By now you already know the best online hangouts, as well as how to set up a great profile. At this point it’s up to you to decide the extent to which you want your online love affairs to go. While there are people online who are looking for serious committed relationships, there are also people who are interested in more casual encounters – whether these encounters are real or virtual. Regardless of what you’re looking for online, it’s still important to be cautious.
People participating in cybersex say that they have engaged in some of the most satisfying sex they have ever experienced. While the anonymity and freedom of cybersex can help you let go of your inhibitions and let you fulfill your fantasies, it still helps to establish a level of trust with people you have cybersex with. Establish some ground rules first so that you enjoy the experience and don’t have to worry about feeling violated or offended. Also, while it is quite normal to engage in cybersex, there are people out there who can and will track you down if you are not cautious. Just remember not to give out sensitive personal information until you have gotten to know your online partner for a while.
Nowadays there are available programs that allow to users to scan other users in a chat room and find out their geographic location using their IP addresses. In addition, by means of your IP address your computer’s unique identification number can be traced – something that ‘curious’ people might take advantage of. There are also several Trojan viruses that a sophisticated user might install inside of your computer when sending you different files (such as a photo or voice sample). These Trojans are dangerous because they allow a user to run your computer on the internet as if it was theirs. Make sure that you also do not give your financial information and account passwords to strangers online – no matter how nice and trustworthy they might seem. You may be genuinely looking for a real romantic connection on the internet, but there are people out there who also want to take advantage of you. So be careful, take it slow, and trust your instincts.
Things to Watch Out For…
Sometimes, there are ‘red flags’ that pop up intuitively when you’re reading online profiles or talking to a potential online lover. Don’t ignore these red flags! If your gut is telling you that something is wrong or simply ‘off’, you should pay attention and be more cautious. Here are five examples that usually set off your red flag or indicate that something is wrong:
• Your online lover tends to be inconsistent. Whether it’s about her job, her pets, her grades, etc. it doesn’t matter. Inconsistency often means lying. But don’t jump to conclusions – make sure that you are clear to point out these inconsistencies. Sometimes, it’s simply a misunderstanding of the facts.
• Your online lover is overly needy of your attention, time, or money. Ifyou’re looking for a relationship, you deserve nothing less than a healthy relationship. You don’t need an emotional vampire who will just suck you dry. It’s not your job to make other people happy with themselves, and it’s not your job to boost their self-esteem.
• You are being pressured into revealing personal information and details. Odds are, this person will only take advantage of you. Decent, wellmeaning people online know that you shouldn’t pressure someone into giving personal information before a face-to-face meeting. Good people know how to build trust first. If you’re being pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do, tell your online lover firmly about this. If he or she still won’t stop, then it’s time to terminate the relationship.
• If your online lover doesn’t want to send you a photograph after a few weeks of good online communication, then something is obviously wrong. Even if he or she has excuses about not owning a digital camera or scanner, it’s very easily to get your photo online by using the computer of friends or a local computer shop. So your lover basically has no excuse to not send you a photo.
• While it’s impossible to find someone who is 100% exactly compatible with you, you shouldn’t attempt to forge a strong romantic relationship with people whose views on religion and politics are completely opposed to yours – especially if they’re being strongly vocal about it. However, if you want to have a marriage that will most likely end in divorce, this is the route to take. In both the offline and online dating scene, people have to be aware of these little indicators that show signs of trouble. By catching these problems early on, you won’t be able to subject yourself to pain and humiliation.
After all, when you’re dating, your priority should be your own safety and happiness. If you feel that the other person can endanger that, then he or she is obviously not meant for you.