List of dangers of online dating

Follow these tips to protect your kids from the 4 major dangers of the Internet.

Internet Danger #1: Cyberbullying On the Internet, cyberbullying takes various forms, says Netsmartz411.org, an online resource that educates parents about Internet safety.

Fantasy men typically chat up a storm and never ask the woman out. Most online dating services ask participants to fill out long questionnaires about themselves.

Women usually put a lot of thought into these, but men don't.

Too many intense feelings can scare men and women away.

Falzone tells a story of a North Carolina woman who fell "totally in love" with a Massachusetts man she met online. Eventually, he encouraged her to sell her house, pack everything into a truck, and prepare herself and her two young children for a new life.

With the speed and ease of the Internet, her classmate soon recruited 20 others to bully Handy online. As the ordeal dragged on for months, she dreaded going to school, felt physically ill and saw her grades tumble.

No doubt, the Internet can be an extremely useful tool for young people.

We are well aware that all you need is an email address to open an account on most online dating sites.

How many of us have second, third, and even phantom free email accounts at our disposal? Not only did I meet my husband online, but I've also helped numerous singles become part of a couple online.

Conducting e-relationships can be tricky because, as Bridget found out, email often allows people to become too casual too fast.

Fein and Schneider advise that "less is more" when writing a personal ad, email or instant message.

Fein and Schneider say email is just like a phone call if it leads to a date. For one thing, it's very easy to be seduced by the informality of email or instant messaging.

Remember the scene in Bridget Jones' Diary when Bridget (Rene Zellweger) gets lured into sexually charged email banter initiated by her boss (Hugh Grant)?

Dating is the path to love -- and that path, as we know, can be a minefield. "You're going to go through a lot of people, until you find someone where there is some kinetic thing, some magnetism, some desire to know more," says Pepper Schwartz, Ph D, a sociologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

There's serious stuff out there, like HIV and STDs, date rape, online stalkers.

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