Swiping right: a familiar action for many people, including some PLNU students. Tinder and Bumble are dating applications that put people’s thumbs to work and have added to the increase in relationships that begin through online dating.
Recent studies have shown that 15 to 20 percent of relationships find their start online, according to Labrie Asaro, a licensed marriage and family therapist and PLNU adjunct psychology professor.
But as the number of relationships that develop from online dating rises, users of these applications should date smart and safe. Here are seven tips to follow before pursuing a date with a Tinder or Bumble match:
Read the biographies. Don’t just swipe: A biography may or may not say something about a potential match.
“Most people swiping on photos are judging first on physical attraction,” Asaro said.
Looks are only one piece of a relationship, so read about the person and don’t just swipe based on looks.
Drive yourself: This keeps your home address secure and allows you to leave when you feel the date is over or if you’re uncomfortable.
Meet in a public place: Make sure there are people around you on your first face-to-face encounter with your match.
“What someone presents online or via text can be drastically different than in person,” Asaro said.
The person you are meeting may vary from their online presence. Take precaution.
Share your location with a friend: FindMyFriends and Snap Map are great tools to utilize when meeting a match for the first time. Let someone know your location as a safety measure.
“Let a friend or family member know where you are and who you are with, then check in,” Asaro said.
Make it a double date: “My best friend accompanied me when I had met my Tinder match,” says Katarina Kim, a PLNU junior psychology major. “I felt much safer and less vulnerable to anything that could have happened.”
Never leave your food or drink unattended: In a 2016 study by Live Science, Sara G. Miller writes, “About 1 in 13 college students in a new study from three U.S. campuses report having been drugged, or suspect that they were drugged.”
Keep an eye on your food and drinks when having dinner with someone you don’t fully know.
Keep personal information private until trust is established: Trust must be earned, so be sure to keep certain information to yourself until you know the person and trust has been formed.
Sara G. Miller: Live Science; https://www.livescience.com/54896-drink-spiking-college-students.html