How are you?
Today I have been thinking about online dating. A lot of my friends have found love through online dating. When I was dating it wasn't really a thing to do. I wasn't really into online media. I know this is strange, isn't it? But now it is completely the norm. I know so many people who have found their soulmate through online dating. It really makes life easier as you are matched on your likes and dislikes. This would have saved me from numerous bad dates. You know the ones where you are sat there clock watching wondering when it is polite to leave. If you have chatted online first at least you know a bit about each other making the ice already broken.
But lately, in the press, there has been a lot of negativity around online dating. This shouldn't be the case it is a wonderful way to meet people who have the same interests are you and possibly find the love of your life. I really think it is such a fun and exciting way to meet someone. As unlike face to face you have time to think about what to say. This would have stopped a lot of the nervous chats I have had on dates.
As you know I was in the police and I want to share with you how to stay safe whilst dating online.
1. Always register with a reliable dating company. You don't have to pay big bucks to date online There are lots of reliable free dating sites out there. Just be careful when choosing who go with. Any good dating site will have security policies in place. Why not check this out before you sign up.
2. Never give out your personal details to people when you first meet them. Make sure you really know someone before you take that step. it is all too easy to be too trusting. Yes, you may think you are talking to your soul mate but he could also be a fraudster waiting to make the move. Just think before you give them your details.
3. Know how to spot a fake profile. Come on you have watched catfish, haven't you? Check you are talking with the right person? online scammer normally has very generic photos and if you reverse google image them you will find the real person they belong to. A huge red flag is showing too much emotion. If he or she is telling you she lives you within the first conversation this should start screaming run for the hills.
4. Don't send money. Trust me when I say. Yes even if you have been talking to your should mate for months online. Do not send money. This is a huge kick in the face that you might be being scammed!
This means no money grams, no PayPal and never give your bank details.
5. Never ever send nudes. Yes after a few rose this seems like a great idea. Believe me when I say this is not your best plan. I am not saying everyone is out to exploit but if you are not comfortable with putting the photo on Facebook or Instagram. Don't send it. You would not believe how many of these case I went too. Be sensible. When sending images online.
7. So all has gone well and its time to go on a date. Always tell a friend where you are. This should be a busy place with lots of people around. Why not set up check-ins with a couple mates. This really is a key way to feel safe. Never be scared to leave. Or ask for help. If you are uncomfortable. Speak to someone. If you are in a bar. Go speak to the bartender they will help you. I have actually been the bartender in this situation and I was more than happy to help a girl out. I booked a taxi for her and made her excuses.
8. Never leave your drink unattended. Drink spiking is a thing. I am not saying your date might do this but it is common sense in a public place to watch your drink. Also be wary if your date is buying lots of drinks for you. Why not set a three drink minimum on the first date? This will leave you to get to know the other person without getting drunk.
9. Know when to report someone to the dating site. If you are ever uncomfortable report them. This helps the site weed out all the rotten apples to make way for real people like you to connect with each other. There is no harm I letting the site know what is going on. They will thank you for it.
10. Don't be afraid to block people. It is your right to block people you don't have to answer to anyone. If you are not happy and feel uncomfortable or you just don't click block them.
Remember this should be fun. There is nothing better than the mixture of nerves and excitement when you are dating someone new.