In my book, InvestiDate: How to Investigate Your Date, I discuss the importance of creating a Date-a-Base, which is really a database for your dates. This is crucial because it allows you to have one email address that you use on every single dating site, which then captures all your email and photo exchanges in one dedicated place.
Let's face it, we've all heard horror stories about online dating -- someone's gone missing on the news or a friend of a friend had a horrendous experience. We can control much of this but only to a point. We can InvestiDate and be prepared. We can also leave a digital trail via a Date-a-Base.
Here are some tips for creating an effective Date-a-Base:
Create a Dating Only Email. This is key to the Date-a-Base system. You want ONE email address that you use on every single dating site; whether that site is free or paid. If you move the emails off the dating site and give each other your direct email addresses, this dating email is the only email address you are to share until you've been on several dates and are certain you want to reveal more of yourself. Make sure your name is not associated with this email account. There should not be a signature line. There should not be a phone number.
Save Everything. To do this, save every single email; even if you think it's just using up valuable space. Do not delete. Sometimes, the high-powered doctor surprisingly took a pay cutand got crafty turning himself into a construction site manager or line cook. Shocking (rolling eyes) but you've got it under control! Type the email address into the search box and see if you pull up an email from another time.
Email Yourself. Out on your hot date? Great. Next bathroom run, send yourself a quick email, just some notes. Maybe something like this: "John, eHarmony, 5 ft 8, jeans, grey top, ABC tapas bar, East Village." The purpose for this is to create a digital trail, heaven forbid anything should happen. This way you have notes and they're all basically organized in one gathering spot. You presumably have photos. You've also pinged a cell phone tower by emailing yourself the information. If there should be a need to search for you, you've provided an ideal starting spot.
Share Your Password. This one seems counterintuitive... but it would be goo dot share the password to this dating only email address with one or two of your closest friends. It's not so they can snoop... it's so that there are two people who can quickly gain access to your Date-a-Base in event it seems warranted.