We want to make sure you stay safe during your online dating experience with Seeking. Keep these tips in mind when you are talking/texting with someone or setting up a Meet & Greet.
General Safety Tips for Online Dating
Keep your full name private. When talking with someone online, don’t create a username with your first and last name. Just use your first name or create a playful email account with a flirty nickname. Who doesn’t enjoy an air of mystery, while you get comfortable with the other person?
Don’t mix online dating with social media. Avoid using photos from your social media accounts in your online dating profile. Why? They’re too easy to trace. By the same token, don’t link any online dating sites to your social channels. This one of the fastest ways for someone to trace you and learn all about you, your friends and family.
Catch a glimpse of your date before meeting them. Did you know that Seeking now has a video chat feature? Users with verified profiles or upgraded memberships can’t get enough of it! It’s an easy way to meet virtually before setting up in-person dates, and also a safe way to spend time together between dates. No need to share your email, phone number or social media handle—just some quality face-to-face time with new friends. For your safety, here are a few things to keep in mind when using the video chat:
- Don’t share any of your personal information
- Be aware of your background and avoid displaying private info in your shot
- While we don’t record any of your conversations, no video chat platforms can prevent users from recording their video chats
Nip uncomfortable conversations in the bud and take the appropriate measures to block and report the person who is making you feel uncomfortable.
Be cautious. Don’t send photos right away, get to know the person you’re chatting with a little bit more. Also, don’t give out your phone number and use the chat features instead. And when talking with someone, be careful in describing your location, events you’ve been to recently, your workplace or anything else that can easily place you somewhere that they may recognize or know. Though you’re probably talking with someone in the neighborhood, it’s best to keep it safe until you know for sure.
Never give anyone money or financial information online. It’s as simple as that! And the same principle applies to all your online activity, not just dating online.
Where you live and who you live with is private. Never give out your physical address or have someone meet you there. If you do decide to hang out in person, make sure to meet in a popular, public place. You can even have a buddy with you or share your date location with a friend.
Meet in a public place. Never meet an online date at their car, in the parking lot, at a motel/hotel or any place where you can’t get away safely and quickly.If at any time you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut and get out of that situation. Do not hesitate! You also can consider carrying a can of pepper spray, just in case.
Be observant. Pay attention to the body language and facial expressions of the person you’re meeting with.
Make sure you watch your alcohol, literally. Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink and never let your drink out of sight. Date rape drugs are easy to administer and don’t change the flavor or appearance of your drink. Keeping an eye on your drink at all times is the best way to stay safe.
Arrange your own transportation to and from the date. Drive your own car, take public transpo, call a friend or have an app to come get you. To make sure you get home safe and sound, don’t accept a ride or walk back with your date. This would let them know where you live and could result in them taking you somewhere else.
Always have enough cash or a credit card on you to get home. You never know what could happen and having some available cash or electronic funds to handle any unexpected situation is the best way to feel comfortable when you’re on a date.
COVID Safety Tips for Online Dating
Start with virtual dates. While COVID case rates are dropping and cities are opening up, virtual dates are still a great way to meet that new special someone. If you’re not comfortable with in-person dates just yet, virtual dates let you get creative and offer a chance for you two to get to know each other better. Consider using Seeking’s video chat feature to do this (see video chat safety tips above). Check out these ideas for your next virtual date:
- Have a themed online dinner
- Play online games
- Learn a TikTok dance together
- Take an online workout class
Talk about COVID. One of the best things about Seeking is the opportunity to be straightforward, and COVID is not the exception. As an open-minded community, our members understand that some daters are taking more precautions than others. So, don’t be shy to talk to your new friends about COVID and ask questions that help avoid an awkward first date. Some of these include:
- Do you have any COVID symptoms?
- Have you had COVID before?
- Are you vaccinated?
- Have you been tested for COVID?
- Are you a special-risk individual?
- Do you wear masks?
- Do you prefer indoor or outdoor dates?
- How do you feel about social distancing?
Take it outdoors. These days, everyone loves doing things outdoors. It’s the best way to keep your dates casual and shake off some of that pandemic fatigue. When planning a date, remember to observe your local health ordinances and use these ideas for outdoor dating inspo:
- Bike rides
- Lawn games
Choose a safe location. When deciding on where to meet, be sure to pick a spot that has proper ventilation and thorough cleaning practices. This will make you both feel safe and comfortable while you’re spending time together. And remember to wash your hands often!
Follow the regulations. Local and regional regulations are in place for a reason. And while they seem to change often, it’s easy to find the information you need to stay safe and comply with policies and procedures. So, even if part of your date means standing in line to enter that outdoor bar, remember this is for your well-being. Instead of getting frustrated, use this time to break the ice with your date.
Be mindful of symptoms. We all know the symptoms: cough, fever, headache, etc. If you’re feeling them, don’t just brush them off. Cancel the date instead! As long as you explain, your date will understand and likely appreciate it. When in doubt, it’s always best to get tested and wait until you have negative results to reschedule the date.
Consider testing. Some daters make a habit of testing before their dates. It’s considered good etiquette and offers you peace of mind. But it’s also important to remember that a negative test isn’t always good enough. You should still follow precautions and follow-up with a test a few days after the date.
Your safety is important to us at Seeking, and we want you to enjoy your dating experiences. To keep your dates happy on and offline, always remember to listen to your gut and follow your local health guidelines. Happy dating!
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