You have dated in the 'real world' before - you see someone across the way who catches your eye, you work up the nerve to talk to the person, you get the number, you call - and SUCCESS! You have our first date with someone new. There is nothing like that feeling, is there?
Dating online is just a little bit different - it takes a little longer to get to that first date stage. You see a great picture in the Photo Gallery, send a Smile or a Card, start Mailing back and forth and chatting via Instant Messenger for a while, you get the number, call and you love the conversations. Eventually, you work your way up to a meeting in person and it goes great. SUCCESS!
In the offline world, you take your safety seriously, so why don't some take their safety seriously in the online world? Why are they so eager to give out their phone numbers, to have someone come to their homes to pick them up for the first time, to meet later than usual? At Catholic Mingle, we work very hard to ensure a fun, safe, friendly environment, but there is some member responsibility in building this environment, as well.
Safety is of grave concern in these days of identity theft, assaults, and other crimes. You protect yourself diligently while driving a car - putting on your seatbelt, driving defensively, following the speed limit - and you must do the same while dating in the online world. Taking some practical precautions can make your online dating experience much richer, more fun, and much more worth while.
Here are some practical ideas for protecting yourself while engaging with others on Catholic Mingle:
- Remember that you are in control of your online experience at all times. You can remain completely anonymous until you feel ready.
- You are also in control when it comes to taking an online relationship offline. Plus, you have an advantage online because you can get to know each other before you meet. Remember that you don't need to take anything further than the computer or phone wires until you feel completely at ease. Go at your own pace!
- When you do decide to meet face to face, pick a public place and provide your own transportation to and fro. Tell a friend where you're going and check in when you return home.
- Never include your personal contact information in your profile, especially telephone numbers, email, home address or your last name, and only give them out when your instincts tell you this is someone you can trust. It's okay to take your time.
- Set up an email account just for online dating.
- Ask a lot of questions and watch for inconsistencies.
- Stay away from members who won't take no for an answer or pressure you for any kind of personal information. Serious cyber-savvy daters will respect your space and allow you to take your time.
- If someone asks you to go to their personal web site or asks you for money, use common sense not to oblige and then report the situation to us.
- If someone gives you a phone number with a strange area code, check it out to make sure it's not a charge number before you make the call.
Using your own good judgment is your best bet because ultimately you are responsible for your personal dating experience. Trust your instincts and then have fun with the right people!
Above all - take your time. Relationships are supposed to be fun, exciting, worthwhile, and enjoyable - not nerve-wracking and full of anxiety. Be careful and have a great time on Catholic Mingle.