And it’s a match! Online dating is continuing to grow in popularity and constantly evolve. In previous years, apps like Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge, dominated the online dating scene. Now, with mobile apps, online dating is transforming to help you find matches easier and faster than before. As a matter of fact, online dating has become so popular that 53% of singles have jumped onto the trend and created their own profiles. But while dating is alive and well, it’s important to keep in mind how to stay safe while meeting up with people you don’t know very well. To help you safely embark on your quest for finding that special someone, keep these tips in mind.
Do Your Research
Everyone should know the drill- do a simple Google search before meeting your date. That doesn’t mean become a stalker, that just means make sure you have at least some idea as to who the person is before you meet with him or her. If possible, try to find pictures and see what additional information comes up about the person beyond Facebook and Instagram.
Video Chat Before Meeting In Person
Today, there are so many ways to video chat with the ability to use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype and even Facebook for video calls. It’s a good idea to get a glimpse of your date before meeting him or her. This could also help to reduce the risk of being catfished by someone claiming to be someone he or she is not.
Talk On Calls
Go old-school and reach out by phone before your first date. Why is this a good idea? Talking by phone allows you to hear the other individual and to pick up on certain verbal cues that may be hidden through instant messaging or texts, Additionally, this gives you the chance to feel out the individual better before first meeting.
Go On Your Own
Take your own vehicle or use public transportation if possible. This tip is for online dating safety since by carpooling, your first date would find out where you live and essentially have control over where you two go. Taking your own vehicle also lowers the risk of putting yourself in an uncomfortable or even dangerous situation because you’ll be in control over where you go.
Meet In A Public Space
For the first date or two, avoid going somewhere private with your date. Instead, meet at a public place where there are plenty of people around, like a restaurant, cafe, skating rink, or another place where there’s typically a good crowd. In the event that you feel uncomfortable, there will be other people around who can help. Additionally, this gives a family member or friend the opportunity to be present or in the vicinity should something go wrong. As another great tip, if you visit a bar or restaurant, let a bartender or waitress know if things aren’t going right on your date through code.
Inform Someone About The Deets
Let someone else know who your date is, where you are going, when you expect to be home and any other important details. It gives you the comfort of knowing someone else knows where you’re supposed to be if something goes wrong.
Don’t Give Too Much Personal Information
Be careful about the information you share. Don’t give out places you normally visit, your family members’ locations, your birthday and other personal information so quickly. After you and your date get to know each other a little better and feel more comfortable, then you can share a little more about yourself.