Online Dating Safety | Julie Spira, Cyber Dating Expert
For the month of February we thought it only appropriate to talk about love, dating, and protecting yourself while on the search for your match. We’re kicking off our Safe Dating Series with some tried and true advice from a woman who understands the ins and outs of the online dating world. We had the pleasure of gleaning some wisdom from America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker, Julie Spira, about the do’s, the don’t’s, and what to watch out for.
What is your best advice for navigating the world of online dating safely?
Dating safely online and offline should always be a priority. While looking for love online, take some additional steps such as seeing if you have Facebook friends in common, downloading your date’s photos into Google Image reverse search at google.com/images to make sure your date’s photos are current and match what they say about themselves, and have a phone pre-date in advance of meeting in person.
For those new to online dating, what are some red flags to look for?
If someone’s photos seem to good to be true and your date looks like a model or stock photo, it would be good to check their social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram to see if they match up. If your date refuses to go on a Skype or video date, perhaps they are hiding something. If your date’s interests match yours exactly, he or she could me mirroring your profile to make you feel like they are ‘the one.’
Is there a common mistake you often see women making when it comes to online dating?
Often women get excited when they first start talking to someone online. They project to the future and feel like they are in an instant relationship. Remember that you’re a member of a dating site, he’s a member of a dating site, and chances are everyone is dating multiple people. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking your time in getting to know someone.
Since our non-profit is strongly in favor of criminal background screening those employees coming to do service work in the home, we think that same principle extends to online dating. Is it common to have a background screen performed on your date before meeting? Do you know of any sites that require it?
There are no sites that require a background check that I’m aware of at this point, although many make that feature available to their members at an additional cost. It’s important to trust your intuition and meet your date in a public place. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, just pick up and leave. If your relationship is starting to become more serious or you’re thinking of becoming exclusive, conducting a background search is a wise move. Just like businesses check out employees before hiring them, singles should know as much as they can about the person they are thinking of having an intimate relationship with.
Being an expert in your field, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Online dating is a numbers game. Some meet their special someone on the first date, others can take years before they connect. Understand that the more you date, the better dater you become. I always tell singles that I’m coaching to cast a wide net and look at dating as meeting someone that could become a friend, a business contact, or if you’re lucky, someone that can become your one in 40 million.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of the Internet and online dating and has been helping singles fine love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles coaching programs. Julie’s the founder of Cyber-Dating Expert, host of #DateChat on Twitter, and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.Com/CyberDatingExpert.