Online dating is a fact of modern life—Cupid finally got the message and has gone virtual. While some people still enjoy the slow road, full of blushing cheeks and innocent flirtations, many singles have turned to specialized websites and apps like Tinder to meet their soul mate.
Yes, the Internet lets you meet people quickly, but if you want everything to go smoothly, you need to take a few precautions when you’re thinking of giving out your personal information to complete strangers. No need to be paranoid, but there are a few small steps and precautions you can take to make your online dating experience safer, without making it less fun and friendly. Here are a few tips you should know before you swipe right.
Share the minimum
Using an online dating platform requires a bit of tact, even if it’s become the norm. There are a few tricks to avoiding undesirables and attracting people who are on Tinder for the same reason you are—to find a match.
The right photo: On most dating apps, your photo is the first thing that comes up on a search. Often the bio is down below, after the profile picture. So whether it’s to illustrate or complete your profile, choose some great shots—but not too many.
Always avoid photos that would make it easy for someone to figure out where you live or hang out. And steer clear group photos—they can turn off potential matches and reveal information about your friends without their consent.
Choose a photo that represents who you are right now, not one that gives a false impression. Natural is good, whether you opt for a head shot or a full-length one. Don’t forget to smile and show your zest for life. If you’re a single parent, save that information for your bio—don’t include your kids or your ex in your profile pic.
Honesty: Lies always end up catching up with us. And what’s worse than starting a relationship based on a lie? Whether it’s your age, your interests, or your relationship needs and expectations, be transparent, but don’t reveal too much, especially at the start. There’ll be plenty of time when you chat to share more about yourself. Leave a little mystery to spark interest—and keep you safe.
Personality: Try to talk about yourself in simple terms, without trying to please everyone. You might get fewer matches, but they’ll be closer to what you’re looking for and of better quality.
Avoid boring phrases like: “I enjoy having dinner with friends, good food, and romantic evenings.” Lots of profiles say stuff like this and it doesn’t help you stand out from the crowd. Write a bio that highlights how you’re different—your uniqueness will help you filter out unwanted matches.
Don’t get hung up on an ideal: Joining an online dating site means you have to be ready to accept the unknown and some nice surprises. If you have a picture of the ideal partner in your head, take a step back and accept that your ideal may not exist. Keep in mind two or three fundamental values that are most important to you, as opposed to searching for a soul mate who’ll meet all your criteria. This can help you avoid conflicting or ambiguous situations.
Written communication: Pay attention to the quality of your writing. A bio that’s full of mistakes—too many capital letters, emoticons, or bad punctuation can project a negative image of yourself and scare off potential matches. Take the time to re-read your texts before sending them and correct your writing using online correction tools.
Slowly, but surely—take all the time you need
Our 21st-century society hasn’t turned its back on courtly love and its trappings forever, but you don’t want to waste your time either. That’s why platforms like Tinder let you “match” with people quickly. You can start the seduction game almost instantly with chat messages of just a few characters—and take a chance.
But with things moving so quickly, it’s important to take your time and really think about the information you’d like to share. The Internet in general and online dating apps in particular let the most impatient among us set up dates right away, doing away with traditional relationship steps. But, like it or not, the hours, minutes, and seconds spent flirting, waiting, and eagerly anticipating seeing and touching someone are the cornerstones of any love story.
The frequency of exchanged messages between you and your match may also be indicative of the health of your budding relationship. Your exchanges can get off to a good start with five or six messages over a short period of time. However, if your last message doesn’t get a response within a couple of hours, there’s no need to lose patience and fire off a bunch of long-winded messages to get their attention. In today’s climate, that might be considered harassment.
Exchanging phone numbers too quickly—not a good idea
This delicate point deserves its own chapter, as it’s extremely important. It’s a question of security, peace of mind, and is equally important for women and men. One thing is certain, when it comes to online dating, you need to take all possible precautions to protect yourself.
By giving out your phone number right away, you become someone that can be called—at any hour and as many times as the caller pleases. On blogs and social media, there are plenty of ill-fated stories of people who gave out their phone number too quickly.
There are lots of reasons why people give out their phone number after only a few messages. By giving out your phone number, it feels like you’re getting closer, and you can communicate faster. It also seems practical to give someone your number before your first date so you can text them where you’ll be at the last minute or let them know you’re running a few minutes late.
Protect yourself with a virtual telephone number
In an ideal world, you would have a separate phone number that you would only use for online dating. We may not live in a perfect world, but this kind a system does exist. There are virtual numbers—a technology that lets you buy one or several numbers and send them to the same phone. This lets you give out a different number depending on what you’re using it for, without having to buy a second phone.
Ubigo is a virtual phone number service that lets you have access to a different number on your cell phone. Using this number, you can send and receive calls and texts as if you had a second phone. A Ubigo virtual number is a simple and economical way to protect your identity and stay safe while using online dating sites like Tinder, OkCupid, Grindr, EliteSingles, or one of the many others out there.
Getting a Ubigo virtual number is simple:
- Go to ubigo.co and sign up.
- Select the country you want to get a virtual number in. It can be a local number or a national number (a 1-800 toll-free number).
- Provide the number of the phone where the calls are to be directed.
- Activate your new virtual number with a confirmation code sent to you by text message and start talking.
This system, accessible in just a few minutes, comes with a dashboard that lets you track your calls and manage your numbers. All you need is a mobile phone that can receive the validation text message when you sign up, a destination telephone number (land line or cellular), a valid credit card, and valid physical and email addresses for billing purposes.
Why use a virtual telephone number?
According to Statistics Canada, repeat calls, silence at the other end of the line, and inappropriate calls are the most common forms of harassment for women.
So if you’re looking for love on an online dating site, no matter which one, a virtual number is perfect for:
- Making your first phone contact risk-free;
- Avoiding all kinds of harassment;
- Ending inappropriate or unpleasant calls.
Simple to get and easy to use, a virtual phone number is a handy tool that Ubigo puts at your fingertips. The technology exists, and in a few clicks, is accessible to anyone who needs help maintaining their freedom to find love on Tinder—while keeping their peace of mind.