Online dating may be more popular than ever, with many dating sites now offering matches for specialty groups such as those over the age of 50 or those of a certain ethnic group. Even though online dating may be very popular, this doesn't mean you're automatically guaranteed success at finding a match for yourself if you use such a service. Note a few tips for successfully dating online while still keeping yourself safe at the same time.
1. Get a throwaway email address
A throwaway email address means one you create just for dating; you don't want to give out your work email address or a personal email address, in case you meet someone who simply won't stop sending messages. By creating a throwaway address through a free site, you can shut it down when needed without compromising the security of your real email addresses.
2. Use phone chats
Phone chats are a good way to get to know someone when you're ready to go past email exchanges but aren't sure if you're ready to meet in person. A phone chat allows you to get to know their mannerisms, how they respond to your conversations, if they have a sense of humor, and the like. If you're concerned about giving out your phone number, you might consider adding a second phone to your current cell phone service; an older model that isn't a smartphone and that is added on to your current service can often be very cheap and a worthwhile investment for dating.
3. Try online chat rooms
Online chat rooms are also a good way to get to know someone before you actually meet in person. You can see how they look, note their overall style, and get to know how they communicate in person without actually being there in person. It's a safe and easy alternative to a first date, and it also makes it easier to end the date if you're not comfortable with them. In a chat room, you can simply say that you need to leave and then shut down your computer without having to wait for a ride to take you home, split the restaurant check, and so on.
4. Widen your horizons
When online dating, widen your horizons by not being overly selective in what you're looking for or with how you describe yourself. Remember that some people who create online dating profiles may not list every single one of their characteristics, so if you try to narrow your search by a particular hobby or profession, a perfectly good match might not show up. It's better to have too many choices that you need to go through than not enough choices, so widen your search when you use any online dating service.