Searching for your honey in the buzzing hive of the online world? Online dating can be tough, and even dangerous. In some extreme cases, online dating horror stories have even led to lawsuits.
But with some helpful tips in mind, finding that special someone on the Internet can also be pretty sweet.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, here are our Top 10 online dating tips:
- Beware of misrepresentation. Whether its fudging on age, weight, or even a very flatteringly angled photo, be prepared that your online sweetheart may be skewing major facts about his or her appearance or identity.
- Single women: Beware of scams. Online dating scams tend to target a specific demographic, and it just happens to be single women over the age of 40. If this is you, exercise caution to protect yourself from potential con artists.
- Think twice before using Craigslist to date. Craigslist may be a perfect forum for finding a new roommate or picking up a discounted bookcase. But as some real-life cases have shown, dangerous criminals may be lurking on the online classified website.
- Dating apps can be used to solve crimes. Apps like OkCupid are multipurposed, as some users have found. For example, you can also use them to lure a thief and retrieve your stolen phone.
- Don't send dirty pics by phone, even on Snapchat. Think you're really clever sending revealing selfies on Snapchat, which promises to delete your messages within 10 seconds? Well you won't be smiling if your private data gets published.
- Taking selfies in uniform can get you in trouble. It may be tempting to snap a selfie for your dating profile while in your office or in your work uniform. Take a lesson from #copselfies and just don't.
- No sexting at work. If you're an adult, you can wait until after work is over to sext your online boo about the dirty things you plan to do to him or her. Don't sext while at work.
- Don't share sensitive information. Post a well-lit photo of your face on your profile, but don't include a photo of your passport or Social Security card. Sharing sensitive information will make you a target for identity thieves.
- Don't lie. Lying is a poor dating strategy. Not only does it give the impression that you're not dating material, it may provide fodder for a future divorce case.
- Fish in a big pool. Economist Paul Oyer shared this insight with The New York Times' Economix: "go to a 'thick' market where there are more options." Niche sites are great if you have a big deal breaker (i.e., your date must be Christian) but getting too specific might leave you with fewer options.