There used to be an old saying, "You won't meet anyone if you don't go out." Not true anymore. I have seen this behavior more so in women, than in men.
Meeting and chatting to others online is a normal part of life for most teenagers, but using online dating services could put them at risk. So much of a teenager’s social life happens online and many feel really comfortable using the internet to meet people.
The opportunity to meet and flirt with people outside their immediate social circle can be hugely exciting to a young person, particularly at a time where they are exploring their understanding of sex and relationships.
Talk to them about what drew them to online dating, what services they’re using and how they’ve been using them.
Understanding and listening to their perspective might help you express your concerns.
They may try to trick a young person into believing that they are trustworthy, that they are a friend or they may even pretend that they are the same age.
Many popular dating apps allow the user to share their location or chat to people in their area – this increases the potential for a ‘real-life’ meeting.
Sexual communication with a child is a criminal offence.
Make sure your child knows that adults who want to talk about sex are doing something wrong and should be reported.
Not only will you see more people, you can find exactly the person you want, or so we've been led to believe. I remember being in a car with three women who each went through a laundry list of criteria for their perfect mate.
If you've always wanted an athletic guy, who's Mormon, likes travel, and lives within 20 miles of you, you can find him! All I could think was "good luck." But these criteria can sometimes be very strong.
We know this is a tactic that many offenders use to gain the trust of a young person quickly.