There are loads of dating sites online and if you’re single, you’re probably using one or more in your efforts to find the perfect guy!
But as you probably understand already, online dating can be risky. There is the risk that your online match could be lying to you, for whatever reason. And there’s every chance that your safety could be compromised if you meet somebody who doesn’t respect or value you as a person.
Of course, there is also the chance of finding true love or somebody to have a lot of fun with. Online dating is popular for a reason after all. Still, to ensure your safety, consider the following tips.
How to stay safe when online dating
1: Don’t give out your personal details
Before you get to know the person properly, keep your phone number and address details private. This way, you won’t be plagued with persistent phone calls 24/7, and you won’t have him coming to your door when you don’t want him to. Especially if you don’t like the person, your life will be made very difficult if he tries to contact you in such ways.
If he does ask for your phone number, you can simply tell him to contact you on Messenger or the dating site. Alternatively, use a Google Voice phone number, as you won’t need to give him your usual number this way.
If he wants to send you love letters and gifts through the mail, give him an address that is different than your own. There are options to do so at https://www.physicaladdress.com/.
These are both simple ways to maintain your privacy, although the simplest thing to do, of course, is just say ‘no’ when he asks for your contact details.
2: Video call the person
You’ve seen Catfish, right? On the show, there have been many cases of people being duped by their online partners. There is a chance that you might be duped too, especially if you don’t get the opportunity to see your online date in person. At the very least, you might get strung along by somebody who isn’t who they say they are. At the worst, you might get a scammer who encourages you to forward them money.
You can overcome this problem with a video call. Facebook, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype are just some of your options, so get in touch with them via any of these channels. If they seem reluctant to talk on video chat, you have a right to be suspicious.
Video calling is something you should do just before meeting somebody too. This way, you will be sure that you are meeting somebody who looks like their profile pic and not an imposter!
3: Meet in a public space
Meeting in the person’s home is a big no-no, and as we have established, meeting at your home should be considered a no-no too. It’s also unwise to meet in any other private space, just in case the person means you harm.
Instead, meet at a park, restaurant, or some other place where people will be around. This is the safest option, even if the person turns out to be a nice guy after all.
4: Tell somebody where you are going
It’s always a good idea to let somebody know where you are, just in case you wind up in trouble. Ask them to call you too so you can let them know how things are going. You could also come up with a safe word, so if you sense the date is going badly, your contact could come and hurry you away, perhaps with an excuse as to why you should leave.
We don’t want to suggest online dating is unsafe. In most cases, things work out perfectly fine. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so consider these tips if you’re using sites such as Tinder and Eharmony. While there is every chance things will work out well, there is also the chance that they won’t. So, be mindful and act with caution throughout your dating journey.