Dating online is increasingly common among people of all ages. There are many different apps and sites available for people to try their hand at finding love, and more and more people are meeting their significant others through digital means.
However, meeting strangers on the internet can be unsafe and make people feel nervous. While online dating opens a variety of doors, it can also be scary.
Here are a few ways that you can keep yourself safe and online date at the same time, with the hopes of finding your life partner along the way:
- Keep personal information personal. It can be tempting to reveal a lot about yourself online, especially if you seem to have a connection with this new person. However, be careful about how much information you reveal before you really get to know this person. Keep your full name, address, and job to yourself until you have met them face to face.
- Use a new email. You’d be surprised at how much information can be gleaned from just your email address. Use a new email for signing up for dating websites or other apps, and don’t use any identifying information with this email. With just your email or your full name, people can find out a lot about you online. Allow yourself to keep strangers out of your life until you’re ready to let them in.
- Find the right dating site. Tinder is a commonly used dating app, but there are many other options for people looking for a more specific life partner. OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com are good places to start.
- Take new photographs. It might be tempting to post a few selfies or pictures from a few years ago but be sure to update your profile with new and nice pictures. Be sure to take pictures that showcase your strengths and show your interests.
- Be mysterious. Rather than go into great detail answering profile questions, keep your answers brief and simple. You want to lead people into a conversation, not give them every answer to the questions they might have for you.
- Be unique. Don’t just copy and paste a bio from one of your other profiles- make each one unique. This keeps people from searching your real identity and allows you to really think about your answers that you’ve posted online. Additionally, keep all your communications with people on the dating site confined to the dating site until you’re comfortable taking that communication elsewhere.
- Create boundaries. If you are very busy with work or family, consider holding off on the dating site. This can add in extra complications to your schedule and make it nearly impossible to meet new people and put your best foot forward. On the other hand, if you are too eager, people might be put off. Only go out with people who truly interest you, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to date everyone you match with.
- The regular rules of dating still apply; remember to meet in a public place, tell someone who you are going out with and where you’ll be, set up a friend to call or text at a certain time in case you need an excuse to leave, and be yourself. You have the power to create safe relationship boundaries with yourself and the people you meet online.