I’m Dating Online for the First Time. Can I Wait to Share My Last Name?

Dr. Wendy Walsh
Dr. Wendy Walsh Updated:
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Reader Question:

I am a professional young widow (41) with two younger kids. I haven’t been in the dating world for 20 years, so I need more basics than what is here. Today’s technology didn’t exist 20 years ago! I am concerned about sharing details of my home or work which could allow me to be Google’d.

Can I wait to share my last name to ensure the guy isn’t psycho? Should I set up a separate email since mine is my name?

-Sara H. (Illinois)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

You don’t have to set up a separate email account because all the dating sites give you a mailbox on their site. Get as much personal info about a guy before you meet him in the real world and do as much Google research as you can.

When you do meet for the first time, make it in a public place. Bring your own transportation. Make sure you give his name and contact info to a girlfriend and set a time to check in with her to tell her you are safe. Make the first meeting short and sweet — say coffee at Starbucks.

This isn’t a first date. It’s just a visual check-him-out. After that, if you like him, you can go on a first date.

And don’t make the biggest online dating mistake of all: creating false intimacy through an email relationship first. It puts too much pressure on that first meeting. Have a phone call and/or coffee soon after making contact online.

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