Dating apps can make finding cool people to hang out and hook up with a little too easy.
Swipe through a bunch of selfies on your phone, look over a few profiles that have you all sorts of hot and bothered, and boom you’re set. It only takes a few more taps of your fingers to pick your next “skeet and delete.”
But life is never that simple.
- Scammers use dating apps to steal people’s personal information.
- Burglars use dating apps to find out where people live so they can steal your stuff.
- Violent people use dating apps to find easy victims.
- And all sorts of players are out there use dating apps to mess with people’s hearts.
Because we really like you, we encourage you to always look out for Number 1 when using dating apps! It’s not that these apps have more nasty people than anywhere else in the world — it’s just that the apps make it easier for the nasties to worm their way into your life and hurt you.
So whether you’re looking to “Netflix and Chill” or to find a long-term partner, please keep these safety tips in mind:
1. Make sure you’re dealing with a real person
Scammers might create fake profiles to grab personal information from you. They often use sexy pictures to grab your attention, but they won’t have many of those pictures. A real person will have lots of pictures and they will look like a real person — not a model posing for a photo shoot.
Once you connect with somebody through the app, find a way for both of you to reveal your true identities and show some information that proves you’re a real person. Don’t give up your home address and never reveal things like your Social Security or credit card numbers.
When you feel sure you’re dealing with a real person, do some searching online to see what you can find out. It’s okay to stalk the heck out of THOT. 😉
2. Get to together in a public place
People don’t want to do anything bad in a place where there will be witnesses. That’s why it’s a good idea to meet in a coffee shop, restaurant, or anyplace with lots of people around. Lord knows Cleveland has the best food scene around, explore a new place together!
3. Avoid first-time meetups after dark
Think about meeting while there’s still daylight, even if your intention is to get them between the sheets. If it’s nighttime and your meetup is smokin’ hot, you could be more tempted to jump into something without thinking it through. Meeting after dark means less people, less public places open, and less reasons to ditch if you’re not feeling it. Might be good to just play it safe and meet them while you can still admire the way the sun caresses their bod. 😉
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4. Tell a friend where you’re going to be
Airplane pilots file a flight plan so people will know where to start looking if the plane doesn’t land where it’s supposed to. The same idea applies with app dating.
Tell a friend where you’re going and when you expect to be back. You may even set up a time to check in and stick to it. Some people share an emergency code word they can use to tell each other things are going badly and they want to escape an awkward situation. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but coming up with code words with your bestie can be fun!
5. Consider installing a tracking app
Most smartphones can track your location so somebody can always find you — but you may have to install a tracking app or mess with the settings to make it work. This may seem like some stuff straight out of the movie Taken, but it may not be a bad idea regardless of whether or not your dad is Liam Neeson. I mean, how many times have you lost your phone and wished you could open the maps app on your friend’s phone to find it. Are we right, or are we right?
6. Keep a clear head
When meeting someone for the first time, it’s a good idea to take it easy on the alcohol and anything else that might cause you to let your guard down. Your intuition and gut instincts protect you and set off alarms when somebody seems skeezy or dangerous. Getting wasted is like turning off your smoke detector and starting a campfire in your living room.
Moral of the story: Be thoughtful and have fun with dating apps!
Dating and hooking up can be both fun and safe. Try not to freak out over the horror stories about dating apps. Trust your instincts and use your common sense. Anyone who seems too good to be true probably is. As long as you’re using that beautiful mind of yours, you’ll be just fine. 🙂