The rules of dating have vastly changed in light of technology. Dating apps went from being something that people were slightly embarrassed about, to a global trend. Meeting new people has never been easier. Yet, romance seems to be getting more complicated. Dating has become riskier: not only the rate of date rapes has exponentially grown tied to online dating; there are also risks associated with privacy breaches and identity theft. Expectations are less clear and harder to read. So how to navigate this new dating scene? How to meet interesting people without risking your bank account, or worse, your physical wellbeing? A new world requires new rules. Here are some tips to establish your own.
Learn More About Someone Before you Date
Make sure that the person you are talking to is real, and that he is who he says he is. Tricking dating sites and apps with false information is not difficult, so do your due diligence before agreeing to a first date. It’s better to conduct a dating background check, which may include:
● Making sure that their profile picture is clear and that it really depicts them. A simple social media search should bring up other pictures, but the best way to be sure is to ask for a video call.
● Checking sex offenders registry and court records for felony charges may seem like a lot, but it is better to make sure that you are not dating a dangerous person.
● A simple Google search will probably give you valuable information, but don’t go overboard. You just want to make sure they are safe to date, not learn their family history. Some risky behaviors are better explained here.
Keep your Conversations Real
During the first stages of meeting someone, we want to make sure they like us. People –especially women– tend to try too hard. For example, he mentions he loves hockey. You hate sports, but instead of saying so, you start researching hockey teams to have something to talk about. And this example is on a very simple subject. Religion, politics, and views on gender and race are more important. If you don’t agree on something, say so. You can still date, even when you don’t have the same opinions. And, if your core values differ by a lot, it’s probably best to stay away.
Conversations are also a very good indicator of someone’s character. Are they disrespectful when you disagree? Do you see a hint of violent behavior? These facts are definite red flags. Don’t risk it.
Be in Charge of Decisions During the First Dates
While it’s nice to let your date plan something for you, you should be in charge of the first few outings. Safety during the first dates can only be ensured if you are the one calling the shots. This will allow you to choose the places in which you feel safe. A few tips to choose first date locations:
- Keep it public. Until you feel you can really trust your date, only meet in public places.
- Choose easy access –and easy exit– places.
- Keep it close to home, but not walking distance.
- Preferably, choose a place in which you feel acquainted with staff; it will make it easier to ask for help if you find yourself in a difficult situation.
Pay Attention to Everything
It’s easy to overlook red flags during the first stages of a relationship. Pay attention to details that may indicate trouble. For example, rudeness to a waiter, or a shady phone call during your time together. Flee at the first hint of violence or lack of respect. If at any point you feel endangered, ask for immediate help or call 911.
Dating should be fun. It should be a time to get to know someone you already like. It should feel right. If this is not happening, you are probably not a match.