Articles for Dating Couples

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    10 Safety Tips for Online Dating

    When Kyle and Kate Jackson were on the dating scene, they didn’t want to meet people in bars or by chance. Since both of them were shy, they knew that even if they met someone they wouldn’t have the guts to ask the person out.

    “I used to make fun of people who went online to find a date,” says Kate. “Once I got to the point that regular dating wasn’t successful, I decided to give it a try. For me, it made the whole process so much easier.”

    A study published in 2013 by the University of Chicago indicated that 33 percent of couples who married met online. And, a Pew Research study in 2013 revealed that 59 percent of Americans believe that online dating is a good way to meet people.

    When Kate and Kyle met online, they initially communicated by email. After sending emails back and forth, Kyle asked for permission to call Kate. They talked by phone for several weeks and when both felt comfortable, they decided to meet in person.

    “I went to her house where her roommates were present and then we went out on our date,” says Kyle. “We made sure everyone knew where we were.”

    Kate and Kyle met on Valentine’s Day 2008 and dated for a year before getting engaged on Valentine’s Day 2009. They wonder if their paths would have ever crossed without the online dating site.

    If you are considering dating online, keeping yourself safe is a concern. These tips from Online Dating Magazine can help you safely navigate the world of online dating:

    • Arrange to meet in a public place - Never allow your date to pick you up from your home, and do not give out your home address. Consider going out with a group or on a double date when you first meet.

    • Go Dutch – This way you won't feel any obligation to "return" the favor.

    • Realize that alcohol affects your judgment - Not only does it affect your judgment, but alcohol also lessens your inhibitions. Try to avoid alcohol on your first date.

    • Use your own mode of transportation – If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you won’t have to rely on your date to get you home.

    • Don't assume that your date is safe - Never let your guard down on a first date.

    • Avoid secluded areas - Stay in a public place for your first date and avoid secluded areas such as parks.

    • Listen to your gut - If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't, so leave immediately.

    • Always let someone know where you're going - You might even consider arranging a time to call and check in.

    • Give your cell phone number - It's safer to give out a cell phone number instead of your landline (if you still have one).

    • Always remain alert - Even if you’re having a blast and the chemistry is great, it’s a good idea to remain alert the whole evening. Make sure you have a cell phone on you.

    No matter how you meet, taking your time can help you make wiser choices when it comes to choosing a mate.

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    What You Should Know About Fishing for Relationships

    Relationships are complicated, but "catfishing" takes things to a whole new level. A "catfish" uses Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

    Have you heard about the media firestorm concerning Manti Te’o and his serious "girlfriend's" tragic death? The entire country felt sorry for Te'o. The problem: The girlfriend never even existed.

    Here's another example: Four attractive young women tearfully told Dr. Phil of being duped online and believing they were talking to a guy…the same guy. One woman talked with him on the phone every day for three years; they exchanged photographs, texts and were planning their future together. None of these women ever personally met their love interest. They were shocked to discover that "David" was actually a woman. And, they had never spoken with the guy in their photos.

    How can people be so naïve to fall victim to this kind of scam, and why would someone do this? Who knows how or why a person deceives and leads people on. Perhaps it's a need for power and control, a desire for attention or to hurt people. But, the bigger question is – why do people ever fall prey to this? The women pushed red flags aside in the name of love. Maybe people are so desperate for love that they are willing to deceive themselves about what real relationships look like.

    Real Relationships

    Spend time together, talk and get to know each other face to face. Talking on the phone and messaging back and forth only provides a one-dimensional perspective of your relationship. It is impossible to be in love with someone without seeing how they interact with others, how they handle anger and conflict, or how they treat you. You may be in love with who you think they are, but you have no proof that what you have heard or seen is real.

    Look for trust, honesty and openness. If a person can’t meet you, your friends or family in person, stop wasting your time in a fantasy world. Don't settle for anything less than a relationship that is healthy, nurturing and most importantly, REAL.