One of the best and certainly most efficient ways to find a partner is online dating. The possibilities are enormous, and profile base is large and the chances for finding the best possible match are higher than usual. Bearing in mind all the positive sides of online dating, we also have to acknowledge that there is also a darker side to it, most expressed trough sexual harassment. Fortunately, there are ways to stay safe and protect yourself from such threats online and use dating sites in safe and fun way.
Here are simple ways to protect yourself from potential harassment while online dating, so you can have the best possible experience, be safe and find a right match for you.
- If it gets uncomfortable, leave
One of the best sides of online dating is the possibility to cut the connection with your match without feeling uncomfortable as you would in face-to-face situations. If your match asks questions you don’t feel comfortable opening up about, you are absolutely free to stop communicating without further explanation, or even block the user. There is nothing that you should feel forced to do, because you are there to find a match and feel good about this whole new experience and nothing more.
- Know your limits
Many of us go to free dating site for fun or finding matches for casual hookups, which increases the risk of those who could potentially violate us in one way or another. You have all the right to say no when you feel like your boundaries are violated. Remember, dating should be (and is) fun, so be clear about your limits and don’t be afraid to say no.
- Be careful about personal details
This doesn’t mean being dishonest. It simply means not giving your very personal info to strangers. This one might seem like a logical one, but far too often we feel like we can open up to that stranger, just because we have an amazing communication. Chances are, your match is not a freak and won’t harass you, but it is always important to take simple steps of precaution. Don’t share your personal details, like address, phone number or nudes you wouldn’t like to end up in a wrong place.
- Share your experience with a friend
We can easily get caught up in dream-like online romance, so it is important to get an objective opinion of a third party. Show your chat to a trusted person, or at least share some details with people you trust. This is the way to build a solid support, because hey, online dating is just like dating in real life, you need to share your experience with someone. Who better will tell you if something ,,stinks’’ about your new dating site match better than your best friend?
In the end, if the person you are chatting to goes way beyond your limits and starts harassing you or you start feeling threatened, feel free to take screenshots of your conversations, as a way to protects yourself and keep the evidence.