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Staying Safe When Using Online Dating

Online dating is a great way to meet new people and potentially find that someone special. But of course, as with all kinds of dating you need to take certain precautions to make sure you remain safe. This guide to staying safe whilst dating online covers a lot of the commonly asked questions and what you can do to remain safe during your online dating experience.

Is Online Dating Safe?

Essentially dating online is the same as in real life so you need to take the same precautions as you would if you were on a blind date or similar experience. Meeting someone in person for the first time can be a bit scary and you might be apprehensive and wary of your own safety. The same can be said for online dating. At Match Me Happy you get the chance to message people first, find out what they like and get to know them a little better before you meet them. By finding out more about the other person and ask them questions you find that you'll become more comfortable and secure. When it comes to actually meeting up you can both agree on a safe place that suits you both.

So ultimately, yes online dating is safe if you follow these precautions.

  • Get to know each other by messaging and find out as much as much as possible before you decide to exchange details and meet. Remember that the other person probably feels just as apprehensive and excited as you do so this part will benefit you both.
  • Initially it's best not to share personal information like your email address, phone number, home address or work place. Avoid putting this information on your profile as well.
  • Use messaging as though you were talking to the other person face to face. If conversations start to make you feel uncomfortable it's best not to answer. Let the other person know how you feel. If you still feel uncomfortable you can block this person from being able to view your profile or contact you through the site in the future.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Meeting the right person means being yourself and if you start lying about your interests or using a fake photo it's unlikely that the relationship is going to work out. If they don't like you for who you are it's probably best to find someone else.
  • Likewise, if you feel that the other person is being dishonest it's probably best to stop contacting them. The same goes for if they are pressuring you to meet or ignoring your questions. Blocking them might be a good idea if you want to stop them contacting you and if things start to become inappropriate you could always report them.
  • Finally, it's never a good idea to send someone money or share your bank details. If the other person is doing this, you should report them immediately. One last thing, trust your instinct. If something doesn't feel right it probably isn't.

The next step

So you've messaged one another, found out lots of interesting things and have decided you'd like to meet up. The best way to go about this is by sharing your email address. If you want to share phone numbers don't give out your landline but rather use your mobile number. That way you can change it if you need to or even block the number.

Once you've shared contact details you can arrange a place to meet up. Public places are always best and ideally one that you know well. If the other person recommends somewhere you don't know you could visit it in advance or make another suggestion.

If they offer to pick you up or drop you off it's best to politely decline, at least initially. Instead, drive yourself or have a friend drop and pick you up.

Always have your phone to hand and ensure it's charged, topped up and working properly. Let people know you're on a date and give them the location, address and phone number as well as telling them what time you expect to get back.

When you arrive give your friend a call to let them know you're safely there and when it's time to leave call again.

Have a good time but be careful not to drink too much and make sure you keep your senses. If your date offers you more to drink and you don't want any, politely decline.

If things aren't going well it's always a good idea to have a way out. Mention that you have work or a family occasion in the morning and that you need to get home.

Finally use your common sense. If something feels odd, trust your instinct. Don't do anything you don't want to just because you're worried about offending your date.

One last thing… enjoy your date!

Reporting Another Member

We have a commitment to all our members to keep Match me Happy a safe and friendly place. If you suspect that someone isn't using the site according to our guidelines, Please let us know! All reporting is done with privately and no one else will know you have reported another member. Email us at report@matchmehappy.co.uk

More Match me Happy guides and tips for free online dating

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