At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security." -Jodi Rell
A few days ago, I had a talk with some of my residents about online dating. I think this information is important to share!
There was a study which was recently released within the past two months about online dating statistics. I'll include some of the really interesting finds below. If you want to read more about the study click here.
Online dating statistics:
-Current number of single people in the US: 54,250,000 (plenty of fish in the sea!)
- Total number of people in the US who have tried online dating: 41,250,000
-Total eHarmony members: 15,500,000
-Total Match members: 21,575,000
-Percent of male online dating users: 52.4%
-Percent of female online dating users: 47.6%
-Percent of marriages in the last year in which the couples met on a dating site:17%
-Percent of current committed relationships which began online: 20%
So there are some very interesting things to be taken from these numbers. The video below also includes some statistics on racial preferences seen in online dating, check it out! Times are changing, more and more people are using this method to meet the love of their life. Having one out of ever 5 relationships starting online is a significant number and it is sure to only grow in the future. With that being said, it is important to be safe and smart if you decide to go down this route.
I have done a little research and have compiled a list of online dating tips to keep you safe. These tips are from Match, the Huffington post, Chemistry.com, US News and World Report, WikiHow, and eHarmony. Enjoy :)
Sharing isn't always caring:
- Do not share financial or personal information. This includes:
- Bank/credit card info
- Social security number
-Full name (until you are comfortable)
-If sharing a computer with others, make sure your dating info doesn't automatically log you in
- Keep personal information out of your user name
-Never wire them money
-Quickly asks to talk outside the dating website
-Claims they are from the US, but are currently traveling or living/working abroad
-Asks for money
-Vanishes from the site and reappears under different user name
-Claims love immediately or talks about destiny or fate (Do not date Ted Mosby!)
-Claims to be recently widowed
-Asks for address to send gifts
-Makes a lot of grammar/spelling errors
-Sends messages containing strange links to 3rd party websites
-Says they are married or are a minor
-Send harassing or offensive messages
-Plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event or business deal goes sour
-Any form of stalking, it is illegal in ALL 50 states!
-Block any users that make you uncomfortable
-Don't be afraid to report them if they overstep their boundaries
-Take it at your own pace, there is no rush
-Follow your gut, if it feels off or something is not right, it probably is!
-Use reverse image search on their pictures via Google images or TinEye to see if it is really them
-Ask same questions in different ways to see if their stories match up
The First Date:
-Meet in a public area at a reasonable hour
- Do not go to a private place after until you are sure it will be okay, any doubt, don't do it!
-Keep a cell phone on your person at all times
- Let friend know where you are and who you are meeting
- Drive yourself or take a taxi, be in control of your way out
-Keep an eye on your drink at all times
Further steps to keep you safe:
-Boost the security of your social media pages, many scammers take profile pictures of other people
- Be careful using foursquare or instagram, they can show your location
- Have a buddy keep an eye on you while on the date.
-Send a secret signal when you're comfortable for them to leave
-Use Google voice to create a phone number exclusive to dating, have it forward to your cell phone so your date doesn't have your real number
-Common friends on Facebook? Follow through, they might not know that person either!
- Talk via Skype or Facetime before meeting to ensure they are a real person
- Ask for a recent picture
This can be a very exciting time, but always keep your guard up. In many ways this is the most vulnerable state you could be in, so be smart about your decisions. There are lots of great people out, even I have given it a shot a few times, but remember they are still strangers. If they are good people, they will understand your caution and will respect it. Stay safe everyone and enjoy yourselves! :)
Question Time: Have you tried online dating? Do you have any stories from that experience?