6 Online Dating Safety Tips

Get expert tips to avoid a dangerous situation.

These days, online dating is more popular than ever. While there are lots of different dating sites and apps to choose from it's important to stay safe before you put yourself out there. Psychologist Jeffrey R. Gardere, Ph.D., ABPP has six tips you should keep in mind to avoid a dangerous situation when you are meeting new people. 

Background Check

Find out as much as possible about the person you are talking to online before you meet up. Look them up on other social media platforms to find as much information as possible and catch any potential red flags.

Related: The Unsuspecting Woman Who Married a Sociopath


Always ask to meet in a public place and pay attention to the location they suggest. As Dr. Gardere warns, you can tell a lot about someone's intentions based on where they ask you to meet. If they suggest somewhere private from the get-go, they may have an unsafe agenda.


When you arrive at your date location, "check in" on social media so that others can see where you are. If the date takes a dangerous turn, your friends and family will have an easier time finding you. 

Related: Dating Apps Versus the Rules of Attraction

Stay Sober

It is important that you have your wits about you and are in control of the situation. Avoid engaging in excessive alcohol and drug use on the date so that you can escape the date if need be. 

Don’t Leave Drinks Unattended

If you order any type of beverage (virgin or alcoholic), never leave the drink unattended. Take it with you so there is no chance that someone can put any substances (such as the date rape drug; Rohyphenol, better known as a roofie) in your drink, rendering you inebriated, incoherent, or unconscious. 

Related: The Blindfold Speed Dating Experiment

Be in Charge of Your Own Transportation

You do not want to be reliant on anyone for a ride home, especially if the date is not working out and you want to minimize the possibility of being driven to a location against your will that is secluded or dangerous.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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