If you don’t feel like heading to bars in order to meet someone, there’s nothing wrong with creating an online dating profile. Even though couples used to be embarrassed to admit that they met over the Internet, it’s becoming a commonplace dating method. As long as you’re careful about whom you meet and where, you don’t have anything to worry about. Just make sure that you follow these pieces of online dating safety advice, because you don’t want to end up falling in with the wrong crowd instead of falling in love.
It’s obvious that you shouldn’t give a stranger your social security or credit card numbers. However, if you’re talking to someone for the first time, you should also avoid telling them what school you go to or what street you live on. You can tell them about the general area to see if they live close by you, but don’t give them any information that would put you at risk. You never know who you’re talking to online, so don’t risk giving a stalker or a serial murderer your address.
There’s no guarantee that the person you think you’re talking to online is actually who they say they are. The picture that they’re using could be a fake, or it could be a snapshot of them taken twenty years ago. If you want to make sure that the person who claims they’re talking to you is actually themselves, then you should Skype with them to see their real face live. Then they have no chance to trick you with Photoshop and clever pickup lines.
The first time that you make plans with someone you’ve been talking to online, it’s important for you two to meet in a public place. Agree to see a movie together, or to get coffee at a cafe together. That way, it’ll be easy for you to escape if you feel like you’re in danger, or if you’re just having a bad time.
If you have your own car, then you should drive yourself to meet your date. If you ask your roommate or parents to drive you, then it’ll be hard for you to leave if the date goes south. It’s for the best if you rely on yourself, instead of on someone else who could let you down or get stuck in traffic.
Even though a drink or two could loosen you up and help you enjoy your date more, you should avoid drinking the first time you meet someone new. If you end up getting drunk, then you aren’t going to be as alert as you should be. You could end up missing major red flags that suggest you should end the date. If you get really sloppy, then you could even pass out, which makes you extremely vulnerable in front of a stranger.
Before you go out on your date, text your best friend to let them know where you’re going to be, especially if you move from a public place to your date’s house. If your friend doesn’t hear from you by the end of the night, then they can call the police or check on you at your apartment to make sure that you’re still safe.