Advice for Online Dating:  The 10 Rules

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Meeting someone on a date for the first time should prompt you to put safety as a priority concern. When you are on that first date, there is an implied atmosphere of trust that can put you unknowingly into a vulnerable position. Please read these recommendations to help keep your online dating experience pleasant and memorable!


Rule 1


Never let a stranger meet you at home. An infrequent acquaintance still is a stranger. If you meet a person online or have otherwise known that person only for a brief time, and only as a suitor, then you always should meet at a public location– perhaps a restaurant or a coffee shop. No matter how charming or convincing your date may sound, do not allow a fantastic smile and a charming personality to make an exception from this rule. We believe that people basically are good, and that they have good intentions, unless they otherwise prove us wrong. However, do not let your date know where you live until those good intentions have been repeatedly proven to your satisfaction.


Rule 2


Advise a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative about the details of your date. The details should include your date’s name, phone number, and that you met your date on Include details of where you will be going with your date, your method of transportation, your route (if possible), and the time that you expect to be home.


Rule 3


Keep some cash on you. Sometimes you may be stuck paying a bill, or you might need a taxi, or you might lose your bag or wallet. Make sure that you keep $50 hidden on you at all times– but not in your bag or wallet, of course!  Suggestion:  Consider keeping a $50 bill hidden under the footpad inside one of your shoes.


Rule 4


Group dating can make you feel more comfortable. Consider going on the date with a friend, and invite your date to do the same. Having a friend or friends with you certainly can help with any anxiety that you have in meeting someone new, and since you’ll be with friends, you’re in a relatively safer position on that first date. Group dating can add more conversation and fun to an initial meeting, and as an added benefit, after your date you can ask your friends their opinion of your date.


Rule 5


Drink in moderation. “In vino veritas,” or “in wine there is truth” is something that you should remember while you’re on your date. The old Latin saying is true in many cases, because when you’re inebriated or tipsy, your judgment often lapses, and you can say things or do things that you wouldn’t otherwise do if you were fully sober. If you drink too much, your date might form an unwarranted, negative opinion of you, or you may not view your date as the person really is, but rather as what you think you want your date to be (think “beer goggles”). So stay sober, stay in control, and drink moderately, if at all.


Rule 6


Don’t reveal too much personal information too quickly. This first date is your opportunity to discover compatibility and personal chemistry, rather than a moment to reveal extensive personal details about yourself. You should limit any talk of health matters, family matter, stories about former relationships. Instead, talk about lighter matters, such as movies you enjoy, vacations you’ve taken, foods you enjoy, hobbies that you have, etc. So remember to keep the chat “light.”


Rule 7


Do not let your date know where you work. You can say casually that you work in the _____ industry in a general geographic area. Do not discuss any sensitive financial matters. Sure, you may be tempted to show that you are successful in order to impress your date or to show your date that you are financially stable. Don’t do it! Under no circumstances should you reveal any information about investments you may have, property that you own, whether your mortgage is paid off, or the value of anything that you own.

Never let your date see your social security card, and never let your date touch your credit card, debit card, or driver’s license! Even if your date’s credit card gets declined or if your date “forgot” to bring a credit card or sufficient cash, NEVER give your date cash. Your date should have come prepared with enough cash in just in case the date’s credit card was declined. Credit cards often are declined due to automatic fraud alerts that are triggered by credit card companies; eating at a new place that doesn’t fit “the pattern of spend” easily can trigger such a credit card “hold.” You may feel guilty, but pay your part of the meal, get up and LEAVE. As an excuse, you can tell your date that you don’t have enough to pay for the full meal, and that you need to go to your bank’s ATM to withdraw cash. Just pay for your part of the meal, and never go back. This is your chance to escape a potential con artist. Use the opportunity! Consider yourself lucky, and walk away knowing that YOU ARE IN CONTROL, and that you may have saved yourself a lot of sadness in the long run! Even if you have agreed to go “Dutch,” your date has not properly prepared, perhaps by accident, or perhaps intentionally. Beware that there are people, who “serial date” and con others frequently to take advantage of their perceived weakness and generosity.

Be smart. Be in control. Do not allow yourself to be used and victimized.


Rule 8


Red flags. Does your date only give you a cell phone number? Does your date only allow you to call during working hours? Are you only permitted to call your date at certain times during the day? Does your date pick up the phone when you call, or do you have to wait for a return call? Of course there are times when a person cannot pick up the phone, but do you see a pattern developing? Does your date live with a roommate? If so, then how do you know (except what your date tells you) that the roommate is just a roommate? The roommate could be a spouse or a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Sometimes the “roommate” story is just a story, and a date is actually going out with you to bring income into the household, with his “roommate’s full knowledge and encouragement.

Does your date offer personal information, or are you the person who primarily gives out personal information? Do you notice any conflicting facts in your date’s stories? Does something just “not feel right” to you? Does your date “talk big” and “drop names?” Is your date involved in a business that makes so much money that it doesn’t seem reasonable? Remember, jewelry, clothing, and cars can be rented! A sophisticated con artist will not ask you for money. A sophisticated con artist will make you feel as though you want to give them money or other items of value without directly asking you. Those are the most dangerous of scammers to have in your life. They will make you feel as if you are doing the most wonderful thing to help their lives, and they may be playing the exact same con game with other people at the exact same time. Does your date keep the cell phone off or on vibrate when you meet? That could be out of politeness, or it could be that one of your date’s other victims is trying to chat. Do a background check on your date using a reputable online service, such as IntIntellius. You can learn a lot just from your date’s name and phone number. Feel free to trust, but also verify that your trust is correct.


Rule 9


The escape route. Always make sure that you have a plan of escape. Make sure that you carry a fully charged cell phone on the date. Have a friend call you at a certain time, such as when you may be at dinner with your date. And pick up the phone! Don’t text. Talk. If the timing of your date has changed, tell your friend, “I can’t talk right now, but I’ll call you back later.” Make sure that your date hears that. It is a signal that your friend should call YOU in an hour or so. That pre-planning with your friend won’t arouse suspicion from your date. After all, maybe your friend could have something really urgent to tell you and can’t wait for a call-back from you. Take that second call from your friend! Don’t let it go to voicemail. If you miss that call, or if you miss the first call, excuse yourself and tell your date that your friend is having an issue, and that’s why you have to call them back. A polite date won’t mind, and you are being completely honest: Your friend indeed is having an issue! Your friend is concerned that you are doing OK!

When that call arrives, it gives you the perfect opportunity to leave if you are not having a good time, or if you are not feeling comfortable with your date. Use your friend’s call as an excuse. You can tell your your date that you must leave to take care of your friend. Apologize to your date very sincerely– more than once if possible, say that you’re “so very sorry that this happened. Perhaps we can continue this another time.” You are telling the truth, because you have said “perhaps.” Well, “perhaps” also means “perhaps not,” so your conscience can be clear. Of course, if you are having a great time, then tell your friend so, but also let them know that you’ll call them back around a certain time, so that they’ll expect your call. Notice that you’re always keeping yourself safe by having someone secretly watching out for you. And as a friend, you should do the same for your friend if the friend is dating, too! Always keep yourself protected. Good dates can turn bad very quickly, and you need to keep a “parachute” with you at all times!


Rule 10


The human instinct for survival. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrases “go with your gut” or “if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Those phrases exist, because they’re generally true. On a subconscious level, your human instinct for danger often tells you truth or likelihood that your conscious mind chooses to ignore. There is a difference between first-date anxiety and suspicion that something may be wrong. Don’t run away from a nice date merely because you may feel somewhat uncomfortable. But if you are getting that gnawing feeling deep down that something is not right about your date, then it’s pretty likely that your subconscious mind is begging to save you from an unpleasant situation. The subconscious is very powerful, yet it has a quiet voice. Try to hear it, because it is trying to help you! Remember, you always have the right to excuse yourself from a date and leave early.

You are not “required” to sit through a date that makes you feel uncomfortable or even bored. Just be polite, thank your date, and make an excuse to leave, such as that you have a headache, or that the food isn’t agreeing with you. Take your own transportation home! If you came by taxi alone, then leave by taxi alone. If you drove your car there alone, don’t let your date offer to drive you home and then “come back for your car tomorrow.” Just tell your date that you’re OK to get home by yourself. If your date asks to make sure that you got home OK, then offer to send a text when you get home. Send that text, and that should be your last communication with your date. Your date should understand that you were being gracious and polite, but that you just were not interested.




Lastly, here are my reasons for posting this advice. These rules summarizing that advice are my heartfelt attempt to keep you safe, while ensuring that you have a rewarding and fun dating experience. Regardless of whether it is a first date or a second date, always make sure that you are in control of your situation and the circumstances. You only have one life, and you are in the best position to nourish and protect it. Always be alert, and always be in charge of your own destiny. I truly hope that I have helped you by teaching you the tools you need to be safe in the world of dating, both online and offline. Also, please reach out to trusted friends, family, and expert advice whenever you can. Those resources can provide an invaluable source of knowledge to help bring you the relationship happiness that you seek.

My primary purpose in creating these rules is to help keep you safe and to promote genuine dating happiness in people’s lives, and in the broadest manner possible. Thanks to the Internet, I feel grateful to have the opportunity to share this knowledge with all of you, everywhere in the world. Good luck, and please send me a note ( if my advice has been of help to you, or if you can suggest any ways that I may improve my advice! I’m eager and ready to learn more!

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Author’s notes:  This enlightening advice originally appeared on our sister site, The site is very different from any other transgender dating service on the Internet, in that the site is “clean” and discourages any “adult pictures.”  Transgender women and men especially find such a site very attractive, refreshing, and respectful!

If only I had known more of this article’s ideas earlier…. Live and Learn….

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