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The rules of safety when dating online

People meet everywhere: on the street, in the park, at work, in cafes and restaurants, at railway stations, on airplanes, in the store near the shelves with fresh produce, and, of course, on the Internet. Many have prejudices against online dating, but life shows that it is no worse than dating offline.

However, so that the encounter does not turn into an unpleasant surprise, it is worth following some basic safety rules.

At the initial stage:

When registering on a dating site, it is better to indicate an email address that does not contain your first and last name.

At first, use the internal system of the site for correspondence – do not rush to give your phone number and go to instant messengers.

It makes sense to check the photos of the interlocutor in the search engine by uploading them there. If the image is fake, the search engine will find it on other sites.

It is advisable to talk on the phone at least once: you can hear the voice of the interlocutor, study their manner of speaking, and so on. Some candidates may be weeded out at this stage.

In online communication, do not give out a lot of personal information about yourself. You should not disclose your address, contact details, and your last name.

If you don’t know the person yet, do not buy the argument “I want to send you flowers, please give me your address”. This is not safe.

You should be wary of an overly sexualized version of communication, vulgar hints, candid photographs, persistent requests to send an intimate photo – this is hardly what you are looking for.

A first in-person meeting.

Before the proposed meeting, inform a close friend of the exact place and time of the meeting, agree on a code phrase that can be easily spoken on the phone in case of danger.

The meeting should take place in a public place during daylight hours: a cafe, a botanical garden, an exhibition, etc. are ideal.

Do not drink alcohol, it slows down your reaction.

Do not leave your belongings and drink unattended. Yes, this may sound like paranoia, but remember that you do not know this person at all yet.

You should be wary of many strange clarifying questions that are not appropriate for the first date: how much do you earn, when does your salary get deposited, where exactly do you work (the address of your workplace), etc.

Do not buy into instant “falling in love” (“I realize that this is love at first sight!”), allusions to expensive gifts, or luxurious vacations together.

It is best to have the first date at a small cozy café, rather than an expensive restaurant – then you will not have a huge bill for dinner.

At the end of the date.

After the first date, do not agree for the person to take you home or get a taxi together. Leave it for the time when you get to know each other better.

When “changing location”, inform a trusted person (a friend) about your movements.

Despite the large number of rules and being aware of security issues, online dating can be quite successful. The main thing is not to wear rose-colored glasses. Good luck!

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