Many people will argue that online dating is the way to go. It allows you to easily scroll around and view potential dates. Some dating sites even utilize technology to refer people to each other who may have more common interests that could potentially lead to lasting friendships or relationships. While there are good sides to dating online, especially during the pandemic, there are many bad sides to online dating as well.
There has been a rise in people using dating sites over the past few months. This is, in part, due to the fact that people have been quarantined and forced to socially distance. Loneliness has been a driving factor in the need to reach out and connect with people now more than ever.
The incline in online users has also produced an incline of less than honest dating site users. It is easy to create a fictitious account or exaggerate details about oneself. In one way, the pandemic has created a way for many people to be dishonest online. The fear of meeting someone in person and being held accountable for blatant profile exaggerations has been diminished due to quarantine.
People can be deceptive in person and online but it is easier to be deceptive online. In person you are immediately held accountable if your deceptions are detected. It is also often more difficult to be deceptive when you are face to face with someone. Online activity allows for an amount of distance and disassociation.
It is easy to just ghost someone when you are called out on your deceptions. The accountability is gone, and the person lied to often feels less trusting in the future of other people.
Some people are simply bored and feel the need to create their own entertainment at the expense of others. These types of people will create fake profiles to lure people in. People will begin to build a bond with the person to only discover they have been played.
Predators can be looking for people online. If the site does not screen users adequately it can be a perfect place for a sexual predator to find a victim. Con artists can also thrive in these environments. They seek out users that have empathy for causes and then use that empathy to further their gain. It could as simple as someone posing as having an interest in animals. Then that person could state they are raising money for rescue and then they could steal that money.
Dating online isn’t all bad. There are ways to establish safe casual dating with individuals you met online. Once you have broken the ice and deemed that you feel safe enough to meet the person face to face you should treat the encounter as a blind date. Just because you spoke via the internet or phone you have yet to meet this person and the person is not a friend of a friend that can be accountable for their actions.
Have a friend or family member call or text to check in on you throughout the night
Meet in a public place and stay in that public place
Let friends and family know where you are
Do not bring the person back to your home or go to their home
Do not get in any vehicle with the person
Leave if you feel uncomfortable
Always follow your instincts. When you meet someone online they could end up being a perfectly fine person that you could forge a friendship or relationship with.
They are a stranger until you have spent an adequate amount of time getting to know them so take all standard safety precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.