The world of online dating has opened up a world of possibilities for women and men alike, increasing access to potential viable partners and decreasing loneliness in our fast-paced busy world. As with anything new (while it’s not SO new, it’s new when you think how long humans have been dating!) and promoting change, there’s always some initial fear or resistance, since it’s somewhat unknown and different from the practices we’re so familiar with. In any case, online dating, despite its high success rates, yielding many successful romances and marriages, seems to have gotten a bad rap as possibly dangerous. However, when you examine the facts, is it really any more dangerous than more traditional forms of dating?

Traditional forms of dating are varied in and of themselves. Think of all the dates you, your friends and loved ones have been on. You may have met your date at the grocery store, at a social event, at a bar, or even on a setup through a mutual acquaintance. In all of these cases, just as someone you might find online, how much do you really know about them until you meet them? The answer is, not much.

With that in mind, it is important to be cautious when dating, whether online or traditionally! However, caution and complete avoidance of dating due to fear are two totally different things. Take standard precautions. Meet your date in a public place for as many dates as it takes for you to feel comfortable. Let friends or family know where and when you’re going, just in case. While cautious, these are important steps to take to date safely, and not to let your fear of the unknown possible outcomes to stop you from living a full life!