Online dating is now the most common way that people in Canada meet their partner. Using a dating app means that you can search for people that want a similar relationship to you. Generally speaking, the most important factors that people choose when finding a new partner are common interests and physical attributes. After spending time chatting to a prospective partner online, the natural progression is to meet up in real life. However, before you do this, it is important to consider how you can do this with confidence in your own safety.
Make plenty of video calls
Imagine that you’ve gotten to know someone online and then you turn up to meet them, but they don’t look anything like their profile pictures. According to eHarmony, 53% of people lie on their dating profile. The most common things that people bend the truth about is their age, their job and their height and weight. It is extremely common for profile photos to be old ones. The only way to find out if someone’s dating profile is accurate is to have plenty of conversation. Getting to know a prospective partner is so important when you are dating online, especially if you want to meet someone with the intention of starting a new relationship. With a video call, you can reassure yourself that you are talking to the same person in the photographs and also assess their body language and mannerisms.
Beware of catfishing
Canadians lost $17 million last year because of online dating scams. This type of catfishing can have a devastating effect on someone. It is extremely important to identify someone’s motivations when you are online dating. Never give out personal information and certainly never send money to them or give them your bank details. Someone might seem genuine in their messages, even telling you personal tales of hardship, but their underlying motivation could essentially be fraud. Don’t ever be afraid to make someone uncomfortable or offending them by asking questions – it is within your rights to ask for proof of the information you have been given. Do your research and background check your prospective partner before you head on that first date.
Dating safety tips
The first time you go and meet someone in real life, arrange to go to a public place, preferably during the day, and stay sober. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to bad judgement calls. Tell someone about where you are going and who you are meeting up with before you go. Make sure that you get in contact with them if you need help or you are unhappy about a situation. Just because you’ve made the plunge to have a first date doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. Provide your own transportation when you go out — don’t let your date pick you up — and you certainly should never give them your home address.
Meeting someone in real life after getting to know them online can be incredibly exciting. Your first priority, however, should be your own safety.