3 Ways to Safely Meet a Person You Met Online
Meeting someone online is standard practice these days. Ultimately, the day will come when they both decide to meet. This can be daunting.
There are ways to make the first meeting less nerve-wracking. It’s about being prepared.
This guide will cover three ways to stay safe when meeting for the first time. Check them out online to ensure that they’re who they say they are. Wisely choose a public venue for the meeting, and have an escape plan if it’s not going to work out.
Let’s get started.
Before agreeing to meet, be absolutely sure the person is who they claim to be. The internet makes it easy to find out as much information as possible about a person.
Them passing a background check will instill a load of confidence in being able to meet up. Numerous sites exist where this activity can be done.
Catfishing is the process where a person pretends to be someone they’re not, mostly for financial gain.
An easy way to test this is to do a reverse image search on any photo they’ve provided. There are online and smartphone apps that can handle this task. They’ll instantly show other places where the pics appear. If they belong to another person, that’ll be indicated quickly.
Choose A Venue Wisely
The first date should always be conducted in a public place. No matter the perceived connection, trust can only be built in person. Choose a venue like a cafe, restaurant, or bar where there are plenty of people around.
Naturally, the meeting needs to be comfortable, so avoid anywhere too crowded or noisy. If the date includes a meal, check that each person’s dietary needs can be accommodated.
Pro tip: Go to the venue prior to the date, especially if it’s a new place. Pay close attention to where the bathrooms are and if there’s an exit nearby.
Have an Escape Plan
Sadly, not all first dates go as well as expected. No matter how well the two got along online, nothing is the same as physically meeting.
If it’s obvious during the date that it’s not going to work out, there’s no need to prolong the inevitable.
There’s no reason to be rude unless, of course, the other person displays poor behavior. Then all bets are off; this is where knowing where the nearest exit is can help. Go to the bathroom and then sneak out.
Include a Friend
A kinder exit strategy is to involve a friend. There are two ways to achieve this.
One way is to ask a friend or a group of friends to also go to the venue and ensure their table can see yours. A silent gesture like a thumbs up or thumbs down can let them know to leave you alone or come to your rescue.
Another option is to get a friend to call you at a predetermined time. Based on an agreed conversation, the call could be either a friend asking a question or a family emergency requiring immediate attention.
For example, if your reply is, “Sorry, I’m busy now,” this suggests the date is going well. If you say, “Why, what’s happened?” That’s the signal that you want to leave. The rest of the call can assist with the getaway.
Safely Meet An Online Love
Meeting in real life doesn’t need to be a nervous situation if careful planning is done beforehand.
Check them out online, and be confident they’re who they say they are. A background check and a reverse image search can help.
Choose a venue that’s in a public place but not too crowded. Finally, have a getaway plan that includes a friend in case it doesn’t work out.
Do these things, and stay safe when meeting for the first time.