Much has been said about being able to “share” your life with the one you love, even on a casual date. However, not enough has been said about ways to protect your privacy even when you actively date. After all, there are areas in every person’s life that are strictly off limits at the start of dating – until you think it is appropriate to divulge such information to the person you are interested in. So how can you safeguard your privacy while pursuing the dating scene? First things first: make sure you know what you want kept private and what is public domain. Some people make the mistake of going on dates then panicking because the other person brings up a topic that is too sensitive to be dealt with right there. For example, if you are a divorcee with a handful of young children to support, is that something you want to bring up on a date? Or let’s say you were engaged once but called off the wedding at some point – would you want your date to know that kind of thing about you? The reason these subjects are sensitive is because you may not want your date to feel that you are pressuring him or her into a committed relationship right away.  So be aware of such issues before you go on any date.

Secondly, make sure you remember what you posted on your online profile which could have been read by your current date. Did you post pictures of your children on the site – all four of them? Did you mention that you are recently divorced but are looking for a new life partner? Did you mention your line of work and the neighborhood that you live in? If you did post such sensitive information online, then you shouldn’t be surprised when your date brings up such topics on your face-to-face date. If you don’t want strangers to know about those areas of your life, it is best to be cautious about what you post online.

Third, will you be splitting the bill for the face-to-face date with your date at the restaurant? This could be a sensitive area because you may not be ready to divulge your financial status to anyone, least of all someone you have met only once. It may be sensible at the start to choose a restaurant where a meal is not that costly and to use transportation that won’t raise eyebrows (and dollar signs in the eyes of possible gold-diggers). You should also steer clear of talk about bank accounts or standard of living if these topics happen to arise on your date.

There comes a time in any dating relationship where you will really have to divulge information about yourself.  The tricky part is choosing the right moment to share. Sometimes, you may have to date a variety of different people before you find the right person to entrust with your private and sensitive information.