Establishing Online Dating Relationships: Safety First
Online dating can be fun. But don't neglect safety and common sense when you try to hook up with a mate. At minimum, take caution in the following areas:
Protect Your Computer
Take care of your equipment and systems before you head out into the Internet realm. You need to have a firewall and anti-virus protection for your email and for when you search websites and interact online.
Take care of yourself, too, by choosing appropriate dating sites. Seek and choose a reputable online dating service. How? Begin by asking around with friends, neighbors, co-workers and others you may know who have tried online dating, and see which places they recommend.
In addition, search "online dating services" and keep a notebook of their URLs or website links, the fees, rules and regulations, complete contact information of each and any other useful information that spikes your interest. Then compare each place. Try only those places where you feel safe. Avoid the others.
So take care. Arm your computer - and yourself - with the correct tools and knowledge!
Growing Online Dating Relationships
Just like regular real-world relationships, online relationships need tending, to grow over time. Here are some quick growing tips.
1. Take time and make time. Does your online date get in touch with you regularly? Do you do the same? Neglecting virtual meetings can be considered abuse or neglect, so treat each other's time with respect. If it's lacking, might mean time to move on.
2. Communication needs to "feel" right for both of you. If one of you is too pushy about meeting, for instance, that can give off bad vibes. So don't rush. Take time to learn more about each other and develop trust.
3. Respect each others privacy. Don't share personal email addresses or digital photos online, for example, if your online date sent you the information in confidence.
4. Share special online and offline fun times. Online - send greeting cards, links to favorite places to upload digital photos of your favorite pet, download music and video clips, post on favorite forums of interest. Offline - if you're exchanging addresses or post office boxes, send print greeting cards and postcards, small items from your area (like a key chain with your state bird).
Tend your online relationship. Water it with care and over time it can sprout and grow.