Online Dating: Trust Your Instincts First

9 Simple Rules to Follow to Keep Online Dating Safe and Fun

It can be difficult and frightening when we find ourselves alone and are searching for that certain special someone. All of us, at times, may want to short-circuit the process. Yet we should always be cautious, most especially as communication technology can put the process of finding a partner on hyperdrive. It’s tempting to spend hours communicating with someone you’ve never met who may tell you all the things you want to hear. It’s tempting to look at a photograph and let ourselves fall in love with the image before us.

However, trusting someone with your heart if you’ve never spent time with them in person can be dangerous. It’s important to remember that what truly draws two people together has more to do with chemistry than common interests, and our chemistry is connected to our biology rather than our intellect.

Before the communication revolution, we met one another more organically, and we had access to character references through common community. We also had good old fashioned “gut feelings” that come from biological instincts. These things would help us assess whether or not a person could be trusted; whether it was friends you had in common, or a community where you might be aware of a person’s “reputation.” While I’m not advocating listening to gossip, I would suggest that a person’s reputation within a given community can give you a “heads up” as to how that person is perceived by others.

It’s amazing how deeply attached (and hurt by) we can become to people we’ve never met before, because all of us are looking for meaningful connections. Even a person who may deliberately deceive you is only revealing that they ache to connect, but don’t truly know how to do it in an honest way.

From my experience doing readings for people, I created a list of things to try and be aware of when meeting potential partners on the Internet. It’s important to remember when you meet people on the Internet that they are strangers and there’s no way to know if what they tell you about themselves is the truth. Nor can we ever know what their motivations may be. The most important thing is to never take it personally.

1. Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you from a geographic location that doesn’t make sense. For the most part, people who are looking for real relationships look for people within a reasonable distance to where they live.

2. Remain cautious when people contact you who say they are from a foreign country.

3. Be suspicious of anyone who wants to keep corresponding but doesn’t want to meet you after two to three weeks of initial contact. People who are looking for real relationships want to meet you sooner, rather than later.

4. Be skeptical of people who make unrealistic proclamations before you’ve ever met. Things like, “I think I’m in love with you,” “I want to marry you,” “You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever known,” “You’re the only person who truly understands me.” We all want to hear these things, and you will. However, a person can only know those things when they’ve truly spent time with you.

5. If you do decide to meet someone in person, always meet in a crowded public place.

6. If you do decide to meet someone in person and find them attractive, but they never call you again, don’t take it personally. Don’t assume there was something that you were lacking. Remember, you don’t know them, and you don’t know what they were looking for.

7. If you do decide to meet someone, don’t go directly home or directly back to work after your date. Take a detour, preferably one that takes you to a different neighborhood. No matter how the date went.

8. When corresponding on the Internet, talking on the telephone, texting and even when you first meet someone in person, approach them with the same amount of caution you would if it was a person you just met standing in line waiting to order a cup of coffee at a café. Remember that for the most part, most of us are good people, but you wouldn’t expect to know much about them from a conversation in a line.

9. Finally, remain open and hopeful that you will find someone to love who will love you back.

Finding that special someone takes time, and chemistry is rare. That’s part of why it’s so precious and important to us. Look at each Internet date like one little walk around the block. Many of those walks may be uneventful. You never really know how many times you’re going to take that walk; but one day you’ll be on your walk and look up, and there he or she will be—and then you won’t care how long it took.

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9 thoughts on “Online Dating: Trust Your Instincts First

  1. George

    The FIRST answer/suggestion ~ #1 to me is “Paranoia”!

    “1. Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you from a geographic location that doesn’t make sense. For the most part, people who are looking for real relationships look for people within a reasonable distance to where they live.”

    That applies “Only in ‘America’ ” but NOT in the part of “America” up north in CANADA.

    One is in too much of a rush to take time if a perspective spouse lives more than 10 blocks away??? Most people are so cheap they squeak so the cost of going more than 15 miles is too much? Mansons and Bundys, etc ONLY contacted those many miles away?

    In CANADA: #1 would be:

    “Be suspicious of anyone not willing to go 2500 miles to meet you. The reason they cannot meet you is they are either a cheapskate and will not spend the funds to meet you, or they are so busy working 12 hours or more daily = 6 or 7 days a week they have no time for you anyway.Do you want a male who does not have any money to spend on you? One who has no time for you? The closer he is, the better chance you will be unhappy having an inattentive tight wad!

    Paul Harvey, Good day!

  2. Viola

    Wonderful advice. Someone is claiming to be so close in my life but he is over 6,000kms away. Sweet emails flowing, seldom phone calls coming in and even proposed tentative date to meet physically already drwn. I will take extra cautious and not not take things personally. Thanks again for this special support

    Cheers dear


  3. Melissa

    Excellent advice, particularly about the part if you get rejected, not to take it personally, you don’t know what they are looking for. I met a guy on-line, over 2 years after breaking up with my ex, and there had been no one I had been interested in meeting but him. Talk about be wary of a guy who tells you what you want to hear in the present and future tense! I thought God had answered my prayer and couldn’t understand why he dropped me like a hot potato after three weeks of seeing him every other dya, and he called me every night. My birthday fell within those weeks and he gave me a simply beautiful birthday, like I had been going with him for years. He was too good to be true, and you know what they say about that. I finally realized that he was not looking for a relationship, he wanted validation from me that he was the greatest guy on the planet and he would do whatever he had to do to get that. Once he got that, he dropped me to get it from the next one. This guy was handsome, wealthy, sophisticated, family-oriented, funny, he would have no problem finding the next one, or perhaps had others while he was going with me, there was time to do that.
    I found your article a reminder to beware. People don’t know that on some websites, like POF, it is expected that the profile or picture is not exactly truthful. It is a fee service and therefore attracts a lot of married individuals.
    It sounds daunting, and kind of like a waste of time, so i am going to make more of an effort to meet people in person at church and groups and the ‘old-fashioned way.
    Your piece was very much on target. Thank you.

  4. Julie

    Wonderful advise. I’ve been with a guy for over 2 years that I met online at Need-less to say even though he agreed to being exclusive to me he has cheated on me over and over. I gave up chatting with other men after I met him, but not him. It became an addiction to him and I’m sick of being hurt by it. He comes across as such a warm hearted man in his lines of online BS. If you have chatted with men online in FL and IL you probably chatted with him and didn’t know that he is not only married but living with a me as well. He’s from New York if that helps you any. Be careful ladies there’s sharks out their only looking at their own interest!

  5. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    I am a profiler, for law enforcement and psychiatrists, I also do first name profiles for individuals and corporations/workplace…..a such, I’ve read for many clients dating thru the internet that call me, wishing to get ” a feel ” and outline on that individuals personality before the first date, and before meeting them at a location.

    On two instances, I saved female clients from being raped and possibly mugged……

    so if you not quite sure, call a professional psychic experienced in profiling people.

    Blesed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Great article Chloe


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