Virtual Dating ~ Hmmm, Is it “Real”? By Jasmine

The world of dating has changed since I was a little girl, and no we are not going to make a joke about how old I am - lol. Virtual dating has become a huge presence on the dating scene. Everything from dating sites all the way to the social networks where you can meet greet and hook up as desired.

There are many sites that you can meet new friends, find the love of your life and even meet that fun hook up. It really depends on what you are looking for and on which site you will go to.

The new craze are the sites where you can create a personal avatar and become who or what you would like to be, anything from a vampire, wolf, cute and sexy, big and gross -- you name it you can become it. These sites are becoming a hunting ground for those that looking to take those with low self-esteem for a ride. Translation: “Please be careful!”

There is the issue with men pretending to be women, women pretending to be men, people trying to find that perfect gullible “sugar daddy” or “momma”. You name it I have seen it in action, it worries me when I see people being taken advantage of, but we all have to take some responsibility for the things that happen.

SO please pay attention. It is ok to share some basic info when you think you have met a good friend, or even that special someone, but that is it. Over-sharing can be a really bad thing. Real names should wait. You can tell them what you do, but not where you work. You can tell them you have children but don't give names. NO matter how real this all feels IT IS STILL A GAME and you don't really know this person. They can be telling you anything and lie to you and you will never know it.

Now with that said, there is that rarity that you my meet that “perfect match”. The special person can be the person they say they are but time will be the key factor in getting to know this. I have a really good friend that once told me that “in game-time one day equals one week of real-time”. Please don't think this way. One day is one day. You have been given the gift of time - USE IT. The longer and more you talk to someone the better you will get to know them. However, you have to remember this is not reality so whatever you are doing inside the game will not be/feel the same as if you were standing in front of the person and interacting face to face. Come on now, you have to admit that you act differently online when talking to someone through the “shield of the avatar”, then if you were with that special person every day and night living life.

Just be safe, remember you are talking to a stranger when you first meet someone online, if you decide to meet in person, meet somewhere they will not be able to find you on a regular day, meet in a very active public place, and remember what we were taught as kids :) “STRANGER DANGER” LOL.

This by all means does not mean it can’t happen, it really can, I know so many people that met online that are happy with families etc... But they did it right, they took their time, they did not fall in love because someone was nice or said something nice to them. Don't be Red Riding Hood and The Wolf, or even the wolf in sheep's clothing - just because it comes with a bow does not mean you won a prize.

Good luck, and good hunting. Hope you find what you are looking for. We also hope that what you are looking for is not to take advantage of someone who is naive or looking for the perfect mate.

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