How To Avoid Sketchy Online Daters

The dating scene can be a pretty slippery slope, and most people with dating experience would gladly vouch for that. However, when you throw the Internet into the mix, the whole thing becomes even more sketchy. See, prior to the rise of online dating sites, the entire dating process took place in person with the exception of blind dates.

It usually happened in a public place like a coffee shop or a park. Someone would catch your eye and spark your attention, introduce themselves, start a conversation, and if you felt a connection with the person, you’d either ask them out on a date, or hope that they’d ask you. But meeting organically just doesn’t happen all that much anymore. Why? Well because people started turning to online dating sites in their search for love.

Don’t get us wrong, online dating sites are great, and they’ve helped millions of people find true love, but they also have their downfalls. For every good-hearted honest user, there is a also creepy sketchball whose intentions are far from good, which is why you have to be super careful on these sites.

You shouldn’t be too quick to trust anyone you meet on the Internet, let alone a person you could potentially get involved with romantically. When you get matched up with other users, or if someone strikes up a flirtatious conversation, you should always try to learn more about them before agreeing to meet in person.

Helpful Resources

There are different sites you can use to background check your potential dates, like InstantCheckmate.com, which was created to help online daters avoid the creeps and criminals that lurk on dating sites. All you have to do is type in the person’s name, hit search, and boom—you get a detailed report that could significantly influence your decision about the date.

You can find out tons of information, including the biggest deal breakers which, for online daters, are usually 1) If the person is actually married (what a scumbag!), and 2) If they have any prior arrests or criminal convictions on their record. Imagine going on several dates with someone only to find out that they’re an ex-con who did hard time for murder. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Now, imagine if you did an online background check as soon as the person started chatting you up. You’d find out about their heinous criminal history, and then run in the other direction—we hope.

Better Safe Than Sorry

It may be an old cliche, but “Better safe than sorry,” has never been more fitting than in the world of online dating. It’s impossible to truly get to know (or trust) someone based solely on their profile or the sweet nothings they send you on chat. That hottie you’ve been messaging back and forth could actually be a 65-year-old pedophile whose photos came from Google images. Seriously, these kind of situations occur more frequently than anyone would like to admit, so you should do everything you can to avoid them!

Do YOU have any additional advice for online daters? Let us know in the comments!

Amber Hollingsworth is a blogger from Dallas, TX. She specializes in writing about safety tips for online daters. 

An eHarmony Love Story

The series I Met My Love Online is coming along nicely, today I get to share my first story about a couple who met on eHarmony, the love story of Bill and Liz.

I was living in Nashville, TN and Liz was living in Connecticut.  We were both apprehensive at first to change our profile settings to open ourselves up for long distance matches, but our dates with local matches were not very productive or successful.   For each of us, it was our last attempt to meet someone before canceling our membership.  Once we were matched, together we went through 4 stages of protective communication before we began to email each other.  After that, we talked by telephone for several months.  Everything about Liz seemed perfect, so I knew that the next step was to take her out on a date in person.  Over the next several months, I traveled up to CT to spend time with her and I also flew her down to Nashville to spend time with me.

Tell me, what is the most romantic thing your true love did for you?

The most romantic thing that Liz did for me was that she sang “The Broken Road” at our wedding ceremony, complete with instrumental tracks and a backup singer.  The most romantic thing that Liz would tell you, that I did for her was to surprise her with a horse-drawn carriage ride through town on the night I asked her to marry me.  After dinner, I took her to an old historic New England hotel so we could walk the grounds.  While we were on the walk, I had arranged for the carriage to approach us at a certain location and surprise her.  While on the ride, I presented the ring and asked her to marry me.

Thoughts Regarding Online Dating with eHarmony

We believe that the personality surveys we filled out on the eHarmony site were very accurate.  We see similar behaviors in each other, resulting in us being more understanding of each other.  Together we have blended our spiritual beliefs for an awesome life together.  I always dreamed of starting a business that would help parents across the globe.  Thanks to the love and support that Liz gives to me, I’ve been able to make that dream come through by completing my degree in psychology, writing a series of parenting books, and launching the CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS TV show.  You can see all of these accomplishments that could not have done without her help, at www.CooperativeKids.com.

A Love Story That Truly Was Meant To Be

When I signed up for a free trial, Matchmaker was open to the public.  Now it specializes in singles 35+. This is what their website says; Matchmaker.com is an online matchmaking service for a more mature audience, Matchmaker is an online dating site consisting of 35+ serious singles focused on finding long-term serious relationships and those who are marriage minded.

When I was searching for a mate, I looked within a radius of 1 mile in the Matchmaker.com search. Michael’s profile was the first to pop up, living only a mile away from me. I’m not sure that we would have ever met in person, since there was an almost 7 year age difference. I did find out that we had swing dancing in common, after reading it in his profile. That’s where we went in NYC on our first date!

Tell me is Michael romantic? What was the most romantic thing Michael has done?

Our two week honeymoon in Hawaii is pretty hard to beat! Before I met Michael, I had never really been treated to the joy of fine dining. Michael often takes me to nice restaurants (not fancy, but affordable), and I’ve become a true foodie, he even lets me take pictures of our every meal. I’ve even taken up food photography as a hobby! Getting to experience new things like this and becoming a better person for it is what true romance is to me.

Anything extra to add to your story?

Our parents worked together, but in different departments. When she learned of his name, she asked if he worked at the hospital where she worked, because she had seen the name before. My mom then learned that he and his father had the same name. I had also worked at the same restaurant that his sister did, but we were on different shifts. It was meant to be that we would eventually meet  but it just wasn’t meant to be that we would meet first in person!

Vickie and Michael met in August 1999 and recently celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary in October 2011. Story shared by Vickie Smith-Siculiano.

I Met My Love Online: Staci & Alex Match.com Story & Some Advice

It’s amazing what technology has done to our world, we are now able to date from miles away or meet people just next door to us by utilizing the world wide web. Today I get to share a cute love story from a couple who met on Match.com while they both were living in LA.

We are Staci & Alex – a match.com success story!

My recently engaged fiance and I met online! We are very happy to say that
match worked for us :) We met over 2 years ago in LA via match; countless
dates & a big move across the country, we are happily in NYC and engaged to
be married June 2013!

I can’t not say enough about online dating and how great of an idea it is – 3 girls in my new office have since joined match after hearing our success story.

I will be honest and say that in the beginning I was VERY picky about who I
met on match.com, I don’t really know what I was being such a stickler about – because once I let my guard down and opened myself up to ‘dating’ I met
some of THE best guys – including my wonderful fiance! When we did meet, I
had probably gone on 14 dates in 3 weeks time (no joke – when I meant open,
I meant open for all kinds of guys!), thought my new date was nice and fun and there was no reason he didn’t deserve another date. I thought those same thoughts on date 2-6, by date 7 I knew I had met the man that completed me! Alex’s story is a bit different – he may have been ‘match.comstalking’ me for several months, trying to work up the courage to email me!
Finally one day, he had the courage and emailed me a hello…..

Match.com Best Advice (what worked for me)

  1. Don’t waste time on ppl you know you won’t like ;) There are plenty of awesome ppl out there – save yourself for the one! BUT be open – you NEVER know who you might meet!
  2. ALWAYS talk on the phone first! You can easily read chemistry over the
    phone and nip an awkward 1st meeting in the bud.
  3. ALWAYS meet for just a drink on the first date – dinner is too much
    time….unless the date progress’s to dinner.
  4. ALWAYS be open – I know it sounds bad, but I refused to date guys under 6’1′ – until I ‘lowered’ my standards – I would have never met my 5’6′ love!
  5. HAVE FUN – dates are fun, meeting new people is fun! Go into with a
    positive attitude and you will get positive results!

I Met My Love Online: Gus and Brina’s Match.com Story

My husband Gus and I met online in 2005 a couple of months after my
ex-husband and I separated. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks and then he disappeared – only to resurface again in October of 2006. I was
dating someone else. I contacted him in March of 2007 and we met. He had
been dating online for about 4 years and I was into my second year. We were
happy to have finally found a match.

Happily Blended asked Brina, what was the most romantic thing Gus did?

Gus cried his eyes out when he read aloud our wedding vows and had the entire wedding in tears. It was beautiful.

Happily Blended asked Brina, how long have you been together?

We married in 2008 and had our first child in 2009. Our second was born last September.

Brina wanted to share some tips for those looking for their true love online:

  1. It’s a numbers game. You need to meet lots and lots of men before you find a match. Most people, whether you meet them online or off, have issues. It is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. But, the beauty of dating online is that you can meet much more singles in a shorter period of time than relying on being set up or randomly.
  2. Never meet someone without speaking on the phone first. If you can have a nice phone conversation, it will be a pleasant evening, even if there is no chemistry.
  3. But, don’t allow yourself to fall in love over the phone. You need to meet face to face before you know if there is a real connection.
  4. Be positive, be courteous, be punctual. Let the other person know if you are interested in seeing them again.

Brina is the CEO and owner of The Younique Boutique, an ecommerce store that sells personalized gifts.

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