It’s no secret that dating is tough. And maybe you’ve had a few missteps along the way—like that time when you dated that guy who didn’t have a car and his idea of a romantic evening was having you pick him up from his mom’s house and making you pay for both of your lobster dinners. Hey, we’ve all been there. But to avoid any more bad experiences such as this and to succeed in today’s modern game of dating on the web, check out the following pitfalls to avoid in online dating that could cause you to call it quits and head straight for the nunnery:
Mistake #1: Dishing out too much info. When it comes to online dating, you could be dealing with just about any crazy with access to a computer. Because of this, don’t be too eager to tell the first cute guy you cross cyber paths with everything there is to know about you down to your mother’s maiden name. To decrease your risk for a potentially harmful situation, when first communicating with an online match never give out your home address, place of employment, phone number, email or financial details.
Mistake #2: Rushing into a relationship. You’d be lying if you said that you haven’t had your dream wedding planned since you were five and that you don’t spend your weekends trying on gowns at the neighborhood David’s Bridal. Of course, online dating has proven very successful in sending many couples to the chapel, but like dating the traditional way it is crucial that you take it slow and spend time really getting to know one another. If you approach online dating with the notion that every guy is your “Mr. Right,” you are only setting yourself up to be seriously wronged.
Mistake #3: Having too high of expectations. From the moment you introduced your favorite Barbie to your shiny new Ken doll, you swore at that point in time that you yourself wouldn’t settle for anything less than a plastic-perfect picture of romance complete with the Malibu dream house. It’s great to set the bar high—not just anyone is worthy of your fabulousness. However, don’t set the bar to an unreachable level because as it turns out—we hate to shock you—not everyone is perfect. Keep an open mind when you meet new guys and embrace them for who they are (even the flaws). That way they can give you the same in return.
Mistake #4: Lying. At #4, we have arrived at one of the biggest demises of online relationships…lying. Maybe your New Year’s resolution to hit the gym didn’t make it past January 2nd and you’ve put on a few extra pounds. Well, if you post a picture of a Sports Illustrated model instead of your own or inform a cyber-admirer that you have an “athletic build” when in reality you’re more of a “curvy figure”…then these seemingly small fibs can have a really big, really negative impact on your romantic endeavors. Just be honest and be yourself. Those who don’t accept you for you aren’t deserving of your precious time.
Mistake #5: Risking safety for first date fun. In online dating, your first priority needs to be your safety. With the amount of creeps and weirdoes running rampant across the internet, you never know if that hot guy you think you’re talking to is really a devious con artist or predator who is hatching a twisted plan to hurt you in more ways than just breaking your innocent heart. So if you get to a point in your online relationship where you feel confident that your online guy is a legit human being and you plan on meeting for the first time, it can be very exciting. However, just because you like this person doesn’t mean you should throw all common sense and safety smarts out the window in the name of a good time. Check out the following first date tips to ensure you have a safe first date:
- -Never rely on your date for transportation—hop in your chariot and off you go!
- -Your first date is not the time for a romantic, intimate dinner alone at his place. Opt instead meet your guy at a crowded, public venue.
- -Phone a friend. Make sure that someone knows where you are going and who you are going with. Keep your phone handy and be sure to call this person when you get home to let them know you’re safe.
- -Remain observant of your surroundings. Because alcohol is infamous for making this difficult to do, it’s best to forgo the Chardonnay.
- -Listen to your intuition. If your gut is telling you that your date is on the shady end of the spectrum, don’t be afraid to call it quits early. If the guy should make you uncomfortable at any point, bow out and get yourself to safety.
About the author
Erica St. Claire is a guest post author who shares with us her advice for successful online dating. To read more of Erica’s work on topics covering dating and relationships in the Catholic community, be sure to check out Best Catholic Dating Sites.