Online dating has come a long way since the early days of the Internet. There are many reputable dating sites to choose from now that take special measures to vet users, protect confidential information, and provide you with easy tools to get to know potential matches safely.
It’s still important, however, to be cautious whenever you make plans to meet up in person with someone you’ve been talking to online, especially if you’re older and new to online dating. Don’t worry though—we’ve got some easy safety tips to help you find that someone special without putting yourself at risk!
1) Wait until you feel comfortable to take it off-screen.
As you explore the world of online dating, keep in mind that you’re not required to move things to the real world on anyone else’s schedule but your own. Don’t meet up in person with someone until it feels right for you. Spend time talking and getting to know one another through other, more secure, mediums first. Chatting online, texting, talking on the phone, and video calls are all safe options for feeling a person out before taking things off-screen.
2) Do a little background research first.
It’s amazing what Google can tell us these days, isn’t it? A quick online search can easily reveal any major red flags or fact-check something someone said that doesn’t seem quite right to you. It’s a good idea to type in your potential date’s name and scan what you find, just in case.
3) Meet up in public.
When you make plans to meet up with someone you’ve only talked to online, your safest bet is to go somewhere with plenty of people around. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing it will be easy to get help or make an exit if you find yourself in an unsafe situation or something seems off. You should also drive yourself (or take public transportation) to avoid being in a car with someone you don’t know and no way out. Plus, then you’ll be able to decide if and when you’re ready to leave.
4) Tell someone you know about your date.
Make sure a trusted friend or family member knows that you’ve been talking to someone online and that you’ve made plans to meet in person. Give them specific details about your date—meeting place and time, person’s name and any contact info—so someone knows where you are and who you’re with in case something goes wrong. You might even want to ask your friend to go with you and hangout discreetly nearby, or at least set up a check-in signal via text or call.
5) Don’t be too quick to share personal information.
Remember that, as of right now, the person you’ve been talking to online is still a stranger. Don’t give them any information you wouldn’t share with someone you randomly met on the street, such as your address, workplace, information about family or finances, etc. Meet up and get to know them in person before sharing these details. As you start to build trust, you can slowly share more about yourself.
6) Go with your gut.
Above all else, if something doesn’t feel right you need to trust your instincts. If you arrive at your date or get a few minutes in and something seems off or suspicious, don’t be afraid to leave. Don’t ignore a bad feeling because you think you’re being overly cautious or are afraid to offend someone. If your gut tells you to get out of a situation, you don’t need another reason to go.
At My Safe Dating, the safety and privacy of our users is our number one concern—it’s even right in our name! With our secure text, voice-only, and video chat tools, individuals over 40 in Metro Vancouver have plenty of opportunity to get to know someone until they feel comfortable meeting in person. Your information will be protected and remain confidential until you choose to share it.
Head over to our website to choose your membership and start building your profile to connect with people your age, in your area, and with your same goals in mind!