The minefield of online dating

As a thirty something single, I’m often the butt of family jokes about spinsterhood (my cats don’t help the argument). I know that my family mean well, but I don’t think any of them have a clue about how hard it is in the dating world nowadays.

My grandparents met on the bus – with my grandfather often staying on the bus longer than needed just to see her and get to know her. Nowadays, we all seem to have our heads down focusing on mobile devices (and the occasional book). If you did see someone you liked, you’d either do nothing, or put some random shout out on Facebook about how you saw them but didn’t speak to them but now wish you had.

My parents met through work, and I know that whilst some people do meet through work, it’s not as common as it once was. A lot of places have rules against it and there’s always that feeling that if it went wrong, how would it feel to face that person everyday – which puts off a lot of people.

Once a route for the “sad and desperate” – more and more people are meeting online via dating sites. It is a booming industry which is now part of the social norm. We can now swipe our way to romance anywhere and anytime. We almost have too much choice now. It’s hard to know which site or app to join. Do you go for something more specialist, or do you join one with a wider selection of people? Ultimately only you can decide, but if something is a deal breaker for you then it is worth narrowing down your search by choosing a specialist site. For example, I’m a Christian and would rather meet a fellow Christian so I tend to look for Christian dating sites.

If you are more open to the possibilities and options out there, one of the wider sites would be great for you, such as WeLoveDates.

As with any type of dating, women perhaps have more risk or concerns, and yet on the whole they are registered for online dating in bigger numbers. Women are perhaps more used to taking precautions about their safety and being sensible, but this doesn’t mean we should get blasé and there are some simple tips to stay safe when doing online dating. Here are my top tips:

  • Meet in a public place ideally local to you.
  • Tell at least one friend or relative where you are going and who you are going with. Ideally arrange to check in with them by a certain time for extra safety.
  • Don’t give too much personal information up front – they don’t need to know your address or full name and life history upfront.
  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or site well, report the profile, or if already out on a date, make your excuses and leave.
  • Use your own transportation or public transport – don’t rely on your date to pick you up or arrange anything for you.
  • Watch your intake of alcoholic beverages as this can leave you at a higher risk, and don’t leave your drink unattended at any time.
  • Keep all your personal belongings with you at all time.

Whilst some of these might seem obvious, when we are chatting to someone online who we think we like, we can sometimes let our guard down, so try to remember these at all times and make sure to stay safe!

Happy dating!

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