Head over Heels Dating Safety
Online Dating Safety Advice Tips
Last updated on Jan 16, 2013
Online dating can be a safer experience than traditional dating. It gives you a wider scope of choice and you can remain at a distance until you are ready to meet.
If you've never tried it before or if you are worried by any stories you may have heard, here are a few tips to get you dating online safely:
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, why take a chance. Disengage gracefully, if this does not work, just disengage.
- Keep it real. Be as honest as you can when creating your profile, you would not want to be misled so don't mislead anyone. It's also very hard to pretend you are 6'2" when you are really 5'6"!
- Post a photo, but make sure you cannot identify your family, friends, home or car in it.
- Keep in control. Don't give up any personal information too soon or post personal information without knowing exactly who you are giving it to.
- Protect your identity. Use a site like ours that hides your email address and your contact information.
- Avoid any talk of finances too readily. There is no reason why you should ever disclose any financial information online.
- Don't be lured by requests for financial help, if someone asks you for money even if you have built up a trusting rapport with them, they are almost certainly a scammer.
- Don't be pressured into giving any information or pictures that you don't want to and especially into meeting before you are ready.
- If you're unsure, ask for a recent photo of who you are talking to.
- Think about what you write in your profile and when chatting. Does it convey the right tone and intention?
- Be wary of anyone who declares their undying love for you, especially if you have never met them.
- When you are ready to meet, check out our in-person dating safety advice below
In-Person Dating Safety Advice:
Dating through an online service such as ours is a safe experience but with the rush of excitement it's sometimes easy to forget to keep it that way.
You think you have met the online date of your dreams or maybe you're just curious but you've agreed to meet. You may be a veteran dater or maybe returning to dating after a relationship has ended but here are some quick words of advice for meeting up:
- Don't get pushed into a date and certainly don't give over your personal contact details unless you are comfortable to do so. Never give out your home or office address unless you are totally confident that you know and can trust your date.
- Avoid anyone who talks about sex or finances before you have even met them. Be wary of anyone who declares undying love for you too readily.
- When you meet for those first few dates, choose a neutral public location that is easily accessible to you both and is within view and hearing distance of other people.
- Tell someone that you trust who you are meeting, where you are going and what time you plan to be there. If your plans change don't forget to provide an update.
- Arrange with someone to ‘check in' at regular intervals and have a coded way of telling them how it's going, especially if you need help.
- Trust your instincts, if you think something is wrong, you should politely make an excuse and leave.
- Never rely on your date for transport to or from your meeting place, especially plan your journey home in case you need to leave unexpectedly. Have a taxi number handy if you need one.
- If you do have to go home together in a taxi, try to be dropped off last but at least avoid showing your date exactly where you live.
- Be careful with alcohol so that you keep your wits about you. If you think your food or drink has been tampered with then don't consume it.
- Make sure you have a fully charged phone with enough minutes.
- Respect that your date may have the same concerns and don't push them into doing anything they are not comfortable with.