I'm a big believer in having a lot of prospects to choose
between, and despite some reservations I mention in "The Pitfalls of CyberLove", you
could find an interesting prospect through online
dating/matchmaking services or plain old e-mail.
The problem with taking a next step is that you probably
know nothing about the person other than what he or she has
told you. Since this situation also applies to responses
from classified ads, my advice applies to them, too.
However, men don't seem to worry much about meeting strange
ladies, despite the movie "Fatal Attraction"; so guys,
you're excused unless you're curious, and I'll direct my
advice primarily to you ladies.
The Phone Number Exchange
The first step beyond the anonymity of e-mail or a voice
mailbox tied to a classified ad is exchanging phone numbers
so you can schmooze a little. It's important for you to
understand that this is an irreversible step (your
phone number can be traced to your address). I endorse the
advice given by Phyllis Phlegar in her "Love On Line" to
not give out your number to a
stranger, but rather get his number and then call him from a
public phone some distance from your home.
The First Meeting
If he sounds both interesting and safe over the phone, I'd
still hold off on giving him your number until you've met --
of course in a public place.
"Guidelines for that First
Date" takes the situation from there, but there's one
further precaution I'd suggest taking with a complete
stranger: think about setting up the meeting so that it
would be difficult or impossible for him to follow you home.
Chances are you'll never have to use a devious retreat, but
if you start to get bad vibes from this guy, you'll be very
glad you planned ahead.
Related Keywords: Dating Strategies, Over-Romanticizing
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