Tips For Safe Online Dating

Online Dating
Image credits: Alexandra_Koch via Pixabay

Have you wondered about the possibility of online dating? Is it for you? Research, from the Pew Research Center, has shown that 30 percent of adults in the United States have used a dating app. However, as a person who may have grown up in a traditional family, you might want to know more about the perils and pros of meeting someone online and forming a relationship. It certainly wasn’t grandma’s method of finding her husband when she was young.

However, at present in the U.S., about 20 percent of people interviewed say they have had a relationship or married with someone they first met online. Know that there is a downside as well as upside to meeting your honey online.

Numbers tell: Is there a downside?

On yes! A rough estimate of 7 out of 10 online daters think that it is a common practice, for those who go on these sites, to lie. 45 percent of those that went online felt more frustrated, while 28 percent felt more hopeful.

For younger women, age 18 to 34, it appears that even after saying they were not interested, they encountered chasing by that person. And to add heat to the fire, some people reported that they received sexually explicit messages or images that they did not ask for.

However, most Americans, 57 percent, find that these sites have been a positive experience, while some say their experience was somewhat negative.

Enough or too many?

The research showed that men, who have dated online during the past five years, said that they did not get enough messages. The numbers of 57 percent vs. 24 percent said they did not get enough messages.

Women, on the other hand, said that they received too many messages, which produced the numbers of 30 percent vs. 6 percent.

What is the darker side of online dating?

The fact that some women encounter harassment is a problem from dating apps and online sites. Straight men sent messages to women, in the 28 to 34 age group, that were inappropriate or not desired. (See stats above.)

Some women found that men asked for sexual favors at the beginning of their contact with that person. At this point, they might not even know his name! The result was that some women felt that their personal value was not a consideration by men online. In fact, some even found their interactions personally upsetting; women sometimes had a concern about their safety.

However, some dating sites have put measures in place to help users. Tinder, for example, has introduced machine learning to detect abusive messages and language. It then warns the user if they really want to send that message. According to BBC’s Worklife, other sites have put some measures in place, but women seeking online dating say there is far to go before dating sites are safe and free from online predators. Some even call it the “Wild West” of dating.

Now that you know some of the pitfalls, you might want to know some online dating benefits.

How to begin online dating

Online dating opens up a whole world of dating opportunities, with introduction to men that are not nearby. You’ll be able to chose from a range of those who seem to match what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for a long-term relationship or something quicker, there is a dating site for you.

You will first need to decide if you want to pay money to feel your heart beat wildly. Prices range from $10 per month to more than $40 per month. If you subscribe for the long-haul, you’ll get a discount. Hopefully, you’re not afraid of commitment when it comes to signing up for a dating site! You’ll may begin to sign up for add-ons, such as a boosted ranking for added fees.

Do not lie on your dating profile, if you do not want someone to do the same to you. Love Indian music or classic rock? Be honest and confident. Having a sense of humor helps, and knowing yourself really helps. Expect high standards but don’t demand them.

Most apps will ask you the following: Name, age and location. You can post a photo and add a short blurb about yourself. Let people know if you can stand a person who smokes or not. There may be other questions as well. You’ll be able to use your phone in addition to computer; most sites work well on both the iPhone and Android apps.

Some sites are inclusive. If you aren’t traditional hetero, OkCupid goes beyond forcing users to choose between being a male or female; they include options like Hijra, genderfluid, and two-spirit.

Remember that meeting in a public place is the wisest choice you can make for a first date. Inviting someone to your home is not very smart. Meet outdoors or at a cafe in a popular location. Tell friends or family where you will be. Before you meet in person, get to know him or her through text messages, so your in-person date won’t be a total surprise. Fancy and long-winded texts might be evidence of someone hesitant to meet you in person.

Some apps to consider in 2021

According to Cnet, certain apps are more suitable for different people. There is no one recommended app for all. Some people love one site, while other hate that same site. Some have apps to use on your phone, so they are quite convenient while on the go. Here are some recommendations:

Bumble is the recommendation for confident women. Women can message first, by way of a timer for a reply.

Tinder is the app for quick and easy hook-ups. It may be the first stop for some.

OKCupid is free and is on their best list. You must match with someone before messaging.

Hinge is the site if you seek a serious relationship. You can write engaging profiles, with prompts.

Coffee Meets Bagel helps people break the silence. They send matches (“bagels”) daily.

The League is for those who set their standards high. You will need to supply your job title, college and LinkedIn profile.

Her is best for those women who are lesbians, bisexual or queer.

Clover has a rating as one of the best for confirming the date.

Plenty of Fish is great for conversations.

Match is best for someone who has money to spend.

eHarmony is the site if you’re looking for marriage.

Seema also has some recommendations when it comes to apps. Those who want to look towards their cultural heritage might start here.