Online Dating: Perks and Precautions

We’ve all heard of those websites that promise you’ll find the love of your life. Nowadays, they make finding a partner seem like going shopping at the grocery store. You have a list of the things you want, and you pick and choose the people who meet those criteria. There are all kinds of websites that cater to the type of relationship you’re looking for, whether you’re younger, older, or anywhere in between. I’ve even heard of a site for old farmers to find the right person to water their garden.

 

If you’ve considered the idea of online dating, I say why not give it a shot? I’ve tried it personally, and it worked well enough for me. You really can’t knock anything until you try it. However, just like anything else, there are upsides as well as downsides and precautions you need to take when setting up a profile on an online dating site.

Let’s start with the good, shall we? Perks of online dating: You can find a site that’s right for you that suits your desires. There are sites that are both free and sites that charge on a monthly basis. I’ve only ever experienced a free site. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. If you are in hopes of finding something potentially serious, I would suggests avoiding the free sites. Often times, there are only people there looking for something not so serious or don’t tend to take it as seriously.

Another upside to online dating is that it’s pretty convenient. I know that many people are constantly running around, whether it’s for work or school or anything else life throws your way. With online dating, you can look at profiles of people who live in your area that you might not have met or noticed otherwise. You can browse and send messages at your convenience, and can pick and choose the qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner. The site will then match you with people with those qualities listed, as well as similar interests. It makes dating easier, quicker, and fits in with today’s technological culture.

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As with anything else, there are always precautions you should take if you decide to give online dating a try. First and foremost, do not post anything super personal on your page. Your address, phone number and social security number are all things that have absolutely no place on the internet. If a site asks for any of these things in your biography or warns that they will appear anywhere on your profile, it is probably bogus. Your safety and personal information is always what should be kept at the forefront of concerns when it comes to having any type of profile online, especially when online dating.

We’ve all heard of the hit television show ‘Catfish’ on MTV. Catfishing is when someone uses the pictures, Online-Dating-Statsinformation and identity of someone else to hide who they really are. Unfortunately, today this is a prominent and relevant issue on any type of social media site. There are plenty of hints and clues that may point towards someone not being who they say they are. Before meeting anyone you meet on the internet out in public, I would suggest that you ask them to Skype, FaceTime or Oovoo with you. In that situation, if they agree, you can be reassured that the person you are talking to online is the person who is really in the pictures. If the person constantly refuses or makes excuses as to why they can’t or don’t want to, it’s safe to assume that something is up. Also, if they refuse to meet up with you face to face, there is definitely something wrong. This could include outright saying no, or having them cancel consistently after plans are continually made. Try not to make the mistake of giving someone too much of yourself or your information before seeing them on Skype, etc. or in person. Once information about yourself is on the internet or in someones hands, they can do with it as they please. Like I said before, no matter what you are looking for, your safety and well being should always be a priority.

 

As scary as the precautions may sound, it’s not that hard to be safe and smart on the internet. If you’re curious about online dating, I say why not? It could be a new experience. If it works, great! If not, at least now you know. Just take the time to do your research on what kind of site may or may not work best for you, be patient, be careful, and see where things go. You never know!

Safety first

Let’s face it: whether we’re fantasizing about it, talking about it, thinking about it or even doing it, sex is a part of every day life. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s in our make-up as humans. Whether it’s for pleasure or for it’s genetic purpose, sex is a big part of relationships.

Some people don’t believe in sex before matrimony or monogamy, some people don’t believe in sex for pleasure, some people believe that sex is sacred, and some people think, “sex is sex!”. No matter what you think or believe, one thing about sex is always true: you’re better safe than sorry.

When most people hear that, they think safety as in contraceptives such as birth control or condoms. Β Both of these things are important in the lives of sexually active people who don’t intend on popping out a baby any time soon. However, a taboo on the taboo of sexual activity is sexually transmitted diseases, or STD’s.

I think being tested for STD’s is an important and smart thing to do for anyone who has been or is sexually active. It’s not only good for yourself, but for your partner to know that everything down there, whether you’re a girl or guy, is in good shape. It shows that you take care of yourself and that you care enough to keep both yourself and your partner healthy and happy. Whether you’ve had two partners or twenty, testing for STD’s is a good thing to do. I feel like the media and even other people make it out to be this terrifying experience that will leave you traumatized for the rest of your life. Don’t buy in to that hype. Yes, it’s a little nerve racking to imagine or worry that anything could be wrong that could affect you on such a level, but it’s better to know one way or the other for the sake of your health and your partner’s.

Contraceptives are also the most basic way to be safe if you are sexually active. I’ve heard of plenty of different methods, so I find it both annoying and somewhat pathetic when someone is like, “Oh, we didn’t have anything but we did it anyways”. In my opinion, if you care about your and your partner’s health and safety, it’s not that hard to keep it in your pants. But people are gonna do what they wanna do. I guess it’s tough in the heat of the moment sometimes.

So! There are plenty of methods of contraception to choose from, for example:

-abstinence (not engaging in sexual activity).

-masturbation. I had no idea this was considered a form of contraception! But I guess self love keeps you safe!

-condoms, both male and female. The male condom is placed over the penis, the female condom is placed inside of the vagina.

-birth control. For women, finding the right birth control can be a process. There’s pills, shots, patches, and now little devices inserted inside of the uterus called IUD’s that can release a steady flow of hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancy. These IUD’s can be placed and remain in place for 3-5 years and have less than a 1% chance of resulting in pregnancy when engaging in unprotected sex (neither the woman or man is wearing a condom).

-“The Morning After Pill”. If you and a partner have engaged in unprotected sex, there is a pill you can get (called ‘Plan B’) from a pharmacy that greatly lowers your chance of becoming pregnant. It’s recommended that it is taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, but obviously, the sooner the better.

-withdrawl (or “pull and pray”). This method can be extremely risky. When a man is about to ejaculate, he pulls out before ejaculating inside the woman’s vagina.

These are just a handful of the options you can choose from when it comes to safe sex and contraceptives. There are also plenty of websites you can visit to answer any questions you may have, or clinics, such as Planned Parenthood that provide resources and answers to any questions you may have.

When it comes down to it, we only have one body for the rest of our lives. I’m a big believer in being healthy and taking care of the one body we have. Sex is a big part of life, especially when in a relationship. For the sake and health and safety of yourself and your partner, discussing safe sex methods and even contraception are things that, as weird as this may sound, bring you closer together. It’s a way of showing each other that you care and that you want what’s best for each other and for your relationship. It can be awkward bringing it up, but once the conversation is had, it’s almost like a weight is lifted off your shoulders and you can enjoy sex with your partner that much more.