A commonsense guide to successful online dating

You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Agree on what you both want from it before you meet up. If you feel ready to move to a private environment, make sure your expectations match your date’s. Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. Police and charities are here to help and support you.

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Take Your Time - Sometimes when you're excited about someone, your instincts can be confused by strong feelings.

Take care and take your time when you talk about yourself.

Creating your online dating profile: protect your identity and personal information Be Anonymous - Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are.

Don't include your surname or any other identifying information such as your place of work either in your profile or when you first make contact.

You don’t need to give out your life-story the first time you chat – and you shouldn’t.

There will be plenty of time to share such details if your relationship develops.

Skype and Internet Calls Use the Internet to make calls safely.

You should check if the dating site you are using is a member of the Online Dating Association (ODA).

- Stop communicating with anyone who attempts to pressure you into providing your personal or financial information or who seems to be trying to trick you into providing it.

If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too.

Check to see if the person you're interested in is on other social networking sites like Facebook, do a web search to see if there are other records of the person online, and if possible use google image search to check the profile photos.

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