How to Stay Safe and Have Fun
If you have been swiping left and right on Tinder, or about to take a plunge into other forms of online dating, I am here to caution you. It is all rosy on the outside, a little on the inside (as well) but it has its ugly side. Let us talk about the ugly side. Online dating is a great way to find like-minded people and go on fun dates. Some turn dates into hookups while some into real relationships. All in all, it is something to try out for lovely single people out there. But hold on. Check the following in your online dating safety list and stay away from (unwanted) trouble.
1. Become familiar with the technology
An absolute must for you guys! Whether you are using Tinder, Match.Com, Eharmony, or OkCupid, take out some time and understand how it works. Look into various tabs and see what they do. Read the ‘how to’ guide and ‘tips to get started’. It may sound like a bit of work, but is helpful. Ask a family member or friend to help you in case you are not the best lover of technology. This safety step will save you from clicking on spam links or getting your account hacked.
2. Protect your identity
The online dating sites ask for only basic information and does not make it public. So it is all good to share information with them. But when you meet someone on these dating sites, stay a little protective about yourself. You need to restrict how much you share on online dating sites. Protect your personal information and provide only the 'required' details. Be wary of sharing phone numbers, last names, location, date of birth, financial details, personal photos, etc. You don’t want to entertain stalkers when you are looking for decent people having similar interests.
3. Tell a friend when going for a meeting
If you meet someone interesting and decide to meet him/her, tell a friend. Share the individual’s contact details, basic information, time and venue of the meeting. This way someone will know where you are going, who are you meeting and at what time. You can never be sure of a person you met online.
4. First meetings
First meetings are very important. Not only do you decide whether to continue with your date but also get a chance to understand the difference between knowing someone online and offline. When meeting someone ensure you meet in a public place like a café in the city. Come and go in your own car (or cab). Also, dodge romantic dinners and walks for the first time. Why? Because the first meetings are to check out the person and make decisions. It is just a precaution. If the date goes well and you see it turning into a hook-up, make sure you use protection to prevent yourself from acquiring an STI.
5. Be patient, intelligent and alert
Online dating requires all the of the above. You will need patience to decide who you like and dislike. You will need to be intelligent to judge a person’s character and also, be alert enough to know, whether the person you are talking to is legit or not. Listen to your gut, do not disclose stuff that can wait for some time, and always be honest.
Online dating has taken a new shape with Tinder, Zoosk, and other such sites becoming popular. Everybody is open to this culture now. Try it yourself and see where it takes you. Just be safe. All the best!
Written by Ramandeep Kaur. Raman is a writer, feminist, cook, adventure freak, and a proud aunt. She took over writing almost five years back after quitting a Manager position. So she follows her instincts, works hard and parties harder. Raman wants her readers to feel happy and informed by her writings, so her style is simple, short but fun. Catch up with her if you happen to be in Auckland, NZ. She likes coffee.