How to Safely Reply to Strangers
As you previously read, in the first part of our safe online dating series, meeting a stranger can be a breath of fresh air. You are able to completely start your dating life over without anything from his or your past creeping up. You allow the information to flow as freely as you would like without any pressure to reveal more than you want to at any given time. But, when you meet these strangers online it is important to find a reliable dating source. So you have gotten here, what’s next?
You need to know how to safely reply to strangers online. No matter what site you go on, there is always going to be at least a few messages that are completely ridiculous. They are normally instant replies, they ask you for your personal information and worst of all they just start talking about how gorgeous and sexy they are and all of the crazy things they want to do to you (unfortunately it is from a gender that you aren’t in to). So those are your normal, instant delete messages.
Then there are those, hmmm…they sound good but are they too good to be true replies. These you might read a few times before deciding which pile they go to. Remember, if they are instantly there waiting for you just as you finished creating your profile, they go to the delete section. Then come the messages that you receive a few days later, they seem pretty informative and actually relate to you. This means that this person actually found you online, read your profile and has something in common with you.
With these later messages, they are definitely worth a reply in some cases. So don’t get “CRH” or Click Reply Happy just yet. Take the time out to check out their profile. Just because they might, sorta be interested in you, it doesn’t mean that you will be head over heels interested in them. Don’t have time to go through their profiles? Then don’t date online. There is a purpose and meaning behind checking out these profiles. You don’t have to go through everyone. But of the people that reply to you, you better go through their profiles before replying.
Going to their profile will tell you many things, you just need to know what you are looking for. Do they have a picture? What kind of information is online? Do they have realistic hobbies and interests? Do they have any specific information like where they work, places they volunteer at or public clubs that they are involved in? This information will help you turn an unsafe encounter into a safe one. If they don’t have any of this information, then cease to continue any further. Click Delete.
If they do have this information, then reply back. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, just a simple “Hey, thanks for your reply. I love … I checked out your profile and I think that it is amazing that you do … Let’s talk soon.” This reply is simple, shows that you are interested in learning more about the potential date but it doesn’t reveal anything major about yourself. It allows the conversation to continue.
If this person is interested, he or she will reply back and you can generate a genuine conversation. People who aren’t really interested in you will most likely not put that much effort into continuing to reply. There are a few who may stick around for the ride, but eventually they will begin to ask you for information that is inappropriate such as your address, banking numbers, social security number, wiring them money, etc. Once this happens, it’s time to delete them from your memory no matter how fun it was to talk with them. The best piece of advice is to stick it out with shorter conversations over a good amount of time, then maybe instant chatting or skyping.
Skype is a great tool to use because you can connect with this person and see them over a camera. You will get a sense of their humor, where they live and maybe they will share more information with you since you can see what’s going on around them. Let’s say that this online relationship develops into a first date, if you are unsatisfied with the date, this person only has your skype account, which means that you won’t be bothered by miscellaneous phone calls and text messages at all hours.
Giving out your personal information is always risky. Even when you meet someone at a bar, it is more common to say friend me on Facebook rather than handing over your cell number. The same thing applies for online dating. Link up on social networking sites. It will allow you to see what’s going on in their life, what their friends are like and seeing photos. Once you have established that this is someone you feel comfortable with, then consider taking it to the next level.
In the next part of our Dating Safety Series, we will take you through how to establish a great, safe first date with your online pal.