These days, meeting potential lovers online through the use of dating apps is becoming the norm. Apps like Hinge, Badoo, Plenty of Fish, and the ever-so-popular Tinder, are used by people of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life to seek dates, hookups, loving relationships, and even friendships on occasion. There’s something for everyone within the wide selection of dating apps, some are even targeted toward a specific lifestyle, body type, or ethnicity.
Probably the most popular and commonly used in the dating app universe is Tinder. A go-to for young adults looking to casually spice things up, meet new people, or maybe find true love.
With the growing convenience of online dating, how can you stay safe and know who you’re talking to is really who they say they are? There’s no surefire way to know someone is telling the absolute truth about themselves. Tinder has made some strides over the past few years in keeping users feeling safer. Tinder’s profile verification is optional, but if you choose to, you are required to take a live picture of yourself to upload into their system where it’s checked to ensure the pictures on your profile are actually yours. Those verified will receive a blue check mark displayed on their profile so everyone knows they’re properly verified. So at the very least, you’ll know which profiles are authentic.
Tinder also gives its users some safety tips and access to their safety center that provides tools, resources, and information on how to keep yourself safe online and when planning an in-person meeting.
If that’s not enough and you want to go the extra mile to have some idea of what you’re getting into, you can put your sleuth skills to the test with a bit of research. It’s surprising what kind of information you can pull up on somebody with just a name and general location. You’ll find the juiciest info through Facebook, Google, and even certain sites you can pay to gain access to criminal records and other more personal details that may sway your decision on meeting your potential beau.
Just like most things in life, there are some downsides to extensively researching your matches. You’re essentially judging a book by its cover, without any real information on any questionable stuff you may dig up.
You could get the wrong idea about someone who is actually worth your time. It can also make things quite awkward if you bring up questions about their personal life that they didn’t divulge directly to you. It might make the other person see you as a paranoid person, who isn’t willing to build the trust needed for them to open up to you about their personal life before diving straight into researching their information.
Some of the top experts in dating say that at least taking a surface-level peak shouldn’t be too harmful. Checking sites like LinkedIn will let you know what someone does for a living. This could end up exposing your potential date if they lied about their job, or confirm what they said before. The best thing to do is check the ‘about’ section on social media profiles like Facebook to get some of the basic details.
Even things like relationship status and where they’re from will appear in this section. When we make small-talk with potential dates, these are usually the first things that come up, and you want to make sure that everything checks out. If it doesn’t, that’s a huge red flag and could help you dodge serious trouble.
In the end, it’s up to you to take the safety measures you feel are necessary. If you ever get a weird feeling from someone, it might be worth it to do some research and potentially dodge a bullet. Don’t sweat it and have fun.