By Maan de Vera
Welcome to the digital age where finding your soulmate is just a swipe away.
Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are everywhere now. There was a time when using these apps are kept on the down-low because online dating was a major taboo. However, as time goes by, you can now normally see people openly swiping left and right to their heart’s content. What used to be a secret has now turned into a topic of casual conversations.
Whether you are looking for a companion, a friend, or a lover, these dating apps will surely find a match for you. Honestly, there are far too many success stories that started from using this platform. It works, no doubt. The only downside is: these dating sites are not exactly the safest way to meet someone. Unless you’re careful, things can and will spiral out of control. When in doubt, stick to these tips.
1. Be as vague as possible about your information.
You can never take back an information that you have already provided. It’s possible to keep conversations interesting without disclosing private details about you such as your home address, your class schedule, or any place that you routinely visit. You can never be sure what people can do to you when they can anticipate where you will be at a certain time. The rule of thumb is simple: the less you disclose, the safer you are.
2. Meet in a public place.
Meeting someone you met online in person is as tricky as it is exciting. If you are going to move on from the screen to real life, opt for public places. While it might be nice to meet someone where there is privacy, the cons are just way too much to risk it. There's a lot of restaurants, cafes, bars, and other nice places that you can try while testing the waters.
3. Keep your friends in the loop.
Always tell someone that you trust about who, where, and when you are meeting. The sad truth is that there are people who went missing after dates, and it is important to provide leads just in case something like that happens. While this is only a worst-case-scenario, we all know that not everyone is what they seem to be online.
4. Stay protected.
Okay. Let’s be blunt about this. When it comes to the point that you are ready to do the deed, it’s a must to be safe than sorry. While we understand that you know what is best for your body, using a condom is scientifically the best way to make sure that you are protected when you are in this situation even when you are currently using other forms of contraceptives.As condoms will not only prevent surprise pregnancy, it will also lessen the risk of STDs. Take the responsibility of bringing a condom instead of assuming that the other party has one.
5. Learn how to say "no."
Just like everything else in life, you must be honest with where your boundaries are. It’s great to be a little experimental, but once things are getting out of hand and you are no longer comfortable, say it. Any decent person worth spending time with will respect this. Otherwise, you need to ditch them.
Dating apps are definitely here to stay. They connect us to people that we wouldn’t have met and open the doors for experiences that we wouldn’t have felt otherwise. It’s all about learning how to reap its benefits while minimizing the possible dangers.
ALSO READ: In Focus: Millennials On Dating Apps—Do They Build or Destroy Relationships?