Tina is not alone in her concern regarding Internet dating safety. This is one of the most common reasons why women choose not to go online.
But it isn't only the men behind online dating profiles who are complete strangers at first.
If you think about it, we're no better acquainted with the men we meet on blind dates our friends set up for us or the men we meet for the first time at the grocery store or social events.
And meeting someone at a bar might actually be more potentially "dangerous"--or at least "hazardous"--than meeting someone online.
The difference between meeting someone online vs. meeting at, say, a bar is that at least online you can figure that most men have not been drinking when you meet them, unlike the men in bars.
Plus, you don't really get an entire profile's worth of information up front on any man you meet anywhere BUT online.
But here's the shocking part. Despite most women's concern about meeting strangers, I've read studies that claim most women are assaulted are by men they actually KNOW.
No wonder some women have given up entirely on dating due to fear of finding themselves in a dangerous place.
If you ask me, that's very unfortunate. After all, despite the trepidation some women feel, there really are LOTS of high quality men out there who have only the best pf intentions for the woman of their dreams.
So how can we have fun dating and meeting one of THOSE guys, all the while ensuring our personal security?
Well, it makes sense to evaluate everything you can about a man before you ever decide to go out on a date with him. Here are some signs to look for to discern whether a man is trustworthy or not...
1) If the man is a single dad with any custody of the kids, then the odds are that he is a good guy. Granted, there are aren't a whole lot of men in that position, but if you find one you may also find someone who actually "gets it"...especially if you too are a single parent (and I know you're out there, mamas!)
2) If you meet him by happenstance, pay attention to his actions. Is he consistent in his speech and behavior? Does he make perfect sense or could he be in his own reality elsewhere? Is he giving you your space?
3) Notice if he is trying to push you into something you're not comfortable with yet (or ever will be). If he shows concern for your safety and emotional well being then that is a very good sign that he has your best interests at heart.
4) Did he offer to meet you at a café or other public place? This gives you time to get to know him therefore become comfortable with him before flying a "solo mission" with him.
If you are meeting someone for the first time, here are some practical steps you can follow...
1) I just mentioned that a man should offer to meet you in a public place. Make a list of places you are in fact comfortable with.
Meet in a public place like a restaurant, the movies, the zoo, a ball game, shopping, or wherever there sure to be some people.
2) Be cautious of parks. Some parks are very secluded, and both of you might find trouble--or rather trouble may find the both of you.
After all, safety is not always about him hurting you, per se. If he's putting both of you in harm's way, that's a cavalier attitude toward your safety.
3) Don't get in his car alone, until you are reasonably sure he--and his driving habits--are safe.
4) If you feel comfortable enough at some point to go to his place or somewhere relatively secluded, let a friend or family member know who you are with and where you will be. And make sure he knows it.
5) Go one step further by actually checking in with your friend or family member you have "on point" for you. Call when you get home safely. Let him or her know that if you don't call they should be alerted that something could be wrong. That said, don't forget to call them if the date went overtime because you were having way too much fun!
6) If you are at your place or his don't get heavy into kissing and getting frisky if you're not going to have sex.
7) Double dating can actually be fun--and safer as well as entertaining.
An added benefit is that it can take some of the pressure off the both of you.
8) Lastly you can also do a background check on him, utilizing any number of web sites that offer this service inexpensively. Confirm that he is truthful about his work place and residence.
Don't ever feel any guilt about doing this. After all, your safety is the highest priority at all times.
So yes---make sure you do what it takes to stay safe. THEN...go out and enjoy spending time with an exciting new guy!
What did I miss? Leave it in the comments.