- Remain anonymous. You should avoid being identified online.
Never give out your real name, phone number, or address in chat
rooms or in personals ads. If you decide you want to give out
personal information anyway, be sure you're giving it to someone you
- Be honest. Be truthful in your
ad and in online conversations. Make your intentions clear. If
you're just flirting, be sure that the other person isn't taking you
seriously. Being honest can prevent disappointment for both you and
your potential date. Just remember - you could end up meeting this
person. You don't want to hurt others' feelings with false
- Always pay attention. Listen to your intuition - it's your
best defense. Use common sense. If something seems too good to be
true, it probably is. Even if you feel it, it's a smart idea to save
saying "I Love You" for a face-to-face encounter. Pay
attention to habits and moods - are they changing? If something
doesn't feel right, feel free to stop communicating with that
- Wait till you're comfortable to call. Let the other person
bring up the idea of talking on the phone. When he or she asks for
your number and you're not ready to give it out, politely say
"no," but ask for a number you can call when you're ready.
If you decide to call, pay attention to who answers the phone and
the background noises you hear. Do they match what you know about
- Take it slowly. Spend as much time communicating
electronically as is necessary for you to feel comfortable enough to
actually meet the person. Don't be coerced into meeting face to
face. If someone really wants to meet you, he or she will wait till
- Tell someone your plans. As soon as you have concrete
plans, tell your best friend or a family member exactly where you'll
be. If you have a mobile phone, enter some emergency phone numbers
and bring it along.
- Err on the side of caution. Just because you feel like you
already know your date doesn't mean that you actually do. Treat this
first date just as you would any other first date. Use common sense
and good judgment.
- Use your own transportation. Don't rely on your date for
transportation. If things aren't going well, it will be easier for
you to leave if you have your own way home. If you aren't driving,
make sure you have enough cash in your pocket for a cab ride, or
arrange for a friend to pick you up at a designated time and place.
- Agree to meet in a public place. Go to a popular
restaurant, cafe, museum, park, or any public place where other
people hang out. Double date with a friend if it makes you feel more
comfortable. Don't agree to meet anywhere isolated, unfamiliar, or
uncomfortable for you.
- Consider all information about the individual. Some states
and local municipalities may maintain public information about
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