Staying Safe in the Online Dating World
If you’ve been following this series, you’re probably pretty familiar with the benefits of online dating. If you’re just tuning in now, here’s the TL;DR version—online dating is convenient, gives you access to people you might have never met, and has an incredibly high success rate.
So, now that you’ve heard about many of the positive aspects, we want to make you aware of how to be smart and stay safe while dating online. As we mentioned earlier in our series, there are certainly safety risks associated with online dating (of course these risks are very similar to those associated with dating in general,) but there are some inherent differences with dating online. Staying safe is important! We’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you stay safe as you search for your soulmate.
Don’t Overshare Online
Of course it’s important to write an honest and informative profile. That’s the best way to attract someone whose interests and personality will mesh well with yours! However, there is such a thing as too much information. If you give away too many personal facts in your profile, you may be putting yourself at risk. Sharing personal information on the internet can be tricky, so a good rule of thumb is that if you have any doubt about posting it on the internet, just don’t do it!
For example, it’s fine to share that you go to Arizona State University, but you don’t need to share that you’re currently living it up at the Vista Apartments right off campus. It’s fine to share that you’re a bartender, but leaving out the name and location of the bar you’re currently pouring drinks at is best. This is all information that you can certainly choose to tell someone once you’ve connected and have started a conversation, but is it really information that you want someone you’re not interested in to know about you? Making the choice about what to include and what to leave out when sharing personal facts about yourself is definitely better once you’ve starting interacting with a potential date and have a better idea about the person.If you have any doubt about posting it on the internet, just don’t do it. Click To Tweet
Research the Person
You’re already online—why not do your research while you’re there? A simple Google search can bring up a lot of information. Often, it will pull up some basic information and potentially the person’s social media pages, so you can learn more. If you’re worried about the person having a criminal record, that information should be publicly available, and many background search websites can provide it for you for just a few dollars. That way, if there are any red flags that pop up, you’ll be aware of them and can avoid a potentially bad situation. Tip: If you discover some troubling information about a potential date, just tell them you’ve changed your mind, because you’re still in love with your ex. They’ll probably go running in the opposite direction very quickly!
Meet in Public
We cannot stress the importance of this enough! If you take only one thing away from this article, let it be this. If you are meeting someone in person for the first time it is so important to meet him or her in a public place. Even if you’ve already done your research on your potential date and are pretty confident that there’s nothing to worry about, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t meet someone for the first time in a secluded place, like at his or her apartment and especially not at your place, no matter how romantic it may seem! Even if they offer to cook you dinner at their place—politely suggest another option, such as grabbing drinks at the local bar or meeting for brunch. Any reasonable person will completely understand wanting to meet publicly at first.
If your potential date gets pushy about wanting to meet in a more secluded location or seems to get defensive, that’s definitely a red flag and the smart thing is to move on. Arranging to meet your date in public once or twice until you feel comfortable is the smart choice. For safety sake, meeting in a well-lit public place with other people around is ideal for a first date. Plus, as an added bonus, if you’re not feeling it and need to make a quick getaway, it’s a lot easier to do that from a coffee shop, for example, than from someone’s living room.
Trust Your Gut
All of the safety tips in the world can’t substitute for your number one safety tool—your intuition! There’s definitely something to be said for a gut feeling. People give off vibes, and if the vibe you’re picking up isn’t right, trust it. There’s not an exact science behind this, but it’s safe to say that if someone is creeping you out, they’re probably not your soulmate.It’s safe to say that if someone is creeping you out, they’re probably not your soulmate. Click To Tweet
So, if you follow these few basic safety rules, you can increase the odds that you will have a more positive experience with online dating. Most of these tips are common sense and aren’t difficult to stick to! Although we can’t guarantee that you still won’t have some awkward first dates, hopefully they’ll be the kind that make for some good stories to laugh about later. Being smart and staying safe are always number one!