How To Stay Safe Online Dating

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Dating can be hard, let alone meeting someone to actually go on a date with in the first place.

A third (35%) of Aussies have used internet and online dating apps. This rises to 50% among millennials, according to a 2017 YouGov report.

I myself have dabbled in the online dating sphere, using apps such as Bumble, but despite the success of some of my friends on these Apps, it can always be a bit intimidating taking the plunge and meeting up with somebody on a first date.

So, here are some top tips from the ultimate online dating experts (i.e. young women like you) about the best ways to not get into hot water on your next tinder date.  

Before You Meet Them

Facebook stalking meme
Use social media to your advantage

Stalk their social media

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. We put so much of our lives up for people to see, that within 5 minutes you can tell where somebody went to school, whether you have mutual friends, whether or not they like to party, if they smoke etc.

While this might take some of the romance out of learning these things as you go it can also be really useful in deciphering whether or not they possess any of your deal-breakers or coming up with subtle points of conversation (like their Europe trip from earlier this year for example).

It is also a great way to work out if they know people you know and possibly even contact one of those people to ensure they are ok to go on a date with.

Ask them for their Snapchat or Facetime Them

Now, this might seem paranoid, but anyone who has ever watched Catfish will know that not everyone is who they say they are online. Before you agree to meet up with a stranger – yes, that is who they are to you – in person, it is important to check that they aren’t in fact A 70-year-old man with an old desktop computer (unless you’re into that kind of thing).

I know some people that will even make a joke about it and ask to Facetime their potential date so that they can verify their identity. Or ask them to take a snapchat/ photo with something completely random, like a kitchen spatula, so you know what they look like in the present.  

If they’re the real deal they will never say no, and it will give you a glimpse of what they actually look like in real life rather than the version they put forth on a dating app. 

On The Date

First Date Meme
The perfect first date doesn’t exi-

Meet Up in Public

If you want to safely date online, it’s imperative your first dates happen in public spaces. A bar or a coffee shop are great casual options where there are other people around. Anywhere that you feel comfortable is the perfect date spot, which probably rules out any sketchy dive bars that you have to get to via an alley way. And absolutely avoid his apartment.

If the two of you hit it off, then there will be plenty of time to Netflix and chill in the future.

Slims Rooftop Bar in the city is a great option or even The Bucket List in Bondi, which provides the perfect setting for romantic sunset cocktails.

For more date options click here.

Let a friend know where you are and who you’re with

Send either your friend or your sister a screen shot of their name/ contact and where you are meeting and potentially a photo of them so that they know where you’re going and who you’re with. Find my friends or sharing your location through your phone is also another easy way to ensure you’re safe.

You can even organise your friend to call you an hour or so into the date with ‘an emergency’ which you can brush off if you’re enjoying yourself or use it as an excuse to leave if you’re not. This may sound super dramatic (and perhaps that’s because I am), but it can just be a nice safety net even if the only thing dangerous about your date is that you might die of boredom. 

Ask For Angela

People who feel threatened or unsafe during a date or social situation can now ask Sydney bartenders for ‘Angela‘, in a new initiative to combat violence and sexual assault. The program allows patrons to ask staff at participating venues for a woman called Angela if they feel unsafe, with the code word alerting trained staff to discreetly escort the person to safety.

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Tara Mckenzie

CONTRIBUTOR

Like many of Bondi Beauty's readers, Tara has two main passions; health and beauty. As a group fitness instructor you'll either find her dripping in sweat during a HIIT class or with a full face of bronze makeup. If you meet Tara in person be prepared to act excited as she tells you all about your star sign and why you should start carrying a rose quartz around in your purse.

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