Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Staying Safe on Dating Apps

If you read my previous post, you'll know I spoke about dating apps like Tinder. So, I'm following that on with this second post about staying safe on dating apps and with online dating websites.

I've seen and heard so many stories recently about online and app dating going wrong. Most of the time in the circumstances I read about, there was no way in the first instance, the person could've known their experience would turn out that bad. 

The chances of something major happening are still pretty small but there are a few things you can do to make sure you keep yourself as safe as possible.

Don't share personal information
You have to be quite clever with online and dating apps when it comes to sharing information. Of course, common sense dictates don't share everything about yourself with strangers - because that's what others on there are. Even once you've started talking to someone you believe is genuine be careful about how much you share. Obviously, don't give them your address straight away! And personally, I think even social media handles shouldn't be shared until you're completely comfortable. To do this day, I've never given anyone my Snapchat because it''s a very personal platform for me. Just be vary of sharing personal information - it a completely personal choice of course when you do share this info. 

Don't share your number straight away
Unless you are just looking for a hookup, I'd recommend not giving your number out straight away. Treat it like the way a non-online/technology relationship would pan out. Ok nowadays, phone number would be the first thing exchanged. But use the app or website to get to know the person before you share that info with them. I've only given my number to about 4 or 5 people so far!

Be vigilant
If someone looks and sounds too good to be true they probably are. If someone only has one picture, you might want to be a little sceptical too. If someone obviously just has a white or black background as a picture you should be a little sceptical too. Keep your wits about you and let common sense prevail.

Don't lie
Even if it's little white lies, don't do it. You'll get found out eventually and it won't bode well with the other person. You wouldn't want to them to lie to you so why do it with them? You should just want to get to know them honestly and hopefully vice-versa so lying is no no. It also goes for if someone says something to you that seems a lie, it probably is. So back to the point above - be vigilant. 

Even when you are talking to someone, as you probably will, be savvy about what they say and what you say too. 

So let's say you've met someone and have arranged to meet. You still can't be too careful and as most people will tell you there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safer.

Tell someone
Probably the most important thing you'll get told one your first 'date' (using that term loosely), is tell someone where, when and who you're meeting. It may be embarrassing or cringey but if something does go wrong or you need to get out, you've got someone who knows where you are. It doesn't have to be your parents you tell, it could be a close friend. But having that safety is a good idea.

Meet in public
A really common tip you'll overhear is to meet in a public place. You'd be surprised how many people probably don't do this though. But obviously being surrounded by people will make you safer. It'll also show you if the person is comfortable with your choice of meeting in public or not. 


Don't drink loads

Going for drinks is a common 'first date' scenario, just remember to control how much you actually drink. You want to make a good first impression and getting sloppy drunk definitely won't do that. You want to remember the person you're meeting and too much alcohol never leads to good things ha.

Don't do anything you're not comfortable with
Most importantly, remember you have the right to say no! Just because you want to impress this person, if they do something or ask you to do something you're uncomfortable with, tell them. They need to know you're boundaries and you want to enjoy the date. Don't make yourself uncomfortable for a stranger at this point. 

Being safe on dating apps and websites is important as you don't know the person you're talking to. As I said real relationships can be formed from it, so I'm not doubting these apps and websites work. However, being cautious is never a bad thing. And could actually save you from a horrendous date.

Have you got any other tips for staying safe on dating apps and websites?

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