Dating Dangers: Love's a Minefield
Dating advice from the experts about how to find Mr. or Ms. Right.
Danger: Meeting Online
The anonymity of Internet dating has obvious hazards. If you're
looking for love, your contact may be looking for just a quickie. Establish
upfront what you are really searching for. Talk on the phone first, then
arrange a brief meeting in a public place -- for coffee, lunch, or maybe a
Dating advice: Take your cell phone with you. Let someone know
where you're going, who you'll be meeting. Arrange to call your friend at a
specific time. Park in a well-lit place. When the first date ends, don't let
them walk you to your car. You don't want them to know your license plate.
Schwartz is relationship counselor for Perfectmatch.com.
"I've used all the dating services ... I think online dating is great,
absolutely the best thing of the 21st century. I've met some very special
Beyond people shaving a few years off their age, "I've
never met anybody online who lied," she tells WebMD. "As long as they
haven't said they're 40 and they're really 60. But I've never met anyone
totally different than they present themselves."
But if someone lies about his or her weight -- lies to the
extreme, that is -- that's what people really get upset about, "It's very
unwise for women to substantially stretch their weight. If you're a size 14 or
more, it's not fair. Just say, 'I'm heavy but still think I look great. You be
the judge,'" Schwartz says.
Danger: Too Many Disappointments
Be realistic, says Falzone. "Keep the relationship casual
in the early stages and let it evolve at its own pace. It takes time to build a
quality relationship and the job cannot be rushed."
Maybe it's time to look at your criteria, says Schwartz.
"It's not that bad out there. Maybe you're not choosing well. If you're
going out just to be nice, that's not smart. The cost is repeated
disappointment. It will ultimately undermine your sense of well-being and
Guys, are you going after women who are wrong for you, too
beautiful and full of themselves, or are they too professional and you need
someone more nurturing? "You have to figure it out," Schwartz advises.
"There are too many good people out there for them all to be wrong for
A smart friend can help: "Tell me honestly what you think
I'm doing wrong here." Listen, and then take their advice. "Or if you
think it's deeper, you're being dysfunctional, maybe you need to get to a
therapist," she says.
"I've never had trouble finding a guy," Schwartz tells
WebMD. "It's because I really like people. I don't get bummed out if this
one is not right for me. I know the kind of spark I want. And I don't think
it's a mistake if it doesn't work out."