Safety Tips 2018-04-26T00:07:21+00:00

Screen shots of a scammer doing what scammers do!

LoveRecoveryClub is ever mindful of alerting you to safety as well as the huge enjoyment to be gained from entering into a healthy relationship!

Our Editor's suggestions for mindful dating, followed by an honest account of dating gone horribly wrong!

  • Post pictures that are current, try to show your personality through your pictures, activities you’re interested in such as cycling, country walks, dancing or travelling.
  • Snapchat ‘bunny ear’ pictures seem to be a bit of a turn off, as cute as you might look in them the general consensus seems to be, keep it real.
  • Use your profile to set expectations from the start. If you can’t stand football say so (nicely) if a night out at the theatre is your idea of hell then say what your ideal day/night out would be.
  • Try to be honest about what you are hoping a relationship will bring, although stating your desire to be pregnant within 3 months might not win a lot of potential dates round, equally someone to be a stand in mother for your 3 children would probably have the same effect. Friendship? Dating? Relationship? At LR we live by trying to always be honest, willing and open.
  • We truly hope those minority scammers out there, will stick to the really large dating communities where they can get lost in amongst the less vigilant people who run them, but as we can’t guarantee this we suggest you don’t get lost in the perpetual text and rather try to at least get a video call going. Also remember the rule of thumb, if the person’s images look too good to be true, they probably are!
  • If someone is urging you to come off your chosen dating app, before you’ve even met, then there may be an ulterior motive… don’t let anyone try to control how you wish to use this platform.
  • Check ‘em out, google reverse imaging is a good way to find pictures stolen from the internet. The new laws around stolen images will hopefully curb this a little…
  • When you decide to take that next exciting step and meet, we suggest you pick somewhere public. We’re starting a coffee shop review section on our website, so while you’re there feel free to let us know your thoughts on any place you visit as recommendations are always welcome to locals and visitors alike.
  • Let a few people know where you’re going, arrange a check in time with a friend so you can say all is safe and well (and hopefully bloody dreamy), if not, you could have a code word to say ‘help call me and get me outta here’… exit strategies are always a good plan to have under your hat, but chances are you won’t need it.
  • Meeting at someone’s home on a first date is never a good idea, you’re clean and sober now, no need to take unnecessary chances.
  • If you belong to one of the 12 step fellowships, why not grab a meeting before or after a meet up. A little bit of spiritual recovery can only aid your Love Recovery and keeps us mindful that the two things are very different.
  • Be mindful at all times, clean and sober doesn’t always mean decent and honest! But MOST of all, have fun, this is your chance to be happy, joyous and free!

Be mindful when online dating… an article written by our LR Editor of how NOT to do online dating. This may seem like an odd story to tell but read to the end to discover why we felt it right to publish this experience…

Mindfulness is the buzz word mostly used about peoples personal and spiritual journeys in developing an awareness of the ‘present moment’. By definition, it is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and that’s what we absolutely recommend when it comes to online dating!

Through almost bitter (not totally bitter because I have learned tolerance and acceptance dontcha know haha) experience, I’d like to share my knowledge and make some suggestions around the potential minefield of speaking to, then arranging to meet ‘virtual strangers’. As much as I would like to say that my sober self was bound to be immune to any potential conman, in truth an incredible long game was played out on me and I hate to admit this, but I was suckered right in!

Having done a lot of research following my experience, it seems that I played into a relatively typical scam. ‘Donald Schmeling’ looked like he had stepped out of a fashion magazine, an incredibly good looking older man, dressed beautifully, twinkle in his eye and clearly solvent. As it turns out, he had! The images that were being used I discovered through Google’s reverse imaging (THE most useful tool in online dating, to be invented!) were of an incredibly handsome, solvent, male model and fashionista from Italy, with a different name, age, life…

My daughter had convinced me that I needed a life again and to be saved from turning into the sad old cat lady that I was destined to become following 2 years of being single. It took me all of 2 weeks of tentative ‘swiping’ to match with darling ‘Donald’. Wow, we were a match, wow, online dating is the answer! He was a little coy at first, he was busy in the middle of a big business deal that meant he would be able to settle in the UK for good and be near his daughter who wanted to continue her post grad education in the UK.  ‘Donald’ was very keen to take our conversation onto email and WhatsApp as he was a little uncomfortable with the dating app. Being so new to online dating he had a few trust issues, following the breakdown of his marriage due to the death of his daughter (yes seriously, this IS how low scammers will go). I complied and even took myself off the app as he seemed so lovely and genuine. I’ve always been a one-man kinda woman, so it felt wrong to be engaging in this virtual relationship while busily checking out other people’s profiles.

Donald’s terribly sad story, which played out over WhatsApp, tugged at my heartstrings. Being a Dutchman living in Texas, some of his phraseology was a little off but I put it down to some of his language being lost in translation. We spoke at length through WhatsApp voice calls as there was ‘something wrong’ with his video calling, deep and meaningful conversations about life, the universe and everything. He even asked for my opinions on business situations he was in (he had a very sophisticated website with his image on it as a Director). At one point I asked him if he liked to dance, 5 minutes later I got a video of him, yep, dancing… he went out and danced and filmed it just for me! Then came the cherry on the virtual cake… His other daughter ‘Isabella’ called me up from Texas to suss out my intentions as she was worried I might be FAKE or a gold digger! Ahahaha (cue maniacal laughter)!

To cut a three month long story short, which included me being away on holiday and him getting a little jealous when I was out and about and unable to WhatsApp (very cute), was fraught with us keeping on missing each other, he got to the UK as I went to Spain and as I got back from Spain he had an emergency trip back to Texas due to the terrible flooding disaster that took place (yes seriously, again this IS how low they stoop). He sent me pictures of his devastated properties and then came the crunch, could I help pay the bribe that was needed to bump him up the queue of insurance claimants. He had been virtually ruined by the disaster but as soon as the insurance paid out, he would be back and solvent again, plus his BIG deal in the UK/Turkey was a few weeks from completing. Well obviously, I’m not an idiot and through a lot of pain of conscience I told him I couldn’t help out financially. He understood and went to great lengths to apologise for even asking which he had done just because he was so upset and worried about his tenants that needed rehousing (ouch).

Another month of beautiful words, kindness and incredibly loving promises continued. THEN that fateful day arrived when on his business trip to Turkey to finally seal his incredible work deal, a horrible thing happened, he went completely missing. Between Istanbul and the mine in the countryside, his WhatsApp profile disappeared and there was NO contact at all. I was so worried, beside myself in fact. A close friend of mine suggested that a friend of hers who had an office in Istanbul could put the word out to see if there were any reports of kidnappings or worse. There weren’t. Then ‘Isabella’ called me. Had I heard from her Dad as she hadn’t, and he spoke to her every day and she was really worried… Eventually, a week later I heard from him, he had been mugged and ended up in hospital, everything stolen. His driver had been injured really badly. But worse, his delivery of equipment in Turkey had arrived and if he didn’t pay customs £5000 by the Friday then the deal would be null and void. A desperate plea from a desperate man who had suffered so much in the last week. I said again, financial help was not an option, he used every manipulative trick in the book to get me to help and suggested I get an overdraft (yes, seriously) to bail him out at this critical period. He sent me the official customs documentation…

This was the point where Google’s reverse imaging became a thought, through the suggestion of a friend. This is where 4 months of my life came crashing down around me! What an absolute sucker I had been, my enthusiasm had clouded my judgment and infatuation had blinkered rational thinking. It happens. You would think that this wouldn’t be the best advert for someone to write on a new dating app BUT I’m retelling this story for one reason only, I’m not a hard of thinking person and this happened. We can’t police all profiles on LoveRecovery and although most seasoned app users understand the importance of inappropriate behaviours being reported, if you’re new to this like I was then it is possible to be caught up in the excitement of a new romance and be SCAMMED. So, I feel it is socially responsible for us to bring this to people’s attention to raise awareness that it happens. If it puts you off dating apps that would be a great shame as I do know of some beautiful romances that have been born through online dating. My only desire having written this is to suggest MINDFULNESS in dating and to also suggest that if he/she looks way too good to be true then dig a little further as s/he may just well be! My top of the dating tips are based on experience, strength and hope!

 

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