Monday, 11 July 2016

Staying Safe When Online Dating

Some of you might know that I'm an online dating convert. Mostly it's just so we can laugh at the amount of desperation we see back in the group chat - but actually, a lot of us are willing to admit that we've definitely met people worth our time on Badoo or similar apps. As unwilling as I was to get involved to begin with - I feel like I'm having to reluctantly admit to the fact that chances are; I'll meet a future relationship online. So, it stands to figure that since meeting people I've met online, I've quickly learned a set of tips to keep myself safe (after all, we're all of the age of remembering those warnings off of our parents) and so, without further ado; here's the ways to keep yourself safe when online dating.

1: Keep Your Phone Charged
Always. The last thing you want to do is go somewhere unfamiliar with someone unfamiliar without any kind of phone battery - in fact even if you're going to somewhere that you do know, keep your phone charged so if you need a "family emergency" you can send out a quick SOS. In general, when you're on your own meeting someone new, your phone is your lifeline and so make sure you keep it alive and well and ready to go (it's sometimes good to have someone on speedial too, just in case.)

2: Meet In A Public Place
I know I know, I sound like every safety advert shown to us as a kid ever - but there's a reason that this became a rule. Meet in a public place, make sure that somebody knows where you are and generally just don't be stupid about it - you know? Just don't choose the middle of a park in the middle of the night to meet. As a rule; if you wouldn't want to go there and hang out on your own, probably don't go there on a first date.

3: Choose Someone With Mutual Connections
I tend to pick people online that have mutual friends with me in the hopes that they're much less likely to be pretending to be somebody that they're not. Badoo, however, has an interesting system wherein you can verify yourself via social media accounts and through your photographs and so on, and so if you really want to meet someone that doesn't know all of your friends (and I get it, I live in the world's tiniest peninsula where everybody knows everything) - I'd say stick to a dating app like Badoo where you can verify the person to be real. If you do use a different site, you can do vetting in the same way by checking out their various social media profiles; but it's a little more time consuming. And maybe slightly creepy.

4: Always Carry Contraception
A different kind of safety, but you never know when you're going to get... Squelchy (as Elena put it) so just make sure you're prepared. Even if you think there's a million percent chance that you won't be getting naked, take them anyway - better to come back home with a pocket of condoms than get there and realise that you're in a position that you really wish that you had some.

So there's my tips for meeting up with someone you met online - I'd love to hear yours if you have any good hacks!

Sammy xo.
Post written in Collaboration with Badoo, however all words and opinions are my own.

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