Get to know them using online chat and email first - Don't give out your phone number until you are sure they are genuine and the type of person you are interested in!
Once you decide to start speaking on the phone, give them your mobile phone number as it is generally safer than giving your home number.
Talk to them on the phone - When you decide to take things further, take the time to talk on the phone. Speaking with them on the phone gives you a better chance to find out more about them and gauge their character.
Don't feel pressured into meeting up straight away, trust your instincts and if you want to take time in getting to know them first then do so. If they are genuine then they will understand.
Before you meet, get some details - For your safety it is recommended that you get some information about the person you are meeting. Their phone number, first and last name and the general location of where they live are important and not too intrusive. These details can then be given to a friend or family member so they know who you are meeting.
Be prepared to give your details to the other person too. They will want to feel safe as well!
Arrange a safe meeting point - Decide on a meeting point that will be fairly busy with other members of the public. It doesn't have to be a cafe or bar, why not try a popular walking spot, park or sport's facilities like a climbing wall, ski slope or canoeing centre?
Always arrange to meet them at the location and use your own mode of transportation to get to and from the date.
Remember if you are meeting up to do an outdoor activity or sport then make sure to check what clothing and equipment you might need, you don't want to turn up in your best clothes if you are intending to go out on a hike!
Set out what you want from the date - To avoid confusion or giving off the wrong signals let the other person know that you're looking to start out as friends and hoping to get to know them better. This will help the date to be more relaxed and enjoyable.
Relax, enjoy yourself and have fun! - Remember the person you are meeting has taken the time and put in the effort into getting to know you too, so they're interested!
By now they should know a little bit about you, so just be yourself, if you're meeting at a bar or cafe then avoid or limit alcohol as this can lower your inhibitions and remember to keep an eye on your drink at all times.