There are a lot of OLD horror stories out there so I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I only met/dated one lady from OLD. We have been together for 10 months now and I couldn't be happier.
One piece of advice I would give in addition to trusting your gut, is really scrutinize their profile. I would say put your detective hat on (I have been a LEO for 30sh years).
Look at the photo's there will be the obvious creeps that will stand out, but really look things over. I am not the party type. It was amazing to me how many women had their picture taken in a bar or casino, that was always a red flag for my life style.
The internet is your friend for detective work. If you progress to the point where you have a phone number Google it "(123)456-7890", Anytown State.
Quite often you will find info on them that way. You can also put the phone number in a Face Book search and sometimes come up with a page that way.
Also as soon as you get a name I strongly suggest you Google them as a free background check. If you do it like this: "John Doe", city, state it will make it easier. See if they have a Facebook page often that will give you some real good clues about who you are talking to.
Be safe! When you first meet pick a public place. Tell a friend, have them call you after an hour or so you can use that as a excuse to leave if things aren't going how you would like. Make the first meeting a short one like a cup of coffee or lunch so that it doesn't have to last long, if the chemistry is there you can always extend it by going for a walk afterwards etc.
I suspect it may be more challenging for women as there are a lot of creepy guys out there (no real shortage of creepy women either) but there are also a lot of good guys out there just take your time and trust your instincts.
4 kids age 20 to 32 (2 special needs step children)
Married 22 1/2 years