In August of 2005, I met my dear darlin’ online. Back then, online dating was still a fairly new idea, and let me tell ya, we raised a lot of eyebrows. Understandably so.
Online dating presents a few risks that one doesn’t always encounter when meeting someone face to face. However, it has its rewards as well. Ron and I have been very happily married since March of 2007. I thank God every day for bringing Ron into my life.
Maybe you are considering dating online, or you know someone who is. Recently, I came across an article in Christian Counseling Today, by Les and Leslie Parrot. This article includes some fabulous advice excerpted from their book, dot.com Dating. As one who has experienced the online dating world, I can tell ya that their advice is spot on.
If you are considering dating online or know someone who is, please take full advantage of these tips. Maybe even buy the book! (see below) It will be worth your investment and could possibly save both your life and/or your love life 🙂
Here ya go. Advice from dot.com Dating…
Stay in Control. You should only talk on the phone or meet in person when you feel comfortable and ready. If the other person is being too pushy, remember, you are not obligated to comply.
Protect Personal Details. Your last name, your address, work details, and so on should be kept private until you have established that this person can be trusted. This takes times…so take your time!
Ask for a recent photo. There is nothing wrong with this 🙂 Of course, if you meet in person and they don’t resemble their photo, you know immediately that you are dealing with someone who is misleading and untrustworthy.
Meet for the first time in a safe place. Your first meeting should be in an open, public and familiar place, even if you are sure the other person is trustworthy. First dates are not the time to be talking remote walks or drives.
Use a paid online dating service. Free online sites provide a great opportunity for predators because they do not require a credit card or any other identifying information.
Keep your friends in the know. When meeting an online date for the first time, tell a trusted friend or family member where you are going and whom you are meeting. Ask the person to call you 30 minutes into the date to ensure that everything is ok.
Common sense rules. Avoid any suspicious behavior. If something seems weird or unsafe, trust your gut.
Ron and I stuck to these guidelines when we were dating. He didn’t know my last name for months. I did not know where he worked for months. He didn’t come in my house or spend much time around my children until I felt pretty sure we had a long-term thing going on. He eventually took me to meet his family. I had to pass the “does my mother like her” test-ha! I pretty sure I passed…
The point is, because we were willing to respect the safety and privacy of the other, we were able to build a solid foundation of trust over a long period of time. Discretion and responsibility make a person even more attractive. These are qualities that long outlive the initial excitement of meeting someone new. We dated for what felt like an eternity…ok, it was about 18 months. But when you are in love, this feels like a very long time! However, it has been so worth the wait.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” –Proverbs 15:22
For More information check out these great books!