When it comes to online dating, safety is a number one priority for anyone involved. Whether you’re gay or straight, looking out for yourself and your own safety should come before meeting some hot guy or trying to get lucky.
1. Let your instinct be your guide.
Before the two of you decide to meet in person for the first time, make sure you feel comfortable with him via online communication. If you’re not ready to share coffee or a drink, then speak up and say you need more time. Don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation just because you’re trying to placate this potential partner.
2. Don’t give out personal information.
This includes your last name, where you work, the full name of any friends or family, where you live or even places you frequent often. If your love interest turns out to be a crazy stalker, then you have just given him fuel for the fire.
3. Spread the word.
When you do decide to meet the potential Mr. Right, let those close to you know where you’re going (with an address) and when you should be expected back. Have a code word, so if you call your friend and say “pineapple,” then it’s known that you’re feeling uncomfortable and need backup.
4. Be picky.
Say you just got out of a five-year relationship with “George” and you’re so desperate that you joke you’d date any guy with a high school education. Don’t sell yourself short! Just because you haven’t dated in a while doesn’t mean you should settle. In the same regard, don’t go out with an online match who doesn’t have a photo on their profile. That’s just plain lazy or downright creepy.
5. Have an exit.
Once you’ve established the two of you hunks will finally meet in person, agree on a public setting. Choose a cafe or restaurant that’s always busy and even map out an exit. This can be via a code word with your friend or just straight up knowing where the exit door is.
All-in-all, online dating is not nearly as scary as some people make it out to be, but it’s still important to be prepared and vigilante. Chances are, this new guy will be your new knight in shining armor and all of this planning will be unwarranted.