While in the shower this morning I had a thought. (I know, bit early for that type of kafuffle, but I surprise myself sometimes.) At what point do you share details with a potential online date?

It’s all nice and well that I’m not a bunny boiler, but what if the other party turns out to be a stalker, or worse? Because hopefully there does come a point that the contact will go beyond the dating site and into real life. (To be honest, virtual relationships just don’t do it for me and I have never understood how people can spend hours and hours building a life in Second Life. I’m busy enough with this one, thanks.)

The first move after a message is probably a few e-mails. Do I really want them to know my full name? My professional identity might scare them off, so I decide it’s a good idea to set up an e-mail account for the occasion. Bless the likes of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! But I still want to get out of this virtual life, and sometime it might be nice to talk on the phone. Of course you could go straight to meeting someone, but that goes slightly beyond my levels of bravery. And even then, it might be handy to have a mobile number in case of an emergency. After all, you never know what’s going to happen. Remember that movie An Affair to Remember? Enough said.

Thinking this through a little more, if someone has your mobile number and you have a mobile contract, it’s actually quite easy for them to get your address. As I’m still not keen on the idea of my own pet stalker, I remember I have a spare pay-as-you-go phone that my parents use when they are around. This could lead to very interesting situations when they are using it, but as long as I make sure they don’t pick up the phone if it does not show my number, it should work. The possibility of my parents taking a call from a random stranger in combination with the fact that they actually don’t speak that much English makes me laugh.

I finish my shower and get ready to go to work, running late now.