In recent years dating has made a massive shift online. Gone are the days of seeing a cute guy in a coffee shop and going over and asking for his number. Now it is all done through apps that you can access on your phone at all hours of the day, no matter where you are.
Online dating has taken away the human aspect of dating until you get to the point of meeting up with someone. Until you see the person in front of you, you really don’t have any idea who you are talking to. The majority of the time, people are pretty honest. But, there are the rare occasions when people are lying on their dating profiles. I mean, we have all seen Catfish, right? Sometimes people edit their photos or write things that aren’t always totally true about themselves.
At school we are taught not to talk to strangers, and the same sort of lessons should be applied to online dating. It is not all doom and gloom and it can be a lot of fun, but it is always best to be careful. So, I thought I would share some of my top tips for staying safe while online dating.
1. This may be pretty obvious, but don’t share all your personal details on your profile. I tend to avoid sharing my last name, where I live and the place I work. I would maybe say the neighbourhood I live in, but never give any distinct clues as where my flat is. And I always say what my job is, but never where I actually work until I am sure I can trust the person.
2. If you are meeting someone, always meet in a public place. There will always be other people around and someone will be there to help if something goes wrong.
3. Always tell a friend that you are meeting up with someone and where you are going. Get them to check in on you during the date. This also gives you an excuse to leave if it is an awful date!
4. Don’t be afraid to say no. Just because you are meeting someone you matched with on a dating app does not mean you have to like them in person. Sometimes people don’t look like their photos or simply there is no connection. Don’t ever feel pressured to do anything just because you are on a date. If they respect you, they will be happy with whatever you choose to do. If not, you will be glad you got out there early!
5. “Ask For Angela”. A lot of bars across the UK now use this scheme to help girls (and guys) feel safe while on a tinder date. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe while on a date, just go up to the bar or a member of staff and ask for Angela. The staff will be trained and able to help you out of it and get you home safe.
6. Always go with a fully charged phone. You never know what could happen so it is always best to make sure you have access to your phone.
7. Most importantly though, have fun!! Dating is meant to be a fun experience. You aren’t always going to like everyone you meet, and yes, sometimes it can go wrong. But, most of the time it is a lot of fun! You are going out, meeting new people and having a laugh! Even if you don’t start dating the person, you might end up with a new friend.