Dating Dangers: Staying Safe When Searching for a New Partner

Dating Dangers: Staying Safe When Searching for a New PartnerIf you’re looking for a date online, beware. There’s no way to be completely certain anyone on social media or on a dating site is who or what they claim to be. Sure, you’re probably excited about meeting a potential partner, but do so smartly. In the interest of safe dating, we present to following tips and tricks for staying secure in the online dating world.

The wide world of online dating

Thousands of individuals join online dating sites every day. This unlimited source of potential dates may seem alluring, but it can be a bit of a minefield, warns Independent UK. If you’ve never dated online before, or if you want to make your online dating game safer, follow a few simple rules.

Know who you’re talking to. If someone offers minimal information in their online profile, they may be hiding something worth knowing about. If all they provide is a single grainy picture image, they might not be who they claim to be. Many people use make-believe names on dating sites. Once you’ve started chatting with a potential date, ask them for their real first and last name. If they are someone worth spending time with, they will tell you.

Early online interactions

While you’re still in the text and email stages of a relationship, watch for strange language or super bad grammar. Unfortunately, a lot of scammers are online looking for vulnerable persons to take advantage of. If your potential date asks for money via email, send them packing, as advised by online dating experts at Huffington Post.

These days, it’s easy to verify a potential date’s identity. Once you know their name, look them up on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social media sites. Google their name and see what comes up. Pop their profile pic into an image search engine to see where it’s been posted before. These days, many people steal profile pics from Facebook and other social media pages. Ensuring that the person you’ve been talking to is “real” is a smart early step on the road to your first date with them.

Trust your instincts and establish healthy boundaries

If at any time during your online interactions you feel uncomfortable, or if you get a bad feeling about the person you’ve been chatting with, listen to your intuition. You are under no obligation to meet in person, no matter how long you’ve been chatting. If you get the creeps, trust that feeling. In the 21st century, it is as easy to delete an online connection as it is to start one. Ghosting may be an extreme measure, but if someone scares you or make you feel nervous in a bad way, going the route of no contact at all makes sense.

When you do choose to meet someone in person, make plans to do so in a neutral public place. Don’t have a new date pick you up at your house. In fact, don’t even tell a first date about your home address until you’ve gotten to know them better. If someone invites you to their home on the first or second date, say ‘no thanks’ and graciously decline the offer.

Make a coffee date or meet in the morning for breakfast. Daytime dates are fun and convenient and don’t come with all the expectations of a formal dinner-and-a-movie date. Lunch is another ‘safe’ first date. If for some reason you don’t click with the other person, it’s easy to say you have plans for the rest of the day without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Before you become intimate

If you click with your date, and the two of you wish to take things to the next level, don’t do so before you and your new partner both get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Mayo Clinic explains that sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia can be spread between partners who don’t have any obvious symptoms. By taking the time to find STD testing located near you and making sure that neither of you has a medical condition that could be spread to a new partner, you are establishing healthy boundaries, evincing your maturity, and showing that you care.

Tell a few friends about your upcoming date. Give them your date’s name and number, and tell your friend where you’ll be going on your date. When you get a chance, let one friend know that you’re on your date and having a good time.

Ellie Jennings has been seeking ‘Mr. Right’ for far too long. On the plus side, this gives her a number of hilarious stories to share and has made her quite an expert when it comes to dating. She writes for a variety of women’s lifestyle blogs.