Safe Dating Tips
Date: Jan 24, 2006
By Dr. Robyn DeVal
Whether it's speed dating, Internet dating or bar dating, safety must be the number one priority for women of all ages. With the increasing popularity of online dating, it is imperative to keep safety at the forefront of meetings and dates with unknown suitors.
Internationally recognized marriage and family therapist and radio talk show host Dr. Robyn has announced dating safety tips for women.
“With the reach of the Internet and the growing availability of online dating sites, the world is literally at your fingertips,” said Dr. Robyn. “Who knows who you’re really meeting in an online chat room? Safety and protecting your personal information must always be in the forefront of your mind.”
Dr. Robyn encourages women to use the following safety tips for first meetings and conversations:
1) Spend time on the phone prior to meeting. But, do not give out your home or cell phone number. This way you get to feel more comfortable with whom you’re talking to and create more of a “relationship.” You may also find out more about the person from speaking with him. But, don’t give out your phone number to set up the call. Armed with just a phone number, anyone can find out your home address and other personal information. This can lead to identity theft, stalking, or other unknown dangers. Use an anonymous phone service, like MyPrivateLine.com, which offers a disposable number that lets you talk to strangers without revealing your phone number. Once you feel comfortable, you can exchange personal information.
2) Meet in a public place. When first meeting it’s best to do so in a public place surrounded by other individuals. This way you don’t have to worry about an uneasy or potentially dangerous situation.
3) Never get talked into anything you do not want to do or feel you’re obligated to do anything. If you feel like you’re being coaxed or forced into an uncomfortable meeting or situation, it’s best to avoid it. Just say no. Always listen to your gut!
4) Do not get in his/her car. Getting into a car with a perfect stranger is not advised. Keep to your plan and stay in a public place for a first meeting. Don't let your emotions or the fantasy of it let you get caught up in a dangerous situation.
5) Watch for red flags such as catching your stranger in a lie. “Little white lies” often reveal much larger ones. If he will not allow you to call him or won't send any pictures, this may be a sign of a potential fraud! Ask him straight out if he is married and about his children and living situation. If he starts off a friendship with lies, odds are it will continue that way.
6) Ask for several recent pictures before you meet. This way you know whom you’re actually meeting. You don’t want to find out the picture you saw online was from five years ago. Providing recent pictures also shows more honesty.
7) Let someone know where and when you are meeting and anything you do know about him. This way if there is a problem, people know where you are, whom you’re with, and when you’re expected home. It will also be easier to create an exit strategy, if need be.
Dr. Robyn DeVal, Executive Producer and Host of The Dr. Robyn Show, a web-based broadcast at www.thedrrobynshow.com, dedicates her life to helping people explore what is right for them. She is an internationally recognized marriage and family therapist and relationship expert and has appeared on Dr. Phil, CBS's 48 Hours and Fox News nationwide, among many other nationally syndicated shows.