8 Essential Measures to Safeguard Yourself With Online Dating

[Streaming Love Series -Part 1]

It’s been years since “Renee” has been in a committed relationship.  When she surveyed the men around her, the hope of marriage seemed bleak.  In the meantime, she’s been hearing more and more about online dating.  Even one of her cousins met her husband online.  

Subsequently, “Renee” decided to give online dating a try.  After many disappointments, she got a message from “Adam” which piqued her interest.  From his profile photo, he seemed reasonably attractive. On reading his profile, she became intrigued.   “Renee” decided to reply to “Adam”. After several messages, with each message becoming lengthier, “Renee” believes that “Adam” might be just the kind of man that she’d like to know better.   

But what should “Renee” do next?  What can she do to safeguard herself with online dating?


Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.

My Story

(I even have a story about online dating) lol

Some years ago, I surveyed the “land” of men around me, and it seemed like a dry desert.  After much doubt and fear, I finally decided to give online dating a try. My subscription lasted about a year.  During that time, I connected with several men, but only one caught my interest. 

We did not meet in real life, but we became friends (virtually).

Although there may be many horror stories out there, there have also been success stories where online dating has connected mature Christians who have good strong marriages today.

Here are 8 measures to safeguard yourself when you date online:

1) Take your time. 

You might hit it off through texting and calls, but take your time in getting to know the other person.  Don’t start fantasizing about your wedding as yet because it takes interaction and experiences over time for a person’s true character to be revealed. 

Since you don’t have to wait on “snail mail” anymore, instant communication can cause you to be constantly in contact with the other person. Before you know it, your heart has run ahead of your head and you’re in love with a man you hardly know!  

Restrain yourself.  Limit messaging, texting and calling.  You don’t need to be in each other’s “faces” 24/7.  Give each other space and time to reflect. Instead, try to build trust, rapport and ultimately, a friendship.  Don’t get emotionally attached too quickly.  Manage your expectations about him.

2) Don’t keep it a secret.

It’s super easy to keep an online relationship a secret.  If your intention is eventually marriage, then it’s better out in the open sooner than later.  At least, confide in a few spiritually-grounded mature friends about the guy that you’re chatting with online.  Even show them his profile and get their feedback.  

Note: If you really cannot tell your parents about him, then online dating may not be for you.  Remember that a marriage is a union between two families and not simply a union between a husband and a wife.

3) Stay on the dating site until you can trust him.

Stay on the dating site until trust has been established.  It offers protection for you.  Remember to seek advice from spiritually-mature friends before you move forward.  Unfortunately, there are way too many scammers out there!  

Don’t be too eager to reveal your personal data like your phone number, email address or home address.

4) Meet him in real life.

I have a relative who seems to very sociable on social media, but in real life, you can barely get a full sentence, far less a paragraph, out of his mouth.  Therefore, unless you interact with your online match in a physical space, you will never truly know him.  

“Interpretation of a message is 7 percent verbal, 38 percent vocal and 55 percent visual.” Dr. Mehrabian

According to the research done by Dr. Mehrabian, 93 percent of our communication is non-verbal.  Therefore, text messages and phone calls are very limited communication tools in truly knowing a stranger.  Video calls are better, but you still cannot fully grasp a person’s character because of the lack of real life interactions

Then, you also have to consider that his profile pic might have been taken 10 years ago.

Things to observe when you meet in real life:
  • Gestures;
  • Inflections in voice;
  • Facial expressions including eye contact;
  • How he treats others like the waiter/waitress;
  • His talk – Is he sarcastic? Does he have a sense of humor? What are his views about his former girlfriends or women in general? Does he talk more about himself?  How does he engage you in conversation? and
  • His attire.

Tips for meeting in real life:
  • Don’t go to his house under any circumstances.
  • Meet in a public place.
  • Don’t invite him to your house.
  • Tell one or two relatives or trusted friends about the meeting (date, time, venue and information about him).  

You cannot be too careful these days!

As a matter of fact, in my opinion, the best meetup would be at an event where other friends are around.  Remember, you don’t really know him as yet.

5) Pray and trust your guts.

Don’t let desperation or neediness make you fall for the wrong person.  If something just doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and forget about him.  

Just as there are sincere Christians looking for a spouse, there are also players, criminals and married men looking for a single woman to prey on.  End all communication if there are warning signs.  Try not to become his counsellor, but feel free to pray for him …  at a safe distance!

Above all, you need to pray for God’s discernment as you navigate online dating.

Get your free “Emotional Maturity versus Emotional Maturity” Checklist to see if he’s emotionally mature. 

6) Be a detective.

Study his profile and ask more about what he wrote to see if there are inconsistencies.  Search for him on google.  Check out his Facebook profile.  This can tell you about his interests, relationship status (single, married, committed, etc.) and a general feel about his life.

7) Look out for the red flags.

Examples of red flags:
  • He says he has a college degree, but he can barely string a sentence together without grammatical and syntax errors.
  • He wants to borrow money or want you to buy him presents.
  • He sends inappropriate or nude photos or wants you to send him some.
  • He pledges his undying love for you within a short time span.
  • He says he’s single but he’s separated from his wife.

8) Be your true self.

It’s either he likes you as you are or he doesn’t.  Misleading someone can only harm you and kill the relationship before it even gets a chance to blossom.  Understandably, It can be very tempting to choose your favorite photo that you took last year although you’ve since gained 20 pounds.  

If you hardly play sports, please don’t give the impression that you’re an avid sports fan.  You’ll just have to trust God to meet someone who will like you as you are.   

Related articles:

6 Guys to Resist

10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Chances of Meeting the One

What about you?  Have you ever tried online dating?  What has your experience been like so far?  In what other ways can a woman safeguard herself when she decides to date online?  Please comment below.

To receive more tips about relationships (self, God and others), subscribe and you’ll receive weekly emails as I share my life with you.  Also, when you subscribe, you will receive your free “Emotional Maturity versus Emotional Maturity” checklist. Thanks for stopping by!


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With love,

Kimberly Garth

Recommended Books:

“Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You And Those That Aren’t” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

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Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.