t allow online dating to consume you
While it can be very easy to become hooked on the online dating experience, always remember it is only one option. Anything reliant on the Internet can become all-consuming, as can plainly be seen by the obsessive behavior of fans of the latest computer games. The same can be said for online dating, and probably even more so since the object isn’t simply to gain a tally of points but to interact with potential sexual partners. The bottom line is, it is so important to keep things in perspective. Don’t abandon the offline dating world completely. There is still every chance you could come across a prospective love interest when you least expect it, in social situations far removed from your laptop or smartphone.
5Ensure you streamline the move to offline dating
The main point of Internet dating is not to provide a forum for virtual relationships, but a springboard into get-togethers in the real world. It is important to manage the transition properly. When you do meet up, ensure you do so in a public place. You can never be 100% about someone’s intentions until you really get to know them.