In today’s online dating world, sites like Match.com, OkCupid and Bumble are encouraging users to include more information to complete your public profile. In the past, people were more cautious about putting themselves “out there” online – hesitating to provide too much information, not wanting to expose themselves.
Now, in 2019, people are more interested in trying online dating and are willing to provide more information and photos on their profiles.
But with this heightened transparency comes the justifiable fear of danger and exposure.
Bravo’s new hit drama Dirty John, tells the true story of a successful, self-made business woman who is pursued by a handsome, charismatic con-man. Dirty John uses the information he found online about her to fuel his terrifying web of deceit, control and manipulation.
This is scary because there are stories like this out there, and Dirty John exposes the danger of online dating.
I have been in this industry for nearly three decades. I read over hundred profiles a day, and I have never had a “Dirty John” experience with my clients. The reason is that I teach my clients how to protect themselves in this new world of online dating.
Follow a set of rules:
· Investigate the people you are meeting – do your homework online. Google them, visit sites such as LinkedIn to ensure they are who they say they are.
· Keep an eye out for red flags: Inconsistencies, aggressive behavior, moving too fast, or if they don’t financially contribute.
· Speak on the phone before ever meeting in person.
· Meet for the first time in a public place where you feel safe.
· Don’t get into their vehicle on a first date.
· Don’t drink too much.
· Seek answers to key questions before meeting in person such as their last name, line or place of work, objectives in dating (do they align with yours?), relationship status – current and prior, etc.
· Trust your gut.
If you are not in the place of being solid in who you are, capable of setting boundaries and standing up for what you want, and emotionally ready for a relationship, then it may not the right time to date. Don’t overlook these signs because of the eagerness to want a relationship.
Slow down and listen to the whispers before you hear the screams.
My work focuses on women and men who have come from difficult divorces, who have lost their partner, or who just haven’t met the right person, and teaching them how to date smart and protect themselves. We help our clients build self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.
If you are not comfortable with social media and are not on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, have someone you trust help you do your dating due diligence. Turn to a professional like myself, or ask a friend or loved one to help in finding out what you can about someone before you date them.
At Innovative Match, our renewed goal in 2019 is to educate and protect our clients, so that the Dirty John story doesn’t become their story.
Trust your gut, never ignore it. If you do, it will lead you down the right path. By taking the steps discussed, you can alleviate negativity and fear, and focus on engaging with new people and attracting the right person for you.