How To Stay Safe While Online Dating
Because finding love on the internet isn’t always an enjoyable experience.
Do you ever wonder if people are hiding their true intentions while online dating?
If you’re anything like me, your response will be something along the lines of “all the time.” After all, it’s incredibly easy to create a fake profile and pretend to be someone you’re not.
Right? Despite wanting to find love on the internet, it’s still common to encounter people who are creepy, manipulative, or other bad qualities that you wish to avoid.
Over the past few years, I’ve found myself on the receiving end of abusive behavior from people that I met while on Tinder and other online dating sites. But instead of letting it continue, I decided to take several precautionary steps to minimize the chances of it happening again.
So below are a collection of methods to help you stay safe while online dating. Because if you want to make it an enjoyable experience, knowing how to protect yourself is an excellent place to start.
Check That You’re Not Speaking To A Fake Profile.
With the ability to create a random account & upload several photos, it’s easy for anyone to create a fake profile on a dating site to catfish someone looking for love.
The easiest way to spot a fake profile is by doing a reverse image search to check that their photos haven’t been stolen from an unsuspecting person’s Instagram account.
But if they’re not willing to do a face-to-face interaction, it could be an indication that they have something to hide. For example, they refuse to go on FaceTime or Snapchat so you can verify if they’re real or not.
Although it may seem like a strong measure for a dating app, it’s essential to verify the validity of whoever you speak with to ensure that you don’t end up heartbroken in the future.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings.
If you don’t want people stalking your social media profile, adjust your privacy settings so that people can’t view more than you want them to. After all, it would be incredibly awkward to receive an Instagram DM from someone who you rejected on Tinder.
A few months ago, I gave my Snapchat username to several people that I met on Tinder. But as the app was broadcasting my location, someone from the app ended up stopping me in the streets of downtown Calgary. Needless to say, I turned off the setting immediately after discovering that it was on.
So take a moment to adjust your privacy settings to a level that you find acceptable, and I guarantee that you’ll feel much safer as a result.
Meet In Public.
When arranging to meet up with someone that you met online, it’s tempting to invite them over to your house for a drink, or anywhere else that’s relatively private. But if they aren’t who they claim to be, it’s difficult to ask for assistance if you feel uncomfortable.
So a better solution is to meet them somewhere in public, such as a coffee shop, to ensure that you feel safe while meeting a stranger for the first time.
I’ve found that this strategy works incredibly well as you’re meeting in a location that’s surrounded by loads of people if you feel uncomfortable being around them, and want to cancel the date.
So choose somewhere public to meet up for the first time, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a backup plan if things go wrong.
Don’t Ignore Any Feelings Of Discomfort.
If your intuition says that something seems too good to be true, it probably is. So before you begin revealing any personal information, or start having an online relationship, take a moment to check that you’re comfortable with the present situation.
For example, if you think that someone could have a fake profile, it’s best to ignore their messages, instead of becoming emotionally vulnerable during a conversation.
Because in the world of online dating where you’re swiping through a countless number of profiles, it’s important to trust your gut and disregard anything that may cause problems in the future. In the words of Judith Orloff:
“Trust your intuition. It is the best friend you will ever have.”
That’s all you need to do.