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3 Tips To Safe Online Dating For Women

Robyn Gardner and her boyfriendAbout a month ago, I was working out in a hotel gym. I love hotel gyms! With no audio book on my iPod and my iPad battery drained to 3%, I was left with only the TV to keep me entertained while striving for my goal of an hour on the elliptical. Sweating off the 350 calories that would allow me to justify two glasses of wine at dinner, I watched Headline News columnist Nancy Grace report on the disappearance of a beautiful blond woman in Aruba on August 2nd. The beautiful 35-year old, surgically-enhanced, unemployed blond who was missing had been accompanying, Gary Giordano, a man she hardly knew—a man who was not her boyfriend. Now, she was presumably dead.

Evidently, she knew that Gary Giordano had a history violence towards women, and yet she still agreed to go away with him. I ask myself "what the fuck was she thinking!" and, what kind of boyfriend lets his girlfriend go on vacation with another man? To a romantic, remote tropical island, no less! The whole thing sounds awfully suspicious and makes me wonder if she met her boyfriend and this Gary character on one of the many online dating sites geared towards arrangements. Robyn had recently lost her job. In this economy, one could assume she was a little desperate. Sugar daddies, friends with benefits, arrangements—whatever you want to call it—it’s dangerous! If Robyn Gardner does turn up, which by this point is highly unlikely, I hope she realizes how stupid she was being.

I know you don't want to hear it, but as a woman, you are vulnerable and you need to protect yourself. Whether you are on match.com, Jdate, or one of those crazy arrangement sites, you need to be smart when it comes to online dating. Let a man earn your trust, never act desperate, and always employ these three tips for safe online dating:

1. Never Use Your Real Name: The Internet makes stalking super easy. Background check websites like Intellius provide an inexpensive means of finding out intimate details of your life such as full name, age, address, relatives, and phone numbers. Plus, if he finds you on Facebook, then he can learn even more private details about your life. Until you know someone reasonably well, use a nickname. If he gets upset when you later tell him your real name, then he’s not a gentleman. Any reasonable man will respect you for putting your safety first.

2. Never Let Him Pick You Up: A gentleman will always ask if he can pick you up. And, a gentleman will always understand if you respectfully decline. You must remember that you do not know this person, you do not know where he lives, and you do not even know if he’s telling you his real name, occupation, etc. Agree to meet on neutral ground. Do not have him meet you at your favorite café or restaurant. Make sure it’s somewhere you don’t go on a regular basis, but make sure it’s somewhere public with lots of people.

3. Do Your Research: Google exists. Why not take full advantage of it. See what you can find out about this guy online. See if you can find him on Facebook. See if you can confirm what company he says he works for, and if you feel the least bit wary, cancel your date.


If you like my blogs, you're going to love my novel, "Blow Me". It's a Sex and the City style novel about three girls looking for love in the City of Angeles. It's available on Amazon.comBarnes&Noble.com,Googlebooks, and my website. Download a copy or buy the paperback and let me know what you think!

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Reader Comments (5)

Back when I was young and dumb, I agreed to meet this very promising sounding 35 year old doctor (I was 31) for a lunch date. ( I had replied to his personal ad). Back then there was yahoo "people search" which was free. I looked him up but the only close match was age 46- and there was no way my soon to be prince charming was deceiving me!
Cut to me in the restaurant bathroom desparately trying to decide whether to call him out on his "lie" or to just eat lunch and then get out fast. Since I driven 30 minutes to meet him, I decided to have lunch and certainly let him pay.
I am married now so can look back and laugh...but ladies take Lennie's good advise.
Plus the more difficult you make it for him to meet you and he still follows through
the higher the chance you might have a keeper.

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

The most important one of all is "Phone a Friend." Let someone know who you are meeting, where you are meeting and call her when you get back safely. In our book, this is No.1 on the list. Good points to follow.

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Whitlock

Great addition to my list, Lisa. Thank you!

October 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Thank You so much for posting. No everyone on line is Prince Charming, with good intentions and not every woman is Miss right. Trust Your instincts. Be safe and at the first sign of anger or violence, run like hell and contact the authorities.. Everyone deserves happiness but being delusional could cost you your life.

October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicen

If women start using fake names then men will do so as well and #3 will become a moot point. It seems like you are saying it's "safety" for a woman to research a man, but it's "creepy" and "dangerous" for a man to look up information on a woman.

I say use some common sense. The Internet sites don't require you to give out your full name anyway. There's no reason to lie, but you don't have to give out extra information either. Also, would definitely let someone know where you will be and who you are supposed to be meeting. Meet in a very public place with a lot of activity. I'd valet if possible so that there are attentive eyes on you from the time you leave your car until you return to your car.

October 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick Name

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