Back to Back Issues Page
Love Bytes, Issue #012 -- Internet Dating: Weasels On the Web- Ready To Meet?
May 01, 2009


Love Bytes, Issue #012 -- Internet Dating: Weasels On the Web!- Ready To Meet?
May 01, 2009

Tip: This ezine is a visual experience. Set your email to html instead of text only to enjoy our great graphics and photos. Gmail users: click on the Display Images Below & Show Quoted Text links.


 

                

"All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners & change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak & hope. All the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there's someone perfect who might be searching for us".

~From The Wonder Years (1988)


Dating Tips: Weasels on the Web?

               

Of course there are. Common sense tells you that there are bound to be some snake-oil salesmen among the innocents just looking for a date online. And that is a problem. There's the guy in Atlantic City who was found guilty of wire fraud for scamming ten women around the country with fake Internet profiles. He'd tell women he met online that he needed money to move to their area, then abscond with the loot. (There's one born every minute, right?)

With the explosion in popularity of online dating sites, some legislators and lawyers have started to clamor for something to be done about fraud and resulting heartbreak in the online dating industry.

But, lawsuits against Internet dating sites for the false statements of customers have mostly gone nowhere, in part because Congress basically immunized such Web sites with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which says that providers can't be held liable for the lies of third parties. You just can't legislate to protect people from their own stupidity!

Another reason the Internet dating industry has met with such little regulation: it works! According to a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a nonprofit research organization, 17% of online personals users said their efforts resulted in a long-term relationship or marriage. And 15% of American adults say they know someone who has married or been in a long-term relationship with someone they met online. Serious criminal complaints, on the other hand, are fairly rare.

As with many things Internet, it really comes down to an issue of privacy. People like dating in cyberspace in part because they can do it in the privacy of their own home or office. Do we really want the cyberlove police invading yet another part of our private lives?

The courts, Congress, dating sites and their clients pretty much all agree that for love to blossom on the Web, there must be privacy and ample space for fantasy and hope.



Online Romance... Ready To Meet?

Okay, you've been exchanging emails and texting, and maybe even talked for hours on the phone. He seems great... but is he too good to be true? Maybe it's time to find out.

You’ve heard stories of successful internet romances... and then there are the horror stories of deception and worse. How can you safely connect with your new internet honey? Do you really want to? Follow our tips to bring on the inevitable... the meeting. [Although aimed at women, our article can help men understand a woman's point of view and create a great first impression].

Tip #1- Take it slow and easy. Allow your online relationship to unfold naturally... don't push for a meeting until your gut tells you it's time. On the other hand, if you have spent weeks communicating... don't let this drag on forever. Take it offline, and find out if there's something worthy going on, or a waste of time.

Tip #2- Use the technology. Before meeting in person, meet via a webcam. This is a great intermediate bridge, and your chat buddy should jump at the suggestion. If he gives excuses why he can’t connect a webcam, then maybe you should reassess the romance. Why wouldn’t he want to see you before meeting in person? Webcams cost about $20 at Wal-Mart and a snap to hook up. So if your internet lover stalls on the webcam request, be very suspicious and think twice about the whole thing. A few webcam conversations and everything still feels right? Time to meet in person.

Tip #3- Out of town? Why is it that you always hear the story of the woman flying out to meet the man? We recommend the woman NOT to be traveling to the man's town. She's out of her own territory and could easily become vulnerable and trapped. If travel is involved, the man needs to come to the woman. And he needs to get his own motel room. And pay for it himself. Absolutely.

Tip #4- Local romance? Good! Better chance of success if you already live in the same town. Make a date to meet in neutral territory, in a public place. Do NOT agree to meet at his place, and do NOT give him your address yet... too early. A busy coffee shop or restaurant is good. Avoid bars at first. Think first date. Where would you go for a first date with a traditional off line romance?

Tip #5- Prepare for reality shock. It's easy to disguise yourself online. And when you two come face to face, everything is going to change. You should also be prepared for the real person not matching the internet persona. You may be disappointed to find that the chemistry "just ain't there". Hopefully, you can endure and see the date through. But, if things really go badly, and you just don't feel comfortable, you need a pre-planned escape hatch.

Tip #6- Plan an escape. Arrange to have a friend call your cell phone at a planned time, say 1/2 hour into the date. Have one code word that will alert your friend you need rescuing from the date and an alternate code word to let them know it's going well. If the worse case scenario happens, then you can use the call as an excuse to leave. Plan ahead what you will say if your "emergency call" becomes necessary. A cup of coffee can be endured, but don't spend 4 hours on dinner and a movie with a total loser. Do you both a favor and get outta there.

***********

You might be a very streetwise woman, and this may all sound very elementary to you. But you'd be surprised at how many women fail to prepare themselves emotionally and protect themselves physically by planning ahead. Perhaps those natural instincts and common sense go by the wayside in a relationship built upon hours spent texting each other. You may feel you know him much better than you really do. Guess what? You don't know him at all!

So our advice is... view your first meeting the same way you would view any first date with a stranger. Sure you’ve spent hours discussing everything you can think of, but when you meet in person, there's going to be a moment of awkwardness as you learn to respond to each other without a keyboard. If all goes well on the first date, then both of you will benefit by allowing the normal process of getting to know each other to unfold.

We hope you are one of the happy-ending internet romance stories... so go for it, and good luck!
 


We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Love Bytes Ezine. Each month, we will bring you another inspiring photo, quote or poem, plus fresh new articles on love, intimacy, dating and relationships.

                           

 Cause if you don't have love, nothing else matters...
           

~Stella and the girls from Findlove-Keeplove.com

P.S.: For a great summary of online dating tips and safety on the 'net, visit Findlove-Keeplove's Online Dating Tips.

Back to Back Issues Page