|Online dating isn't any different from offline dating when it comes to playing it safe. When first meeting someone, no matter how you were introduced, the most important thing to do is use lots of common sense and act responsibly.|
ASM provides a safe and confidential/anonymous environment where members can meet each other. No one will ever learn your real identity or any of your personal information until you choose to reveal it.
When is a good time to reveal my personal information?
Follow your gut and a few suggested guidelines and your online dating experience should be safe and fun:
- Set up an email account dedicated to online dating.
When you decide to exchange private email addresses, using a dedicated address still assures some sense of privacy.
- Keep it online at first.
Some people will want to take your communications offline right away and will ask for a personal email or phone number.
It's a good idea to first exchange some information with each other, so you can get a "feel" for the person's intentions. If another member is sending 1-2 sentence emails without revealing any personal info to you, this could be a red flag. Ask about it.
- Ask lots of questions.
Watch for evasive or inconsistent answers. Is this person hiding something? After all, the whole point is to get to know each other. It's best to begin getting basic information on someone during your anonymous email exchanges. If someone won't reveal more information until you give a private phone or email, ask why.
- Gentle persistence can be charming, but pressure is a red flag.
There's an art to online dating. Some people become really good at picking up cues and might figure out quickly that you are a great catch ... so this person might seem particularly eager to "get going." If you're not ready and this person has integrity, s/he won't mind waiting until you are ready.
But, if you sense that this person isn't giving up a lot, but is pressuring you for more personal information or to meet quickly, then ignore him/her.
Only reveal personal info or arrange to meet when your intuition tells you it's the right time.
If you are feeling harassed or unsafe with another member, feel free to contact us and we will look further into it with you. We want you to feel safe and happy here.
- Watch for solicitations inside emails.
Don't let people lure you onto their websites to sell you something or to make toll phone calls. Please inform us if you encounter these kinds of solicitations.
- Ask for a photo.
If someone won't reveal a photo to you during private communications or before you meet in person, this person might be trying to hide something. It's pretty common these days for people to post photos, if someone won't send you one, ask why not.
- Be smart before you meet in person.
- Get the person's phone number and have a phone conversation before you meet. It develops another level of trust.
- Meet and talk in a public place.
- Before you leave for your date, give your date's personal information to a trusted friend (first & last name, phone number and the location of your date). Arrange to communicate with your friend when the date is over.
- Use your own transportation to get to your meeting place and home.
- Don't be afraid to change your mind. If something just doesn't feel right to you, pay attention to this feeling. This is your intuition talking to you!
- No matter how much intimacy you share in your online communications with someone, you are NOT obligated to meet anyone in person!
- There is no such thing as embarrassment when it comes to safety. If you don't feel safe during your date, ask for help from someone who is nearby or leave on your own.
- If you are traveling to meet someone, take the same precautions as though you were meeting in your home town.
- Avoid pre-first date temptation.
Sometimes we have exciting and powerful email and phone exchanges with someone before we've even met. This connection feels so strong, we develop an affection and trust for this person. S/he feels like "the one."
While it's important to trust your intuition (and feel relaxed), it's also important to keep a sense of sanity with you before the first date.
Before you leave the house, you might feel like a weekend in Tahoe for the first date won't be long enough. But, then you meet for the first time. Sadly, you discover that you two don't have physical chemistry. It's a bummer... and not to mention an uncomfortable situation (and potentially unsafe) if you've got 2 more days and nights together.
So, take it slow. It can't hurt to shorten the length of your first date to meeting for a coffee or a drink instead (watch your alcohol intake so your judgment isn't impaired).
If the sparks are flying and you are feeling perfectly safe, you can always scoot home to pack your bags for the rest of the weekend.
- Be honest. (About everything!)
Until we meet each other, we can never know if the physical attraction is there.
If you're not feeling attracted to your date, that's okay. Hey, there'd be chaos in the world if we were all attracted to each other. But, when you figure it out, do the right thing and communicate it.
Say something nice and then tell the person you don't feel the chemistry or a romantic connection. It's the kindest thing you can do. This site is intended for adults. There's never a good reason to make anyone guess about how you feel. Your honesty might then easily transition you two into a great friendship.
You'll find someone. Be open to all the possibilities.