For better or worse, online dating is the new norm. Indeed, according to one study, 39% of heterosexual couples reported meeting their partners online. And as we enter a new decade, that number is likely to increase. However, just because online dating has become mainstream, it can still be dangerous –– if you’re not careful. With that in mind, here are five tips that you can use to ensure that you stay safe when meeting people over the internet or on dating apps:
It’s incredibly easy to lie on the internet. What’s more, most dating apps allow their users to say anything they want about themselves. Some lies are easier to spot than others, but the harsh reality is that plenty of people stretch the truth about their age, appearance, or living status online. As such, don’t feel bad about looking up a potential date on search engines or social media sites to verify their claims. Also, be wary of fishy profiles on social media sites. Again, it’s pretty easy to set up a fake account with a fake name and picture –– so always do your homework before you meet someone in person.
On the other hand, be careful not to divulge too much information about yourself in your profile or conversations with a potential match. Even seemingly innocuous info like your place of work or your middle name can be used by nefarious individuals to track you down.
Talk to Your Friends
It’s easy for people to get caught up in the excitement of a potential new romance. After all, many folks have been guilty of glossing over warning signs in a potential partner because they’re excited about the prospect of a date. Thankfully, your friends will be able to let you know if you should be concerned about meeting up with a match online. Additionally, always tell your friends when and where you plan to meet up with a new date online –– that way, they can be close by should you need support.
Meet in a Public Place
When you do decide to meet up, make it a point to do so in a well-lit public place where you feel safe. Save a trip to the bedroom for later on when you know you can trust your online Paramore.
Prioritize Your Health
If things go well with your online date and everything checks out, then you both may decide to enter into a physical relationship. However, it would help if you continued to prioritize your well-being through this stage of the relationship as well. Always use protection and question them about their sexual history (awkward though that may sound) beforehand. Lastly, if need be, you can always visit the same-day STD testing clinic after a date to ensure your health and wellness. Trust us; it’s better to be safe than sorry in this regard.