Online dating has evolved in the last ten years. We’ve moved from online dating websites to dating apps. Some would argue it’s not such a good thing, as people are less engaged than ever with the dating process.
With so much choice on offer, it’s all too easy for men and women to move on to the next sure thing. But online dating does have it’s advantages. For one thing, you can meet people from a wider area, and for another, it’s convenient.
Unfortunately, however, there is always the risk that the person you’re chatting to online is a complete psycho. We’re not saying you should run a full background check on every prospective date, but it’s wise to conduct a few simple safety checks before you meet.
Is this person really who they claim to be? Sure, he looks smoking hot in his photos, and you’re pretty sure you remember him from school way back when but don’t take his word for it.
Reverse Image Check
Run a reverse image check on a date’s profile photo. There are despicable individuals out there who use fake profiles to prey on vulnerable people. If you get a match from a reverse image search, this person is not who they say they are. Block them immediately.
Verify a Date’s ID
If his/her photo checks out, use Nuwber.com to carry out a quick ID check. It only takes a few minutes to run someone’s name on the Nuwber site. You can verify a date’s name, email address, home address, and telephone number against information on public databases. Wouldn’t you rather know s/he’s a felon or married with six kids before you set up a date?
Stay Safe on a First Date
Be careful not to give too much personal information away before you meet someone. It’s normal to hand over a telephone number, so you can move the conversation to messaging apps and organize a first date. However, it’s a bad idea to let a date know where you live until you are comfortable with them.
When you are ready to meet up, make sure the venue is in a public space. A coffee shop, bar or a restaurant is generic but perfect for a first date. Most people know instantly if there is a connection, so keep it simple.
Save the romantic champagne picnic for the third or fourth date, when you are happy to spend some time alone with this person.
Tell your friends and family exactly where you are going, and who with. Send them a link to your date’s profile, so they know who to point the finger at when you go missing.
Organize your own transport on a date. Call an Uber or drive your own vehicle. Never ask a date to pick you up from your home until you feel sure they are OK.
Don’t drink to excess. Alcohol is a leading factor in many sexual assaults and rapes. Watch your drink at all times and if a date is pushing you to drink more than you feel comfortable with, it’s time to go home, alone.
Most first dates are uneventful. The odds of meeting someone who turns out to be a bad apple are slim, thankfully. But it doesn’t hurt to play it safe when you are still getting to know someone. If you spot any red flags, be careful. The early days of a relationship are when our instincts are most reliable. Listen to your gut, take everything that person says with a grain of salt, and run some ID checks to put your mind at rest.