Hints and Recommendations for Online Dating
By: Andres Carvajal
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
Online dating has become a favorite option for people to date and meet a potential romantic partner, friends, or just socializing from home. There are thousands of online dating sites, some of them are free and some of them you need to pay for a premium account. Most of them try to sell you the idea that you may find the love of your life and never regret any dollar you spend.
Obviously, some sites have scams with fake profiles. Through the years, websites such as facebook, badoo, or plentyoffish have become of interest, it seems almost everyone is looking for dating online. Its important to follow safe guidelines in order to enjoy the online dating experience, considering the potential risks of millions of fake profiles, people with double morals and bad intentions, or people that are lying and pretend to be another person. This may help identify possible threats in any online relationship and some tips to improve your online research.
• When creating a profile, be honest. Of course you can omit some information for your safety, but try to include a precise description of some main aspects of your life. If your routine is about shopping and watching TV don’t pretend to upload photos of hard workouts or give a fake impression of who you are. Be yourself always, and show who you are, discreetly and sincerely. Its hard being disappointed by someone you cannot trust online or off.
• Keep your secrets. Its not good to put all your information as an open book in your profile. People create fake ideas and expectations about others very quickly just by seeing an online profile. Be more interesting than your profile, don’t make your profile your diary or your portfolio, and make your life a piece of art.
• Don’t be too explicit. Sharing photos, personal information about your income, kids, or address is too dangerous for someone that can be a pervert or a maniac. In online dating you must go step by step, you need to be more skeptical.
• Use a good profile picture. You don’t need to imitate all the stereotyped photos with a duck face or having a party with your friends. Show a decent picture where your face and figure can be shown in a natural pose. A fake smile is easy to recognize, show your spontaneity and personality through that photo. Don’t use Photoshop or any software to modify your real looks, this is counter-productive and will lead to deception. Show who you really are through your photos, and remember that we all have bad days, where we appear horrible in one photo and then splendid in another. Think twice before revealing too much skin, someone might get the wrong impression. Ask for second opinions or trust your instinct. Don’t rely too much on a photograph, its just an image.
• Identify red flags of fake profiles or abusers. Profiles without photographs, extremely sexual, or generic images are saying this person is only joking and wants to enjoy anonymity. Be careful. Look for other photographs with friends and/or family. Look for marital status, and see if there is any incoherence, or if they only want to have a one-night stand. Look for grammar and spelling. How a person writes says a lot about their culture and habits. If the person is almost always online without having a job related to computers, this might be a bad sign. Look for the time of the messages and check if there is any incoherence in the discourse and the time the person sends the messages.
• Don’t be afraid of requesting a friendship or sending the first message, there is nothing to lose.
• Before you meet try to speak up on the phone or through a video-call, try to confirm important information before the encounter.
• The day of the encounter, set up arrangements to protect yourself, like meeting in a public place, telling a friend who and where you are going to meet, and be in touch with others about the progress of the date.