There are potential hazards with any kind of dating online, if you are a teen, you run the risk of meeting a pedophile who pretends to be a person of your age in order to entice you into meeting them somewhere outside of cyberspace. If you are a senior, you run the risk of meeting a con artist who will prey on your loneliness to take advantage of you, but if you are a gay person dating online, you run the risk of becoming a victim of a hate crime.Take the case of Martin, who had joined an online dating website and was making regular contact with other gay men via the chat room. Eventually he met Earl and started an online romance. He and Earl chatted two or three times a week for months before Earl initiated outside contact. Martin agreed to meet Earl at a yacht club and go for an evening sail. There was no one else around and it was starting to get dark when Earl finally showed up. After introducing himself, Earl’s friends appeared from the other end of the dock and beat Martin within inches of his life. Martin was lucky-he lived even though he spent three weeks in the hospital and had to undergo painful physical rehabilitation.Unfortunately, Martin’s story is becoming all too common with gay dating online.Gay bashers posing as gay men online in order to lure unsuspecting people out to get beat up can be avoided. While you can never be sure that the person you have met online is who they say they are, there are precautions you can take to insure your safety. The first being, never agree to meet someone from an adult dating service online in a secluded spot, always meet socially, where there is a large group of people and have a way to leave if you are not comfortable. This is rule number one of online dating tips. If you have any reservations do not go; you can do a back ground check (if you have their real name) with a number of online security check websites.Online dating can be a fun, safe way to meet new people, if you keep your own safety as the number one objective when meeting in person.