Some normally sensible single sailors can lose their head when it comes to affairs of the heart! So here are a few dating safety tips:
ALWAYS keep your personal details to yourself. We do not condone handing over your personal address, email address, social media account details, place of work or mobile number unless you have met them in person first. Be very wary of someone who sends you their contact details on the very first contact. You can talk to them via the secure messaging facility on the site for as long as you like and until you are ready to meet. Do not feel pressured to hand over your details. Beware the "my subscription is about to end" claim, it rarely is!
DATING INTERACTIONS can be subjective and we all have different levels of sensibility and tolerances. If you feel at all uncomfortable at any stage when communicating with a member, politely leave the conversation and block them.
ALWAYS let a friend know where you are going and who you are meeting when going on a first or subsequent date. They can then check with you as to your whereabouts if needs be.
ALWAYS take a mobile phone with you on the date and make sure it’s fully charged.
ALWAYS meet somewhere public and busy on a first date. Cafes, pubs, museums, and galleries are all good examples of places to meet. We would not advocate inviting someone you haven’t met to your own home and certainly don't provide accommodation for them without getting to know them first even if they are travelling from abroad. They should have enough funds to pay their own way.
ALWAYS arrange your own transport to the date, especially if you are travelling abroad to meet someone new. Arrange separate accommodation. Whilst a free night on the boat/house may seem appealing if you don't hit it off you are then left to find last-minute accommodation. Have enough funds and a contingency plan to get back under your own steam in case things do not turn out as expected.
If you are invited to go sailing meet at least once, for a coffee perhaps, in a mutually convenient venue. Ideally, try to meet several more times before committing to a sailing trip. If you are going out sailing try to take a friend or group of friends with you. There should be space and extra crew should be welcome. It is tempting, if you are both experienced sailors, to go sailing without meeting first. Please encourage other members and welcome the request to meet up beforehand. Remember the person you are meeting is a stranger, stay safe, always meet up on dry land first. Ask for references from other members on Lovesail or other sites they may be registered on. If you are a skipper, you have a duty of care to your guest/crew. Make sure you know each other well before taking to the high seas, especially if the trip is for an extended period of time. If you suddenly decide they are not the one for you, you cannot simply abandon them in the next port. Ensure crew have enough funds to get home if the trip is cancelled or abandoned.
MAKE SURE you are both on the same page with regard to the nature of the trip. Is it a date to see if you are compatible or is it as friends and/or crew. Both parties need to know with certainty. Also, if you are the skipper let them know who else will be on the trip. They may feel uncomfortable with lots of other people, tell them of any changes before flights are booked and plans finalised.
PLEASE REMEMBER members on Lovesail are sailing enthusiasts. If they invite you sailing then expect to help with crewing. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice just make this clear before you meet and find out what is expected of you. Sailing is not an excuse for a cheap/free holiday, you will be expected to pull your weight and possibly contribute to costs. Make sure you discuss this before meeting and make sure you are aware of the costs and whether they are per day, per person etc. Don't fall for the "my credit card is maxed out could you buy me a plane ticket/accommodation and I'll pay you back" ploy. If the person can't or isn't willing to pay for their own way then this should be a red flag. It might also be a good idea to ask to see pictures of the boat both exterior and interior. Your exacting standards may not match those of your host!
MAKE SURE both your expectations match. We are not just a dating site and some members may still be married or in a complicated arrangement. Find out their status before the meeting. If their status does not match yours then politely decline the meeting, it's not for you to judge someone's private circumstances.
KEEP your drink with you at all times and don't drink too much. Drinking and sailing are a dangerous combination whatever the circumstances.
LEAVE if you begin to feel uncomfortable. Do not feel embarrassed or guilty about leaving, your safety is paramount. It’s ok to make an excuse and leave whenever you want.
Whilst Scammers are extremely rare, on the Lovesail site (we manually check profiles to filter them out), it is worth mentioning, after all, forewarned is forearmed. Scammers are men or women who have seemingly fallen head over heels in love with you, or they have some terrible story of woe and they prey on your sympathy in order to persuade you to send them some money. Be very wary of people who send you their contact details on their first contact with you. Also, be very wary of giving them your contact details. Very occasionally an email may appear on a profile that has got through the checking net, do not contact the member just report to admin so we can remove it. You never know who is behind an email address, so make use of the site’s private message facility. If they are genuine then they won’t mind talking through the site’s private message facility. Under no circumstances should you ever send money to someone you’ve met on a dating site or social network. Report any members to Admin if you feel they are not genuine or have acted in a way that you feel is inappropriate. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can use the Report facility on the site. Lastly, TRUST YOUR GUT. When you meet someone face-to-face, your instincts will normally tell you if something doesn’t seem quite right. This is true of online contact too. They might not tell you much about themselves but ask you loads of questions, or maybe they declare undying love for you even before you’ve met. If it feels strange in any way, chances are something’s not what it seems. Trust your instincts and tread carefully until you have got to know them a bit better. If you’re not sure, share your thoughts with a trusted friend to get some advice.