*This is a collaborative post*
Ah dating in 2019. It’s a wild ride. For the most part, the days of meeting someone in a bar who offers to buy you a drink with a cheesy chat up line are long gone. If you’re currently looking for a new partner, a dinner date, or a hook up to just have some fun, you’re probably searching (or swiping) for them on one of the endless dating apps or websites out there. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, there are definite advantages to online dating, but it’s a whole new ball game and there are some new rules.
Find Something Specific
The downside of meeting someone in a bar or night club (haven’t been in one of those in a while…) is having to establish how compatible your interests are. Whether you’re into a specific hobby like camping or cycling and would love a partner who shares that interest, or you’re looking for something a little more out there, if you’re dating online it’s much easier to target like minded people. You can use your dating profile bio to describe yourself and hope to attract a date with similar interest, or you can join niche dating websites to find your perfect lover. There are specific dating websites for those who love the outdoors, those who want a partner with a beard or one who wears a uniform, or websites for those with different sexual preferences like mybdsmhookups.com. Meeting someone on a site like this means your interests/fetishes/intentions are clear from the beginning, which could save a whole lot of time.
A Numbers Game
Dating is effectively a numbers game. There are over 7 billion people in the world, the theory is one (or maybe a few of them) are perfect for you, and dating is how you’re going to find them. It stands to reason in that case that having access to a bigger number of potential matches will give you a better chance at finding a good one, and adult online dating gives you the biggest selection. It also allows you to sort through the 7 billion pretty quickly, refining your dating pool by things such as age, location, interests, height, sexual fetishes and more. So really it’s the most logical and effective way to search for the new love of your life (or new bdsm contacts)!
Another benefit of online dating is the ability to take things slowly, and spend time talking to and getting to know your prospective date. You can find out their likes and dislikes, about their lives, about what they are looking for. You can chat via the website, text or on the phone/FaceTime to build a relationship and get comfortable with each other. By doing this you’re more likely to be sure that you’ll get along in person, and it helps to make sure the first ‘real life meet’ isn’t too awkward. It also helps you spot any red flags or deal breakers early on, before you’ve invested too much time in this person.
In the getting to know each other stages make sure you’re asking the important questions to make sure you stay safe, and don’t give out too much of your own personal information (keep your address, workplace and personal details safe for now). If you’re arranging a date or a hook up then make sure you discuss expectations, anything off the table, and decide on a safe word where necessary. Arrange to meet in a public place rather than getting picked up by a stranger, and let a friend or family member know where you’ll be as well as some details of who you are meeting – just in case.
The thing that makes online dating a little more difficult than meeting someone through friends or at work is the unknown aspect. It’s very easy to pretend to be anyone through your phone or computer screen. Lots of people out there use fake names and someone else’s photos, they may lie about their age, job, gender or lifestyle for a whole variety of reasons and it’s essential that you remember this and keep yourself as safe as possible. A lot of tips for staying safe I’ve already outlined above, but here are some basic rules to follow when online dating.
- Keep your details private. Don’t share your address, work address, personal details or (obviously) financial information with someone you just met online.
- Meet in a public place, somewhere with other people around and CCTV preferably. Avoid getting into someone’s car if you don’t know them.
- Share the details of where you’re meeting with a friend, as well as some basic details about who you are meeting – just in case. If you use Whatsapp or similar then consider sharing your live location with a friend for a while, so they can track you if they need to (it’s really easy to do this).
- Have a back up plan. If the meet doesn’t go well (either you feel unsafe or you’re just not vibing) then know how you are going to get home, and if necessary have an excuse ready to get you out of there ASAP.
- Never ever feel pressured. Regardless of what you’ve spoken about or planned, if you’re not feeling comfortable on the day then say so. Any partner worth your time will respect your feelings, and if they have a hard time understanding that you do not consent then leave immediately and report them to the app/dating website and police if required.
- Try to relax and have fun. I know it can feel a bit scary, and it is important to remember that there are bad people out there, but most dating website users are just like you – looking to meet someone. Don’t feel nervous or awkward; remember they’ve seen plenty of your photos and chatted to you lots and really want to meet you, so just relax and enjoy!