The internet has brought us a ton of opportunities, especially when it comes to meeting new people. As social creatures, connecting with others is an innate desire and adds to our general well-being but it’s important to tread with caution, particularly when meeting online strangers. Perhaps, there’s this really cool online crush you met and you both have finally decided to meet in person. How do you ensure your safety while taking this online dating thing a step further?
It’s no news that psychos exist online and many have fallen victim to their lure. For instance, this past week, a teenage girl’s online connection ended up murdering her family, so it’s important to be super careful. Are there some things you can do to ensure the story doesn’t go south? Of course. As excited and hopeful as you are when meeting your online crush, you can also be cautious, and this is well-founded. Trust me, it isn’t paranoia to be careful in these streets, at least the movies should have taught us a thing or two. As much as you feel like you’ve known this person all your life, you don’t.
We have curated some tips to arm yourself with if you’re planning to meet up with your online crush soon. These tips will show you how to online date safely and ultimately help make your online dating experience much better.
Here are 8 online dating tips to help you meet your crush safely…
#1. Keep the meeting brief
The first meeting is the time to get an overall sense of who the person really is because who you see online can be very different from real life. So, when you first meet this person, don’t plan to spend several hours or worse still, spend the night with the person. You can aim for one to two hours in the afternoon like your lunch break.
Also, it’s important to schedule your meeting at the appropriate time when you’re most alert which is why we suggest meeting at noon rather than at night.
#2. Trust your instincts
When something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and get out of there. Now is not the time to negotiate with your mind, especially when the “wrong feeling” is overwhelming. In addition, you should stay alert and be mindful of the circumstances, including your date’s body language, the people in the vicinity, the phone calls being made, and other things. The moment something seems out of place, say goodbye and leave. Better safe than sorry.
#3. Choose an open place to meet your online crush
This isn’t the time to become mysterious by choosing somewhere on the outskirts of town or an unfamiliar ground. Neither is it a great idea to meet them at their house. We don’t want a case of hostages and/or missing persons. On the bright side, if the relationship goes well, eventually there’ll be sufficient time for visiting but until then choose an open spot. If they decline, then that’s your queue.
#4. Channel your inner detective
Remember how you found out your ex was cheating and how you ruined your birthday surprise by being a step further with information? Here’s totally where you should put those skills to use. This could be a bonus and help you know your online crush’s interests, besides, it could also influence your venue choice. How? You no doubt found out his favorite restaurant, and now he is elated as you “coincidentally” suggest that as your preferred meeting venue. That’s right *winks*.
#5. Ask questions
Don’t be shy, safety first. After your well-needed comprehensive research, you might want to run some questions by your online crush to see if the answers tally. Just be smooth so you don’t come off as being nosy or too eager.
#6. Share your location and plans with someone you trust
There are apps that can do this but it’s also effective to have a talk with a friend or family member. Drop your online crush’s details with them and the venue for your date and update your friend/family as plans change. This is not the right time to go solo and MIA. Just like in the movies, your date could be a serial killer or a psychopath for all we care. Sorry for being so grim, but hey!
#7. Always have ‘vex’ money
Irrespective of gender, have extra cash in case your date decides to “forget their wallet,” ditch the date after you’ve ordered, or you might want to eat something outside the budget. Before you choose to be Garfield, remember this is a date with your online crush, not some hunger rescue mission.
#8. Have a departure plan in case things go south
It gets complicated when you have to change venues, so try making reservations
beforehand. Plan to exit on your own. If things don’t go as planned, it would be liberating to know that you had your exit all planned out, it’s harder to do that if you need a ride from them. It is wise to decline when offered to be dropped off at home.
Meeting people online has become as common as going grocery shopping but we can’t be oblivious to its impending dangers. As much as you’re eager to meet that perfect online crush that might end up being the one, it’s expedient to do it cautiously. Stay safe!
Featured image: Alessandro Biascioli/iStock
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A creative writer with a voracious appetite for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture. As one who's passionate about the advancement of the woman, creating content that inspire smart style and living, and positive lifestyle changes is a calling I take seriously. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥