Online Dating Safety Advice
If you’re unfamiliar with the online dating experience or you’re wary of the process because you’ve heard some horror stories, here are a few tips for staying safe in the online dating scene:
- Always trust your gut. If your instincts are telling you that you’re walking into unforeseen danger, err on the side of caution. Politely withdraw from the exchange or arrange for a friend to bail you out.
- Put your best foot forward, but make sure you aren’t stretching the truth. When creating an online profile, you want to be as honest as possible so the person viewing it won’t have unrealistic expectations of you. The last thing you want is to mislead people, right?
- Post a photo that reveals little to no personal details about your whereabouts or lifestyle. Less is more. When it comes to safety, it’s never a good idea to give away where you live, which places you frequent or how much you earn.
- Stay in control of how much information you divulge. Unless you absolutely trust the person you are talking to, keep sensitive data private for the time being.
- Your identity is your most prized possession. Use sites like ours with safety measures in place to protect your email address and contact information.
- There’s no need to talk about finances early on. Focus on lighter topics such as hobbies and interests. This way, you are still getting to know the other person without giving away personal information.
- See any request for financial help as a red flag. You wouldn’t borrow money from a complete stranger, would you?
- At some point, you may be asked to share more information or photos of yourself. Do so only if you are comfortable with it, not because you have been pressured. Remember you are always in control. Do not relinquish it until you are ready to open yourself up more.
- Choose your words carefully. Does it convey your tone and intentions? Are you sending mixed signals? Be as upfront as you can to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Arranging a meeting is a big step. Take your time getting to know the other person first before moving forward. Always make sure that someone else, either a friend or family member, knows of your plans in case of an emergency. Continue reading for more in-person safety dating advice.
In-Person Dating Safety Advice
Online dating through a service such as hours dramatically reduces the risk of putting yourself in danger, but sometimes in all your excitement you may overlook some of the more important things to remember when arranging a meet-up. Before you rush off to meet your hot date, make sure you remember these quick tips to avoid any mishaps:
- Say no. If you’re not 100% into the person you’re meeting, or if you don’t feel completely safe, just say no. Potentially putting yourself in danger is not worth a half hearted meet-up. Save it for someone who really piques your interest!
- There’s a saying, “Keep your cards close to your chest.” The same can be said for your belongings! Secure your valuables at all times. Better yet, bring only the bare minimum – a credit card, some cash, your phone.
- When speaking to your date face-to-face, avoid any mention of sex or finances, especially during the first meeting. Though it may be tempting to instigate physical affection, it’s best to take precautions at least until you’ve gotten to know them better.
- Anyone who proclaims their love for you before you have met in person is either infatuated or insincere. Either way, it’s probably in your best interests to turn them away.
- The location of your meet-up is arguably the most important thing to consider when planning a first date. Make sure it is quiet enough for a serious conversation, but populated enough that you can easily call for help. A familiar restaurant with multiple exits and a parking lot in plain view is ideal.
- Let a friend or family member know where you are, what time you plan to be home and who you are meeting. That way, if you deviate from the plan, someone can call the authorities immediately.
- Always have an exit plan. Come up with a list of excuses ahead of time, or a code with someone you know, should you ever want to cut your date short. If you feel uncomfortable, leave. Your safety is more important than your reputation.
- When sharing a cab with your date, request to be dropped off last so that your place of residence remains unknown. If all else fails, get dropped off somewhere else.
- Find an independent means of transportation. Never allow your date to pick you up and drop you off at your home. Know the number for your local taxi company for a speedy getaway.
- Refrain from drinking too much alcohol on your date so you can maintain a clear head. Time your bathroom breaks after you’ve finished your food or drink. It ensures you won’t be consuming anything that has been tampered with.
- Check that your mobile phone is fully charged. A spare battery could also come in handy.
- Respect your date’s boundaries even if they are different from yours. If there is a conflict, take it as a sign that you may not be right for each other instead of forcing him or her to conform to your standards.