Online dating has become a huge way of meeting people. What used to be exclusively eHarmony has evolved into one of the main dating tools for millennials. You've heard Tinder horror and success stories while out with friends - probably have even had a few yourself.
But it makes sense. The average millennial is busy juggling work, fitness, social life, hobbies, and maybe even a second job. So who has time to go meet people organically anymore?
Well, some scary findings have come out from the U.K’s National Crime Agency (NCA) showing a 450% rise in sexual assaults related to online-dating in the past five years. A study pulled by Statista portal of statistics and studies also found that 61% of Americans ages 18-29 have used an online-dating app within their lifetime, which has nearly tripled in the past decade. Legal professionals around the country have been concerned with whether legal intervention is necessary.
But rather than be put off by online dating altogether, below are 5 things you can do to keep yourself safe while meeting other singles.
1. Vet your date before you meet them.
Looking your future date on social media is a good opportunity to fact check. Look to see if the information they’ve told you about themselves lines up with what you can find about them online. If there are several red flags, don’t be afraid to cut them loose.
2. Trust your gut.
Don’t ignore your instincts. If your gut is telling you something is off, it most likely is. Go with your instincts and don’t be afraid to abandon a date if you feel like something isn’t right.
3. Go home, alone.
Especially on the first date, its the best idea to go home solo. Whether you feel like it or not, the person you’ve met is a stranger and anything has the potential of happening. Don’t open yourself to a vulnerable situation and save it for the next date. You’ll be thankful you did.
4. Tell a friend.
Always make it a point to tell a friend or family member about a new date. Setting aside a "check-in" time with a friend is also a good idea, just to help you feel more secure if you need it.
5. Try a personal safety app.
There are tons of personal safety apps that are an awesome source of security that’s right at your fingertips. They can track your location, send emergency SOS messages to selected people, quickly alert authorities for you & more. You can find hundreds in your device’s App Store by just typing the word “Safety” in the search bar.
More tips can be found on Grindr’s website.