Your palms are sweaty, knees weak. You feel that you have eagles in your stomach. You’re a nervous wreck, only because you’re meeting someone for the first time. Talking to them online was fun, but now you want to take things to the next level. As if meeting someone you liked from a chatroom is not enough, you’re wondering, “what if I end up being in a documentary about a serial killer?”
Here we’re going to look at how to meet people you’ve met online in a safe manner.
Keep things vague
Don’t put your address or the name of your favorite hangouts on your profile. Equally, when you’re talking to someone, avoid disclosing too much information, such as where you live and where you work. Keep all that information for people that you know better and have established trust in. Even on your first date, don’t be too comfortable and overly share. Be cautious; there are a lot of great actors out there that aren’t on the screen.
Do nothing in secret
If you’re going to meet someone, share as much information as you can with those close to you. Let them know where you’re going. Share your Uber rides with them and make sure you organize your own transport to and from the location. Drop live locations so that they can track where you’re going. The person you’re with doesn’t need to know all this. What’s even better, you can have your friends join you covertly so that they can step in should things take an unexpected turn.
Take your time
You might think you’ve met your soul mate on the first date. Hold your horse. Meet them a couple more times before you share your phone number or your address. People can only act for so long. If you feel that they are beginning to insist on some of your personal information, decline respectfully. Watch how they react. From there you’ll be able to know if you’re dealing with someone genuine or a sociopath from a chatroom.
Keep your eyes peeled for red flags
If they want to know your number and address on the first date, that’s a red flag. If there are inconsistencies in their stories, then that’s another red flag. What if they are acting differently in person from how they text? How about if they start telling you what to wear and begin to sound sexual? If you’re not looking for a hookup, then know you’re about to meet trouble. Same thing for if they want to meet in a private place such as their place or yours. For all these instances, always have an exit strategy.
Lastly, you don’t want to get taken advantage of. Don’t do any recreational drugs or get drunk when you’re meeting someone for the first time. Don’t equally leave your drink unattended when you’re going to the washroom. You don’t want a case where they can slip something into your drink. Aim to be aware of their movements and environments at all times. Lastly, if you begin to feel uncomfortable, don’t go for the date, or simply leave. That’s your gut communicating something.