If you’re in the Topeka dating scene, you know that the internet provides a fast, easy way to meet many Topeka singles at once. You can read through dozens of profiles, dismissing the ones that don’t interest you with the click of a button. And as all Topeka singles know, it’s much more efficient to exchange a few emails than it is to go on several agonizing dates.
By the time you meet up in real life, you’re already fairly sure you’re compatible. In fact, you may feel like you’re meeting an old friend rather than a virtual stranger.
But that sense of security can be deceptive. Most Topeka singles who participate in internet dating are honest. They’re single, or widowed, or divorced, and they want to be in a relationship with someone who will love and appreciate them. But the internet can also provide a smokescreen for people who are deceptive or even downright dangerous.
You’ve probably heard the horror stories about internet interactions that went horribly wrong in real life. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid internet dating entirely. It just means you should be smart about it.
Most internet dating sites ask you to enter some basic information about yourself and your interests—a profile. This profile is a quick way for Topeka singles to screen out those with whom they would not be compatible. But it’s possible to put too much information in your profile. Don’t give any information that would allow a harmful person to locate you. For
instance, don’t give out your address, your place of work, your children’s names, or your children’s schools. Some parents don’t mention their children in the profile at all, knowing that single parents can be a magnet for pedophiles.
Your First Contacts
When you’re using an internet matchmaking service, it’s a good idea to use a “throwaway” email address and telephone number. A throwaway is an email address or phone number you could abandon without too much trauma should you encounter a stalker or someone else you don’t want having your personal information. For free and easy to ditch email addresses, consider Yahoo!, hotmail, or gmail. For phone numbers, consider buying a cell phone that you will use only to talk to internet dates.
Your First Date
It goes without saying that you should meet in public for the first time, and for as many times after that as you need to feel comfortable. On that first public date, evaluate several factors including the other person’s honesty and attitude towards the world, and your own gut reactions.
You can easily evaluate honesty by seeing how well the person corresponds to their internet profiles. Almost everybody shaves off a few years or a few pounds, but if the person you meet differs significantly from the person described in the ad, be on guard.
Next, watch how your date moves through the world. Does he refuse to accept “no” for an answer? Is she rude and demanding with your waiter? Does he get falling down drunk and puke on your shoes? Does she talk on her cell phone all through the movie? First dates are usually when people try to make a good impression, so if your date acts badly the first time you meet, don’t expect his or her behavior to improve later.
Finally, what does your gut tell you? Trust your instincts. If for some reason the person doesn’t “feel” right to you, even if you can’t explain your feelings in words, end the night politely, go back online, and try again.