Stay Cautious While Dating Online
Online dating is the norm nowadays. The days of being too shy to reveal you met someone on an app or online are gone. If anything, it is expected . Even grandmas are learning to swipe left and right to find new hubbies. But even though everyone is finally on board in accepting online dating culture, that doesn’t make it bulletproof yet. It certainly still has its flaws and dangers to consider, just like traditional dating does.
Similar to traditional dating, you need to make sure you are aware of online dating red flags. Here are a few things to consider before diving into online dating, or traditional dating for that matter:
According to HighSpeedInternet.com and SafeWise’s annual Safest and Most Dangerous States for Online Dating report — which used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FBI and the U.S. Census population estimates — it is actually dangerous to swipe right in certain areas across the U.S. Safe states include Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire based on the most-recent stats on violent crime, cybercrime, gonorrhea and chlamydia while states like Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisiana and Alaska all ranked in the more dangerous half. Now this isn’t to say you should completely abandon online dating in these states, but it does mean you should be more aware and cautious in those that are labeled more dangerous than others. If you are interested in the full report, check it out online. However, the District isn’t included because the CDC didn’t release information on sexually transmitted diseases for the city. Just know that the results for D.C. last year were really bad. The city finished dead last as the most unsafe city with the highest number of STD cases and violent crimes per capita (per every 1,000 people). In this year’s report, Virginia ranked OK in 15th place, while Maryland did worse coming in at 36th out of 50.
New-age background check
Background checks are so overrated. Why pay a service when you can just ask your friends. Nowadays everyone is so savvy that they can creep on whoever they want, especially someone they are interested in. So if you have an online suitor interested in meeting you face-to-face, have your friends check his or her online presence before you agree to anything. Some dating websites do offer or require background checks, but there is so much you can find on Google so don’t worry if you and your friends have to do it manually. It is definitely worth the time to make sure your date is normal for starters, but also essential to make sure you will be in good hands.
Call for back-up
Even with a good background check, make sure your friends know when and where the date is happening. You want to make sure they know your location in case things go wrong. And wrong can be anything an online guy who is a creep to he is just plain boring. Some friends will even go as far as to hang around the neighborhood of where you are meeting your online date just to make sure things get off to good start. Or in the worst case scenario and your online date stands you up, you have a friend to call on and enjoy the night with.
Dating online and dating in real life aren’t so different. For starters, you will most likely meet your online boo if you want things to get serious, and when you do the same rules apply. You need be be open, but stay cautious. You are essentially still meeting up with a stranger until you really get to know them in person so play it safe, but have fun.
Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Christina aspires to be a public relations professional in a big city after graduation from James Madison University. In her free time when she’s not blogging away about dating and relationships, Christina loves to go shopping, watch Netflix and play with every puppy that crosses her path.