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Things to keep in mind for online dating safety

Online dating can be a blast, but sometimes it’s tricky to figure out what to put in your profile and what to leave out. Sometimes we get carried away and share too much info when we find a match we’re really into. It happens so fast.

However, there are a few things that should NEVER be a part of your profile- and most of them are for your own safety.

I’m not trying to scare you away from online dating. Online dating is a wonderful way to meet people, but it can be very dangerous if you don’t look out for yourself.

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Laurie Davis of http://www.eflirtexpert.com has a nice little chapter in her book, Love At First Click, that lists the biggest DON’T when it comes to your online dating safety. I’ll list them for you here, but you should definitely check out her book for more information.

  1. Full name- um, hello. Obvious, right? Don’t give your name in your profile and you should hold onto your last name until after you meet a time or two.
  2. Username issues- Don’t use the same user name that you use on social media sites. For example, I’m not going to use RedSoxChach as my username for online dating, since that’s my personal twitter handle. If my match were interested, he could go and look up my twitter feed, since it’s public, and find out all sorts of information on me. Not a good idea.
  3. Phone number- duh, again obvious. Wait to give out your phone number until you’ve messaged a few times and are comfortable with meeting. You’ll want to give your number out before meeting so you can find each other for the date, but save it for a bit. Also, a good idea is to register with Google Voice- then they won’t have your actual number and you can block them if you need to!
  4. Regular hangouts- I tend to frequent the same few places in my neighborhood. I leave them out of my dating profiles. Why? I don’t need a stalker showing up and following me around.
  5. Home address- You can mention your neighborhood, if you live in a city, but don’t give the specific address. That’s obvious, right?
  6. Work details- You can mention what you do for work, but be careful about writing your job title if you have a unique one. For instance, I’m the Social Media Love Gun for Friend Flirt. If I write any of that, my match can look up Friend Flirt and look up the Love Gun. I’m also pretty sure I’m the only Social Media Love Gun out there, so it would be easy to google information on me , too.
  7. Links- Don’t put up personal links to blogs or articles you’ve written. Just not a good idea. Too much extra information that’s not needed before you meet.
  8. Social Media privacy- Double check your privacy settings. If you’re public, like I am, then remember that your match has the ability to look you up and find out information about you. A match might not be too excited to see how obsessed with the Red Sox I am, or that I reference certain players as my boyfriend sometimes.
  9. Email address- If they have your email address, they can find you online. Duh. Eventually, you can give out your email address, if you want to take the conversation off the dating site, but you should probably register a new account somewhere without your full name- for safety purposes. Be careful before emailing off the dating site- too soon is a red flag for scammers.

Hope these help! Make sure to check out the book because it has a lot of awesome pointers!

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Red Flags in Online Dating

Here’s a list of annoying things that online daters do. If you’re an online dater, make sure you stay away from these!! And if you see any of these red flags, move on!

  • No photo
  • Confusing photos (more than one person in photo, photo unclear, old photos, etc)
  • Photos with members of opposite sex that aren’t labeled (could be sister….or an ex…who knows?)
  • Photos with children that aren’t labelled (are they theirs or no?)
  • Shirtless photos
  • Use negatives (“don’t like ___” “i hate when___” etc)
  • Be a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer
  • Empty profile/not enough information
  • Too much information
  • Entire profile is in bullet points
  • Mentions sex in the profile

The following phrases are bad, too:

  • “I hate drama”
  • “I’m just trying this out”
  • “My friends made me do this”
  • “I never thought I’d try online dating”
  • “Thanks for reading’
  • “If you like what you read…”
  • “I don’t like writing about myself” or “I’m bad at this part”

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What are some red flags in online dating profiles that you’ve found?

Online Dating vs. Social Network Dating

People keep asking me about Friend Flirt and why I think it’ll be so much more awesome than other typical online dating sites.

Well, buddy, let me tell you.

I’ve been online dating for a few years, personally. However, I’ve only lived in Boston since August 2011, so we’ll just talk about my experience since I’ve come to live in the Hub.

I’ve tried several different sites. Some sites I found to be quite skeezy. Whether it was a crappy web design or just the users themselves, some sites just didn’t please me. Other sites, I found to be alright, but nothing was coming out of it. I went on many MANY dates through online dating- a few second and third dates, too. I saw potential in some guys, but there were always flaws that I found with each guy that just didn’t work out (not neccessarily online dating’s fault alone, but nonetheless- none of those guys have worked out). Then there were the guys I didn’t go out with. The guys with the RIDICULOUS profiles and OUTRAGEOUS messages were awful. Then there were the fake profiles. Like this one guy that had 20 different profiles, but it was all him. Another guy messaged me, set up a date, and then deleted his profile! We never went out! Oh, and then there was the guy that had like no profile at all and only 2 awkwardly posed photos so you couldn’t really see him. I went out on a whim and went out with him- pretty sure he’s married or his a girlfriend. Great. So yea, rolling the dice with online dating, while fun, is mostly nerve wracking.

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To date, my most successful “relationship” since I’ve moved to Boston is with this guy I’ve been casually seeing for the past few months. We actually met in person, through a mutual friend, at a party. Which leads me to why I think Friend Flirt will work better than regular online dating.

Friend Flirt is going to first of all eliminate those ridiculous “about me” sections and horribly put together profiles. Also, you won’t have to worry about what photos to post, because your facebook photos will already be there! And don’t worry about those fake profiles and scammers- only real people will be on Friend Flirt! And even better- those real people are your friends’ friends! No need to worry about Catfish, here!

Who knows you better than your friends? No one. So who better than your friends to hook you up? Exactly!

So what are you waiting for? Friend Flirt will be launching before Valentine’s Day so hurry up and sign up to be a Beta tester!

Make sure to pass it along to your friends as well!!

xoxo Jess

http://www.friendflirt.com
http://www.facebook.com/friendflirt
http://www.twitter.com/friendflirt