Apps make dating super convenient. You essentially have a bunch of cuties at your fingertips. And you can browse said cuties whenever you like, on the train to work, in the bath, when your friend is telling you a boring story, etc…
But dating apps have their downsides, too. We’ve all encountered a creeper at some point, right? Plus, the nature of the beast is that you tend to share at least some personal information. So, here’s what you need to know before you delve into the dating apps.
Check They’re Who They Say They Are
For starters, you need to make sure the hottie you’re chatting with is a real-live person and not a bot. Plus, there’s always the chance that you have a catfish on your hands. Don’t be afraid to go all Nev and Max on this person.
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Check that they have (legitimate) social media accounts, which align with what they’ve been telling you about their age, job and so on. Do they really have that awesome luxury car or do they have a rusty old banger? Also, search their images on Google to make sure a faker isn’t simply using a random influencer’s images. Did you know that there are also sites, such as Instant Checkmate, where you can run a criminal background check on somebody? How cool is that?
Protect Your Private Information
Many dating apps, including Tinder and Bumble, allow you to connect your social media accounts. This might be good, on the one hand, because you can see if you have any friends in common with your match. You can ask your pals whether you’re chatting to a decent person.
However, if you connect your other profiles, you may inadvertently share information with strangers that you don’t want them to have. For instance, if your match knows where you work, they may be able to find you or even stalk you (eek!) IRL. Not good. For the safety-conscious out there, you may wish to install a cybersecurity tool, such as NordVPN, on your phone. It encrypts your data, meaning people you meet online have no chance of gaining access to your private info.
Report Bad Behavior
You hear about those oddballs that send unsolicited nude photos all the time. It’s not okay. No, I don’t want to see a picture of your junk while I’m at the office, thank you very much.
That’s not the only kind of bad behavior you may come across on a dating app. Trolls lurk on every platform these days. You might encounter somebody who uses offensive or even threatening language. If any of these things happen to you, block and report the user immediately.
Meet in a Public Place
You’re never too old to follow the stranger danger rules. You could be meeting the man or woman of your dreams… Or you could be meeting a maniac. Who knows. So, the safest bet is to meet in a public place, where there are lots of other people around.
In some cases, the staff at bars or restaurants are even willing to help you out when the date goes sour. A restaurant in Florida has a sign in the women’s restroom that reads, “Is your Tinder or Plenty of Fish date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel unsafe, or even just a tad bit weird? We’re here to help. Just go to the bar and order an angel shot.” When a lady orders this shot, a bartender escorts them to their car.
Dating is hard. Nevermind all of the complications that dating apps bring into the mix. Hopefully, you will meet the love of your life rather than somebody who’s cray-cray. If you decide to take the monogamous route and lock it down, don’t forget to delete your account, not just the app. That’s how to actually get rid of your profile. Good luck, daters!