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Online Dating

9th April 2014
Yep, I’m here to talk about online dating.
It’s become increasingly popular and socially acceptable these days, and although it can be great, I feel it’s important to remember some very important things first before you dive into it or ever even consider it.
Okay so, what do I know about it right?
Is this just another preachy post by someone thinking they know it all?
No. I can only share my own experiences.
But I did just so happen to meet my boyfriend of almost 3 years now, through Tumblr.
Yes! Sometimes it’s lovely and right and it all works out, yay!
Look at us being all smug and loved up. #shitheads
The story: First and foremost, I did not set out to find my boyfriend through my laptop. In fact, I weren’t looking for any boyfriend at all at that time.
It was the beginning of 2011 and I was in a pretty rough place. My dad had been dead a few short months, after a sudden heart attack, and my world collapsed. He was my hero. I did not think I could survive without him. I can’t even begin to describe how it felt.
So I’ve stopped seeing my friends at this point, I’ve dropped out of University and I’m living back home with my mum. I love her so much, but our mutual grief and complicated relationship did not make for a ‘healing’ time unfortunately.
I’m spending all my time on the internet. I’m distracting myself anyway possible. 
Tumblr has always been a favourite site of mine to waste many hours on.
I follow a lot of people on there, including one guy who seems cool. I mean ok, in all honesty I thought he was HOT. But also he posted funny stuff, and he paid attention to my posts, photos etc. Whenever I was down he would send me a message trying to make me smile. In fact, I remember a particularly crappy day where I posted saying how upset I was, how much I missed my Dad. He sent me a drawing saying he hoped I could smile again soon, because I had a pretty smile. We didn’t know jack shit about each other, but we liked each other anyway. I began to look forward to these little snippets of interaction. We soon started IM’ing each other. His name was Gary, he was from Plymouth and he was the cutest geek ever, lol.
Online soon became texting, and then soon we started video talking on Skype. Before you know it, we were gushing about our feelings and we decided to meet up.
I’ll skip to the end. We fell in love. We did long distance for a while, and eventually he came up to Liverpool to live with me! And we’ve never looked back. Joyous.
I’m so fortunate to have this fantastic experience, which is why I never look down on anyone making friends online or more. But there are so many things I had to consider, and I’d like to share them in case anyone reading this ever finds themselves considering meeting someone off the internet.
So here we are. The very, very important things to make note of!
  • Always chat for a while first before deciding to meet. The longer the better, as you get to know them more; but I’d say at least a few weeks if possible.
  • Make sure you know who you’re meeting!! SO important. Skype meant that Gary and I physically saw each other and knew who we were talking to. Always do this! Sometimes photos aren’t enough. People can lie. People can fake photos, or take someone else’s.
  • Only ever meet if you are 100% comfortable and want to. Sounds obvious, but if you have any doubts at all, don’t do it. Put it off a while maybe? Talk to the person, be honest with them. If they are really a friend or care about you they will understand. In fact, even strangers should understand it’s scary and nerve wracking meeting someone this way. If they pressure you, they’re bad news. Don’t give in to pressure.
  • Always tell someone you are meeting. Give them details about where you’ll be, and what you’re doing. In fact, take someone with you the first time if you can! Even if its just watching from a distance to make sure you’re safe. Sounds mental, but you can’t be too careful.
  • Always meet in a public place. I would question it if the other person didn’t want to do this.
  • Don’t give out your home address. It’s just too risky to do that with someone you don’t know. Just meet in public until you’re completely sure of that person.
That’s my little started list for the Do’s and Don’ts of meeting someone IRL that you’ve only spoken to online.
I’m of course no expert, and you can find hundreds of websites full of valuable advice if you need to, but I think this is a good starting point. I’ve met a handful of other people through talking online and they are now great friends of mine! It can work and it can be lovely. Maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe it’s because I’ve never set out meaning to meet anyone, it just happened.
Either way, be open to it as long as you’re careful.
Thanks guys!
x
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