Dating has seen significant transformations in recent times, most especially with the advent of technology. The norms of dating, in general, are more lenient than they were a few years ago, and the awkwardness associated with meeting someone online has decreased dramatically. This is due to the convenience of dating apps in our constantly over-scheduled lifestyles. They can broaden your dating pool well beyond the locations you frequently visit and connect you with people you would not have met otherwise. Although there's a lot to appreciate about online dating, it poses its challenges. Here are ten ways to stay out of trouble when engaged in online romance:
Perform some fact-checking
Before meeting your date, you should do all you can to find out about your potential partner: so, performing a quick Google search should suffice. Alternatively, using a resource like Nuwber to verify their identity is also commendable. More so, that doesn't imply you should become a stalker; it just means you should have some concept of who the individual is before meeting with your date. If possible, you should try to get their photographs to check for any other information you can uncover on them outside of social media.
Use a Google Voice Number Instead of Your Own
Get a free Google Voice phone number to increase your safety. Using Google's voice application, you can check your messages, voicemails, and calls without giving up your actual phone number. You may also block anyone who you find a little "sketchy." Please keep your phone number private and only provide it to individuals you trust.
Before you meet up agree to do a video chat
With the option to use Facebook, Skype, Google Hangouts, and even FaceTime for video chats, there are so many methods to do that nowadays. It's a smart move to see your date before you get to meet with them in real life. This may also assist in decreasing the danger of getting "catfished" by an impostor.
Drive Yourself or Take Public Transportation
Don't accept the offer to carpool; instead, drive yourself or take public transit if available. This suggestion for online dating safety is also shared by the dating platform CoffeeMeetsBagel because carpooling allows your first date to learn where you live and effectively control where you two go. Having your vehicle also reduces the possibility of putting yourself in an inconvenient or even dangerous scenario because you will have complete control over where you drive.
Meet Up in a Public Place
Never go to any private place with your date on the first and second meet-up. Instead, agree to meet up in a public setting, such as a restaurant, café, skating rink, or similar location with a large number of people. If you sense or eventually become uneasy, the people around can come to the rescue. Furthermore, this allows a friend or a family member to be there or nearby if something goes wrong.
Another fantastic tip: if you go to a bar or restaurant, use a code to let a bartender or waiter know if things aren't going well on your date. Some restaurants have secret codes, such as asking for an "Angel Shot," that diners can use to alert a staff member that something is out of line.
Wait until you meet to reveal your job
If you're proud of how you generate money, you probably wouldn't think twice about telling your date about it. And, let's face it, a popular ice-breaker question when online dating is "what do you do for a living?"
However, be cautious about disclosing too many details about your job. You may wish to mention what you do for a livelihood and discuss what the work entails. However, draw the line there - exposing your employer puts you in danger of having someone show up at your office unexpectedly; it has occurred! In case you work for a major brand with various locations in your area, discussing the company isn't as risky. There's no way they'd know precisely which place you work at.
Let a third party be aware of your plans
It's a good idea to tell someone a friend or a family about your plans to go on a date with someone you met online. Tell them what time you intend to meet them, where you plan to meet them, and how long you expect to be there. Just make sure to keep them updated if you wind up talking for hours and the date lasts longer than anticipated.
Allowing someone to know can be reassuring since they will know where you are supposed to be and can intervene if anything goes wrong even if it is simply coming to pick you up in case you end up not getting along with your date as planned.
Avoid the temptation of sharing too much personal information
This is an essential dating safety warning from Bumble: be cautious about the information you share. Don't give up locations you frequently visit, the whereabouts of your family members, your birthday, and other sensitive information too fast. After you and your date have gotten to know one other a little better and feel more at ease with each other, you may reveal a little bit more about yourself.
Take with you Pepper Spray
If something goes wrong on your date, it's best to be prepared than not, so bring a can of pepper spray with you. Hopefully, you will not need this, but it is better to be safe than sorry, as the adage goes. Also, if you decide to carry pepper spray, make sure you know how to use it.
Be conscious and stay Sober
Many online romance seekers tend to make a common mistake of engaging in excessive drinking without being conscious that their date may not have the friendliest intentions. Today, almost 50 million people are online dating. Nonetheless, as the dating scene evolves, it is still critical to keep your safety in mind when meeting with someone you don't know well.
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