By Meilyn S., Student Health Ambassador
Online dating is becoming more and more popular with Tinder, OK Cupid, Date My School, etc. While going on blind dates can be fun and exciting, they can also be awkward or even potentially dangerous. To have the most fun and safest blind date experience, consider following these tips.
1. Add them on Facebook.
Although Catfish has taught us that adding someone on Facebook is not foolproof, there are still situations when friending the person can shed some light on who you’re talking to.
2. Call or Skype them before meeting in person.
We live in an era of text messaging, emailing, and Facebook messaging, but a lot can be lost in translation. If there is the potential of meeting this someone in-person, consider talking to them on the phone or Skyping beforehand.
3. If/when you meet, meet in a public place and tell a friend.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but it can’t hurt to reiterate: if you’re meeting someone for the first time, meet them in a well-lit public place. Also, tell a friend where you’re going and when you expect to be back. If possible, bring a friend along.
4. If things get awkward, pull out your smartphone.
Circle of 6 is one of my favorite apps because it allows you to stay safe and connected with your friends no matter where you are. Even if you don’t plan on going on blind dates you should definitely download it! Circle of 6 is an app that allows you to pick 6 people whom you would send a pre-written text message to with just 2 taps. The pre-written messages include: “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely.” (sent with an address using GPS), “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption,” and “I’m looking up information about healthy relationships and respect. Just letting you know.” This app can make you’re life easier in case you ever find yourself in an awkward or unsafe situation.
5. Last but not least, trust your gut.
If you’re getting a weird vibe from the person, it’s probably for a good reason. Don’t do anything that feels “off” or uncomfortable. Use the Circle of 6 app if necessary.
SPREAD THE HEALTH: Online dating can be fun if it’s done safely. Consider adding the person on Facebook, talking before the big date, meeting in a public place, and downloading the Circle of 6 app just in case.