Safety Tips For The Four Stages of Going on Online Dates | CLiKD App

Safety Tips For The Four Stages of Going on Online Dates

  • Safety Tips For The Four Stages of Going on Online Dates

    So, you’re venturing into the world of online dating. You’ve read all the articles and seen all the meme accounts, but you’re willing to try. Why not? According to e-harmony, by 2031 over 50% of people will meet their partners online. If you can’t beat them, join them as they say! With any new experience, you always want to make sure you feel comfortable and safe. The very real truth is that in the last five years, crimes related to online dating has increased immensely. In the beginning stages, it’s easy to be swept away in the excitement of meeting someone new and the potential for something amazing to happen. There’s a reason our parents kept going on and on about not talking to strangers and now that’s the foundation of how we meet and date, a catch 22. So, here are some safety tips for the four stages of going on online dates.

     

    1. Stage One: Setting Up Your Profile

    You want to make sure you’re being honest and authentic on your online dating profile. Depending on the app, you’ll have a ton of options of what you can include. From your name, to your height, to your interests, star sign or even if you’re a GoT fan. Some of these fields will be compulsory (you have to put your name and age) but there’s definitely information you can hold out on sharing, such as;

    • Don’t include your last name on your profile
    • You don’t have to put your exact address, just the vague location
    • There’s no need to include your phone number
    • Don’t link to your Instagram/Facebook
    • Don’t include where you work

     

    1. Stage Two: Talking and Arranging Your Date

    So, now you’ve matched (congratulations!) and no one has ghosted mid chat, progress. The chat’s flowing and you’re getting ready to arrange that first date. So far, so good. A lot of the safety tips from this stage onward are based on how comfortable you feel with them. It’s been recommended that you try and meet up with matches as soon as you can. Aside from the safety side (it’s easier to lie over text than it is in person) it’s also helpful in terms of not running out of conversation before you even have a chance to meet in person. Till then;

    it's ok to have expectations about plans, but don't assume and always be safe

    • You don’t have to give out your number before the first date, if you don’t want to
    • Don’t exchange any NSFW pictures with your face in them
    • Choose a place that’s in an area you know, with a lot of people and easy transport links
    • You can do a Google Image reverse search if you’re unsure their profile is real
    • Always tell someone where you’re going
    • Let your friends know a little about them, especially if you’re feeling unsure and take a few screenshots to send them
    • Mentally establish what your red flags are before the date (if you’re comfortable with them going to the bar alone to get you drinks, how you feel about your personal space etc.)

    1. Stage Three: On the Date

    After all that back and forth, you’ve finally both agreed on a day, place and time. Outfits been picked, butterflies are lazily stretching in your stomach and ready to get work in making you feel the nerves. Bonus point, when you get there they look just as great (if not better) than their pictures. Exact height listed and all that, so you’re feeling good and the potential is growing. Once you get to the venue though, there are a few more safety tips to take things to that next level of comfort;

    Always put your safety first and do whatever makes you comfortable

    • Let a friend know that you’ve arrived at the date
    • Don’t leave your drink unattended
    • Try not to drink beyond your limit (hopefully, if you’re of drinking age, you more or less know your limit)
    • If you’re feeling uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to cut the date short and leave (*there are many options at your disposable. If you’re at a bar/pub, the staff will gladly help you make a swift exit if you feel you’re in trouble.)
    • Look out for red flags (any information that doesn’t match up with their profile or your previous conversations etc.)
    • Consider having a personal alarm

     

    1. Stage Four: After the Date

    Last but not least, after the date. There are two main possible outcomes. Either you’ll be seeing each other again or you won’t. There can be a fear (especially among women) that your date may not react well to rejection. If you’re worried about that, tell them after you’ve parted ways over whichever messenger you’re using to communicate. If things do progress to some after hours activities (if you’re following my drift) here’s some safety tips;

    • Let a friend know where you’re going (whether that’s back to their place etc.) Feel free to send them the location when you get there
    • If things do progress, always use protection (make sure you carry some as well, don’t assume)

    Even if you're ready to go home with them, stay safe

    If you don’t decide to take things to that level and decide to part ways that night, here’s what you can do to remain safe, regardless of if you want to see them again or not;

    If you're not interested, don't let them persuade to do anything you don't want for your own safety

    • Don’t let them walk you home
    • Make sure that the route you take to the station is well lit
    • Tell someone your ETA home

    I know that all of this can sound stressful. Finding someone you find attractive who you click with is difficult enough, but it’s always better to be prepared for anything. Trust is a huge part of dating, but it’s something you build overtime, definitely not be expected immediately. Hopefully, no one will ever put you in a position where you feel unsafe, but if that is the case, these tips will act as your safety net. Always remember that there are people around you that’ll be happy to help you out of a bad situation!