dating was never meant to just be 'online'. a profile is so much less than a real person; a 'match' is nothing compared to the spark of electric chemical attraction and an eggplant emoji simply does not do the real thing justice.
true, you can't beat the convenience of meeting someone online, which is why dating apps have become the new normal. but that doesn't mean dating is dead! you might want a little digital assistance to find that special someone, but falling in love...that's not something that happens over text, it happens over tacos, over cheese boards, over cocktails and mocktails and milkshakes.
it's important to keep in mind your safety when meeting someone in real life for the first time; so to help you have a good time, every time, here are six ways to stay safe when online dating - in real life.
1. don't share your social media
this might sound counter intuitive, as social media can be a great way to verify someone is a real person - but it's not foolproof. if someone's going to the effort of catfishing you on a dating platform, they're likely to have gone to the effort of creating a fake social presence as well. providing someone with access to your social media can make it much harder to distance yourself from them if things were to go pear shaped.
2. choose somewhere public (but not too busy)
if your match has invited you to their remote cabin in the woods, that's a pretty clear red flag. we'd also recommend avoiding parks or beaches after dark, invitations to the person's house (or requests to come to yours) or invitations to go for a drive. public places (bars, cafes, restaurants) are always best for a first meeting - especially ones that have been pre-vetted by an independent third party (such as the curated list of Melbourne's best date spot you get access to on Boop!). enjoy getting out and doing something fun with the added bonus of 15% off.
3. tell someone where you're going
dates are exciting! what better way to hype yourself up than to tell a friend or family member? who knows - maybe they have a magic topic of conversation that's guaranteed to make the date great. if not, at the very least they'll know when and where you're going if anything was to go wrong. so pick your 'person' and keep them in the loop.
4. arrange your own transportation to and from the date
while it's nice for your date to offer you a lift, unless you know the person we'd strongly recommend organising your own transportation. driving yourself has the added bonus of making sure you don't drink too much, while a ride with a friend gives you a great chance to share the goss while it's still fresh. if neither of these are an option, Uber or public transport are great alternatives - we'd recommend making use of Uber's built in safety features, or using a safety tracking app such as Life360, Your Safe Date, Noonlight or Get Home Safe if taking public transport or walking. (p.s. stay tuned for Boop's built-in safety features, coming soon!)
5. arrive early & let the waiter know you're on a date
many venues have systems in place to support their patrons if they feel unsafe. for example, all AVC staff are familiar with the Ask for Angela campaign - if you feel unsafe, you can discreetly ask the staff for 'Angela', which will let them know you need assistance. if you're going to a venue without a formal campaign in place, simply letting the waiter / bartender. / staff member know you're on a date is enough - they'll keep a special eye out for you.
6. check in at the end (or part way through if it's going well!)
let's be honest - not every date is going to be with 'the one'. while creating a Boop date will ensure you have a great time, even if you don't have a great date, sometimes a date just won't last that long. even if you've only been out for half an hour, it's important to let people know when you're leaving the date - and especially important to let them know when you get home safe. on the other hand, if the date is going very well, it's equally important to let your person know that too so they don't call the cops on your new beau.
download Boop: the going-on-dates app today to get out there and have a safe, fun time with someone new!