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Online dating: Safety first?

Dating websites are trying to play a more active role in weeding out the criminals, sexual predators and con artists. A recent press release announced that some efforts are being made for consumer protection: “providers eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks will protect their members through the use of online safety tools, including checking subscribers against national sex offender registries and by providing a rapid abuse reporting system for members.”

It has been years since I have tried online dating but I attribute it to more of my laziness then my fear of meeting people from the internet. We have all heard scary stories, yet I can not ignore the fact that many friends and relatives have met, dated, and married people they met through online dating.

At the end of the day, we have to make smart and safe choices when we invite strangers into our lives. In this modern age of technology, what are ways you protect yourself in dating?

Just because you meet someone face to face doesn’t guarantee their sanity or your safety. Do you use the same caution as you would with online dating?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

168 comments Add your comment

Lily

March 21st, 2012
7:13 am

No online dating here. I see too much crazy from the supposedly so-called sane. For me that’s even scarier. Even sadder, they’re walking around on the hunt and on the loose. I stay away from predators of any kind as well as scenarios where they breed. The unknown (i.e. online, talking and interacting prior to meeting) breeds crazy and conceals things you’d likely learn face to face. I keep it to grocery stores, church, etc….those type places. Crazy can be anywhere but if you’re going to happen upon it, online dating is a definite possibility.

Lily

March 21st, 2012
7:17 am

Diva, this same topic was just mentioned on GMA…..what a coincedent.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:00 am

Good Morning MIA!!!! ~Wonderful Wednesday! ;)

I have noticed over the years you can be you ever you want to be a little bit more virtually. When accountability comes into play its interesting how some flake and its also interesting how others become less aggressive. I have met very few you matches their virtual profile meaning as it relates to dating.

~I am the same person on and off the PC~ It is what it is in my world.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:06 am

meant whoever you want to be……….

Lily

March 21st, 2012
8:17 am

Enter your comments here

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:18 am

why am I mixing who and you?!? wow Dr. Seuss moment! O_o lol

Audra

March 21st, 2012
8:24 am

I’ve done online dating. In fact, I am dating someone I met online right now, and he is great! The way I look at it, it’s just another venue for meeting people. Of course you have to be careful, but you have to be careful when you meet a person face-to-face too. Simple things like meeting in a well-lighted place, not getting in their car or going to their house too quickly, and blocking the creepers. The sites do make it easy to do this. And of course, don’t put identifying info out there, like where you work, etc. That’s just silly. But with some caution and common sense I have found that there are as many good/bad people online as in the “real world.”

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:31 am

Good Deal Audra!!! The most I get out of attempting to date online is great friends. I’ve heard awesome stories and heard awful stories….My great aunt attempted to do the Christians Dating and was taken advantage of. Trust I know this happens face to face and a person can only do what you allow him or her to do however I think its a different spin with an online profile and maybe a more instant gratification lust like feeling if you will…..who knows but for me I founded great friends on the back end of it…..

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
8:34 am

Tried it once awhile back, I didn’t have such a great experince. Online dating breeds playas, the desperate, egomaniacs that need attention, and the reckless. Its just hard to convey your passion for life, your career, ect through an email. Online dating allows oneself to create a persona that may or maynot be just a bit exaggerated.
On the flip side, its a means to meet someone new if your able to give an honest assessment of yourself. I’ve heard of some great stories from friends that ventured out into the online dating world, with good results.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:37 am

egomaniacs<<<<<Indeed and it is sad how many adults need attention and try through the computer screen to flex…………

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
8:42 am

Hmmm someone should create a online dating handbook. Rule 1# If she has a profile pic, with one hand on the wall and she is looking back at it. Avoid! Rule 2# If her user handle is, redshawty69, barbie and she is over 30. Avoid! lol

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
8:47 am

Morning Lady Seuss

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
8:49 am

Morning Mr. U!!!! Lorax was sooooooo good too sir! Love Dr. Seuss~

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
8:55 am

Yeah, I will wait for the dvd. My neice had me watching the yo gabba gabba and she loves it. In fact she shhh me because I was talking to loud.

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
8:57 am

Button

March 21st, 2012
8:58 am

Just because you meet someone face to face doesn’t guarantee their sanity or your safety. Do you use the same caution as you would with online dating? YES! #thatisall

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
9:01 am

Mr. U watching Sprout was the days now we are on to Disney Jr. Kids grow too fast!!! enjoy her!

Jeff

March 21st, 2012
9:10 am

Online dating is completely representative of the real world, just in a more condensed fashion.

It’s amazing how women doing background checks on men is a safety thing, but men digging in to a woman’s past is a sign of stalking or controlling. Is there a search available for gold diggers or narcissistic princesses?

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
9:12 am

Jeff crazy is as crazy does don’t you think……..#chuckle ;)

Mr. Unknown

March 21st, 2012
9:23 am

Question? Why doesn’t Wise comment on anything anymore? Did I miss something?

disco

March 21st, 2012
9:28 am

good morning. I agree with the folks who say online dating is just another avenue to meet folks and you have to weed out the crazies online and off. still, right now, I’m not into the online dating thing. I call myself waiting on a good old fashioned random, chance encounter. for me, the benefit of meeting in person is that I can allow my instinct/senses/gut feeling to lead. I think online you might be willing to be a little more “open-minded” as you consider the anonymity and distance is a sort of safety net. in person, if it doesn’t look right, feel right you can move on quickly.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
9:34 am

disco that good ole fashion way does rock………..my current always reminds me he perused me………I tweeted last night there is a time and place for everything and I believe in order of service even though I shux and jive here and there…..

disco

March 21st, 2012
9:38 am

in theory lady, in theory. (my last few chance encounters were pretty darned ragged). still what is life without hope?

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
9:42 am

yep disco lol i love theory lol but you right

Sassy Me..I'm on one!! ;-)

March 21st, 2012
9:56 am

Morning everyone!!! :mrgreen:

Online dating is truly a mixed bag with some really great endings and others not so much. I’ve only tried it once and it was horrible and I understand the need for online protection from site providers like Match and eHarmony. That being said, I think we as adults must also do our own due diligence with regards to our safety and protect ourselves,too. While I was trying the online thing, I started to notice the fakery (profile pics n lies n such) and the creeps who were just looking to hook up and I think that detracts from the site itself. I’ve never understood the need to misrepresent on a PC only to be caught in the lie. I keep it one hunned and expect the same. I mean really, how lame must you be to have to lie…on a PC.

I’ve mentioned this here I think but the person I met was a military guy who seemed (don’t they always) nice but I digress. We met at Vino Libro…he’d asked me ahead of time to “make sure I was cute” and I”m thinking “Chile please, anything less would be uncivilized”. Anyhoo, when we met dude was wearing a ratty t-shirt, blue jeans and worn leather shoes…I’m looking like :shock: I mustered the strength to stay and at the end of our date he had the nerve to ask me back to his place…I left very hastily and never talked to him again.

I racked up a nice tab,too…that he paid for. The ruder he was to the waitress the more I ordered…don’t judge me :lol:

Sassy Me..I'm on one! ;-)

March 21st, 2012
9:59 am

my current always reminds me he perused me………

There’s something about being hunted I find soo alluring…

Leggs

March 21st, 2012
9:59 am

Good morning.

I’m presently doing online dating. I have certainly encountered my share of bizzare men, but I am cautious. Not surprising, but many ask for your email address right out the gate to chat better off the site. Red Flag for me. I do not give out any personal data to fall in the wrong hands. I don’t even give my slave name in the beginning of communication. Hell, why get off YOUR profile page to chat further? I have had one honest individual who right out the gate said although he found me attractive he would only date me to bed me because of my age. Had to thank him for his honesty and bid him a farewell.

What’s disconcerting is the pretense that is prevalent online. Why the hell do people put pictures of themselves that are 5 years old???

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:00 am

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:02 am

Leggs or they asking for pictures to be texted…….Text me a picture is the worse opening

lolalee

March 21st, 2012
10:12 am

Don’t see why online any different from in person, really. You soon get an idea of what the person is looking for. As for safety issues, I google folks and find out lots of interesting things. It’s not stalking, it’s due diligence.

disco

March 21st, 2012
10:16 am

sassy – anything less would be uncivilized. too funny.

lolalee – I think the primary difference with online is the “drag along” process. in person you can generally determine whether or not you are vibing or even interested in attempting to vibe with someone right off the bat. online the process is more drawn out – you may send flirts or whatever first, exchange a few emails for awhile before exchanging numbers, eventually start calling one another. my point being that by the time you decide to actually meet you may already be feeling “invested” in it. now some can drop a bad investment like a hot potato but some are always looking for a return on their investment.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:17 am

yep google those face to face too….the people searches are always interesting…………..mine on my current was congruent……………I think it is natural to be curious about who you maybe interested in. Folks use the word stalking so loosely .

Leggs

March 21st, 2012
10:17 am

“my current always reminds me he perused me………”

@Lady ~ did he really perused you, sounds dirty or did he persue you? :lol: :lol:

Another thing about online dating that left a sour taste in my mouth. A lot of the men want to send those awful “pre-programmed” flirts and carry a convo that way. How dumb is that. Pay for your damn subscription!

Leggs

March 21st, 2012
10:18 am

Pursue…..dagnabit.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:19 am

agree disco and after those back and forths and the big meet n greet occurs it can be disappointing when it doesn’t add up

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:19 am

Pursue leggs damn semantics lol

Sassy Me..I'm on one! ;-)

March 21st, 2012
10:21 am

Why the hell do people put pictures of themselves that are 5 years old???

Man between that and the half naked pics (by men AND women) I don’t get it…

Older single and loving it

March 21st, 2012
10:24 am

I do on-line and offline dating, had good and bad experiences with both of them. Follow the same rules. It amazes me how people think these “predator, playa’s egomaniacs” don’t go to church, the grocery store, or where ever you may meet someone. The best cons, users, gold diggers are meet face to face!! You won’t give your e-mail address to someone, but you will give your phone number to some one?? I can get more information with your phone number than I can get with your email address. I can have as many fake email address as I want, how many fake phone numbers can i have. Unless I’m buying alot of prepaid!

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:27 am

human behavior is so amusing………….

Leggs

March 21st, 2012
10:28 am

human behavior is so amusing………….

Yes, the heck it is!!!!

disco

March 21st, 2012
10:30 am

older – I think we are all in agreement that you are meeting the same folks online and off. heck, it’s not like there is an alternate universe of folks that online date. we understand that they walk among us. as for folks getting conned/played whatever – my opinion is that some folks are just more naturally prone to being taking advantage of. they are more likely to fall for the okey doke, fall for the sob story, believe whatever lies they are told. all I can say is that it sucks to be them.

Jeff

March 21st, 2012
10:35 am

Sadly, there is a group of people (men AND women) who absolutely thrive off of drama, danger, control, etc. it’s as much of an attraction for them as a physical or emotional trait is for others.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:43 am

agree Jeff~ It keeps some a career! ‘)

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
10:43 am

Bluzgirl

March 21st, 2012
10:45 am

I’m really not looking forward to getting back in the dating world. Several people have brought up online dating to me. I’m just not too sure about it. I’m too skeptical. When I’m ready to jump back into the pool, I’ll have to figure out places to go to meet quality men. No more meeting men in bars!

Sassy Me..I'm on one! ;-)

March 21st, 2012
10:57 am

Just do what you’re comfortable with Bluz..

czBrat

March 21st, 2012
10:59 am

lmao @ older’s 10:24. ^5! great convo in here today.

looks like the topic has been thoroughly covered from both ends. i’ve met great guys online, at work, and in grocery stores. i’ve also met lots of duds at church, grocery stores and banks.
what can you do except be yourself and stay vigilant, patient and selective? if the “crazy” is in there, it will come to the fore no matter where you exchanged your intros.

HiYas!

disco

March 21st, 2012
11:01 am

brat – and I was just about to tell bluz not to judge the place but to judge the person. personally I don’t go checking for guys in bars/clubs not because of the “quality” of the guy but because I don’t generally frequent bars/clubs. if I do go for that once in a blue moon visit I don’t want the guy I met there because I don’t want a man that frequents bars/clubs. I could just hear him telling me “but you met me in a bar” when I asked why he thought it was okay to spend so much time at the bar.

Lady~

March 21st, 2012
11:07 am

for the most part its the person and not the place and you are right with your point disco……….yep the churches and government aren’t exempt people are people………wow

Bluzgirl

March 21st, 2012
11:11 am

Disco…I used to spend a lot of time at a particular bar, but I’m not much into the bar scene anymore. I also have had bad luck with men in bars! I have been with a couple of men who frequent bars and I don’t want that life anymore…