With the advent of the internet, dating is now easier than ever. Whether you want to meet up with someone for a no strings attached fling or you want to spark a potential long term romance, you can quickly and easily make a profile on an online dating site and meet many interesting people in your area. However, when it comes to casual online dating there are a few safety tips that you need to keep in mind.

Keep Personal Information Out of Your Profile

Your online casual dating site profile should have a lot of information about you so that your potential dates can get to know what you are like as a person and see whether or not you are compatible. However, it should not have identifying information like the neighbourhood where you live or the location where you work. This information might be used by creepy people to follow or stalk you, so make sure that you leave these details out of your profile!

Chat for a While Before You Meet

You don’t have to meet someone in real life after only exchanging two messages with them. It’s better to take the time to get to know them so that you can feel safe and secure when you finally meet them in public. Take your time and remember that there is no need to rush – you can chat for several days or even weeks before your first date.

Meet Online Dates in Public

So you’ve met someone cool, you have been chatting to them online for a while and you want to meet up with them and go on a date? It’s very exciting to go on your first date with someone you met online, but it is also important to stay safe. Rather than going to their house on the first date, meet them in a public location such as a coffee shop or a restaurant. That way, if your date turns out to be different from what they told you or if they make you feel uncomfortable, you will be in a safe place with plenty of people around rather than at their house on your own.

Tell a Friend

It is also a good idea to let a friend know that you are going on a date with someone you met online. It is always safer when someone knows where you are when you are meeting up with a stranger. You can even give your friend the link to your date’s profile so they know who you will be out with. It is also a good idea to give your friend a quick call or text to check in and let them know that you have made it home safely and whether you had a good time or not.

Perform a Reverse Search on Their Photos

Before you meet your online date, it is important to make sure that they are actually the person who is depicted in their photos. Sometimes scammers or dishonest people will use stock photos or photos taken from other dating profiles in order to create a fake profile. To find out, use Google reverse image search to see if the photos appear anywhere else on the internet.

Stay Sober and Keep Your Wits About You

Having a few drinks on a date can help you to loosen up and relax, but it can also make you vulnerable and more likely to make bad judgement calls. You might indulge in riskier behaviour that you may regret the next day or you can put yourself in a dangerous position. It is fine to have a couple of drinks, but make sure that you know your limits and you know where to stop so you stay in control.

Don’t Be Afraid to Leave

If you are on a date with someone and they start to act strange or you start to feel uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with getting up and leaving. Many people stay on awkward dates where they feel strange or threatened because they do not want to be rude. However, if someone is pressuring you to do something you are uncomfortable with or making you feel threatened – you have every right to remove yourself from the situation. You can make up a story if you like – for example you could say that your best friend has just sent you a text and they are having an emergency and need your help.

Keep these tips in mind so that you can stay safe while you are enjoying the casual online dating scene.