Having a healthy relationship can be a really fulfilling part of life and online dating is just one way to try and find the right person for you. I love meeting new people so online dating is a lot of fun for me, I’ve met friends, flings, and long-term partners. While I think online dating can be a lot of fun, I always try to be careful to keep myself as safe as possible. Here are some of my online dating safety tips to safe while living your bad ass single lady life.
Have them add you on Facebook so you can try to make sure they are who they say they are. Most people have had Facebook for five years or more. If a profile was made a week ago or has very few pictures or friends that’s a red flag. Sure, not everyone has social media, but I personally feel safer when I can verify that the person I am talking to is who they say they are. Scroll through their posts and make sure there isn’t any racist or misogynistic stuff on there. Stalk their social media and make sure you don’t get any bad vibes.
You want someone to know where you are going and who you are with. Send their Facebook profile to your bestie or your Mom and let them know you are going out with that person on a date. Let them know where you are going and when. Make a plan to check in with them after the date to let them know you are safe.
Protect Your Info
It’s easy to let it slip in conversation, but make sure you don’t tell them where you live or where you work right away. While most people are fine there are those you shouldn’t trust with your personal information.. You don’t want this person to know details about your life until you know they are safe and respectful. You don’t have to lie if they ask you where you work just be vague. If they ask where you about your job you could just say “I work at a restaurant” instead of “I work at the Outback on Main Street”. You can tell them what you do just don’t tell them where you do it.
This is a personal choice but I do carry mace with me. I haven’t come close to needing it but it gives me a little piece of mind. I have mine on my key chain and I hold it in my hand if I have to walk to my car alone at night. If you do decide to carry it make sure it’s high grade and you know how to turn off the safety if you need to use it. If that’s not for you, you can get a personal alarm or take a self-defense class.
Meet in Public
Pick a public place like a coffee shop or restaurant to meet. I’m always surprised how many men ask me to go on hiking dates. I have a lot of outdoorsy pictures on my profile, so I’m pretty sure they think they are asking me for a fun and unique first date, but going into the woods with some man from the internet sounds like a terrible idea to me. If you live by yourself don’t tell them that. You want them to think if you don’t make it home on time someone will know. In the beginning of your date mention that you have plans with a friend later. That will put a timer on your date so you can tell them you need to go meet your friend if you’re uncomfortable plus they will know someone is expecting you. You shouldn’t make it a habit of lying when you’re dating but if it increases your personal safety and makes you more comfortable I think it’s OK.
Don’t let them pick you up or drive you home. You don’t want to be in a car with someone you don’t know. I always go on dates near my house so I know I can get there and back easily. Always have a plan for how you are going to get there and get home.
Alcohol impairs your judgment and can make lots of terrible ideas seem perfectly acceptable. If you want to drink that’s fine but be aware of how much you’re drinking. I’m not shaming anyone for drinking. Party on girl, I just want you to do it somewhere safe.
If you feel uncomfortable for any reason leave immediately! Your safety is more important than being polite to someone you just met. Don’t worry about being rude. Get away from that person safely. Go to the bathroom and text a friend and let them know you feel uncomfortable. See if they can come pick you up. Tell your date you’re sick or you have a family emergency and don’t feel bad about lying. Do whatever you have to do to get out of there.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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