Is Meeting People Online Dangerous? Not If You Know the Red Flags
Online dating is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it offers women the opportunity to meet a bunch of guys whom they might not encounter at a bar or singles event, all while in the safety and comfort of their own home. On the other hand, meeting people online may be dangerous, especially for those who can't spot a sketchy web encounter from the start. Below, we offer some dating advice for women that may make it easier to screen out the "bad guys" of the internet romance scene.
Red Flag: He Keeps Putting Off the Date
The goal of an online date is to make a connection in the real world, so you should be looking for guys who are ready to meet up at a cafe, restaurant or bar soon after you begin exchanging messages. If you find that a guy seems to prefer online flirtation and is always rescheduling the date, then be cautious - he might be lying about who he is.
Red Flag: He Wants Your Personal Info Right Away
You should hear warning bells any time a guy asks for personal information right off the bat. It's ok to tell a guy about your likes and interests when you're getting to know him, but if he asks for your personal phone number or address early on in your interaction, take heed. Some women choose to list a virtual phone number on their dating profile to make sure that online suitors aren't able to get a hold of their actual digits.
Red Flag: You See His Pics Elsewhere Online
If you are charmed by the pictures of a man you've met on a dating site, but end up spotting his pictures elsewhere, then it's possible he's stolen the photos from another source and is using them to conceal his own identity. There's no shame in bringing this up with an online suitor - if it's really him, then he'll have a way to prove it to you.
In an ideal world, you'd be able to trust everyone you meet on the web, but unfortunately that's just not possible in today's culture. This doesn't mean you have to second-guess every guy you encounter online - just remember these red flags, and always trust your instincts.