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Safety Tips for Women

Before you sign up for an online dating service and start filling your social calendar, take some time and think about your safety. I know this sounds boring and you're right, chances are nothing bad will ever happen to you, but why take the risk. There are insane people out there, and I don't want to hear about you on the NBC evening news (unless you win the lottery). Follow this guide, it will help you to keep your online dating experience safe and enjoyable.

1. Use your instincts. We know you want to trust everyone and believe everything they say, especially when they're saying what you want to hear. If it's too good to be true, it sometimes is. More often than not, the person you've met online is just the same in person, but take your time to get to know her/him/them.

2. Remain anonymous. Until you know that the person or persons you're interested in are the sort you want to meet, remain anonymous. Most online dating services allow you to use a nickname and send mail using only the nickname and your dating service address. Don't be pressured to "send mail to my private email" because you'll be giving our your personal details in your return address.

3. Remain wary. Don't believe everything you see on screen. If you have any doubts, ask questions. If there is even the slightest bit of doubt, move on. There are SO many people out there that could make you happy, so don't take a chance.

4. Don't be pushed! If you're not ready to meet someone, don't be coerced into it. You'll be upset and you might be putting yourself at risk. So what if you're accused of "not being real", at least you'll feel good until you ARE ready to meet in person.

5. Spend time online. If you're not 100% certain this person is for real, spend time online chatting or chat through email until you're sure.

6. Talk on the phone. You can learn a lot about someone by talking over the phone. To ensure your anonymity, give a mobile phone number or use a pay phone. If you hear anything that gives you doubts, don't meet.

7. Photos. It's true that a picture is worth 1000 words. It doesn't tell the whole story, but you can tell whether you're physically attracted to this person. If the photo looks too good to be true, ask for a photo to be taken somewhere you suggest. If it can't be done, it might not be their photo!

8. Personality flaws. If your new friend displays controlling behavior (needs to know where you are, is unhappy when you do things away from the computer), shows anger or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable, then this person is not going to make you happy. If you're an outgoing, friendly man, a clinging, dependent woman will drive you up the wall.

9. Be safe. When you decide to meet for the first time, tell someone where you're going. Take your own car, public transportation or ask a friend to take you and pick you up. These security measures won't last forever and if he or she is put off by them, then tell them to find someone else. There is never going to be only one person that you must have in order to be happy.

10. Always be alert. Safety precautions are not only for meeting new friends from the Internet. These guidelines are good ideas whether you're meeting someone you've met at a concert, in a pub or at the grocery store. Just be careful out there.

OK girls, we all know that there is a fine line between women's lib and being too masculine. If he picks you up at your place, please remember the basics and offer him something to drink. There is nothing worse than being a nervous wreck and not knowing what to do with yourself. A glass of wine may be good for both of you. a pre-appetizer, if you will.

If you pick him up (brownie points if he agrees to that), bring him a little something. Get creative and have fun with it; it will make him smile and you'll stand out in his mind, especially if he has been on other recent dates!

What's next, a dip in the hot tub? No ladies, this is not Blind Date. Be real; spend some time together in a more platonic activity.

What about the good night kiss? Remember that it's likely he is thinking the same awkward thoughts you are, and a good date does not have to continue to the bedroom. After all, this is not Blind Date. Kiss him back if you want to and don't if you don't. Most importantly, leave him with a witty last impression of you because that last impression can be just as important as the first!

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