Inspira Health Network, Inc.

SUM 2016

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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Page 24 of 32

2 4 S P I R I T O F W O M E N S U M M E R 2 016 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m DON'T say what you don't want in a mate, such as "No cheaters—only nice guys!" Perpetrators can sniff out vulnerability and use your words to misrepresent themselves and build a false rapport, such as: "I've been cheated on too. Are you going to be faithful to me?" "Instead, state what you want in a mate and be specific, such as 'I feel cherished when a man opens the car door for me,'" Walters says. "A man who doesn't want to do that will deselect himself for you, which is just fine." DO meet up sooner rather than later. To weed out people who aren't what they say they are, develop a system: After four or five emails or phone calls, arrange to get together. If the person keeps making excuses for why he or she can't meet, such as being out of the country on business or military service (the classic sign of a scammer, according to, stop communicating. Until you meet in person, you're in a fantasy relationship. "You can't really know somebody until you're physically in their presence," Walters says. And keep your first get-together short, such as coffee, happy hour or lunch during the workweek. "Use your first meet to decide if you want to go on a first date," Walters says. To play it safe, meet the person in a public place in a neighborhood you're familiar with, so you can focus on what's going on around you instead of worrying about, say, where you parked your car. DO a background check. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to check out your date. "People advertise their lives on social media," says Bill Stanton, a safety and security expert in New York City, so you can use the tendency to overshare to your advantage. "You're not being paranoid. You're being prepared," he says. Do the posts represent someone you'd like to get to know? What pops up about the person when you Google him? (continued from page 23) At the same time, know that potential suitors are probably checking you out online too, so edit your social media information. If you list your address on Facebook, for example, delete it. Don't post pictures of your home or its contents either. DON'T ignore your gut feelings. As you get to know someone, pay attention to your intuition—the inner compass that can guide you to love and alert you to impending danger. "Not listening to your internal radar is like turning on the radio if the 'check engine' light goes on in your car," says Stanton. In general, ask yourself: Does this person seem kind, trustworthy, dependable and honest? Acknowledge how you feel and then honor those feelings. "[The feelings] may come to you through words, physical sensations such as a knot in your stomach, images, fleeting impressions or even dreams," says Lynn Robinson, author of "Divine Intuition" (Jossey-Bass, 2012). First dates can be nerve-wracking, but if you ever feel unsafe or truly uncomfortable, make a move. If you're meeting in person, get up and leave. "A simple 'I'm sorry, this isn't going to work out for me' is all that's needed," Walters says. DO consider dating a process. Even if you're wildly attracted to someone, take it slow. "No crazy 24-hour first dates," advises Walters. In other words, never go home with a stranger or get into his or her car when you're on a first date. "Perpetrators are looking for women who will commit quickly, who are willing to jump in based on a chemical thing. It shows you're not thinking clearly," Walters says. To build in a safety net of time, remind yourself that there are plenty of good people out there so there's no rush, she says. • Red fags H E A L T H Y R E L A T I O N S H I P S The top signs that an online love interest is likely a scammer include: • A potential suitor you've been communicating with online asks you to wire money for an emergency. Don't do it. • The person claims to be from the United States but is traveling or working abroad long-term. • He or she is professing love even though you've never met in person. "You can't really know somebody until you're physically in their presence." ~ Orna Walters,

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