Trust Your Gut When Online Dating

Dear Karen,

I’ve had some interactions with a man through an online dating site that have left me a little uncomfortable.  I’m curious to get your hit on this: he asked me for my number, which I gave  him.  He then texted me and referenced the town I live in, which I hadn’t given him.  I asked him about it, and he said it was a guess, and when I pressed him for more clarity about it, he didn’t have a better answer.  Am I over-reacting, or is this something I should be worried about? – Mary, NJ

Hi, Mary,

The most important thing I have to say to you is this: always listen to your gut.  Always.

I’m not saying that this man is definitely someone to worry about; all I’m saying is that in almost every case where a woman has regrets about decisions she’s made, there was a signal early on from her gut that she overlooked.

If you, like so many women, want to learn to trust yourself more than you do already, a great way to build that is by acting on those hunches and inner guidance.

Now about your online dating adventure, and how to create a feeling of being safer.

As women, we are inherently more vulnerable because of our physical strength and size – and even if we’re butt-kickin’ babes in our lives, our DNA tells us that we are in need of someone bigger and stronger to protect us.

So…what to do?

Take every precaution you can.  These are not in order of priority – they’re all equally important.

Until you feel comfortable with a man, never give him:

  1. your last name
  2. your home number
  3. your address
  4. the name of the company where you work
  5. and don’t allow him to pick you up at home

I recently learned from a client that you can ask your phone service provider to change your service so there’s no way to find out your name or your address. Call your provider, and make sure you’ve got that set up on your cell phone.

Online dating is a great thing, but only if you feel safe.

The world is filled with great men: heroic, generous, trustworthy, protective, scrumptious men.  They’re everywhere.  This man you’re asking about probably doesn’t mean any harm; he may just be excited about you, and doesn’t realize that he’s freaking you out.

The sad reality is that there are wounded men out there (just like there are wounded women), and the better you are at trusting yourself to stay safe, the more open and available you’ll be able to be with men who are deserving of your trust and openness.

Enjoy yourself, and have fun meeting all those great men out there!