Online dating can be a fun and successful way to find the man of your dreams; after all, that’s how I found the man of my dreams, Tim!
Dating sites and dating apps can include a lot of great potential matches. But meeting someone for the first time, comes with a lot of unknowns—and we want to make you’re safe while you’re on your journey to find love.
Let’s face it: there are some bad people in the world. There will always be people who pretend to be who they aren’t. And even though you’re smart, these guys can come across as winners at first if you’re not careful.
Sometimes it’s obvious: someone who is overly aggressive or says threatening things when you don’t reply the way he wants is easy to spot. But these guys can also be very smooth and seem “too good to be true”; they say all the right things, and they can make you feel close to them right away.
Meeting someone without taking the time to get to know him and without having him invest time in getting to know you can be a potential danger. There have been cases documented in the past of predators who had online dating profiles, and some of these unfortunate instances have led to security increases for online dating sites.
But your safety should never be taken for granted, so here are eight tips to help you savvy, single ladies have the best chance at experiencing safe, fun, and successful dating:
1. Take your time
I can’t stress this enough: rushing into things has the potential to cause SO many problems, and you can’t afford to gamble with your safety. It can be really tempting to move to meeting in person quickly, especially if things feel like they “just click” between the two of you. But look, even if he’s a great guy at that particular point, he’s still a stranger.
I took “baby steps” when I met Tim, whom I met on OkCupid. I first chatted with him only on OkCupid’s platform, and when we moved to Google hangouts, I created an email account using my OkCupid handle so that I wasn’t using my personal email address. I was very transparent about keeping my boundaries. Over a few weeks, I got to know more about him. I Googled him and looked him up on social media to see if he was being honest about who he was. The information he gave me checked out online. Nevertheless, he could have been using someone else’s identity, so when it came time for us to meet, I invited him out to a safe, public place.
2. Don’t give him your personal information
Stay within the dating app until you feel like you know someone better and he checks out. Don’t give a stranger your number and open a texting conversation; you don’t want a predator to have your number or any other personal contact information! A predator is less likely to follow through with someone who sets communication boundaries.
3. Research him online
Like I said, I Googled Tim, looked at his profiles, and looked for anything that may not be in alignment with what he was telling me. Research the information a guy tells you and see if it checks out. You can search his name along with images to see if the information is the same; if something doesn’t add up or doesn’t seem right, err on the side of caution. Don’t try to convince yourself that it’s “probably nothing.”
4. Don’t be afraid to say NO
If something seems off, don’t be afraid to say no! If you’re online, part ways and block the person if necessary. If you’re meeting in person and you start to get a bad feeling, excuse yourself and walk away. It’s always better to create a somewhat awkward situation than to compromise your safety.
5. Talk to your friends
Talk to your friends and get them involved. If a situation doesn’t feel right, asking for another’s opinion can give you additional insight and an outside perspective. If your friends see something you don’t, pay attention. Convincing yourself that a stranger isn’t what your friends think he is can be a potential danger if you’re seeing him through rose-colored glasses.
6. Meet in public and tell people where you are
If you’re meeting him in person for the first time, tell your friends or even get them involved in that, too. When I first met Tim, I invited him to see a concert with me and eight of my friends in a public park. He also brought his friend and it felt very safe—and my friends got to know him, too. I told him in advance that I was going with my friends and that he was welcome to join us. Meeting up in this way allowed me to get to know him surrounded by people I knew.
If it’s not convenient for your friends to meet with you, consider meeting for the first time within a Meetup group, or during the day at a restaurant or café where you know there is a decent crowd around you and you won’t be alone. Always make it a public place, even on second and third dates, and let people know where you are and how long you plan to be there. Just because you’ve met someone in person doesn’t mean he’s no longer a stranger. Getting to know someone is not the same as knowing them.
7. Avoid drinking on a first date
When you’re on a first date, it may seem tempting to have drinks so that you don’t feel as nervous. But really, you want to be present and get to know each other, and alcohol can cause people to not be as alert and to make decisions that are not necessarily the safest for them.
If a guy is willing to agree to no alcohol for a first date, that’s a good sign. The point of your date isn’t drinks; it’s to get to know each other! If it’s even a little tempting to you, meeting for coffee/tea/dessert is a much better idea.
8. NEVER go home with him on your first date
I don’t care HOW great it goes, never invite a guy to your home or go home with him on your first date. You don’t know this person, and your chances of being able to protect yourself if he turns out to be a bad guy are not good if he knows where you live or if he has you in his own place. Remember, if he’s a relationship-ready guy, he’ll wait.
As always, I wanna hear from you. I wanna know the biggest insight you’re taking away from this blog. Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this blog, join Dating with Confidence’s FREE and PRIVATE Facebook group, “Dating Tips For Savvy Single Ladies,” where you can have more personal interaction with me and get support around your love life. And share this blog with your friends.
To your dating success!
Get Quality Dating and Relationship Advice
Sign up here and get access to all of my
FREE TIPS, SCRIPTS, VIDEOS, and FREE LIVE TRAINING
We respect your privacy. We will never share your information.