As technology paved the way to easily and conveniently connect people across the globe, it has also given birth to online dating. Just like in previous years, dating in 2022 will surely see more online dating apps and online dating sites. Online dating has become a social norm through the years, especially so with our current circumstances.
Dating apps and sites along with various social media platforms make it possible for anyone to find a partner and nurture a love life from the comfort of their homes. That’s one of the great appeals of online dating. The virtual distance and relative anonymity, however, also make online dating dangerous in some instances. One way to keep such dangers at bay is to keep in mind online dating safety tips and online dating rules.
- Meet With Them Once You Are Ready
When you choose to give online dating a try, everything starts, well, online. Everything that you learn about the person you first learn through chats. As the relationship progresses, you might start talking through video calls or even phone calls. Sooner or later, you’d start talking about actually meeting up in person. That is, after all, the next logical step especially if you are both into pursuing a serious relationship.
Talking with someone virtually from behind the safety of your screen is greatly different from talking to someone in person. There is also no guarantee that they would match the overall image and personality that you’ve created of them in your head. You should be ready for all these things before agreeing to meet up with them in person. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally – wait until you are comfortable to push through. At the same time, make sure to have safety precautions in place. Keep in mind, even if you’ve been dating online for months, that does not guarantee that everything will go smoothly once you finally meet them in person.
- Do a Little Research
It wouldn’t hurt to do a little research, a little digging on someone you met online. In fact, it is an important step especially if you’re thinking about taking the relationship to the next level like meeting up in person or making it official to your family and friends. Stalking someone on social media or doing a background check may be frowned upon by some. Keep in mind though that dating rules are different when it comes to online dating. Your safety must be first and foremost as neglecting it could result in a broken heart and more.
You can start your digging by checking out their dating profile. You can then move on to going through their social media profiles. Another convenient and effective way to learn pertinent information about someone you met is through a people search engine or service like ClickSearch. You can simply go to the ClickSearch Person Search page and type in the full name of that individual. If you didn’t get the full name or the full name they gave you doesn’t seem to work, you can also try the ClickSearch Reverse Phone Search. That is if you have that person’s phone number. By running a search on this premium site, you can gain access to your date’s personal information such as address and other contact information, as well as public records such as employment history and criminal reports. ClickSearch collates data from trusted and official sources only so you can rest assured the information you acquire is accurate and/or up-to-date.
- Meet in a Public Place
If you decide to push through with a meetup, do so in a public place- this is one of the online dating tips that you shouldn’t ignore. As much as possible, be the one to suggest the meeting place. At the very least, you should be familiar with the place. Of course, you should also take into consideration your date since they probably have the same apprehensions as you do. Talk about the meeting place, and come to a mutual agreement.
Another tip you can follow is to bring someone along. They don’t have to meet your date or have to be seen for that matter. If you can’t bring someone, at least tell someone of your meetup and where it will be and update them from time to time. You can also set safe words or signals so they come to your rescue in case anything untoward happens.
- Don’t Give Out Private Information
Safely dating online entails not providing any private or sensitive information to just about anyone. Talking to someone online for months or being in an official relationship doesn’t mean that you have to give them your banking details or your SSN. In the first place, they shouldn’t be asking you to give out such sensitive information. You should also avoid sending private and sensitive photos and videos that they could use against you.
It will do you well to research the common online dating scams like the Tinder scams. Most online dating scams or romance scams blindside the victim. Scammers would do everything to gain your trust and strike when you least expect it. Oftentimes, victims don’t even know that they’ve been scammed until it’s too late.
- Provide Your Transportation
So you’ve finally decided to take things further and agreed to finally meet in person. As previously mentioned, make sure to meet in a public place. Furthermore, you should let someone know about the meetup. Yet another step to ensure safe dating, particularly safe meetups is to provide your transportation – drive your car, ask a friend or family to drop you off and pick you up, or even take a cab.
It may seem chivalrous and romantic even if your date offers to pick you up or send a car for you. And it may very well be a harmless, romantic gesture. However, it’s best to reserve that for later dates when you’ve had a better feel of your date’s real personality. For the first date or the first few dates, it’s best to bring your car or just take public transportation for that matter. This way, it will be easier to live on your own terms in case things go awry.
- Keep an Open Mind
Dating, in general, requires us to keep an open mind. After all, a lot of times, you’ll be going out with virtually a stranger. Even if you decide to date an acquaintance or a friend, things would certainly change between the both of you. Online dating, in the same way, requires an open mind, even more so if you’d want it to work. You are, after all, trying to pursue a relationship with someone you met online.
Now, this is not to say that people you meet online should not be trusted or that they are automatically hiding something from you. Keeping an open mind can be viewed in two parts. For one, you have to acknowledge that people have different views and perspectives, cultures, and beliefs. This would better prepare you for any habits or mannerisms that might surface when you finally meet in person. Keeping an open mind could also be taken as preparing for all possibilities, both the good and the bad. As they say, hope for the best but also prepare for the worst.
- Don’t Connect Your Dating Profile with Social Media
Another online dating safety tip to keep in mind is to never connect your dating profile with your social media. Keep your dating apps separate from your social media accounts. If and when you finally meet someone that you believe could be the proverbial Mr. or Ms. Right, then that should only be the time to consider giving them your social media account information. That is not to say that you let them have access to your account, of course. Simply add them as a friend or follow them. This will be a step that you’d have to eventually take if you decide to go for a more serious relationship.
- Don’t Share Any Personal Business
When it comes to online dating, you have to be very careful of every bit of information that you divulge. It’s always best to err on the side of caution. Keep in mind that you are dealing with an online stranger and that person could be anyone. Online dating scams and romance scams are very real – don’t fall victim to such scams.
Keep your personal information personal, and never divulge sensitive information or send personal and private photos and videos for that matter. Don’t share your exact address, work address, or even phone number until you’re sure and ready to take it to the next level. Never share your financial details and automatically turn down requests for money, whatever their reason may be. This is especially if you’ve just been getting in touch for a short while and you’re not even sure about their real name or identity.
- Don’t Ignore the Red Flags
Of all the online dating tips out there, this is something you should pay extra attention to. Dating someone you know personally or meeting in person is already tricky. All the more so when it comes to online dating. There are a lot more factors at play which means that there are more to consider and check before fully trusting your online date. There are some online dating warning signs or red flags that would tell you to bow out as soon as you can. If you see these red flags, it’s best not to ignore them.
Online dating red flags could range from the obvious to the subtle. One such red flag is when they ask for money. Keep in mind the various romance scams that have victimized a lot of people. Not only is it tacky to ask for money from someone you just met online but it is also downright suspicious. Several red flags could be spotted on their dating app profile. Check the profile picture, does it seem too staged or vaguely familiar? Well, it could very well be a stock photo. Saying “I love you” within days and is heavy on the sweet talk are also red flags. Another red flag is if they give vague answers whenever you ask more about them or if they won’t send actual pictures or consent to doing video calls even after you’ve already been talking for quite a while. You have to watch out for these red flags to save yourself from heartbreak or bankruptcy in some cases.
- Be Safe
We can’t reiterate this enough, do all it takes to keep yourself safe. Aside from the aforementioned online dating safety tips, there are some more that you should keep in mind. When meeting in person, avoid alcohol. If you do have to drink, do it conservatively and keep an eye on your drink at all times. Make sure that you maintain a clear mind so you can stay alert and aware of everything that happens during your date.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not be afraid or embarrassed to bow out. If you feel uncomfortable at any point in the date, make your excuses and go home. You are not obligated to stay, not even if they’ve paid for the whole date, or they’ve made the time and effort to go through with the date. If your date makes you feel too awkward, or worse, threatened, bow out of the date. If you’re already at the meeting place or the date is already in progress, go home or call someone to pick you up.
Is online dating safe? Well, it is only as safe as you make it. Dating safety greatly relies on your actions and decisions. Keep in mind that the rules of dating in the conventional sense may not always apply. Online dating is tricky; make sure you don’t get tricked into a dangerous situation. Vigilance is key.
Tiffany is a lead writer who has a passion for all of the latest use of technology. Tiffany has been writing and delivering the latest app reviews and news for ClickSearch. She is an unbelievable author and continues to produce must-read content.