Many people are apprehensive about trying online dating, and the most common reservation is almost certainly a concern for personal safety. If you would like to sign up for a dating site, but are a little worried about the safety issues, then you really shouldn’t let this hold you back. It is perfectly natural to feel a little bit anxious, but if you are sensible and avoid taking unnecessary risks then there is absolutely no reason why you should ever have to fear for your safety. If you follow the advice we have provided below and take plenty of care, then you can enjoy everything online dating has to offer without worrying about your safety.
Use a Reputable Dating Site
The first step in staying safe is to make sure that you stick to using reputable dating sites. Most sites are perfectly honest and trustworthy, but there are unfortunately some out there that aren’t. Although you are unlikely to expose yourself to any danger using such a site, the chances are that they don’t take your privacy and security quite as seriously as the reputable sites do. There are plenty of decent dating sites out there, so do your research and make sure you sign up somewhere that can be trusted. It is worth noting that the best online dating sites usually offer their own advice on how to stay safe.
Keep It Private
There is no reason why you need to provide any of your personal contact information in your online dating profile, and you should definitely avoid doing so. The whole point of dating sites is that you can make contact with other members without having to give out your email address or telephone number, so there is simply no need to. At most sites you can exchange as many messages as you want, chat in real-time, or even talk over the phone without giving out your own contact details – so you really should wait until you are entirely comfortable with someone before sharing such information. Even if you feel like you have gotten to know someone pretty well, we would still suggest that you avoid telling them your address until you have met them a couple of times.
Don’t Be Rushed
The ultimate aim of online dating is obviously to meet new people, and the time will come when you are ready to go on a date and meet someone in person. However, you are perfectly at liberty to take your time about such things and you should not be rushed into a face-to-face meeting if you are not ready.
If someone is putting a lot of pressure on you to meet up with them then this could be considered a warning sign. Of course, they might just really like you and be keen to progress things, in which case you can just explain that you want to take things more slowly and they should understand. You should never feel obliged to meet someone in person and you shouldn’t go on any date until you are completely comfortable doing so.
Meet in Public
When you do get around to that first date, make sure that you are sensible about the arrangements. We would strongly advise that you meet up somewhere rather than get picked up, and we would suggest that you choose a public location. In reality, there is very little likelihood that anything untoward is going to happen, as the vast majority of people who meet through online dating never experience anything resembling a dangerous situation.
Nevertheless, it is prudent to take a few precautions and not take any risks. You should also tell a friend when and where you are meeting someone and could even arrange to give them a quick text or call at some point, just to let them know that everything is fine.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can offer is simply to use sound judgment and trust your instinct. If you ever get the feeling that there is something not quite right about someone or they make you feel uncomfortable for any reason, then don’t be afraid to cut off the communication. The same applies if you get as far as meeting someone and you are always quite within your rights to end a date early if that’s what you want to do. If you are not relaxed and enjoying yourself, then the chances are things are not going to go anywhere anyway.