As a young, free (except for the mammoth-sized debt) and away-from-parents student, you are obviously interested in dating. Uni parties are the best places to meet new people, but my friends and I still use Tinder & Co. to check out potential dates. Many of my friends have already found their partner online, so one can say online dating is part of college life. While it’s mostly fun and sexy, online dating comes with a lot of dangers. There is a reason why mom and dad are still tense when they hear you say “I’m going out with my new date”: you can never know who is hiding behind that attractive online dating profile. I would never give up swiping for profiles online, so I made a little research and found out 10 ways to stay safe while online dating.
1. Make sure what you see is what you get
We all hide something about us when it comes to dating. A couple of pounds or one/two years off the age are not a big deal, but there are people who hide a lot more. To make sure you are talking to the person you see on the online dating profile, check them up!
Don’t be afraid or shamed to look up your date online and use an app like mSpy iPhone tracker to find out as much information as possible about who they really are. Get their phone number and do a reverse phone number search, use the internet to search for their profile picture to see if it’s legit or stolen from someone else.
In order to be able to do such researches you need to know your date’s name, phone number and email. If they refuse to give you these, something is fishy about them.
Look carefully into their social profile: fake profiles lack photo tags, friends and family pictures and have a low friend count. All these might destroy the romance, but it will keep you safe.
2. Meet during the day
Dates always take place in the evening, because that’s more romantic. But it’s also more dangerous, so try to meet during daytime. If things are OK, you have plenty of time for romantic midnight dates in the future.
3. Choose a public meeting place
No matter how tempting it might be to do the classic “Netflix and chill” scheme, never go to your date’s place, at least for the first couple of dates. Choose a public place to meet them for the first time, a neutral place. Ideally, it’s a place you already know, where there are lots of cameras and people, who can help you if something goes wrong.
4. Don’t accept a ride home
When you enter into someone’s car you are putting yourself in danger. The driver can go anywhere and they can lock the doors. Always provide your own transportation, in the form of Uber, public transit or your own car. If you choose the latter, don’t offer to give your date a ride, as this has a huge potential to backfire.
Another thing about cars and new dates: never accept a ride back home. If you know that person for a couple of hours, they don’t have to know where you live. Even if you’ve been talking for months!
5. Don’t leave your drink unattended
This one is valid for all parties, everywhere you go: never leave your drink unattended. We all know someone who was drugged and raped (my cousin’s friend is one these people), so always watch your drink. If someone offers you something to drink or eat or smoke, you should politely refuse, because you never know what it’s in those drinks/meals.
6. Tell your friends where you are
Before you go on a date, let your friends and family know where you will be, for how long and who you are dating. The more people know these details, the safer you will be. If something goes wrong – your date proves to be a serial killer or you just have an accident – your friends will know where to look for you. If your plans change during the date, let someone know, even if this means going to the loo only to text your BFF.
Speaking of friends, do let them know about your online relationship and tell them your date’s name and a couple of details. You can even show them your date’s profile, as they look at it from a more objective point of view and they can spot a red flag easier than you.
7. Don’t get drunk
Alcohol prevents you from taking the right decisions, so don’t get drunk on your first date. Keep drinking to social levels, just enough to help you drop the awkwardness of the first date.
8. Don’t give too many details
I’ve already said you shouldn’t give your address, but you also need to be careful what you do let them know about you. Your name and phone are OK – they can also check you – but keep your personal information private. You also want to keep your insecurities and secrets private, until the relationship is face to face.
9. Don’t wait long before meeting in person
It’s easy to lie online, but harder to do it face to face, so don’t wait for the relationship to become deep without meeting your date. If they give you excuses each time you bring up dating in person, they have something to hide, so move on.
10. If in doubt, delete!
A girl’s best friend when it comes to dating is her own common sense. We are equipped with an amazing sense when it comes to feeling when something is wrong, so use it! If you have any doubt about your online date, just delete their profile, ban them and move on. There are plenty of fish!
Got any more ways to stay safe while online dating? Let us know down below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Hi, I am Helena! I gave up on my 9 to 5 marketing job to become a freelancer and pursue my passion for writing. You can Follow me on Twitter @LadyShamans