Your online Prince Charming can turn out to be a real weirdo!
Let’s be honest, online dating has become the easiest way to meet prospective suitors thanks to our busy schedules. You can find arguments for and against online dating, but that won’t wipe it out of existence. Besides, for every horror story you hear, there has to be a least a few success stories, right?
For the most part, online dating is as hit and miss as blind dates and randomly meeting someone in a bar, just with more convenience and lower inhibitions – anyone who sends you certain pictures over a chat definitely wouldn’t show it to you in person. Regardless, there are a few horror stories out there to make you pause. This list is not intended to scare you out of online dating, but it’s always good to take a few safety precautions when meeting relative strangers.
Don’t trust everything they say
People lie online, whether it’s about their age, weight, height, or even their hobbies if they think it will get them a date with their ideal partner. Some of these lies are harmless, especially if you’re not planning on meeting up for a real date, but if you get to the point where you might consider meeting them in perso,n it doesn’t hurt to be safe.
Some people might try stalking their prospective date on social media to see if there is evidence to back up their story, others might hire a private investigator to conduct a comprehensive dating background check that verifies everything they’ve said in their chats. It might seem like an overreaction, but some women have read heard enough stories or had enough experience to make them overly cautious.
Keep your private details private
When you’re getting to know people there are certain things you like to share, such as your hobbies, history, or goals for the future. However, there are certain things you should never share with strangers; your neighborhood, place of work, surname, or anything too specific about your history.
Basically, don’t answer anything that could be the security question to bank details. Although it is intended as a place to find love and funny date stories, online dating sites are also the targets of fraud and identity theft and there are many things you should do to keep your details safe. You should also never add your online suitors on Facebook until you’ve met them in person a few times; you never know what your profile might reveal.
Meet somewhere public
If you’re relatively confident that you like the person you’ve been talking to, then you both might decide it’s time to meet for coffee or drinks. It’s best to arrange to meet in a public place, and never at someone’s house. You should also never accept an invitation to be picked up and driven to the chosen venue.
Usually, most women just settle for telling a close friend they’re meeting someone they met online and where they’re going. However, it might also be safer to give them the phone number of the person you’re meeting, let them check in a few times during the date, and arrange to call them after the date is over. To be extra cautious, you could even let multiple friends know that you’re going on the date so everyone can check on you. If you see any red flags, either from the person or from a bad date, just get out.
It’s sweet if your date offers to walk you home after you have a nice time, but if you want to err on the side of caution, you should make your own arrangements to get home. The ideal solution would be to drive yourself to the meeting place, as it gives you a way out if the date is going badly, but it also provides you with a polite excuse to decline their kind offer. If you don’t have a car, then just claim that you’ve booked an Uber, or you have a train ticket, and just make your own way home.
Keep a clear head
People can get carried away on a first date due to nerves; they might drink to calm down a little, or the chemistry between them and their date can be so electric that they might make questionable decisions. Not every guy will have bad intentions – and hopefully they will understand why you’re taking precautions – but it’s best to practice safety tips on a first date, and to stay relatively guarded until you know this person a little better.