Being single can be challenging. For some, online dating may be a chance to meet lots of new people, which is essential when you’re trying to find that lasting connection. But as technology continues to advance and dominate the dating spectrum, safety needs to remain a top priority.
If you’re looking to start dating online, here are a few tips to keep you safe:
Photo by Edward Jenner
Consider who You’re Meeting Carefully
If you’re planning on meeting someone in person, it’s always best to make sure you’re not in harm’s way. A background check like Check People will typically pull any social media photos and accounts, which will allow you to see who they are before you meet them in person.
It will also pull a person’s criminal history for any prior arrests, convictions, or infractions, which is essential to know before meeting up. If the report shows an aggressive record, take that as an immediate red flag. After all, the person we meet online may be very different than the person they genuinely are in real life.
Always tell a Friend Where You’ll Be
If you’re hoping to meet a potential match in person, it’s always best to let a friend know where you’ll be, and the other person’s name (first and last, if possible) before you meet up with them in person. Likewise, set a meeting point for the date and time you’re planning to head out and be home for the night and share the address with your friend too.
There are several apps nowadays where friends can pop on and check your location, and keep track of you to help you stay safe.
Arrange Your Own Transportation
Long gone are the days of having a date pick you up from your house, especially when you’re meeting for the first time. By arranging your transportation, you’ll be able to stay in control of the evening (particularly where you’re going and any dangerous situations that may arise). If you don’t have access to your vehicle, consider taking public transportation to your date, taking an uber or having a friend drop you off and pick you up, remind them you’ll be happy to do the same at some point.
Meet in Public Places
Avoid meeting in a private location, like a personal residence, until you know the person for an extended period (at least 3 or 4 meetings). A public place should have plenty of people around, so consider locations like bars, entertainment centres, or coffee shops for the first meet-up, make sure to take your mask, and in some cases, to social distance.
Go Easy on the Drinks
While a first date can be stressful, drinking isn’t always the best way to fight the nerves away. It’s essential to know your limits when it comes to drinking, particularly if you want to meet someone for the first time. Drinking in excess can often impair judgment, which can put you in a vulnerable state. On top of that, always make sure that any drinks you have are directly from the waitress or bartender. Unfortunately, many substances that get slipped into drinks are tasteless and odourless, making it difficult to identify until it’s too late.
Trust Your Gut
Bad dates happen, especially when you’re meeting people for the first time. Maybe they look different than their photo, or perhaps the chemistry isn’t there – whatever the reason, there’s nothing wrong with ending a date that isn’t going well. If something on your radar has you wanting to leave, trust your gut, and call it a night.
Many bars and restaurants have set up secret codes or phrases established for anyone needing out of a bad date promptly. This works best in situations where you’re feeling uncomfortable, especially if you feel like your safety is in jeopardy. If the restaurant or bar doesn’t have a code or phrase, reach out to the wait staff or bartender and ask them for help (if strictly leaving isn’t an option).
With millions of online users currently looking for love, finding a connection is everyone’s goal. Whether you’re looking for true love or hoping to make new friends, there’s something for everyone, as long as you’re patient and careful. Online dating can be a fun and exciting way to meet new people if you continue the relationship in a safe manner.