Online Dating Safety Tips

Sporting Dates wants your online experience to be a pleasant one. Please use sound judgement and be responsible for your conduct online and off. In both the online and real worlds, common sense is your best safety tool.

Take your time

If someone seems too good to be true they probably are. Start by first communicating solely via email. Watch out for odd behavior or inconsistencies. Pay attention to your correspondent's words. The person at the other end may not be who or what he/she says. It's always best to trust your instincts. Walk away from anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Protect your anonymity

All correspondence with Sporting Dates members done via our email messaging center or Instant Messenger application will not reveal any personal contact information about you. If you decide to correspond through your own email program make sure to use an anonymous username. Never include your last name, real email address, personal Web site URL, home address, phone number, place of work, or any other identifying information in your profile or initial emails you exchange with other members.

Furthermore, when using your own email, make sure your email signature file is turned off, or does not include identifying information. Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for this information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it. Take all the time you need to become comfortable with someone before revealing any person contact information. Ask questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers. Trust your instincts, move cautiously and be selective.

Practice caution and common sense

Careful, well-thought decisions generally lead to better results in dating, and this is certainly true with online dating too. Suitors must earn your trust gradually through consistently forthright behaviour.

Your job is to take all the time you need to test for a trustworthy person, and pay careful attention along the way. Take a relatively conservative approach to trusting anyone you meet online. If you think someone is lying, it is likely that they are, so act accordingly. Move on to someone you can eventually trust. Conduct yourself and your romances in a responsible manner. Don't fall in love at the click of a mouse. Don't become prematurely intimate with someone, even if that intimacy only occurs online.

Ask for a photo

A photo will give you a good idea of the person's appearance. In fact, it's best to view several images of this person in a variety of settings: casual, formal, indoor, outdoors. If he or she continuously comes up with an excuse, it may be because that person has something to hide. A person may also send you a photo of somebody else. Be cautious.

A phone call can provide valuable insight into a person's communication and social skills. Do not give out your personal phone number. Instead, try a cell phone number or make arrangements to call from a pay phone. Only furnish your phone number when you feel comfortable doing so.

Only meet when ready

The advantage of meeting and interacting online is that you can gradually collect information about your potential partner before making the decision to meet in person. There is never an obligation to meet anyone and you can always change your mind if you do decide to arrange a meeting!

Warning signs

Stay away from people exhibiting behaviour such as demeaning, disrespectful, or physically inappropriate comments. Anger and intense frustration may be attempts to pressure or control you so ignore these people as well. Below are a few more things to watch out for:

  • Provides inconsistent information on physical and personality characteristics.
  • Refuses a phone conversation after establishing an online relationship.
  • Will not provide direct answers to direct questions.
  • His or her online persona is significantly different than in person.
  • Refuses to introduce you to friends, co-workers or family members.


Meeting in person for the first time

Never arrange for your date to pick you up at home. Use your own transportation and choose a suitable public location where many people are present and always take a friend with you. Be sure to tell someone where you're meeting and at what time you'll be returning. Provide this person with your date's name and telephone number. A coffee house or restaurant is always a good place to meet. Activities such as bike rides or hiking may begin in public locations but wind up in a remote setting so these activities should be avoided until trust is established.

Travelling Outside Your Area

Always use your own transportation. Never allow your date to make the arrangements. Avoid meeting at locations that seem unsafe, awkward, or inappropriate. Do not leave without informing a friend or family member of where you're going and who you're meeting. Leave your contact information and take a cell phone with you if you can. Always trust your gut instincts and immediately return to your hotel if you sense something isn't quite right.

When in doubt, get out

It's always better to be safe than sorry. When presented with an unsafe situation just leave. Don't worry about what another person may think of you. Your safety is obviously more important.

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us.

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