By Samuetta Hill Drew
February is the month many focus on the affairs of the heart. It’s the month of Valentine’s Day, February 14, when dozens of roses are sent to love-ones, memorable jewelry is purchased, and candle-lit dinners are reserved. It is often referred to as the “Month of Amore.”
Where many have been “lucky in love” using traditional dating methods, others prefer, for various reasons, to find their possible ideal mate online using a dating app. Online dating has continued to grow in popularity over the decade for many of all ages. Initially there were only a few dating websites such as eHarmony, Match.com along with others, but now there are more mobile apps like Tinder and Bumble.com which have transformed online dating by helping the user find a match easier and faster than before.
Where finding the right dating match for you is your goal, it’s also important to keep in mind how to stay safe while meeting someone you don’t really know very well. The next couple of articles will highlight safety tip recommendations to help stay safe while trying to find “Mr. or Miss Right.”
Do your research by doing a simple Google search before meeting your date. This doesn’t mean to turn into a stalker, but you should have some clue to who the person is before meeting them. A good idea is to try to find photographs of him or her. It’s interesting to identify what information may come up beyond Facebook and Instagram.
Keep your exact workplace and address a secret. This information should not be shared until you have had an opportunity to meet and you feel comfortable sharing this information. Some safety experts recommend you also keep your last name private until after your first date.
Another safety recommendation is to consider using a Google Voice number instead of your own real number. This allows you to take safety a step further. A Google Voice phone number is free. With this Google Voice app, you can check your calls, voicemails, and messages without giving out your real number. You can also block anyone whom you may feel a little hesitant about. This allows you to keep your personal number secure and only for those individuals you feel comfortable with.
Provide your own transportation by driving yourself for your first date. Providing your own transportation prevents the date from knowing where you live. It also decreases the risk of putting yourself in an uncomfortable or even dangerous situation. This way you are in control. Make sure a family member or friend knows when and where you’re meeting your online date.
It’s important to Keep an Eye on Safety always. Safety first should be your ultimate goal, because a date should be fun, not scary or dangerous.