Featured Image Caption: Online Dating

When we meet someone online, you might wonder if they are who they claim to be, even if you hit it off. What’s more, the thrill doesn’t always spill off into real life. Everybody knows how important dating safety is, especially when you’re meeting someone in person for the very first time. Here are 5 things to do to make sure you enjoy your in-person contact with your date as much as your online one, if not more.

1. Crosscheck Information They Shared

It can be that you weren’t chatting with whom you thought you were all along. Dating platform users have been perplexed to discover they weren’t chatting with a real person at all! Bizarre repetitions, corny lines, and clichés are all signs that you may be interacting with a bot rather than an actual user.

Admittedly, being deceived by a bot doesn’t happen often. They’re just not that sophisticated yet. Chatting to someone who is pretending to be someone else is far more likely and obviously far more dangerous. After they give you information, it is smart to crosscheck it using a background check service or at least Google. You could sign up for a premium account with the service to get the most comprehensive results possible.

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2. See the Warning Signs

There are certain things to watch out for before going out to meet someone. While these habits or behavior don’t necessarily put you at risk, they are a sign it might not work out between you in the long run. Compatibility is not the same thing as chemistry. Habits and behavior are relatively constant, while chemistry is quick to fade away.

Strong and unpopular opinions on sensitive topics, a judgmental attitude toward a person or a group of people, and disrespect toward servers won’t necessarily bother you. At least not until they start directing the disrespect and judgment toward you, which is inevitable. Be wary of someone who will insult the cab driver or the waiter for no good reason.

3. Change Your Social Media Cover Photos

You should do this even before signing up on a dating site because you don’t want people to trace your online footprint easily, which is entirely possible with a reverse image search. To keep this from happening, don’t use the same profile pic on all of your social networks, including the app or site you’re using to look for dates. Google does not provide reverse image searches if you are using dating sites on a mobile device, but there are plenty of sites that do.

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4. Video Chat First

To make sure the person provided real photos, ask for a quick video chat before you meet them in real life. This is the ultimate identity check to avoid awkwardness and protect yourself from deceit. Refusing a video chat could be a red flag. When you meet them, it should be in public. The first face to face meeting is not the first date. It’s merely a way to see how they communicate in person.

5. Don’t Keep the Date Secret

Tell someone where you’re going, preferably an adult. You must be able to trust this person. Tell them about your date and provide personal information – his name, phone number, and anything else. If the date isn’t going well, try to call or text this person and let them know where you are. Don’t meet anywhere secluded, particularly if it’s the first date. Good places for first dates are movie theaters, diners, and cafes.

Since none of these could be open in your area due to COVID measures right now, wait until the situation is over to date in real life. That’s safer for more than one reason. Eventually, you’ll get together in private and enjoy your company even more. Before you know whether you’re hitting it off, they don’t need to know anything personal about you, including where you live. Don’t let them pick you up from your home.

Conclusion

When you have a legitimate reason to find out as much as you can about someone, checking them online can be very useful. However, it’s easy to take this check too far and essentially become an online stalker. Background check services make it easy to learn what you need to know about another person, and many of them generate quite detailed results. Once you run a reliable background check, your safety is guaranteed. You won’t need to search any further.

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