One thing that keeps us up at night (besides our kids) is the topic of dating safety. Now that people are starting to meet IRL again, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when venturing out to meet new people. Even if you feel like you know them from your pre-date conversations.
Of course, safety begins while still on the dating app, so here are some quick tips to help you from swiping to real world dates.
In the early stages, keep conversations on the dating app
While you’re getting to know somebody, it’s best to keep your conversations on the app. It’s a lot more anonymous than sharing your phone number or social profiles, and keeps your personal information personal until you’re ready to share that part of your life.
Protect your personal information
There is obvious personal info you shouldn’t share with people you don’t know, such as your full date of birth, home or work address. However, even details about your daily routine (like the gym where you workout and when) can be dangerous when in the wrong hands.
If you’re a parent, limit the information that you share about your children on your profile and in early communications. Avoid sharing details such as your children’s names, where they go to school or their ages.
Meeting in person
Take it slow. Take your time and get to know the other person before agreeing to meet or chat away from the heybaby platform. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to screen for any red flags. A phone or video call can be a useful screening tool before meeting.
Meet in public
At least for the first few times meeting someone, it’s safer to meet in a populated, public place - never at your home, your date’s home, or any other private location. If your date pressures you to go to a private location, end the date. Have a pre-prepared excuse in case this happens. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t take any chances.
Tell friends and/or family about your plans
Tell a friend or family member about your plans, including when and where you’re going. Take your phone with you and make sure it’s fully charged.
Be mindful of the effects of drugs and alcohol
Be aware of how drugs or alcohol impact you; they can impair your judgment and your alertness. If your date tries to pressure you to use drugs, or drink more than you’re comfortable with, end the date. And know where your drink comes from and know where it is at all times - only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bartender or server.
Listen to your instincts
If your gut tells you something isn’t right, listen to it. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the date early. Have a pre-prepared excuse and ask someone for help if necessary.
If somebody seems reportable, report ‘em
Most dating apps, like heybaby, have a way to report suspicious profiles. Some behaviors worth looking out for include people who refuse to meet on video or in person, people who ask you for money, and anyone who is overly aggressive or makes you feel uncomfortable. Reporting suspicious folks keeps you safe and helps keep the community safe.
Thanks for reading, be safe, and have fun out there. And if you have any dating safety tips you’d like to share, please write us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.