We live in a digital era with a host of apps around to help us live better and make the most of our lives. Online dating has been quite a hit and it’s been reported that as much as 40% of Americans use online dating services. Large numbers of dating apps are available which help you seamlessly connect with strangers. While the prospect of meeting a stranger may look exciting, it’s never too late to be cautious.
Sure, you are an experienced person and totally able to take care of yourself, it is hard to cross-check a complete stranger you met online. They are just a profile with a picture which can be easily manipulated or faked. It’s no surprise that crimes related to online dating are rising dramatically. If you are experimenting with the idea of dating again, here is a list of important tips you should follow:
- Video Call Before Meeting Up
You might have met a nice guy online and have chatted for days before finally agreeing to meet. However, it is best to be sure that you are not tricked. Video calling can come to your rescue as you get to be face to face with a guy virtually. It not only gives a glimpse of each other, but also cross-checks his status and standard of living.
- Never Let Him Pick You Up
If you are meeting a stranger, don’t reveal your address by letting him pick you up. Disclosing your location might make you an easy prey in future. Stick to meeting him at a restaurant or public place. You can drive to the place yourself, or use a public transportation or cab.
- Select The Meeting Place Appropriately
During first few dates, it is advisable that you pick the place to meet. Refrain from selecting a remote or isolated place no matter how romantic it might sound. Also during the initial dates, you might not be fully comfortable with him and group dates can be helpful as you will be around some friendly faces. Consider going to a public place like restaurants, sports or any other crowded place.
- Don’t Drink Much!
It is best to stay in your senses during the entire date. One, it helps in your judgment and two, it avoids things going too far. Back in your twenties you might have a nice capacity to hold your drinks but things change substantially as you age. There is no issue in having a couple of drinks but don’t go overboard with drinks. Make sure your alcohol is not affecting his opinion about you!
- Carry An Alarm
You must always be prepared for the worst-case scenario and it’s perhaps in your best interests to carry a panic alarm. There are many technology-driven alarms available, which can easily be concealed in a fashion accessory like necklace or keychain and yet rescue you from a risky situation by alerting your emergency contacts.
- Trust A Friend To Have Your Back
No matter how private you are as a person, you must be having persons you can trust; friends, colleagues or relatives. Share your plan with them and have them call you during the date a couple of times to check if things are ok.
- Don’t Reveal Too Much
Unless you have known the guy well enough, ensure that you don’t reveal any sensitive information. This means that details of financial transactions, bank accounts, credit cards are off limits
When you are venturing back to dating, you might be tempted to go with flow and a misplaced trust can make you vulnerable. However, if you let your life long experience and common-sense guide you, things should be okay. Be in-charge in every circumstance and make sure your safety is your top priority. Have a safe date!