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

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh is the author of "The 30-Day Love Detox"" (April 2013).

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

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.

No counseling or psychotherapy advice: The Site does not provide psychotherapy advice. The Site is intended only for use by consumers in search of general information of interest pertaining to problems people may face as individuals and in relationships and related topics. Content is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for professional consultation or service. Contained observations and opinions should not be misconstrued as specific counseling advice.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.