Grindr, Tinder, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… dating apps and social media platforms have made it easier than ever to meet new people.
As with traditional dating, you want to keep it fun and safe when you start online dating.
These are my top online dating tips:
- Always meet in public on the first date. Until you trust the person you’re meeting always make sure there will be other people around just in case you find yourself in a situation you’re not comfortable with.
- Tell someone you know your first date plans. Let your BFF in on all the deets – who you’re meeting, where you’re going, when you reckon you’ll be back. Then plan a debrief call for afterwards so they know you’re safe. You’ll want to share all the juicy details anyway!
- Make your own way home from the first date. If they offer to walk you or drive you home they’re most likely just being nice, however it’s safest not to let them know where you live until you trust them and feel ready.
- Be prepared and carry condoms and lube just in case things do get hot and heavy. Know what you want and don’t want and let them know. Remember that you can stop at any time if you don’t want to take things further.
- Get to know them in person. People often communicate differently face-to-face, so don’t let technology be your only form of contact. Put down the smart phone, tablet, and step away from the computer. Have a face-to-face conversation with the person you’re interested in. Go for coffee or dinner and use technology in between dates.
- If it’s not going well, leave. Nobody is entitled to your time, so if a date’s not going well for any reason just politely cut it short and get out of there!
If you have any concerns or just want a bit more info, ring 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk to a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.
Have fun and play safe online and IRL!