Staying Safe on Dating Apps

Staying safe on dating apps can be tricky, interpreting a prospective date’s true identity and intentions can be a bit like decrypting a cryptogram puzzle.

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Who is this person, really?

In order to understand their motivations, it’s essential to read in-between the lines and hack into what they are really trying to say. Since the visual clues of dishonesty are not an option via apps (face touching, looking away, hesitation) it is so important to pay close attention to inconsistent information or replies.

If you genuinely want to meet people in person, versus just chatting with strangers for entertainment, be sure to ask very specific questions. Instead of a general question like, “Are you interested in anyone else?” Try, “Have you been sexually active with one or more people this month?” As opposed to asking, “Do you have safe sex?” try, “What’s your favorite condom?

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Their answers are fodder for extreme examination, so become the Sherlock Holmes of dating apps. If they’re ordinarily a long winded chatter, and then suddenly their answer is very short- this can be an indicator of a half truth. Conversely, if they give one word answers to everything else and then have a verbal explosion as an answer, this can be a red flag for lying as well. When in doubt, follow your gut instinct!

Before you meet in person, stop staring at their profile pics for a minute, put your phone down, take a step back from your app and think about how many sincere, nice, and trustworthy people you meet everyday in real life. Not very many. They are the gems and the exception to the idea that people suck. Now, apply this same philosophy towards dating apps. Sure, he may have a super sexy set of shoulders, or she may have the perfect hips, but what are the odds that they are also a really good person? Not that great.

What do they really want from me?

With the advancement of technology and the uprising in the amount of people who have smart phones, free dating apps have become more widely available to the general population than ever before. The problem with this is, they are so easily accessible, many people have accounts set up on multiple apps and they are working the game of numbers in order to get one into their bedroom.

Of course, if you are on the prowl for a hook up- this is a different story than if you are really looking for a “date,” as the name of these apps falsely suggest. Aziz Ansari breaks down the various apps and what the people on them are really after in his stand up special Buried Alive. According to him, and from my own personal experience- the Match app is still one of the few apps people use to find a true date, as opposed to just a hook-up.

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And, not surprisingly, it is also one of the few apps that costs money to use. This weeds out the quantity-over-quality dating app users that pervade all the other apps, with their cut and pasted intro messages which are sent to many, many people all at once. As discussed in, “Online Dating: 5 Ways To Date Safely on Valentine’s Day” never give out any personal information, lend money or engage in any sexual activity without the protection of a Lixx dental dam and a condom like the Kimono MAXX or Crown Skinless Skin.

It’s also best to let your friends or family know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If you allow someone you met on a dating app to go inside your home, be aware of any credit cards, cash, checks, spare keys, prescription medication, personal information or valuables you may have laying around. Also, keep in mind that they will remember where you reside after they leave, so if you bring them to your place, your one night stand may not be the end of your seemingly casual encounter.

About Condom Depot

The Condom Depot Learning Center provides free safer sex ed and has recently been resourced by Men’s Health, Go Ask Alice, Her Campus, LifeHacker, Scarleteen, Bustle, Madame Noire, Jezebel, Vice, Stallion Style, aPlus, Sex Talk Tuesday and Adult Sex Ed Month.

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