It’s February 13 and you know what that means: It’s the day before Valentine’s Day. And if you’re single (ahem, like me), you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do on that day. Luckily for you, if you’re single, this special piece is for you and is a special V-day (and non work-related, yay!) read.
I’ll be spending tomorrow evening with some single gal pals, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you might go on a Bumble date. I actually spent one Valentine’s Day on a second date with a guy and it was totally cool. We both pretty much didn’t acknowledge it was the most (commercially) romantic day of the year and kept it casual.
Safety.com published a guide that gives all tech-savvy, single millennials the must-knows before going on that first online date that are backed up by some of the biggest dating apps and sites.
So if you’re feelin’ lonely and are going to take the date route that I once took, here are some tips that’ll keep you extra safe and even save some of your time (thank me later):
Get good at sleuthing. No, you don’t need to know your date’s social security number before meeting him, but you should at least have a general idea of what his deal is before meeting.
My friend had a Tinder guy once but stalked him first. She thought it was odd that he wasn’t on any sort of social media, and as a fellow millennial, I’d say feeling odd was a pretty valid way to react. Well, my friend’s instincts were right: The guy was still in a relationship with his supposed ex. Mmhmm. Like I said: You can never be too safe.
Know what a scammer’s profile looks like. Believe it or not, there are certain red flags you should be aware of as a woman on a dating site. According to popular site CoffeeMeetsBagel, a typical scammer may work outside the country you live in, be “overly complimentary with flowery, romantic language right off the bat,” or want to meet up with you straight way before really getting to know you online at all.
Think about it: It’s easier to hide behind a computer and pretend to be someone you’re not, and that can be a very dangerous and downright creepy thing. It basically gives the guy on the other side of the computer permission to be and say and do whatever he wants. Be safe and be smart.
Besides, did you know that 81 percent of online dating users lie about their height, weight or age? The University of Wisconsin conducted a study that basically revealed most of us are full of it. You've got to get good at reading between the lines, if you know what I'm sayin'.
Disclose to a loved one where you’ll be. eHarmony suggests disclosing your whereabouts on the night of your online date to a friend, family member or some other person you basically trust with your life. The site points out its job isn’t to conduct criminal or background checks on its users, which means knowing if your date is a decent human being is your responsibility.
I’ll usually text or call up one of my girlfriends before a Tinder date and say, “Hey, girl, just letting ya know I’ll be HERE tonight, so if I’m about to get chopped up by a psycho Internet killer, you know where to find me.” Hey, it’s nice to know someone has my back.
Get loose - but don't get too drunk. Most online dates end up turning into drinks, dinner, or both. Women who don't drink get 24 percent fewer messages than women who do drink. So the likelihood is high that a glass (or three) of wine will be involved.
While on you're way from get buzzed to tipsy, keep in mind that since it's Valentine's Day, men may have, er, certain expectations (which is fine if that's what you'd like! Just be sober enough to know what's going on).
Be aware of your surroundings and err on the side of caution: Pace yourself, have a meal before you knock back a couple and watch your drink throughout the night.
So what have we learned today? The interwebs are a big, scary place, but they’re also a wonderful way to step out of your comfort zone and have fun on Valentine's Day. As a single, millennial woman, though, it’s important to be safe in this ever-changing digital dating landscape.
Once you’ve got that covered, have all the fun you want! And, hey, happy Valentine’s Day to all my single girls out there.