There are many different online dating apps and websites that you can use, but it might be a lot of work to determine the right one for you and then have a positive experience using one. Furthermore, you may have heard the horror stories some of your friends have about the dangers of online dating and what they have experienced. This is why it is especially important to be as safe as possible when you are choosing to take advantage of online dating. This article will explain ways to accomplish this task.
Determine What Your Boundaries Are
Before you start using any type of online dating service, it is important to decide what your goals and boundaries are. Dating can be difficult in any circumstances, but when you are speaking to prospective partners online, you must be certain what your aim is. For example, do you want a long-term relationship, or are you more interested in dating casually? Moreover, do you know what you are looking for in a date? Have a clear picture of what you are attempting to find and what you expect from online dating. If you don’t know what you want, you might not know when you find it.
Utilize a Reliable Company
There are so many sites to take advantage of when you are considering online dating, but all of them may not be of the best quality. You should stick to sites or apps that you know friends have used or you have seen ads for. This may mean that they are more legitimate than other options available.
Don’t Offer too Much Information
Once you start to match up with people that look interesting to you, make sure that you don’t give them too much information about yourself. Keep in mind that everyone online is not who they say they are, and they could be luring you for untoward purposes. Stick to basic things about yourself and as you get to know each other, you may decide it is okay to tell them more information about your life. However, at first, you shouldn’t give out personal details, like where you work or your address.
Be Wary When it Comes to Matches
If you find that you are matching up with people that seem perfect, they may be too good to be true. Look into their profiles and see if everything makes sense. You might even want to conduct reverse image searches, so you can determine if some profiles that seem flawless are actually scams. It might be better to be suspicious of everyone on dating sites rather than no one. Of course, most people will likely be real people that are there for wholesome reasons, but in some cases, they won’t be. If you do find that someone appears to have a fake profile, make sure you block this user and report them to the site if you have that option.
Something else to stay away from are users that have intricate sob stories. If someone starts to message you and talks to you about only the bad things that are happening in their life or tries to convince you to do something you aren’t comfortable with, such as giving them money, this should be reported to the site as well. There’s a good chance these profiles are not real. Research indicates that many people utilize online dating for above the board reasons, but this doesn’t cover all users.
Be Savvy Online
When you are considering going on a date or meeting up with someone, do some research. You may be able to find their social media profiles or other information about them. This can help prove they are who they are claiming to be. Something else that might be beneficial to you before meeting in person is to have at least one video call with them. Not only will this give you a better view of what they look like, so you can confirm their identity, but you will also be able to recognize them when you meet in person. It will solve the same problem for them.
Meet Someplace Neutral
In many cases, it is a better idea to meet your date someplace you don’t have ties to. This means you shouldn’t take them to your house or your favorite bar. If they have ill intentions, this may help them stalk you or find out where you live. However, if you decide together where you want to meet up for a drink or dinner, it provides you both with a place that is a safe option. Another safeguard is having a friend drive you to your date, so someone knows where you are.
Talk to a Therapist
If you are interested in developing more skills to help you in the online dating world, a therapist may be able to lend a hand. They can assist you with working on how to approach dating, what you would like to get out of online dating, and what steps you should take to protect yourself throughout the process. Additionally, they should be able to talk to you about other issues you are facing, so you can address your mental health overall before you put yourself out there and start dating. A therapist will be able to work with you to address all of your fears related to dating, whether you are approaching it online or strictly in-person. To learn more about counseling for dating, check out these articles.
Navigating the world of online dating may seem like an impossible task, but if you stay smart about what you expect and conduct plenty of research on the site you are using, as well as users you are matched with, it may be easier to succeed. Talk to your friends and family members that you know have utilized online dating apps, and they might be able to offer more tips and counsel to help you become better prepared for what you could experience. Be sure to keep your wits about you through the process and talk to a therapist for additional help and advice.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.