We used to live in an age where there were countless ways to find a perfect match. Sadly, unless you meet your ‘someone’ within the safe confines of your off-campus student accommodation, in the era of COVID, it’s not as easy to get out and about to meet people. This makes online dating the go-to for many. Unfortunately, as fun and convenient as online dating may be, it also comes with its pitfalls and numerous dangers if you aren’t careful enough.
If you’re thinking about giving online dating a bash, here’s everything that you need to know about staying safe when it comes to chatting and, eventually when you decide to meet a potential new bae in-person.
You might think that it’s harmless to share personal details about yourself when chatting via an online dating platform. However, it’s extremely important to be sure that you’re talking to an honest individual who actually is who they say they are. There is a huge risk of being cat-fished, which can be heart-breaking emotionally and, in some cases, have far-reaching consequences that extend past matters of the heart.
Before you even consider swapping phone numbers or meeting face-to-face, take action to confirm the person’s identity by asking them to take a selfie or send a video of themselves doing something specific – preferably something super random, like eating sushi in a blue shirt or doing the macarena. Better yet, ask them to video chat!
There are a few vital safety rules to remember when meeting a potential new bae in-person:
- Always plan to meet in a busy public place – not privately or in a parking lot.
- Never provide the person with your student accommodation or home address to pick you up.
- Arrange your own transport there and back. Even if the two of you hit it off on the first official date, it’s not wise to accept a ride home.
- Consider bringing a friend along with you. They don’t necessarily have to follow you around or sit at the same table, but it helps to know that they’re in the same vicinity and can keep an eye on the happenings of your date. If things aren’t going quite as well as you’d hoped, you can also always message them and ask them to come over and introduce themselves and ‘break up’ the date in a subtle way.
- Be sure to clarify each other’s intentions before setting up a meeting. After all, you might think that you’re about to enter into a relationship with this person while all they are hoping to do is hook up.
- Lastly, and most importantly, always listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Take our online dating safety tips to heart when exploring the realm of online dating and you’re sure to have plenty of fun along the way. Who knows? You might even be lucky enough to find ‘the one’!