Technology has made the entire dynamic of dating different. Though strange to say, meeting someone online has become the norm. People have become more accessible via social media, dating sites, and even apps that have nothing to do with dating such as those that pertain to hobbies, dieting, exercising, and the list goes on. However, although internet dating has popularized in these modern times, it is imperative to practice dating safely at all times.
The initial thing to do after engaging with someone online is to google them. You’ve just gotten their name right? Google will tell you almost everything you need to know about a person on paper.
So those speeding tickets, below 600 credit, and a laundry list of criminal history that ‘hotboy05’ conveniently forgot to mention in conversation may come as a surprise.
No, but seriously, you can gather a good amount of information before meeting in person, this will actually help you determine whether or not you want to meet in person, so it saves you time and effort.
Avoid the Catfish
The last thing you want is to be catfished so here’s what you have to do:
- FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom
- Randomly ask for pics of them doing something you request like holding up a piece of paper with your name on it smiling
- Call at an unusual time to see if they answer
- Listen to what they tell you to see if they forget later
If they can’t do any of the above, end all contact immediately. If you’ve seen the show or movie Catfish you know that people lie, hide, and create completely different worlds for themselves online, many to escape their tragic reality.
Make sure that you aren’t a victim of the catfish by taking all steps to ensure that the person you’re talking to is really the person.
Don’t willingly tell all of your business. Sure, you want to get to know someone and that comes with exchanging information, but you should choose wisely. Never tell your address (duh!), or post your whereabouts (wait until you leave), no matter how cool a person may come off, they are still a stranger. Try to avoid any mishaps to the best of your ability.
To stay safe while online dating, exercise caution when interacting with others and never disclose personal or sensitive information such as your Social Security number, financial details, or passwords. Trust your gut and if you sense anything off, back away from the situation. Opt for secure dating sites for young people that prioritize privacy protection with robust security measures. Ensure to use a strong, unique password and enable two-factor authentication to enhance your account security. In the end, taking precautions is always a better choice than regretting in hindsight.
Give it Time
Dating safely is dependent solely on time. Don’t be in such a rush to meet. Try and get to know one another by talking on the phone (I know, how old school is that?). Build a level of comfort between both of you that isn’t forced. If he/she(s) the one, they will wait and move at your pace.
Make Someone Aware
Before you agree on a meetup location be sure to leave all important information with someone you trust. The essentials are necessary: the name of your date, his age, a picture of him, the location of the date, time of the date, estimated time of return, check-in call time, and a call time or text once safely returned home after the date. And if there’s anything else that you know about that person tell-all, nothing should be left untold for safety purposes.
Movies make first dates look so promising when the man comes to pick you up, waits patiently for you to come downstairs, has flowers waiting for you, showers you with compliments, and after the date walks you to your door in hopes for a goodnight kiss. This is not reality. Do not let your date know where you live. Drive yourself for two reasons:
1. If the date goes left you can leave immediately,
2. Even if the date goes well, your date shouldn’t know where you live for safety precautions. It’s best to keep some things under wraps until there is trust and a relationship is formed.
This guide should help you date safely and have fun doing so. By following these safety precautions you are guaranteed to have a great outcome (unless your date is boring or a loser).
But as with anything, go in with positive vibes, and such energy shall be reciprocated. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, safely of course!