Let’s face it ladies, you all love to watch those horror movies and yell at the girl on screen naively putting herself in harm’s way of a psychopath. And you love to watch the romantic movies of the finding Mr. Right (Who is always devilishly handsome by the way) in the most random chance meetings.
Women make up 47.6%* of the estimated 41.25 million people who have tried online dating. * Of that 41.25 million people, an estimated 10% are sex offenders. * Consider that an estimated 33% of women have sex on a first online date*, the numbers become staggering.
As a former detective, these are statistics I find hard to fathom. Let’s consider how your online dating profile may put you at risk. Anything that identifies your exact location can put you at risk. This includes pictures of you at work, in a restaurant or bar, etc. Anywhere that someone familiar with your city could easily find. Consider instead, putting your location at a nearby town. Close enough for you to meet someone but not to close they could track you down without you even knowing it.
Is Your Online Dating Profile Putting You At Risk? Facts vs Fiction
The Sneaky Selfie
The key to a safe first meeting is keeping as much anonymity as possible. You control where a first meeting will take place and always drive yourself. Snap a photo of your date and text it to a friend. Remember, he may not look exactly like his profile picture. Tell your friend where you are meeting. And by all means, drive yourself home. The one thing I find that bothers me the most as a former Detective is women who place pictures of them with their kids on their online dating profiles. Consider for a moment that the man who contacts you for a date is not actually interested in you. But, is interested in your kid (s). A respectful man will always consider the fact that a woman may have a child.
It’s All In How You Word It
So, stating that you have children is perfectly fine. Be as generic as possible on your online dating profile. i.e. “Proud mother of three” will make those men not interested in a single mother pass you by but, that’s OK. You don’t want that guy anyway. Verses stating, “Proud mother of two wonderful teenage daughters”. I am sure you can see how the wording, along with pictures, could put your children in jeopardy.
The Onus Is On You
If you happen to be a mom, embrace that. That makes you no more and no less desirable than a single woman to the right guy. And it is you’re job to protect yourself and your kids. It may be a shame to have to consider the possible dangers of online dating given that so many good people use them to find love. And they are generally well run with lots of checks and balances in place to help protect the users. But the onus ultimately falls on the user themselves. Remember ladies, online dating is a great tool if used wisely. The hope of finding love is exciting. And with the wealth of online dating sites that cater to everything from religion, race, sexual orientation and a host of other factors, the chances of finding your true love online are much better than winning the lottery.
R Dana Browne is a former Police Detective in Rural Central Virginia and now is an actor and producer. You can follow him on Twitter @rdanabrowne
- Statistic Brain Research Institute, March 2015
Great post with lots of things that got me thinking regarding my approach to dating.
I don’t have kids so that doesn’t apply but being safe does. After being cyber stalked I’ve become safer. I no longer do online but if I did I’d post a generic photo.
When it comes to online dating – you’re absolutely right, how you word it is key. From a guys perspective, having that critical information out in the open right away can help him make an informed decision. Yes, you’re going to have people turn away because of it – but it will save both parties time and effort. Full disclosure is definitely the best route to take.
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