With people getting lesser ‘me time’ than ever, they may not head out to a cafe or party to mingle, but are increasingly looking for a partner online. This also helps do away with the hassle of taking time to chat up strangers who they might eventually realise they have nothing in common with.
1. Remember, he or she is wearing a mask
For all you know, you could be talking to someone who’s as nefarious as it gets. Says psychiatrist and counsellor, Dr Pavan Sonar, “Never emotionally invest in anyone until you meet face-to-face. Even if you decide to keep it strictly on an online basis, you are still talking to a ‘ghost’, so keep it basic. Most times, people lie and portray another personality.
2. Wait before you ‘add as a friend’
You may be adding the person into your online world too early. Says Vibha Nagrani, marketing professional from Bandra, “When I met this guy online, he seemed shy and was happy to talk to me. In two days, we had exchanged a lot about each other’s worlds — work, families even our exercise mantras, that I saw no harm adding him to my Facebook page.
3. Don’t rush to get intimate
A common modus operandi is to sweet-talk a person to share risqué photos or other intimate material, which can then be used to blackmail them. Says clinical psychologist Akshata Shetty, “You can never gain trust through a screen, so do not exchange any information or photos that are private.
4. Watch out for scamsters wanting to make money
After registering on the site and being asked to pay a registration fee to enroll as a premium member, he was shown a few women and given a ‘dating package’. The woman in question kept asking for more payments on different pretexts such as insurance, police verification, and more. The unsuspecting victim landed up paying the money he was asked to.
5. Don’t go by others’ experiences
Okay, one of your pals has found her Mr Right online and had a happy-ever-after. But it doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. Not all online romances end up this way. Upside? There are loads of singles out there looking for a nice partner, so keep the search on.
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