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However, there are exceptions, and you need to be aware of how to keep yourself - and your bank account and savings - protected while meeting people online.The Risks Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud.

As most online daters know, it's not the first date that's hard to get — it's the second.

But if you're dating because you want a relationship and not just a date, making a connection and getting that second date (and third and fourth) is the whole point.

It’s fun, but it doesn’t become ‘real’ until you’ve met in person and found out if there’s a spark between you. A number of factors will affect how long you wait and each situation will be unique, Some people like to meet matches as soon as possible, especially if they’re local.

This can be done very safely if you choose a daytime meeting in a busy local cafe and arrange to have a quick coffee together to decide if you’d like to get to know each other better.

To find out the secrets to getting a second date, we asked our friends at Perfect Match — a dating site that uses a psychologist-developed compatibility system to match singles — to sound in. Making sure that the dating service you use connects you with highly compatible matches.

You should look for a service that matches the "whole" you, not just one part of you, like your appearance or your love for pizza.This is perfectly understandable, and you shouldn’t meet anyone if you’re unsure or uncomfortable about it.The same safety rules apply to a coffee date as any other date; check in with a friend before and after and make sure you have enough money to get home.Don't include your surname or any other identifying information such as your place of work either in your profile or when you first make contact.For those American singles heading on a first date with someone they’ve met on Elite Singles, the chances are you and your date have already hit it off online.Starting with a coffee date also gives you less time to get anxious or self-conscious because there’s less build up.