Tips For Staying Safe On Tinder

Hi, my name’s Chanelle and I use Tinder. People will make jokes about others who use it and yes at one point I was embarrassed to admit I use it for that reason but I’m not ashamed to say I’ve put myself out there and would like to meet someone new.

Honestly, I’ve never gone into using Tinder with expectations and whether or not a friendship or relationship comes from it, I don’t mind either way. I use it simply because the world has become so digital. As well as potentially looking to meet someone day to day, it’s not doing any harm looking online too.

I’ve talked briefly before about not wanting to use Tinder for casual hookups (there are people who do use it for that, which is fine – I’m not going to shame somebody for wanting a bit of fun) but I’m the type of girl who prefers to be exclusive and focus on giving my all to one person. I also think using the app makes me feel more confident and I’m not afraid to message guys first and initiate conversation. Dating is surprisingly one thing that I don’t stress about a lot, I’ve got quite a relaxed attitude towards it. The dates I’ve been on have never ended with animosity or made me feel like I was in danger – they just haven’t worked out and that’s okay.

I’m lucky that the dates I have been on have always made me feel safe and I don’t associate negative feelings with meeting a guy for the first time. There are horror stories out there, not everyone is trustworthy and things do go wrong but if you take precautions to keep yourself safe the positive experiences outweigh the negative ones. I like to think I’m a sensible girl and I make logical decisions. I wanted to impart some of my Tinder dating wisdom to ensure other people like me who are looking to meet someone genuine do stay safe.

TIps:

Tip #1: Don’t Meet Straight Away (I.E. the day of the first message)

You’ll know by having a few conversations with a person over the course of a week or two whether you do actually want to meet them. You’re able to ask questions and gauge their responses and if they disappear for days on end or different things they say don’t add up you haven’t rushed into meeting them. If someone really wants to meet you they won’t mind waiting until you’re both ready.

Tip #2: Don’t Reveal Personal details on your profile

I don’t share the location of where I work or any links to social media on my Tinder profile. If I’m messaging someone and they ask what I do for work I will say but it relates to Tip #1, you’re able to gauge the conversation and decide who you let know where you work. Workplaces are an obvious location for stalking to start and for people you haven’t matched with to be able to see that information makes you more readily available to them.

There is an option to link your Instagram account so Tinder can show recent photos but I don’t want my pictures getting taken and I don’t want everyone to follow me on Instagram. Instagram usernames aren’t included on Tinder profiles and if I’m talking to someone, we get along and Instagram comes up as a topic, I can decide whether to give it out or not.

Tip #3: Always Let Someone KNOW if YOU Plan To MEET up With a Tinder Match

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE I want you to take from this post! Every date I have ever been on my mum has known about. It doesn’t have to be a parent but telling a friend, family member or a co-worker where you’re going ensures if anything goes wrong they have an idea where you are or where you’ve been.

Tip #4: Meet In a Public Place

I don’t like to meet someone for the first time in a secluded area or a quiet part of town where no one is around. Usually I will be the one to suggest where to meet and generally always pick somewhere to eat where there’s guaranteed to be other people and witnesses around. I haven’t had to do this but if you’re in a cafe or restaurant and you do feel unsafe you can make an excuse to head up to the counter and let a staff member know what’s going on. You could even arrange with a friend before the date to casually ‘bump into them’ where you’re meeting so they know you’re okay and help you get out of the situation if you don’t feel right about it.

Tip #5: Arrange Your Own Transportation

I have been offered to be picked up on dates before but I have never accepted for the simple fact of getting into a car with a stranger. If you make your own way there via bus or driving yourself and the date doesn’t turn up you know the person’s intentions weren’t true and you are still safe and you can turn around and go home. I have let a few dates drop me home as I’ve spent a couple of hours with them to know I don’t feel uneasy in their presence. My mum always offers to pick me up or tells me to call her if I need anything and I know I can rely on her.

Tip #6: You Don’t Have To Give Out Your Phone Number

This relates to Tip #2 – if you don’t feel comfortable giving someone your phone number, don’t! If someone tries to question you, be honest and upfront and explain you only give out your number to close friends and family members. If someone wants to keep talking and getting to know you, it won’t matter and they won’t make you feel guilty. In time you can decide to change your mind.


I hope you found this post interesting! There are plenty of other safety tips out there like carrying a whistle or pepper spray or downloading an app that tracks the location of your phone so friends and family can see where you are. The ones I talked about are personally things I do and I would love to know if you have any tips of your own – leave them in the comments!

Happy dating!

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Story Time: My Recent Dating Experience

If sharing something makes me uncomfortable momentarily but is able to help another person I consider that a good result. I see my readers as friends and I like to treat you that way and keep you informed.


Over the past 10 months I have dabbled with dating; I’ve been on four dates with four different guys in that time, all with varying degrees of success. I take dating seriously and one of the most important factors is feeling comfortable around someone. I have always been an anxious person – though not always when it comes to dating – and the past year has magnified that. I do know my own mind and the kind of thing I’m looking for but I can also be laid back and I’m not judgmental. I find I don’t actually get nervous about dates until the day right before I meet the person and once the initial small talk is over I’m fine.

I have a somewhat relaxed attitude to dating, if a guy doesn’t like me for me I can’t change that and I don’t get too worked up and upset if it doesn’t work out surprisingly. My last date however left me disappointed in a strange way. First, a little bit of a backstory. We matched on Tinder in early February and by the time we met we had already been messaging for a couple of weeks. We messaged frequently throughout this time and there were certainly quite a few points it got more in depth than “Hey, how’s your day going?” This guy wasn’t arrogant or self centered, could hold a good conversation, take and make jokes and genuinely seemed interested to learn about me and I them. I am an open book and will talk about nearly everything, I’m not afraid to be honest and I will say if I feel a conversation is heading down a road I’m unsure of or I feel uncomfortable. We talked about break ups, shared a ton of personal thoughts and followed each other on social media.

Fast forward to date day, Saturday February 22nd. I was working my 6th day in a row and I had arranged to come home, get changed and meet this guy after work for dinner – I was looking forward to it. He lives in a different city and traveled to meet me which was admirable. I wasn’t thinking too far ahead and while the distance may have been a hurdle, when we were talking he didn’t make it sound like a problem. He was on time, we sat down and talked before ordering dinner and he was exactly how he had been when we messaged. He told me I looked nice (which I’ve never had on a date before) and I smelled nice and conversation wasn’t awkward. I ran up to the counter to order my dinner and pay before he could do it for me (which he later said was cute) and we both enjoyed our meal. Afterwards we went for a walk around town and had dessert and he invited me back to where he was staying. I’m not going to go into full details but there was some kissing. I didn’t do anything I regret and I didn’t spend the night.

The next morning we messaged each other and made plans before he went home. He picked me up and we went out for breakfast which was nice. We went for another walk, this time a 30 minute track through the Redwoods (a well known location where I live). I started feeling uneasy and nervous, I don’t know why but it wasn’t because of him. I sat down and was exhaling slowly and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I told him I felt uneasy but not about the panic attack feeling and from then on I became quiet and feel like that’s where I blew the date. After the walk we played mini golf and I didn’t quite feel right through that either but we completed the game. At the end he kissed my forehead and dropped me home. He thanked me for the weekend and said he’d message when he was home safe. I sent him a message when I was through the door apologising for my nerves and said how I’d been feeling then went and had a nap.

I woke up to a message saying he was home and he also said he was tired which was understandable from driving and he hadn’t had the best sleep the previous night. I noticed the change in dialogue, tone and message frequency and prepared myself for what eventually followed two days later. On Tuesday night, February 26th, he sent me a DM on Instagram. He apologised for any pain caused and said I was too shy and too different and he’d only end up hurting me but that I seemed like a “great chick.” I knew it was coming and I don’t know why it was prolonged 48 hours, why couldn’t he have told me in person or said something when he got home that night? If you’re not feeling something there are signs and gut instincts. I asked a few questions and I don’t know how true his answers are or what his intentions were compared to what we talked about when we first messaged, but the two impressions didn’t match up. The previous week he’s telling me he doesn’t half ass things and we’d talked openly about personal topics and now he’s saying he’s not for me. I get personalities may not match in person and distance may have been an issue and if that was it, say – I’m an adult, I can take it. After the messages he unfriended me. Even if things weren’t going to progress and you tell someone you had a good time and they seem like a great person, could you not stay friends in the online sense? I’m not possessive or jealous and that shows more respect rather than feeling like someone’s experiment and as soon as you’re not required, you’re erased. I didn’t develop feelings for this guy but he said all the right things that I can see how I could have. It was definitely one of the better dates I’ve had and I did feel relatively comfortable in his presence.

Part of me feels like I’m making a big deal out of nothing and at least he messaged me and told me what he was thinking. I wasn’t sure whether I should write this post. It’s not a kiss and tell story or meant to hurt the other person involved in any way. I wanted to share and see whether something similar has happened to one of you before and how you dealt with it if it has.

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Current Thoughts & Feelings: Dating/Relationships

A month ago in a Redhead Rambles I toyed with the idea of writing a post about dating, my thoughts and feelings on the subject and recent experiences (or lack of) that I have had. It’s important to share personal anecdotes because my blog is a true representation of myself and the anecdotes are always well received. The beauty and gratitude segments represent the happy, positive side of my personality and posts like this represent the serious, deep thinking side.

A brief history

I have always been a hopeless romantic since I was a child and I have always dreamed of falling in love, finding love and having someone special in my life that I can share experiences with and do everything with. A romantic relationship to me is a partnership, you support each other, you care for each other and you work together. You enter into a relationship because it’s what you want, you’re not trying to stroke your ego or make yourself feel better. I am the kind of girl that knows what she wants when it comes to dating and love and I don’t see myself as a girl who could go round and sleep with lots of men because I’m bored or feel lonely. Casual hookups are more common nowadays but that’s not what I want. I am more than a body. I am not an object and I will not be used purely for someone else’s satisfaction. I will not judge someone if they are into casual hookups just as I wouldn’t expect someone to judge me for not being into them.

I’m 23 now and I got my first boyfriend when I was 21. During school boys were never really a focus for me, I was very much at school to work hard and pass exams. I was a loner most of the time. At 21 I joined Tinder and that was my first foray into the dating world. I didn’t go into it with any expectations but after a couple of weeks I ended up meeting my ex-boyfriend and we were together for almost two years. To this day I have only ever been on dates with three guys and two of them I never heard from again after the first date. I don’t get upset or think where did I go wrong, I see it as a learning curve and know that won’t always happen.

Standards and knowing what you want

I take dating seriously, I have standards and I know what I won’t put up with. By standards I mean I look for certain qualities in a person; kind, gentle, non-judgmental, good sense of humour etc. I don’t worry about their height or the colour of their hair. For me it’s more about personality than looks. Some people may think I’m tough to please but that’s actually so far from the truth, it’s not always what you do, it’s who you do it with. I’m quite a homely person and tend to prefer indoor activities but if I was comfortable in someone’s presence who’s to say I wouldn’t jump out of a plane and do a skydive or fly in a helicopter. Relationships are about being who you are but embracing qualities and parts of the person you’re choosing to spend your time with, you can’t have your way all the time. Love may not always be easy and I’ve said this before, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore either. Chances are there will be compromise but try and make it positive. If one of you wants to see a new horror movie and you scare easily they may offer to hold your hand during the scary parts or tell you when to open your eyes when the scary part is over. It’s all about turning a situation you may not enjoy into one that is bearable.

I’m still learning to find the balance between give and take. I tend to be the person that gives more than they get and I need to be tougher otherwise people walk all over me. I don’t like confrontation and I have a low tolerance for bullshit. From now on I plan to call people out so they know they can’t treat me badly. (This relates to life more than relationships).

Prude?

The definition of a prude: “a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity.”

Compared to some people maybe I’m considered a prude but personally I don’t think I am one. I’m not embarrassed to talk about sex, it’s not something I talk about all the time with everybody but I understand it’s a natural part of life and an important part of a relationship. My ex-boyfriend and I could talk about sex very openly and it didn’t feel awkward which is something I want for future relationships as well. Where I am more prudish is nakedness. I don’t like to show much skin or cleavage or wear skimpy outfits. I’m not the most comfortable with my body and I know it doesn’t meet society’s ‘standards’ but I’m more confident than I used to be. What I learnt from my past relationship is that my body is fine and my boyfriend liked it because he loved me and the person I am. I’ve got curves and boobs and a bum and some guys like that. I would not tolerate body shaming in a relationship.

I believe sex and intimacy should be reserved for relationships (for the most part). Sex is a very personal connection for me, not everyone gets to experience it with you and I want it to always feel special. If I didn’t feel comfortable or ready I would tell someone no and if they didn’t understand that’s not the person I’d want to be with. Sex is not a bargaining tool, it should be pleasurable for both parties involved and it should be safe and consensual.

Dating fears

When I was a young girl I was paranoid I would never have a boyfriend because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough and I’m glad that when I got older those thoughts changed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am more confident with the way I look now. I know I am a good person with a good heart and I have a lot to give.

Despite the above paragraph, when I was broken up with in April 2018 some niggling thoughts came back. I am a little afraid of the physical part of a relationship now. I’m not going to lie the thought of someone kissing me, touching me, hugging me or holding my hand makes me feel sick and uneasy at times. I’m not sure whether I’m subconsciously associating those things with the person who hurt me (although if you’ve read The Breakup you know in a twisted way he wasn’t the one who hurt me). In future when I get to the physical stage I may be more reserved and will need to feel properly comfortable again. Whoever I’m with needs to understand that too. I don’t want to hold myself back but I want to be sure before I give that part of me to someone else.

Modern dating

I have dipped my toes into online dating again and it’s been unsuccessful. I wasn’t expecting to get into another relationship straight away – it wouldn’t have felt right – but I didn’t expect to get as annoyed as I have. I now understand why dating apps and sorry guys, but men in general get a bad rap. 95% of guys only seem to want one thing – it ain’t commitment/a relationship – and having a conversation is nigh on impossible. Most conversations tend to stop when guys find out I don’t have SnapChat and won’t send them nudes. I’m sorry, but how immature are you?! I don’t send photos like that because you never know where they could end up and even if I’m in a long term relationship I still wouldn’t send them.

Another thing I hate is being mucked around and people trying to take you for a ride. Why make out you want to meet someone if you always come up with excuses when I suggest a time/place? It’d be quicker if you were honest and came out and said you’re looking for a FWB situation. I’m not afraid to message guys first and be upfront about what I’m looking for. I’m sure if some people’s parents saw how their children acted on dating apps and what they say they would be appalled. You can be cheeky/naughty but there’s a way to do it and personally I feel that should be kept private.

I see online dating as a chance to be less shy, I doubt I could walk up to someone in real life and just start having a conversation with them, especially a guy. In real life there’s also the fact you don’t know if someone is single or taken. I’m not saying everyone on dating apps is single either  but it allows me to be more brave. Online dating does mean people can hide behind a screen and because we already live in such a digital world dating and meeting people can become impersonal. I’m the type of girl that would much rather meet in person and see a movie or get something to eat than chat for days online and never meet. I’m a traditional girl who wants nothing more than to spend time together and get to know each other over a face to face conversation. With spoken words you can hear emotions and tone of voice. Messages can be interpreted in different ways.

Where to from here?

I don’t hate all men and I do want to find love again. Love when it’s with someone special is beautiful and having that companionship is such a wonderful feeling. When I was in love for the first time I felt like I really mattered and belonged. I’m a very instinctive person and follow my gut. I have to be comfortable with a person almost instantly. Comfortable to me means feeling at ease, being able to laugh and be open, conversation flows easily and feeling a warm connection or a spark.

It’s not my job to sell myself to guys out there and try to convince them why they should be with me. If they don’t know what they’re looking for, they aren’t respectful, they play games and they don’t appreciate the person I am, I don’t need them in my life. I am strong, I am smart, I am an individual and one day the right person will find me. Love happens when you least expect it ❤


I hope you enjoyed this post and you can understand where my head has been at. I understand not everyone thinks the same way and won’t necessarily agree. What are your thoughts on dating and relationships?

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