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Dating Online in the UK plus safety advice

Dating Direct
- Online dating service which is free to join. Find singles in your area.

Advice on Dating Safely

Online dating can be great fun. You get to meet loads of people who you would never otherwise meet, and maybe find true love. However, especially when you meet someone for the first time and during the early stages of getting to know them, you need to put your own safety and well being at the forefront of your mind - there will be just as many dodgy blokes surfing online dating sites as there are in pubs and clubs. My apologies go to any males reading this - this guide is designed for women, as women are usually the ones at risk when "blind" dating. However, if you are concerned that your date will be an axe wielding murderess, then the same safety guidelines will apply to you also.

Tips for remaining safe include:

  • Keeping personal details secret
    Don't reveal your personal details initially - keep your home and work emails, phone numbers, place of work, full name and home address secret, in fact, any details that would allow you to be traced. Emailing prospective dates anonymously through an online dating site, where you just reveal your first name or userid is the best bet.
  • Talking on the phone before meeting
    Once you've corresponded for a while, and you're hoping this guy isn't a nutter, you could try chatting over the phone. You can learn a lot about someone by talking to them - be guided by your instincts and if anything said makes you feel uncomfortable then take it no further. It is best to call from a mobile phone so your location cannot be established.
  • Don't feel obligated
    Don't feel pressurised into meeting someone - if you're not sure you want to meet them then don't, or converse more times over the phone before making a decision.
  • Meet in a public place
    When you do decide to meet someone, make sure that it is in a public place. Make sure someone else (your flat mate, friend, mum...) knows where you are and what time to either expect you back or expect a phonecall. Also make sure that they have the name, address and phone number of the person you will be meeting. The safest time to meet is during the day.
  • Use your own transport
    Make your own way to and from the date or get a lift with a friend, so the guy you are meeting does not have details of your home address. Do not accept a lift home with him nor invite him to your house.
  • Prepare an excuse to leave early
    If you don't like the guy, don't feel obliged to stay with him for an entire date. Have a pre-prepared excuse made for leaving the date early should you need to.
  • Follow your instincts
    Don't allow yourself to be pressurised and don't feel obliged to do anything that you don't want to do. Don't be taken in by sob stories and be wary of guys who are after your sympathy. Hone your internal radar to spot anyone who's going to be trouble and make a quick getaway. Only make arrangements for a second date if you are sure that this is what you want to do.
  • Personal Alarm
    Consider carrying personal alarm and be confident in using it to shock an attacker, giving you the opportunity to escape.
Slow Dating
- Locate speed dating events in your area.
- If you're a single parent or don't mind other people's children then this is the site for you.
Make Friends Online
- UK based friendship site with a friendly atmosphere.
- 20 plus 3 minute face to face dates in one evening.
UK Internet Dating
- Find friendship, penpals or romance on this safe and confidential site.
- Allows users to set up dates by Web, SMS or voice messaging.
- UK personal ads service for people aged 50 and over, or those who would like to meet people in that age group.
- Find friendship and maybe a new relationship on this website aimed at people with disabilities.