Online dating has become the norm of dating mainly because it is the easiest and the fastest way to meet new people.
Not too long ago, the only way to meet a potential mate was mainly through family, common friends or work, which limits your options greatly.
But meeting new people comes with its challenges too. They still are complete strangers even If you have been talking for a while and they feel familiar to you. You literally know nothing about someone you met online. They could very well be “normal” but you don’t really know until you find out.
So to stay safe while you are trying your luck with Online Dating, here are a few tips that I suggest you follow:
1. Conduct a background check
This should become a reflex for you.
It is fairly easy to find out information about people on the internet. You can easily google the person, check their Facebook profile and other social platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Linkedin for more professional info. The important thing is to find out if you are dealing with a real person and if they are really what they pretend to be.
You could also take it further and get a background check paid service, but probably want to keep this option for someone you are a bit more serious about. You would be surprised of the number of things that such a service can uncover, like past convictions, credit issues, and divorce proceedings.
2. Never let them pressurize you to meet
It should warn you immediately when someone is rushing you into meeting them. That’s not something “normal” guys would do.
So if a guy you are currently talking to is trying to put some pressure on you to meet him, you are better off avoiding meeting him altogether.
3. Meet in a crowded and familiar area of your city
You should never ever meet someone in an area you are not familiar with because if anything goes wrong, you will need to be quick in reacting and taking yourself out of the situation safely. Which is why it is important to be in a familiar area where you know exactly where to go to be safe.
4. Never travel to meet someone for the first time
It can happen sometimes that you start talking to someone who is a few Km away or even living in a different country, and it is tempting to go visit them if you want to meet, but if you do so, you are again putting yourself in a vulnerable position because you are outside of your own environment and you cannot control anything.
5. No more than one drink on a first date with a stranger
A lot of things can go wrong on a date with a stranger, and you need to be fully aware of yourself if anything happens. that is why you should have no more than one drink, and that is only if absolutely necessary because it is even better if you can avoid it altogether.
6. Never send a private picture or video of you to a stranger
Once your picture or video leaves your phone. you have absolutely no control over it. and while some people can be decent and respect your privacy, others care less and can share those private pictures with their friends, or even post them online god knows where.
7. Never get in a car with a stranger
If you think about it carefully, once you are in a car, you lose total control of everything.
It may feel like a harmless gesture because you probably do it everyday with family members or friends, but if you find yourself in a car with a dangerous person, there is very little you can do about it and you are at their mercy. they can drive you wherever they want and they don’t have to stop anywhere where you can get help. so never ever do get in a car with a stranger.
8. Let someone you know that you are meeting a stranger
A friend or a family member who can check upon you if they don’t hear from you. You do not want to meet a complete stranger and no one knows anything about it. Tell your friend or family member where you are supposed to meet him and what time and give as many details as you can, just in case.
9. Don’t send any personal data
Watch out for online scammers who are only looking to get your money. Never share your credit cards info, bank accounts, pins or passwords.
10. Don’t go to his place on a first date
Not even on the second or third, until you have collected enough data points about him to know that he is “normal”.
11. Listen to your gut feeling
Last but not least, listen to your gut feeling, a lot of times our feelings tell us exactly what we need to hear and it is our responsibility to listen.
Wishing you safe and happy dating,
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