So another national lockdown and now those little socially distanced coffee dates are history. With that we have all become teenagers again, hitting dating apps like the chatroom rooms of our youth (oh msn messenger how you are missed!) and making connections with new people left, right and centre. It all sounds great, meeting new people from you pj’s and flirting with your face mask on, no pressure and something fun to look forward to during the groundhog day of covid-19.
Dating online seems like the easiest way to be safe right? You aren’t physically seeing someone, so how unsafe can it be to share little bits of information with them? Well it’s funny how easily those little pieces of information can tell you a whole lot about someone and I thought I would share some tips I’ve picked up from a year of online dating…
Don’t give away your location.
This seems obvious right? You don’t hand out your address to a stranger, well duh Charlotte! But if you think from the point of view of someone with bad intentions, pictures of the park next to your house, shots of your front door decorations for spring, that coffee shop you visit on your daily walk…these are all specific locations that are linked to you. Avoid giving specific details about where you are unless you are sure this is someone you can trust.
Don’t hand out your mobile number.
You wouldn’t just hand out your whatsapp to every guy in the bar so avoid doing the same on dating websites, it’s easy to chat and then think ‘ah it’s easier by text’ but unless you feel the conversation as progressed to a personal level and you’d be happy to give out your digits irl, then stick to the anonymity of the dating sites chat option. Sites like Suffolk Dating allow you to connect with people but safely via their own chat options, without handing our private details or feeling pressure to share more than you should!
Don’t share a specific routine.
Just like with your location, sharing that you are always at a specific place at a specific time on specific days isn’t something you would do with a stranger you just met, talking online definitely makes us a bit more chatty then we would be on an actual first date and it’s easy to talk about that 5pm walk you take to the castle or that 8pm tuesday shopping trip you always do, these are things that seem completely innocuous but for someone with the wrong intentions they are key pieces of information about your daily routine.
Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want the world to see.
Being on lockdown can be….frustrating. It can be easy to progress something to a more intimate level at a faster pace because of these frustrations and maybe even end up sharing more than you would like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an online sexual relationship if that’s what does it for you, but if you feel pressured or maybe even lonely during lockdown then take a minute before sending over anything you wouldn’t be happy for anyone else to see!
Don’t talk money.
This might seem weird but the second someone starts sharing their money worries with you…walk away. The internet is full of these money scams and it’s easy to become emotionally connected with someone during a pandemic and then fall for the whole ‘if I only had £5000 to start a new business’ line. No judgement here, smarter women than me have fallen for this and professionals know exactly how to manipulate you into falling slowly for financial scams. If you’d feel weird about it being mentioned on a first date then take a step back!
Dating online can be loads of fun and lead to real love but do remember that if something seems too good to be true….there’s a good chance it is and it’s always better to be safe than sorry!