We now live in an age you can search online for everything your heart desires. Food, Books, TV’s Computers, Houses, Cars anything your little lustral heart can desire. But what if a lustral boy’s lustral heart desires a certain Mr Right? Or even a certain Mr Right Now? Dare we surf the internet and brave those treacherous tides to find ourselves a mate, and if we do, how do we walk away from our online flirtations unscathed?
The truth is that the world of internet dating is not as scary as some people may think. When you do it right it’s no different than being out on the prowl in your favourite night club. You look around and see a lot of people, then you look through until you find someone you decide you like, then you casually investigate to make sure your attraction is well founded, and then you take the plunge and make contact. The difference with doing it online is that you have the luxury of doing this from the privacy of your own home, with your own music, and your own alcohol, and no bouncers to tell you off if you get a little bit carried away.
Of course the major difference with trailblazing through the online maze of men, is that you have to be a bit of a detective to figure out if your new attractions is a stud or a dud.
The first thing that you have to realise is this, what you see is not always what you get. When you are out on the prowl in your favourite night spot then you see a cute boy and you know he is cute. When you are looking at a little picture on a screen you can’t guarantee that the picture hasn’t been tweaked to make it more flattering. You can’t even guarantee that it is in fact their picture, which sadly is a quite easy thing to make up when you have a computer.
Secondly you need to do your research. If you think of online dating as being similar to online shopping you need to be willing to do your research to get the deal. After all if you are looking for a short term thrill or a long term investment then you need to make sure the product is up to snuff. To that end you should try a different variety of dating websites, you will probably see a few familiar faces, but each service offers something a little different from its competitors, and you will get new people who you may not have seen if you hadn’t put in the time to look.
Before I go any further there is always one thing that you need to keep firmly at the forefront of your mind, and that is your own personal safety. Just like in real life, dating online has its own dangers, and the virtual anonymity of the system means you can potentially land yourself in a situation that you can’t get out of. So I have 5 simple guidelines for maximising your sense of security should you decide to meet someone:
1. Always agree to meet in a public place: If you are looking for a date this can be simple as you can go out to dinner and get to know them. But if this is a one time fling then you need to be very careful and get to know them just as much, as you will still be placing yourself in a vulnerable situation with them, and some elements can take advantage of that.
2. Make sure a friend knows where you are going and who you are with: lets face it, if the guy or gal is a looker than you are going to want to brag. However, on a serious note it’s also a smart move to make sure there is someone who knows where you will be, and who with. That way, if something happens and you don’t feel secure, there is someone out there who will raise the alarm. It can be as simple as asking them to call you at an agreed time to make sure all is well. It can take two minutes and reassure both you and your friends.
3. Always have protection with you: Sometimes a successful first date can lead you up to bed just as quick as a fling. That being said always make sure you have your own stock of prophylactics for such eventualities. Don’t just rely on him to have an ample stock. He might be thinking the same of you, and believe me, in the heat of the moment, when the blood is pumping and things are throbbing you might decide to risk it…. DON’T! Take a couple of condoms and spare yourself the drama of awkward conversations with a doctor later.
4. Make sure you have a way out. This can be simple as making sure you know what time the last train or bus is, or making sure you have ample cash for a cab home. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to leave, but find yourself stuck, then you leave yourself open for someone less scrupulous to take advantage.
5. If things don’t feel right, GET OUT: It happens, sometimes there isn’t so much a spark as there is a fizzle. But if you feel for a moment that there is something wrong with the situation, and you don’t feel comfortable, then you need to remove yourself. You can be diplomatic, you can be blunt, you can ask your friend to call you with a convenient excuse. However you do it, you need to make the decision and you need to go.
I am not saying all this to frighten anyone or put you off. To be honest there is nothing here that you could not have worked out for yourself. When you get down to it, you need to have a bit of common sense, and a healthy amount of caution.
So have fun!
Before I close there is one last thing I want to say about internet dating. It’s meant to be FUN! When you are safe and finding a potential date, then you need to relax and have fun with the person you meet. Whether fun means a furtive tumble in the sack, or night out with dinner and movie, if you aren’t having fun, then it isn’t worth doing.
This is Jason, click, click, double click, signing off.
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