Dating has evolved so much in the past few decades, and this current era has given birth to the rise and popularity of digital matches and meetups for finding love, hookups, and companionship. Using apps and sites for finding dates is a fun and convenient way to find potential partners. In recent times, the number of people that are using online dating apps and sites has exponentially increased because the initial stigma attached to online dating is becoming a thing of the past.
But as more people are getting into the online dating system, so has the risk of connecting with unknown people for dating purposes increased. This is why you should know how to protect yourself from the downsides of using online mediums to find a date. So, here are five tips to ensure your safety as you use adult apps to find dates and potential intimate partners.
1 Use a Trustworthy Site
Using online dating apps and sites to find a date can be risky in that you may be susceptible to the risk of identity theft, financial scams, stalking, online harassment, etc. To lessen that risk, you should only opt for reputable dating apps and sites. Use apps and sites that promote safety usage features. Read reviews, make inquiries from friends, and then compare your dating site or app options before settling for one. The most reputable and safe sites at the moment are considered to be Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid, and Feeld. Most reputable and safe online dating services require membership fees – but not to worry, the fees are rarely exorbitant. There are thousands of hookup apps and sites worldwide, but not all of them guarantee your best interest. That’s why you should select the best dating service that suits your preference and safety before signing up.
2 Keep Your Contact Information Private
When filling in your online dating profile details, ensure you don’t include personal details like your last name, phone number, home/work address, personal/work email, or social media handles. You want to keep the personal details to a minimum. This is because you wouldn’t want a creepy person knowing much information about you enough to use in locating you. Also, limit the information posted on your other social media accounts as they could be used in locating you. When you’re texting back and forth with a potential date(s), it’s best to keep the texting inside the app to avoid giving out your phone number or social media handle. Why? Almost anyone can use your phone number to trace and locate you.
3 Be on The Lookout for Red Flags
You should look out for potential red flags to be sure your date is who they say they are. It's a red flag if the person is using a fake photo (photo of a model or celebrity, or a stock photo). You can conduct Google reverse search to know if the picture gets linked to someone else. Asking for financial assistance, all of a sudden, is also a red flag. Appearing with different contact details and the same pictures on the hookup app or site is suspicious as well. Being mushy and oddly romantic within an extremely short period could tip you off as well. If you’re being pressured for your contact details or to talk outside the app or site, you should apply caution as well. Inconsistent or grandiose stories by the person, disjointed language/grammar, etc. are also some other tip-offs.
4 Don’t Hesitate to Report or Block an Unwanted or Creepy Suitor
When you notice details in the point above or other similar attributes, try to take a step back. Remain watchful until you’re sure, then report or block the person. Top-notch dating apps and sites encourage their users to report any shady activity or creepy profiles and also block them immediately. So, when you come across suitors that either creep you out, try to extort you, or just seem toxic, don’t hesitate to report their behavior and block them. This is why you should choose apps or sites that provide safety features that will help you feel secure. If your current app or site doesn’t include features for reporting and blocking unwanted individuals, you should consider opting out because the service itself might be a scam.
5 Take Precautions When Meeting in Person
Before, during, and after meeting up with a date gotten through a dating app or site, there are some precautions you should take to ensure your safety. Here are some of them:
- Video Chat Before Meet-Up: Video chat with your potential date before you agree to meet up in person. This will help you to know they are truly who they say they are. If they strongly resist a video call, something suspicious might be up with them.
- Inform Your Family or Friends: Before you leave to meet your date, you should inform your friend or roommate where you’re going, who you’re going to meet, as well as the time you plan on returning home. Also, remain in constant communication with that friend or roommate to keep them informed about your movements. If your date seems to be going awry, text your friend to come to get you.
- Meet in a Public Place: Always choose your meetup location wisely. Avoid meeting up in a secluded or isolated area like your or the other person’s house, a park, etc. Instead, opt for public places like a restaurant, bar with plenty of people, coffee shop, etc. Also, choose a place where you'll feel comfortable.
- Be in Charge of Your Transportation: Sort out your transportation instead of relying on your date for transportation to and from your meetup location. This is ultimately for your safety. Also, it will ensure that you can leave if and when you want to without your date’s input.
- Walk Away If You Feel Uncomfortable: If at any point you’re made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe during your meet up, you shouldn’t hesitate to leave. Remember to block the person if need be to prevent being contacted again.
Hookup apps and sites can be exciting and interesting, but as you go all out to find a compatible date, you should take appropriate measures for your safety. Your safety is first and finding a date, second. The guide above will enable you to stay secure and safe as you seek your compatible partner online.