Of course, online dating is going to continue to grow and grow in popularity in the years to come. Just take a look at the plethora of online dating sites and now apps that are available for every demographic and interest that you can think of.
In fact, according to Pew Research, 3 in 10 American adults say they have used a dating website or app.
However, what few think of is safety when it comes to online dating. It’s worth bearing a few simple rules in mind to keep yourself safe when meeting people in real life that you met online.
Have A Video Chat Before You Meet
No matter how savvy we think we are, it’s almost impossible to get a proper idea of what someone is like simply by matching a few criteria on a dating site and exchanging a few messages.
Nothing is like actually seeing the person as you speak to them. We pick up on many more subtle facial cues and body language when we can see the person react to us.
Plus, when you video chat before, you can be a little more sure that the person is who they claim to be before you meet.
Don't Give Your Full Name
Whilst you do want to give as much honest information about yourself on your profile as you can, there’s a line you need to not cross.
Too much information can make you vulnerable. Keep your surname to yourself until you are sure you want to meet again.
And before you do join any dating site, try searching for yourself online. It can be an eye opening experience to see what’s already in the public domain that you thought was private.
Job Details To A Minimum
Like with your name, you do want to give enough information for your match to come to an informed decision about you, but you should keep specific details like the name of the company you work for a secret for now.
A company name locates you in one place for most of the day and can lead to a lot more information spilling out about you.
You may want to check your social media accounts to edit this information in there as well, especially Facebook.
Tell A Friend
Always tell a friend or family member where you are going. Better still, ask them to give you a call about an hour into the date to check up on how things are going.
Receiving a call is always a great reason to excuse yourself if things are awkward or weird.
Sending a link of your partners dating profile to a friend or family member is also a great idea for added security.
Meet In A Neutral Public Space
This is an obvious one, but it needs to be said. Always meet in a public place, preferably where there’s a lot of people traffic.
Travel Under Your Own Steam
Get to and from your date on your own. Don’t accept a lift to or from the date with your prospective partner. Doing so puts you at risk.
Accepting a lift to or from your home reveals your home address, and it’s too late to decide someone is just too weird once you’ve got in a car with them.
Taking a few precautions to protect yourself before you meet people online doesn’t take much effort and can make the whole experience more relaxed and fun.
And that’s why you’re doing this isn’t it?