Valentine's Day is right around the corner, so if you're single, your thoughts may have turned towards finding a date. Going out to bars and clubs can be exhausting and expensive, not to mention the low success rate. So as we all know, more and more people are turning towards online dating.

The truth is, online dating can be an absolute nightmare. It went so badly for me that I gave up and just started trolling dudes back. It's incredibly, shockingly common to get a message like this from a guy out of nowhere. It's edited because apparently I'm not allowed to say that word that refers to a lady's upper chest area. (Editor's note: It's true, she's not!)

renee okcupid

Real Texas dude, and really the first thing he ever sent me. Ugh. But funny enough, I met my honey on Facebook of all places. We had mutual friends, met up in a totally safe place with other people we both knew and we hit it off like crazy because we have similar interests. It's been two and a half years now.

I'm not telling you to avoid online dating altogether, just to be safe about it, because Texas isn't very safe for online dating. We are by no means the worst (Washington D.C. has that 'honor') but we are still "in the red" with both high instances of cyber-crime, violent crime and (eww) STDs - the metric by which the study I'm referencing judged online dating safety.

Out of all 50 states we ranked no. 37 on safety, so well within the bottom half of the country. If you want to improve your odds, Vermont came in as most safe. Also, I hear the autumns are lovely there.

I'm sure many of you also remember the very tragic case of Joanna Rogers. She was one of the so-called Suit Case Killer victims, and she had met him online. Granted, online dating was in its infancy at the time, but it's still important to be careful. has a good comprehensive list of safety tips.

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