|It's a good idea to take precautions when meeting people
online, just as you would do in the offline world. The following tips
are just some of the things you might want to consider as you begin
online dating. These tips are not designed to scare you, but to
encourage you to be smart, use common sense, play it safe, and have fun.
- Remain anonymous. You should avoid being identified
online. Never give out your real name, phone number, or address in
chat rooms or in personals ads. If you decide you want to give out
personal information anyway, be sure you''''re giving it to
someone you can trust.
- Be honest. Be truthful in your personal ad and in
online conversations. Make your intentions clear. If you're just
flirting, be sure that the other person isn't taking you
seriously. Being honest can prevent disappointment for both you
and your potential date. Just remember - you could end up meeting
this person. You don't want to hurt others' feelings with false
- Always pay attention. Listen to your intuition - it's
your best defense. Use common sense. If something seems too good
to be true, it probably is. Even if you feel it, it's a smart idea
to save saying "I Love You" for a face-to-face encounter. Pay
attention to habits and moods - are they changing? If something
doesn't feel right, feel free to stop communicating with that
- Wait till you're comfortable to call. Let the other
person bring up the idea of talking on the phone. When he or she
asks for your number and you're not ready to give it out, politely
say "no," but ask for a number you can call when you're ready. If
you decide to call, pay attention to who answers the phone and the
background noises you hear. Do they match what you know about the
- Take it slowly. Spend as much time communicating
electronically as is necessary for you to feel comfortable enough
to actually meet the person. Don't be coerced into meeting face to
face. If someone really wants to meet you, he or she will wait
till you're ready.
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