Dating has come a long way in the last 20 years. We have gone from introduction agencies where lovelorn singles were matched with a suitable partner based on an interview, to online dating apps where users swipe left or right based on a photo. In theory, online dating is a quick and easy way to meet Mr Right, but in practice, the entire process is a minefield.
Most people use online dating sites without incident. They might not meet Mr Right, but they certainly don’t end up buried in a field. However, this doesn’t mean there are not sexual predators, manipulative narcissists and opportunities lurking out there in the ether. Online dating sites attract just as many weirdos as any other niche community, so it pays to be vigilant and keep your wits about you. To ensure you stay safe, here are some simple tips to help you navigate the world of online dating.
There is a world of information online, from addresses to telephone numbers. Much of this information exists on social networking sites, but if you Google a person you will find plenty more snippets of information about them. The point I am making here is that the more information a person has, the easier it is to impersonate you and steal your identity. For this reason, don’t hand over personal information to anyone that asks, especially bank details. If a gorgeous online date claims to be trapped in a foreign country with no means of getting home, take their story with a pinch of salt.
Beware of Chatting Off-Site
Online dating sites install numerous safety features to ensure your identity remains hidden. It’s always better to chat to potential dates on the site until you feel comfortable enough to move the conversation offline. Don’t rush the process and if there are any niggling doubts at the back of your mind, listen to them.
Sexting and Phone Sex
Sexting and phone sex is all part of the fun of modern relationships. Everyone does it, and in the right circumstances, these activities can be fun. What you need to be aware of, however, is the possibility that an unscrupulous date will use any nude photos you send as blackmail material. For this reason, if you fancy a bit of sexting, try joining a safe SexTexting service such as Arousr.com instead. That way you can enjoy a red hot conversation with a consenting adult who isn’t going to publish your naughty chat on Facebook.
Meeting in Person
Meeting in person will be on the cards if you click with a date. Planning a date in real life is always exciting, whether you have been chatting to them for a while, or you only just matched on Tinder. Hopefully the date is a success, but just in case he’s an axe murderer, meet him in a public place and always tell friends where you are going.
Listen to your head, not your heart or nether regions. If something feels ‘off’, it probably is.