Home / Online Dating Tips – Be Safe And Avoid The Wrong People

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Online dating is a big deal these days. In the US alone, over 40 million people have tried online dating. In the past decade, around 11% of people who have started a long-term relationship said they did so after meeting their partner online.

This is an ever growing number. Online dating doesn’t exactly carry the stigma that it might have carried in the past. There are fewer and fewer people who snigger when you admit you’re using a dating site.

Even though it’s becoming more and more normal to use online dating sites, and there are more and more sites to choose from, you still need to approach it in the right way.

There are a few decent guides out there to help you get started and to help you get success, but do they give enough info? The problem is that a lot of these guides are more like interview advice or tips on crafting a perfect resume.

They might help get YOU noticed on these sites, but do they help you avoid the wrong people?

Online Dating – Tips For Avoiding The Wrong ‘Uns

There are definitely a lot of undesirables lurking in the online dating world, so how do you go about finding the right person while avoiding all the wrong people? Everyone who’s tried a dating website for even the briefest period of time has a few horror stories. In some cases, your whole safety can be in jeopardy.

This article is for those who want to embrace the online dating world, while learning how to avoid the wrong people, and how to do it without having to invest a lot of time sussing them out.

The faster you can weed out the weirdos and stalkers, the more time you have to meet that right person for you. Isn’t that the whole point of the Internet and online dating sites? Convenience?

Statistics And Safety

Here are some basic statistics for you about online dating:  

online-dating-tips-1 Statistics courtesy of Statisticbrain.com.

We’ve included a variety of different statistics there and you can take from them what you wish. What’s interesting is that there seems to be a common theme. People aren’t necessarily honest about their age (among other factors) and there are also some dangers to online dating.

The fact that only 10% of sex offenders are operating on online dating sites is actually pretty good, but as it’s only a percentage, you don’t know the actual figure. Either way it should make you aware that the chances of meeting the wrong person here are at least a possibility.

Interestingly as well, 1 in 3 people will have sex on their first date after meeting someone online. Given that people often lie about their age, income, and other factors, there’s quite a high chance that you’ll have sex with someone who  turns out to be unsuitable for you.

According to mentalfloss.com, 81% of people lie about their age, height, or weight in their online profile. 81%! Considering that the vast majority of people regard mutual interests as the most important factor, it seems like a waste to bother lying. It’s definitely a good thing that 64% of people regard mutual interests as the most important thing though.

Clearly online dating DOES have a lot of potential. Now that we know some of the more important statistics, how do we go about setting ourselves up to avoid the negative ones, and be part of the positive ones?

In short, how do we find love and not freaks? How do we invest our hearts and not lose our savings?

Video – Safety Tips

The video below gives you an overview on some of the different sites available, what kind of things to consider, and some great safety tips as well.

Tip Number One – Find A Trusted Site

There is an ever increasing number of sites online, and many of them try to play to specific niches. It’s probably better though to just stick with the most popular ones. These are the ones that will give you the highest chance of meeting somebody you click with.

The top two sites are Match.com (21.5 million members) and eHarmony.com (15.5 million). You can still find success using other sites, but these are the two we recommend you start out with.

While free sites can also be good, you have to consider that free sites have a higher percentage of “undesirables” lurking in their shadows as well.

Tip Number Two – Be Honest On Your Profile

While it seems that that large majority of people lie on their profiles, and therefore expect to meet someone who’s lied, doesn’t it make more sense to be honest? Imagine your date’s relief when they meet you and find out you ARE who you said you were.

They’ll probably be a lot more honest about themselves as a result. Additionally, if you really want to find love, then use the word love somewhere on your profile. Statistics have again shown that those who do so, have a much higher chance of finding it. Makes sense right?

Finally, there’s a growing possibility that somebody might be doing some research on you or even doing a background check, so you want to be honest up front. Don’t freak out!

It’s actually perfectly normal and makes sense to do so, you might want to do so too.

If you know somebody’s name and the state they live in, you can run a quick background check and find out whether they have a criminal record, their employment history, and even if they’re already married. Remember, 53% of people have dated more than one person at once.

You can use the search  form below to perform your very own background check. If you’ve not started dating online yet, why not check out your own background to see how accurate the checks can be?

Tip Number Three – Take Your Time To Get To Know Someone

A lot of people might rush into an online date and be too eager to meet up. Once you think you’ve met the right person and your heart gets pumping, it’s easy to stop thinking with your head.

Make sure you try to get a feel for somebody before you meet up. There’s no exact time frame for this, just remember to listen to your instincts.

This is as much about safety as it is about avoiding disappointment. Remember, you CAN find the right person online, but you don’t want to get jaded by too many bad dates.

You should also understand that people behave differently online sometimes. This can be both a good and bad thing. Don’t be too quick to dismiss somebody, but don’t be too quick to fall in love either.

Additionally, don’t give away too much personal information until you really trust someone. This is definitely where we would recommend performing a background check.

Beware of scams. As well as sex offenders and other bad date stock, there are plenty of scammers online trying to take money from men and women alike. If someone wants to send you gifts without really knowing you, or asks you to send them money, it’s almost definitely a scam.

There’s an insightful article here about dating scams.

Tip Number Four – Do Your Research

With social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and many more, it should be easy to do your sleuthing and find out as much as you can about somebody for free. Linkedin is actually a great tool, because many people lie about their income.

If you can find somebody’s linkedin profile, you’ll have a good idea of their employment. As well as searching social sites for them, Google can help you out. If you can’t find somebody on Google, then there’s a possibility they don’t even exist.

Are they using an alias to protect themselves, or are they hiding something? As well as manual searches, there are a few tools you can use to help you.

TinEye

This is a free tool that lets you do a reverse image search online. If you upload somebody’s profile image here and TinEye finds it on a stock photo website or somewhere else, then the person you’re talking is porbably using a fake photo.

WhitePages

If you’ve got their phone number, you can perform a reverse phone lookup and find out if their name matches who they’re claiming to be.

Reverse Email Lookup and Rapportive

It’s more likely that you’ve got their email address though. There are a couple of things you can do here. The first one is free and involves you installing the Google Chrome plugin “Rapportive”, and then typing the person’s email address into gmail (using the “compose” email field).

If you then click on that email address, rapportive will show their name, photo, and any other information they’ve filled out.

Rapportive in action

This can work very well, but only if they’ve actually filled out that information. Not finding any info doesn’t necessarily mean there is foul play afoot. You can also use a reverse email lookup service such as this one at Spokeo.com.

Background Checks

We’ve already mentioned the importance and power of performing an online background check, and if you really do want peace of mind, there’s no better method. There are many different services and types of search available.

You can find more information here, or put one to the test below.

Conclusion – Do Your Research, Don’t Move Too Quickly, But Be Optimistic

This article wasn’t created to scare you away from online dating. We actually embrace it and want you to jump in and have fun.

We just want to make sure that you know how to avoid getting hurt, how to avoid the scammers (or worse), and how to do the research necessary to check people out.

There have already been many successful relationships and even marriages as a result of online dating, so we hope this article helps you to become one of the next ones. If there are any questions, feel free to ask them below.

 
 

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