If you’ve been thinking about doing a little online dating, but if you’re nervous about your safety, here a few tips that will help you date with a greater level of confidence.
Use a Reputable Dating Site
If you’re going to meet someone online, either have a mutual friend set you up to talk or use a website that verifies a person’s identification. While it is possible to get around verification, it is far more likely that the person you think you’re talking to is actually that same person.
Use Caution and Don’t Automatically Trust
No matter how credible the website, know that anyone can say anything about themselves online—true or not. For example, if someone says they’re a believer, that is great! But realize that it is possible that they are telling you this because they think you are and have an agenda. You don’t need to test and challenge everything your date says, but be mindful that you don’t truly know this person. Never give personal information that you wouldn’t give to any other stranger.
Meet in Public & Listen to Your Gut
For safety’s sake, it is also important to meet in a very public area. Make sure that you have at least one friend who knows where you will be, when you’re getting there and that will call for help if you don’t report your whereabouts to after an agreed upon amount of time. If something feels a little off with the person you’re on a date with, leave. Don’t make plans to hang out at a second location unless you know that location well and feel it is safe.
Be Aware of Warning Signs
There are a few red flag behaviors that may or may not indicate trouble, but it is better to be safe than sorry. These include:
- Someone who seems desperate for attention, affection, information, etc.
- Someone who says anything that indicates a history of anger management or violence issues
- Someone who seems obsessive or seems to know too much about you
- Someone who belittles your work, choices, life, friends, or family
- Someone who belittles the people in his or her life
- Someone who does not seem to be equally yoked with you in faith