Ahhh, dating apps.
Quick, efficient, and they allow us to rapidly connect with multiple strangers in our area (precisely the opposite of what our parents taught us to do).
During my hoe phase in college (and now even), I relied heavily on dating apps to help me connect with new people in my area.
Think about it, hundreds of different people in a 20-mile radius that you would have never met before.
Now I understand that dating apps get a bad wrap for several reasons, but today we will talk about staying safe while trying to get some dick (or pussy or whatever you are into).
Now some of these tips may sound like common knowledge, but for some reason, when you meet someone on a dating app, that common sense goes out the window.
And I am not trying to shame anybody.
I have been there before.
For some odd reason, you automatically trust the person you are talking to because they haven’t given you a reason not to yet.
But after some trial and error in my own experiences and reading a few different articles, I have compiled the best eight tips you need to follow to stay safe while meeting and talking to strangers on the internet.
These are a few universal tips that you should always keep in mind while swiping on dating apps.
- If it looks like a red flag, then it’s a red flag.
- Remember that not everyone has your best intention. There are plenty of scammers all over dating apps that want to take advantage of you, so if they say or do something off-putting, red flag.
- Fuck Politeness
- This applies from the time when you all are chatting up to the first date. If at any point the person becomes rude, creepy, or just giving you bad vibes overall, then leave and block them. Don’t think about their feelings. Think about your safety, and don’t let them intimidate you.
- Trust Your Instincts
- At any point, if you get a gut feeling telling you that something is not right, you should leave the date or block them. Make an excuse, have your friend call you with a fake emergency, ask the waiter or bartender for help, just find a way to get yourself to safety. Like I said above…Fuck being polite.
- Make Sure Someone Knows Where You Are
- This is so important! And so many people brush this off. I go into more detail in Tip #6, but please let someone know where you will be, who you will be with, and have them check in with you. Sex trafficking, sexual assault, crimes, and scams happen. Please beware and take precautions.
Tip #1: Use a Fake Number
This is my favorite tip of all time!
If you have used a dating app, then you know what it’s like when they ask for your number because they “aren’t on the app a lot” and “prefer to talk somewhere else.”
I don’t like to give my number to people unless I know them well.
This is where the fake number comes in!
Using a fake number will protect you from unwanted phone calls, and people can look up your phone number and find not only you but your family, and even on specific sites, your address.
So be careful.
There is plenty of fake number apps in the Apple Store, or you can use Google Voice.
I also like giving people my Snapchat.
Unlike your phone number, your Snapchat name won’t tell them other information about you.
Just be sure to have your location off on snap so they can’t see where you are.
Tip #2: Stalk Their Social Media
Many of the articles I read phrased this tip as “Doing your research,” but I am blunt.
And what you are going to do is stalk their social media.
“Doing your research” will help you confirm that the person is who they say they are, and you get to know them a bit better.
Many dating apps allow people to link their other social media platforms, which is always a bonus, but not everyone does it.
If they don’t have any social media linked, you can ask them for their name, and you can google them or ask for their Instagram handle directly.
Other options include Facebook stalking them, typing their phone number into the Facebook search bar, or typing their Snapchat name into Instagram.
Lastly, be sure to reverse image search their images from the dating profile on Google.
This way, you can see if the pictures are anywhere else or belong to someone else.
Doing this will help you catch a catfish or someone who is trying to scam you.
Related Article: A Complete List Of STDS [Signs, Symptoms, & Cures]
Tip #3: Video Chat or Talk On the Phone Before Meeting In Person
Please do this!
Talking to the person or video chatting with them helps calm any nerves you have about the person and is a great way to do a vibe check.
You can see if y’all are compatible and have a good flow together.
I also like to see it as the ultimate test.
If the person you are talking to refuses to speak or video chat or keep canceling, that is a red flag.
They may not be who they say they are and are trying to avoid getting caught.
And if they use the lame excuse that they can’t video chat, remind them that Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, and Facebook Video, are all available.
I used to skip this step because I do not like talking on the phone, but the people I spoke with prior to meeting with them turned out to be better than those I didn’t.
Tip #4: Meet in a Public Place
For the love of God, don’t just go over to some stranger’s place.
I don’t care if they are your age or if you’ve been talking for over a month.
They are still a stranger, and you don’t fully know what their intentions are.
Meet them in a public place that has people around.
This way, if necessary, it is easier to get away or get help if something were to go wrong.
Y’all can plan a date or a mini-hangout before going over to their place if you feel comfortable.
You guys can meet in a restaurant, a cafe, a museum, a park…etc.
Just doing something in a public place.
Tip #5: Drive Yourself
Do not let a stranger come to your house and pick you up.
Driving yourself or finding your own transportation gives you the ability to leave whenever you want.
There is no 100% guarantee that the date will be amazing, and the person you are meeting won’t show some type of red flag that will make you want to run out of the restaurant.
So please do not accept a ride from them and instead meet them there.
This way, they don’t know where you live, and you are not at their mercy.
Tip #6: Make Sure Someone Know Where You Are At All Times
Remember in the Key-Take Away section where I said I would go into more depth?
Well, here we are.
Sharing your location with a friend or multiple friends is incredibly important because you are meeting a stranger at the end of the day.
There are multiple apps available for your friends to keep track of you, such as Find My Friends and Life 360.
Also, be sure to share your date’s information with a friend.
The information can include your date’s first and last name, profile picture, phone number, occupation, and whatever else you think they should know.
You can also set up a checkpoint with your friend.
This could mean that you have a friend texting you every hour to make sure that you are okay.
Or you can have your friend call you an hour into the date, thus giving you an out if you need it or just to make sure you are alright.
I know all of this sounds a bit excessive, but your safety is priceless.
Related Articles: 5 Rules To Live By During Your Hoe Phase This Summer
Tip #7: Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Remember at the beginning of the article when I said something about talking to someone on a dating app after a while makes you trust them for some odd reason?
Yeah, well, don’t.
Unfortunately, many scammers and catfish are swimming in the shallow pools of dating apps, ready to prey on new victims.
These con artists are continuously developing new strategies and techniques not to get caught, and a lot of their scams start by gaining your trust quickly.
Once they have done that, they ask for simple favors. This can include anything from financial help to your social security number, depending on how quickly the relationship has progressed.
Other information that you should not be giving out includes but is not limited to:
- The exact location where you work
- Your Family Member’s Names
- Your Whole Birthday (day/month/year)
- Your Address
- Your SSN
- Any Credit Card or Bank Information
Keeping information like this to yourself protects you and your family members because you can’t trust everyone you meet no matter how much you would like.
Tip #8: Stay Sober
Hey, I get it.
First dates are nerve-racking.
You are afraid you’ll give the wrong impression or won’t be funny enough.
So you have a few drinks to relax.
The conversations start to flow better, and things feel great.
But then you start to slur your words, and the room starts spinning.
Suddenly, you realize that you accidentally drank too much.
Now you can’t drive yourself home, and your date is starting to show you some red flags that weren’t there before.
I know this sounds like a worst-case scenario, but these types of situations do happen, and you don’t want that to be you.
So to avoid that, try to stay as sober as possible.
If you are going to drink, stick to 1-2 drinks max, and don’t mix liquors.
Doing this keeps you in control, aware of your surroundings and what is going on.
Moreover, if you followed tip #5 and drove yourself, you don’t want to get a DUI while driving home early from your date.
Tip#9: Don’t Leave Your Drink Unattended
My mom has taught me this since I was young.
This speaks to rape culture in the dating and club scene, but that is for a different blog post.
Leaving your drink unattended with the stranger you met on the internet is not a good idea.
Neither is accepting a drink from them unless it comes directly from the bartender to your hand.
Protecting your drink will help keep you safe and reduces the chance that you’ll be drugged.
You may feel comfortable with them, but leaving your drink unattended can threaten your safety.
Like I said throughout this whole article, you don’t know this person’s intentions.
I know this article probably sounds like an overprotective mother who would prefer you didn’t use dating apps, and you’d be half right.
I feel like an overprotective mother while writing this, but I think dating apps have potential.
They have brought together multiple people, and in truth, if I didn’t meet the people I did from dating apps, I would not have grown into the person I am today.
I just think that, as humans, we are too quick to trust people we really don’t know.
And in some situations, they work in our favor, but for the majority, they don’t.
So just take the necessary precautions and have fun!
And always remember to listen to your instincts.