Share Private Information Safely When Dating Online


My email went something like this, “You may have noticed that I haven’t shared my first name yet. It’s very unusual and I like to be a little careful in the early stages. When we talk I will want to call from a blocked number.  While I can be spontaneous and like taking a few risks here and there, I do believe in being safe, particularly at the beginning.”

And that was it. He never even bothered to reply. (Why is it that online people seem to think manners don’t matter? ) It was a no-go in many ways from the beginning so I didn’t lose any sleep over it.  Just a few moments of irritation. He’s 40, I’m 57. Military, conservative. No way we were really going to have much in common.

I can’t stress enough the importance of  safety for over 50 women and men using online dating sites. Or men and women of any age, really. Even when you feel pretty sure the person of interest is harmless! I hold back on giving out my name–it is my right to do so. And, when I explain why I’m going to call from a blocked number, I expect him to understand and respect my need to be cautious. If he doesn’t get it, a little warning flag goes up.

It is important to take precautions in the getting-to-know-you stages of meeting a man or woman on an online dating site, even for those of us over 50. It is a well-knows fact that most online dating sites don’t screen their members. In the beginning you have absolutely no idea of who you are corresponding with!

  • Suppose you are the only Lillianin town and this guy finds you after you’ve decided he’s a creep? He might be able to google you and find your full name, address and/or a phone number. It is a good idea to do an internet search for your own name and see what comes up.
  • Some of the men or women on these dating sites are scammers–many are foreigners. Be cautious.
  • Before you give out your name or phone number think about whether this is a person you want to keep talking to…even after you’ve said no thanks?
  • At this first stage of the dating game, this person is as much a stranger as the beggar on the street. Would you give him your name and phone number?

What ‘my’ guy  didn’t realize is that at the end of a successful phone call I would have given him my phone number and my full name. I’m not trying to be mysterious or overly rigid. I’m just being careful.

It’s about taking care of yourself. If this eager man or woman is sincerely interested in you, he should want to honor your requests. A failure to make accommodations at this point is an indicator of future issues.

Let me tell you about Scott. Great guy–good looking, smart. He met a woman and quickly gave her his full name and other personal details. They had a couple of dates but Scott wasn’t feeling the connection and decided to stop seeing her.  She didn’t take it well. He woke up one morning to discover her sitting on his front steps. It happened more than once and finally he was forced to call the police.

There has to be a balance. You want to share information as you begin to establish some sense of compatibility.  Yet, it is important to be careful about rushing the process. The only one who can look out for your safety is you. One of the best ways is by controlling how much and when we share.

Do you have any rules about giving out personal information?