Online dating has quickly gained momentum in the past decade, but online dating safety can’t be ignored.
Although more and more people are meeting their husbands and wives through online dating, it’s still very important for you to take safety precautions on your online dates!
In fact, for some people, it’s the safety concerns that keep them from giving online dating a chance.
So, I want to give some great tips to help you be safe when jumping into the online dating pool.
10 Tips For Safe Online Dating:
1. Never Put More Than Just A City Location On Your Online Dating Profile
While your online dating profile does allow you to display the city you’re located in, putting any additional information on your profile about your location is dangerous.
This includes the name of your neighborhood, apartment complex, or any nearby landmarks. Online dating users should never know anything more than the general city and state that you live in.
If someone asks you for more information or details about where you live, don’t tell them!!
2. Get To Know Your Potential Online Dates Before Meeting Them
Spend time getting to know the person you’re talking to before going on a date. It’s hard to give an exact timeframe on how long you should wait before meeting an online date because each situation is different.
But, in general, if you’re speaking on the phone frequently (almost everyday or every other day), you can meet in person 2-3 weeks after meeting online (at minimum). However, always use your own best judgment in deciding how soon to meet an online date!
3. Never Have Your First Few Dates At Your Home Or Your Date’s Home
Having your first online date at a home is a really bad idea! You should never meet a person that you don’t know in a private place where it will only be the two of you.
You first few online dates should always be at public places with lots of people! If this is a problem for you, then online dating isn’t a resource that you should use.
4. Tell Your Close Friends or Family That You’re Going On An Online Date
While many people are still weary about letting others know that they use online dating, you can’t keep this information to yourself if you’re going to go on any online dates!
It’s important that someone close to you knows that you’re using online dating in case anything happens to you.
There is certain information that you need to give your loved ones if you choose to go on an online date. Which brings me to my next tip…
5. Give A Close Friend or Family Member Your Date’s Information
Before you go on your online date, make sure you provide a close friend or family member with the following information about your online date:
1. Your Date’s Username
2. Your Date’s Full Name
3. Your Date’s Phone Number
4. The Location of Your Date
5. The Time of Your Date
Giving this information to a close friend will ensure that someone knows who, where, and what you will be doing in case something happens.
If your friend knows that you’re going to dinner, but doesn’t hear back from you within 3-4 hours after your date started, then they can call you to make sure you made it home safely or take any other appropriate action.
6. Text Your Date’s License Plate Number, If Possible
If at all possible, when you get to the date location, text your date’s license plate number to a friend in addition to providing the information in Tip #5.
This is if you have the opportunity to do this, of course. If not, the other information you provided from Tip #5 should be enough.
*You could also take a picture of the license plate by pretending to take a selfie.
7. Have A Friend or Family Member Accompany You On the Date
If you’re extremely nervous about your safety on an online date, you can also have a friend or two go to the restaurant or bar where the date is and have them hang out there during your date.
You definitely don’t want your online date to know that the both of you are being watched, so have your friends sit somewhere far enough that they won’t be noticed by your date but close enough too monitor what’s going on during the date.
8. Drive Your Own Car To The Online Date
Always drive your own car to meet your online date. Never allow a date to pick you up from your home or anywhere else for that matter!
You’d be putting way too much control in your date’s hands by allowing them to pick you up. Be in control of yourself and drive your car to your date!
9. Tell Your Friend When You Make It Home From Your Date
Don’t leave your friends or family in agonizing misery about what’s happening to you on your online date.
As soon as the date is over, don’t forget to shoot your friend a text saying you made it home safely so they can stop worrying about you!
10. If It Doesn’t Feel Right, DON’T GO!!
NEVER go on a date with someone you met online if they have made you feel uncomfortable in any way or nervous about your safety on a date.
Always trust your gut! If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t!
While I am an advocate of online dating, I don’t believe that you should ever ignore your gut feelings about a date! So, pay close attention to your instincts and follow these tips for being safe on your online dates!
For more great dating advice, get my book: Picking up the Pieces: Rebuilding Yourself for the Love and Relationship You Deserve.
Till Next Time,
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I don’t know. Even as a male I wouldn’t have given this information to somebody I had never met. I didn’t want to be Facebook-stalked by a stranger who might have three of four former dates buried in her garden 😉
A username and a screen grab of the profile is useful though.
If you always meet in a public place such as a coffee shop, you’re always going to be ok.
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You make a great point! It’s perfectly fine not to give an online date your first and last name.
I must say though, I’ve seen many women and men exchange Facebook information, which usually does have a person’s first and last name. So, if you don’t want a date to know your full name, hold off on sharing Facebook information too.
Great comments Chin Up Chest High!