How dangerous is Online Dating?

Hardly a day seems to go by without a news story about someone being defrauded or even raped by a person they met through online dating; often in America. But last March the British police also issued a warning according to the Daily Telegraph ( ).

Obviously the lady isn’t to blame for what eventually happened and the fortunately the police were able to find the culprit. However, a thorough read of the story shows that the unfortunate woman didn’t follow the standard advice for dating strangers. Although the couple met in a café (good) they then went back to her flat (bad). Taking your new friend home on a first date is never a good idea, it can give the other person an inflated idea of how they are perceived and might, luckily rarely, lead to this kind of incident. Also we note the attacker was drunk. Would you think taking a drunken man you only met a few hours ago back home is a good idea? What she went through does underline the need to be cautious when going out alone with someone you don’t know very well.

These cases, here and abroad, make the national headlines because they involve online dating. It’s still a relative novelty for many people. Are we to believe that such incidents don’t happen when folk pair up at a party, in a night club, through work or other social arenas? Of course they do! The risk of a nightmare ending to a night out is always there however the original meeting was arranged. There will always be risks to going with a stranger no matter how nice they seem at first. Also these risks tend to be greater for the woman for all the usual reasons.

There is absolutely no evidence that dating through an online site will result in any greater chance of violence or fraud than dating by any other way. Nasty people exist and they will always be on the lookout for a potential victim. Some will try to use a dating site as an easy way to meet new people (for all the wrong reasons) but plenty will still hang around clubs and bars and maybe work at the same place that you do. Ultimately your personal safety is down to how you manage the risks. Follow the general advice and you will be as safe as you can be. And don’t start financially bailing out somebody five minutes after you’ve met either. We would say that any signs that your new partner might be a little odd should lead to a quick exit. Both from the occasion and the relationship! After all, one good thing about dating online is that it’s easy to find a new potential mate so why hang on to a duff one?

As for the best advice when on a new date? That’s for another post soon.

Dating Profile ABC

Where better to start a new online dating blog than with some of the basics a new member to a site (hopefully this one) should consider. So this post is about your profile pictures.

Although a profile can be set up without any photos this isn’t the best way to go. Would you want to consider meeting someone if you couldn’t see them? Many people only search the profiles that have a photo and your chance of being seen increases by around 30% if you put up even one picture. The key thing to consider is what photos to use. Many of us don’t have many pictures of ourselves so we fall back on the two classics; last year’s sun and sea holiday or the last wedding we went to. Try to keep in mind that you want to both present a favourable impression of yourself but also a realistic one as well. If you can, put up a selection of pictures to your profile. Unless you normally have a rather overdone tan or dress to kill every day then that’s not the person a date is going to meet on a wet weekend in November!

Look to show something of your life and interests. Do you play any sport or enjoy outdoor pursuits? Put up a picture that shows this. The same with activities like gardening or creative hobbies. Don’t just post a group picture of you and your mates having a great time. Sure, this shows your fun side but how can somebody that doesn’t know you tell which one is you? Even a twosome can be too much if it’s all there is. Use a photo where you’re not wearing sunglasses. The eyes are an important part of someone’s appearance and hiding them is underselling yourself. Equally don’t try to oversell yourself either. Using old pictures because you looked so much better a few years ago will always backfire when the time comes to date another member of the site in person.

You might see some advice telling folk not to use the “self-portrait with mobile phone in the mirror” shot. We disagree. If you need a decent, up to date picture and you don’t want to involve any friends or family at the beginning then go ahead. But if you have, or can borrow, a proper camera with a self-timer that would be better still.

If you are a member here on Romance in the air don’t forget the various ways to add pictures to your profile. As well as uploading directly you can use your webcam to take a snap, set up a video profile and, if you have connected your Facebook account, you can use photos that are already on your Timeline. The bottom line? Be true to yourself and others by thinking through what image you will project with your choice of pictures.

Image courtesy of

Welcome to our new blog

Hello and welcome to our new blog for Romance in the air. If you have ever seen our tweets (@Romanceair) or visited our Facebook page ( then you’ll have an idea of the kind of things that take our fancy. With more space we hope to feature some stories and advice in more detail. Please let us know if there’s any subject relating to online dating, or dating and romance in general, that you would like to see here and we’ll see what we can do.