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.
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!