If You’re Nervous About Joining a Dating Site

It’s natural to be nervous, or even scared, the first time you join a dating site. You’re unsure of yourself, the rules, and what to expect. Some people will be encouraging, and some will warn you that you’re crazy to do it and will probably end up dead.

With 4 years of experience under my belt, I can tell you that online dating can be a lot of fun. These days it’s considered respectable, and with the proper precautions, it’s very safe.

Be prepared to meet some interesting and fun men. I have several male friends that I met online; we didn’t hit it off romantically, but we did as platonic friends.

Remember to maintain a certain amount of skepticism when you read the profiles. You and I are honest in our profiles, but that doesn’t mean everyone is. People on the Internet can be whoever they want to be. Among the important things both men and women lie about is their gender, age, looks, occupation, marital status, and criminal background.

Basic guidelines for online dating include the following:

  1. NEVER give your last name, address or telephone number to someone you don’t know. Don’t tell them where you work, either. Not everyone out there is who they say they are. If you have children, this is even more important. Predators stalk the Internet and sometimes search dating sites for lonely women and/or women with children. Don’t let that deter you – just be aware of it and be cautious.
  2. Get a separate e-mail address just for Internet dating sites. You can get a free Gail, Hotmail, or Yahoo account in a matter of minutes, and they’re not traceable back to your home or computer. When you set it up, don’t use your real name or other personal information as the address.
  3. If you decide to talk to someone you’ve met online, give them your cell phone number, not your home phone. Don’t give your full name in your voicemail message. Don’t give out your home phone number until you have gotten to know the person and feel completely comfortable. If it’s the right person, he won’t give you a hard time about this – he’ll understand. Same thing with your last name.
  4. Pay attention to emails and conversations. Many people give themselves away without even realizing it. Some guys will copy and paste the same email to several women, just to see who responds, so make sure it’s not a generic email. The first email should refer to things you’ve said in your profile. Watch for red flags. If there are contradictions in his stories, any show of temper, jealousy, control issues, rudeness, or talk about sex right at the beginning, drop him.
  5. You don’t have to be polite. If you feel uncomfortable about how a guy looks, his spelling, his vocabulary, his choice of topics to talk about, ANYTHING AT ALL, just stop the contact cold. This can be hard for women, but remember: you don’t owe him any explanation. Don’t feel guilty or worry about hurting his feelings. He’ll move on.
  6. Google the person before you meet. Some people say this is rude – I say it’s smart. Make sure he’s who he says he is and works where he told you. In most states you can do a free online public records search to make sure he’s really divorced, doesn’t have a restraining order against him, and is not a wife-beater or a felon. Keep in mind a DUI could indicate a drinking problem.
  7. Always meet in a very public place for the first time. Instead of a coffee shop, think about the mall as good place to meet. It will be easier to leave if you decide things aren’t going well, and you can leave without him knowing what kind of car you’re driving.
  8. Never take a first time date back to your home, or go to his home. Anyone can be charming and seem wonderful for a few hours. Make this a hard and fast rule, no matter how well the date goes or how attracted you are. If he pressures you on this issue, view it as a huge red flag. Even the biggest “horndog” doesn’t expect anything on the first date.
  9. Keep it local. The last thing you need is to get caught up with someone in another state, and then find yourself flying or driving somewhere distant to meet someone you’ve been communicating with via email and the phone. Who knows what you’ll encounter.
  10. Trust your gut. I can’t emphasize this enough. Once, I didn’t see the guy’s photo until after we’d had several phone conversations. When he emailed it to me I got chills down my spine – but I set aside my instinctual reaction, since he appeared to be a perfectly normal looking guy. Turned out he had been in prison for murder. I learned my lesson there.

I have enjoyed most of my online dating experiences. Almost all the guys I have met have been normal guys…some are looking for a relationship, some are looking for sex, and most don’t know what they’re looking for. The key is to stay safe, relax, and have some fun. Maybe you’ll even meet the man of your dreams.

Written by Kay
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2 Responses to “If You’re Nervous About Joining a Dating Site”

  1. Kat says:

    Honestly… with as many people that I’ve met from online in bad places, I don’t know how I’m still alive! I am so thankful that my unwise decisions did not prevent me from enjoying many things in life.

  2. elena says:


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