There’s nothing wrong with being single. However, it can get a little lonely sometimes, and many people start looking for that special someone sooner or later. There are numerous dating apps and websites that can help you with that, and many people use them exclusively to meet new people.
Even though it’s possible to find true love on a dating app and there are many stories with a happy ending, there are also many cases of dates that went completely wrong. People got scammed, assaulted, or even worse, and all these incidents prove that you can never be too careful. In this article, you’ll learn about the most important online dating safety rules. Keep these useful tips in mind before you meet your online date, as they could potentially save your life one day.
Do Some Research Before You Meet Them
While you’re looking for hookups near you, you may just match with a person who spikes your interests more than others. The conversation goes well, and you quickly move on to another social media platform to talk more. This should give you an opportunity to perform research on your potential date and see what kind of person you’re talking to.
Always cross-check the other person’s social media accounts and verify if they’re real or not. Dating apps attract scammers and predators who take advantage of people’s naivety. If you feel a bit suspicious about someone’s profile, don’t meet them. It’s a matter of your safety, and a simple background check can turn up serious red flags you shouldn’t disregard.
Talk On the Phone or via Video Chat
Texting is fine, but many people ended up getting catfished or scammed, sometimes even without going on an in-person date. After all, it’s easy to fabricate personal information and create a false image. Before you go on a date with someone you’ve only talked to online before, talk with them on the phone or, even better, arrange a quick video chat to verify their identity. If a person refuses, it’s a huge red flag, and you should reconsider whether you really want to meet them.
Whenever you’re going on a date, always let your friends or family know where you’re going and give them a rough time frame for your meeting. After each date, call or text to let them know that everything is fine. If you’re changing locations, let them know as well. In case your date has malicious plans towards you and decides to act upon them, you’ll know that people will be alerted if you fail to reach out to them. Having a safety net and support of your loved ones will give you peace of mind and let you safely enjoy your date.
Meet in a Public Place
The best way to ensure your safety is to be around other people. A busy restaurant, your favorite coffee shop where the staff knows you, or a park in the middle of the city are great places to go for your first real-life meeting.
While Netflix and chill may sound like a great plan, it’s not really safe to invite someone you’ve never met before to come over to your place or go to theirs. If something happens, nobody will help you nor react, so it’s better to choose a public place for your first in-person meeting.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Although having a couple of drinks might seem like a good idea, it’s actually better to limit your alcohol intake or skip it whatsoever. Sure, alcoholic beverages can help you get the conversation going and make you more confident. However, they can also limit your inhibitions, and if you drink too much, you’ll become an easy target. Also, getting wasted on a first date isn’t classy at all, is it?
Trust Your Intuition
Sometimes you just know if something’s not right. You’re not obligated to sit through the entire date, invite someone over, or follow them home. If your gut tells you to get out, leave as soon as you can.
It’s ok if you want to leave early and call it a night. If the situation keeps getting awkward, try to let someone know that you may need out. Many bars and restaurants worldwide implement the policy of secret codes or phrases for people in such situations. Also, consider texting your friends while you’re in a bathroom and let them know you need help.
Online dating is a great way to meet new people and maybe even get into a serious relationship. While this method for making connections becomes increasingly popular, it’s not risk-free. After all, you never know who’s on the other side of the screen until you meet them. Even then, the person you see may be completely different from the person who you thought you’ve been texting.
Meeting someone for the first time in real life is, undoubtedly, very exciting. However, your safety should always come first. Hopefully, the tips we mentioned above will help you have a safe first date. The saying goes, “better safe than sorry,” and it definitely applies to everyone who wants to try online dating.