12 Smart Ways to Make Online Dating Safe for You: Online Dating Essentials
Don’t talk to strangers, is probably the very first sentence that I remember my mom saying to me. Never thought I’d be meeting random strangers to find a potential love interest, let alone meeting them via online dating portals.
As insane as it may seem and no matter how much that freaks desi parents out, the trend has been rising among millennials and in a desi culture. While some people found the love of their lives, for others online dating it has been a hazard and even a threat.
While we try to play cool and blend in, it is important to be cautious and do everything it takes to make sure we are safe, because after all there is a truth to mom’s, ‘’don’t talk to strangers.’’ It does not mean that you shouldn't try online dating. I found some amazing people on the internet. The Internet has both, the good and the dark side, so it is vital to play smart and put your safety first.
I have seen people, especially women landing in really bad places. Here are the top 15 online dating safety tips I learned; the tips everybody should know before they set up an online dating profile. These are the ultimate online dating essentials.
Trust me, just don't. I honestly have had people almost ending up at my workplace, because they didn't obviously handle rejection well and honestly I have never felt that unsafe ever in my life. Avoid giving out information like your phone number, home address and especially your workplace.
There is nothing wrong with not matching or hitting up a profile that has no picture. Somebody on a dating website and not putting their pictures up is extremely shady, just like a Facebook accounts made hours back and sending you friend requests. There is a high possibility of those accounts being fake, and you would want to avoid them at all cost. Stay clear of accounts that look suspicious.
Keep your conversations restricted to the apps. The apps are designed to protect you from the predators and restrict access to your personal or sensitive information. Giving out the numbers or personal information a few minutes after you have just started talking is not at all safe. Make a sound judgment on whom you can trust.
It is okay to talk to random people you meet online as long as you don’t give out your personal information right away. Take your time, and let your instincts guide you. Run at the first red flag. If your match starts dodging your questions and starts asking personal questions as soon as you start chatting, that is a red flag. If you have a hunch that person isn’t safe, trust it.
Take your time to get to know them a little, inquire about their interests. Don’t agree to meet them right away. Take your time. If they push you or throw tantrums then this is another red flag. It is okay to put your safety first. It is okay to take your time and jump into it when ready.
Social media would give you a LOT of information. Their comments, posts, stuff they have liked can give you a lot of information about who they are as a person and how they treat people in real life. If you feel like that’s person you’d like to get to know more, maybe ask them out on a date, just make sure you don’t end up ‘liking’ anything on their profile while stalking them because that is honestly super creepy (don’t worry, it’s not creepy as long as they aren’t aware they are being stalked ;) )
Once you are done stalking and you feel like that they might be the one, ask them out! But make sure you meet them at a public place or someplace you aren't alone. You also wouldn't go to someplace where there is too much crowd, just somewhere you can talk in peace, but you have other people around you. A café is always a nice option. It is also better to go for a lunch date.
It is smart to always pick the place. Pick a place that you are familiar with. A place you know your way around. Somewhere you feel comfortable at.
It is very important to inform somebody before you go to meet a total stranger. Be it a friend or somebody from family (if you are sure your family is an exception to desis and they won't make a fuss, but to be honest, the chances are pretty low). Tell them where you are going, so in the worst case scenario, they would at least know where to look for you.
It is not unusual, especially men to offer to pick women up, but honestly, it isn't very smart, because then the entire point of ‘'meeting at a public place'' would be no use.
While alcohol can be the liquid courage, having too much can make you land in a bad place. It's important to keep your head clear and stay sober so you can focus on your date and get to know them. Drinking can cloud your judgment and trust me you honestly don't want that to happen.
If at any point the person makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, just leave. You don't have to be scared. You don't have to stay. It is okay to say no. Your safety is important and no one can take that right away; the right to protect yourself.
It is also okay if the date was okay, but you feel like it wouldn’t work out. Dating can be hard and you really don’t have to rush into it. Take your time, follow your instinct and do whatever you feel comfortable with.