We've all heard about them, sometimes its hearsay, sometimes its first hand. But dating disasters have been a part of courting since getting to know someone became a prerequisite to having a relationship with them.
Pre internet, there were a whole range of potential dangers to dating. When dating, you are getting to know someone. This in itself entails you do not know them, yet you are spending time with them. This creates a risk which, when gone wrong turns into a dating disaster. Most of the time a dating disaster is benign and we lose is a few hours, but hopefully gain a lesson in life and love. Sometimes though, a dating disaster is not so benign and we are actually in some sort of danger, either physically or financially. It is from these experiences that dating disaster legends are born. Unfortunately, in their infamy, these legend have enough power to turn people away from looking for love and happiness.
When internet came to dating, nothing really changed. For someone who is interested in finding love, at some stage you have to meet people in real life and spend time getting to know them. The only thing the internet changed was the method of introduction. Unfortunately though, many people don't have the sense to understand this. As such, when using the internet and dating sites to meet people, the following two mistakes are common:
You believe using the internet to meet and communicate with people is actually getting to know them. Therefore, when the real life meeting occurs, you have a false belief the potential partner is already "known" and therefore dispense with your typical early dating precautions.
When things go wrong, you blame the internet as the medium, rather than the fact that the person you were dating was just wrong for you. Thats where such sayings as "He must have been a freak, that's why he is on the internet" come from.
These mistakes are often exacerbated by a number of niche (but very popular) dating sites in the adult dating industry, where finding a no strings sex partner (or partners...) is called dating. It is not dating. In fact, internet dating itself is not dating. All online dating sites are, are introductions services. An internet dating site is the same as a newspaper ad, or singles personals in a magazine, or a pre internet singles party. It is a forum where you can meet people, get their contacts, and that is all. The more you understand this, the safer your dating experiences will be and the more successful you will be in finding your partners.
At Dating Down Under, we put safety in dating first. How can you have a successful dating experience if it is not a safe dating experience? For this reason you'll find a plethora of tips and guidelines about safety and online dating throughout the website. Make sure you visit our website for more tips and information. Generally though, the following guidelines are essential:
Recognise that internet dating is only an introductions service. While communicating with email, chat and IM may be fun, it is NOT getting to know someone.
Recognise that certain internet dating sites attract certain types of "undesirable" people. So research specific sites before you join them. Our Dating Site Reviews are are good place to start your research.
Use internet communications as an initial screening process, but not at the expense of your usual real life screening processes and common sense
When you progress your dating into the real world (Ie. when you decide to really meet someone you found on the internet) recognise the person you have been communicating with may have been a facade. So approach the situationwith the same caution you would with any first date. And start to get to know the person. YES. This is your first date. NO. Those long chat room sessions were not.
If you are ever unsure, particularly in the early stages, put safety first.
Don't give up because of a bad experience. Remember, all the internet is, is another place to meet people. You could just as easily have met this "bad experience" at a bar, sports event, church or social group.