Can online dating be safe?
By: Carlos Glick and Jennifer Spadafora
How do you know that online dating is safe and secure?
What are the dangers of online dating? Is it reliable? These are the questions to ask when you are thinking about dating online. In some instances, people meet their true love; however, in others, they have been scammed for money and left heartbroken.
So what are the advantages of online dating? According to tuskmagazine.org in an article entitled “Love at First Swipe, the Pros, and Cons of Online Dating,” it lists several points we should watch out for and apply.
The “pros” it lists are: It’s a good way to meet people! Many online dating apps and websites are free and do not require a subscription such as Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble. Some websites have algorithms to find your perfect match; such as eHarmony and OkCupid.
You can find someone serious about entering a relationship while still being able to find a good hookup. There are telltale signs to spot fake accounts, i.e., anyone asking for money, giving a sob story, or robots with profile pictures of half-naked men or women who are probably trying to scam you.
There are tons of niche dating sites.
The “cons” it lists are: you might meet so many people that dating becomes overwhelming. Some websites make you pay for a monthly subscription such as Match, eHarmony, and JDate.
The algorithms aren’t perfect so you still have to weed through the good and the bad. You’ll have to dig through a lot of people that are just trying to hookup if you’re more interested in a serious relationship.
Catfishing is a real thing! You never really know if who you’re talking to is the real face behind the photo until you meet them in person.
There are two different stories we would like to share relating to both sides. First from the “pro” perspective.
In December of 2012, after suffering a particularly bad breakup that summer, I (Jennifer) gathered the courage to try dating one more time. I assumed a dating app to be a safer bet, as it would allow me a chance to pre-screen potential dates without having to sit in close proximity to them.
The platform I chose was Plenty of Fish, which was still new at that time and not littered with the DTF crowd just yet. I wrote a very blunt profile hitting all the hot topics, covering everything from who I voted for, to why I finally caved to peer pressure and fell in love with The Jersey Shore!
Several days went by and one gentleman continuously popped up as a “match” on my profile, however, he was not my type. He looked nothing like my past boyfriends, and wasn’t someone I would have paid attention to at first glance.
Yet, I was curious. What about our profiles suggested to the algorithm Gods that we would be a good fit?
I messaged him. We chatted a bit on the dating platform, and then graduated to a text conversation, and a month later, a coffee date.
The next eight years have gone by in a blink of an eye, but since then we have married, had two children, and supported one another as I have gone back to college, while he has taken various courses to continue growing in his field.
Putting yourself out there, in such a public way, to tell the internet that you are looking for love takes a lot of courage. It’s a gamble but I am happy it paid off for me!
Tying into the cons list, the experience I (Carlos) had while using online dating was while one to be remembered, an unfortunately common occurrence. While using an app called “Mutual”, a dating app for Mormons, I had come across a girl who looked really sweet. As I wanted to get to know her more, we spoke for a few days.
A few days turned into a month of us speaking on ‘Hangouts’. I gave her most of my personal information and trusted her, as she had not given me a reason not to. I later found out this account was run by a 50 years old man who resided in another country. He processed to take $260 out of my bank account.
The moral of the story is to be very careful when using dating sites! While on some occasions it can work out for the better, you still need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself while using these providers.