Nowadays we are all understandably wary about the potential of being duped by internet scammers. If you are new to online dating you may have some qualms about talking to and meeting up with strangers. This is very sensible, but you shouldn’t let your fears put you off meeting new people. If you make yourself aware of any potential problems and use your common sense, online dating is perfectly safe. Here are some tips that will help you have an online dating experience that is as much fun as it is safe and secure.
Be careful how much you share online
It’s important to do your initial talking online, so you can get an idea of what someone is like. We recommend sticking to the MySingleFriend messaging function before you meet in person, rather than immediately switching to text or WhatsApp. Don’t respond to requests for intimate pictures or information about where you live or work. If someone is genuinely interested in a relationship, that can wait until you know each other better. If you’re concerned about the way someone is messaging you, get in touch with our friendly admin team for advice.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Even if you’ve chatted with someone a lot online, you are under no obligation to meet up with them in real life. You are allowed to change your mind at any point, so don’t if you feel uncomfortable don’t go and meet someone just to save their feelings. If someone is pressurizing you to meet and you don’t want to, simply block them.
Meet in a public place
This is a very basic point to make, but it’s so important that it bears repeating. It’s easy to chat a lot online and feel like you’ve really got to know someone but the truth is that they are still a stranger. Meet them in a public place where there will be plenty of other people around, and that you can easily and safely leave if you want to.
Tell someone where you’re going
Even if you’re meeting in a public place, it’s a good idea to let someone know some basic details about your date, such as name and phone number, where you are meeting them and when you expect to be home. Check in with a friend during the date, and send them a text asking them to call you if you need a reason to leave.
Don’t get into anyone’s car
If you need to drive somewhere, drive yourself – don’t allow your date to pick you up or drive you home. Having your own vehicle puts you in control of when you leave. If you don’t drive, arrange to meet somewhere you can safely get to and from on public transport.
Although you might want to have a drink to steady your nerves, don’t have too much alcohol (and none at all if you’re driving). Being drunk leads to bad judgment, which could lead to anything from rambling about your ex to deciding to go home with someone you don’t know. If you have too much to drink, excuse yourself and call a cab or an Uber.
Don’t ignore your intuition
If you feel in any way uncomfortable with your date, gracefully bring it to a close and leave. There doesn’t have to be something they’ve obviously done wrong – just trust your feelings. Arranging for a quick first date like grabbing a cup of coffee is a good idea as it means you can leave swiftly. when you’ve finished your drink.
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