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Online Dating 101

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-use-online-dating-apps-safely-4707582

verywellmind.com

Online Dating 101
Over the past several years, the popularity of online dating has skyrocketed compared to where it originally started. In fact, dating apps and websites have given single people a convenient new way to connect with people. But, with this ease of use comes some new issues, particularly in the form of safety.

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Data On Online Dating

Data On Online Dating
  • 40% of Americans use online dating as a way to meet new people.
  • 23% of Americans still think using online dating sites is desperate.

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Data On Online Daters

Data On Online Daters
  • 53% of Americans lie in their profiles. Women tend to post younger photos of themselves and claim to be thinner, while men tend to lie about their careers.
  • Even on apps known as being for "hook up", most females are looking for a genuine match and not a fling.
  • Two-thirds of online daters have gone out with someone they were matched with.
  • One-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date. 

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Data On Relationships Started Online

Data On Relationships Started Online
  • Relationships that begin online are nearly 30% more likely to break down than ones where couples met face-to-face first.
  • 20% of committed relationships began online.
  • Marriages from online couples are three times as likely to end in divorce.
  • 17% of couples that were married in the last year met on a dating website. 

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Online Dating Can Be De-Humanizing

Online Dating Can Be De-Humanizing

Many persons swipe through photos looking for the perfect mate often dismissing someone more quickly than they would have had they first met the person face-to-face. Online dating can make you picky and judgmental.

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Choosing The Best App For You

Choosing The Best App For You
  • If an app doesn’t show the safety guidelines on the sign-up page or if they are particularly hard to find, you may want to find a different app.
  • If there are no reporting or blocking features, then move on to the next app.
  • Most apps have a free version that still allows you to meet new people. Try multiple apps and don’t get the paid membership before you know if you like the app or if it will be useful. 

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Data Security Tips On Dating Apps

Data Security Tips On Dating Apps
  • Check if you can control the visibility of your profile. More control means better matches and better protection for your information.
  • Avoid sites and apps that allow messaging prior to matching. This way, you can decrease unwanted messages.
  • It’s a bad idea to have an app that allows strangers to pinpoint where you are or find your neighborhood.

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Protecting Yourself From Stalkers

  • In most dating apps you can share data from your social media profiles, but beware of what you share. Your pictures and geographic information may allow others to harass you.
  • Use a photo you have not used elsewhere otherwise, someone can find things about you associated with the image, like your social media profiles.
  • Keep the personal details in your profile to a minimum so you can prevent bad people from abusing you.
  • Tighten the security on your social media accounts to increase protection.

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Dating Tips For Dating Apps

Dating Tips For Dating Apps
  • For the first few dates, keep your messaging inside the app. Inconvenient, but if it doesn’t work out they won’t have your contact data.
  • Instead of giving out your cell number, consider getting a Google phone number and forwarding it to your phone. 

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Precautions For Your Dates

Precautions For Your Dates
  • Arrange to meet in a public place and provide your own transportation.
  • Let a friend know where you will be and when you will be home.
  • During the date, stay aware and alert. Don’t leave your drink unattended and keep the first few dates short.
  • If your date is making you uncomfortable or scared, enlist the help of a friend in leaving the situation.
  • Don’t worry about being rude to escape a suspicious situation, your safety comes first.

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How To Portray Yourself

You should like your photos but they should accurately depict your physical appearance. Well perceived pictures often feature a genuine smile (one that makes your eyes start to crinkle up) and a slight head tilt.

Briefly write what’s distinctive and interesting about you and what you’re looking for. Ideally, dedicate 70% for the former and 30% for the latter.

Choosing The Right Dating Apps

Research shows that people tend to fall for others similar to themselves. Being honest about yourself and your needs increases the odds that you will meet compatible people.

Besides being honest, you should consider an app’s target demographic and use the apps that fit your needs well. 

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Don’t Say What You Don’t Mean

Don’t Say What You Don’t Mean

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Don’t Lie About Yourself

Men are most likely to lie about their occupations on dating apps, whereas women tend to use old pictures or heavily edited recent ones.

Most lies people tell on dating apps aim to portray them in a way they think the other person will deem attractive. But tailoring your online image will set your date up for disappointment.

Don’t Use Emojis

Research indicates that only 8% of people think sending an emoji message will get you a reply in the first instance. It gives the impression that you have a small vocabulary and are lazy.

Try and start out with at least a sentence or two, ideally including a question the person can answer you. Basically you want to invite a conversation, not merely state your presence.

Male Perception Of Dating Apps

Many men assume that women dating
online are interested in sleeping with strangers.

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Avoiding Scams

  • If something feels off, trust your gut.
  • Be wary of anything asking for financial or personal information.
  • Set up an anonymous email account from a widely used email service.
  • Never give out your home phone, address or personal email address unless you absolutely trust the recipient.
  • Drive yourself to the date (protects your address), keep an eye on your drink/food and pay half of the bill.

Online Relationships Don’t Usually Last

  • Over one-third of online dating sites users have never actually gone on a date with someone they met online
  • Relationships that start online are 28% more likely to end in their first year than relationships where the couples first met face-to-face.
  • Couples who met online are nearly three times as likely to get divorced as couples that met face-to-face.