How to stay safe online ahead of Valentine’s Day

The Netflix doccie, Tinder Swindler has been trending for days now, sparking some colorful conversations. That doesn’t mean you should avoid online dating altogether in case your Valentine’s date whose name isn’t Simon is genuinely a swipe away. If you’re already scrambling to find a date online, read this before you find yourself in a sticky situation.

If it seems too good to be true…it probably is! Proceed with caution, and do some research considering that these days, you can do a lot with a name and surname. Check his LinkedIn and if you have to confirm if a certain Mister really works for said company, do it! Ask him for his social media handles and get to work! It’s not exactly stalking if you’re just doing a background check, right? Honestly, we should probably start considering having human reviews online, the same way we have company reviews, yes?

Make sure it’s not a catfish account

Some online dating sites have the video call feature so if you sense that your conversations are leading up to a potential date, request a video call. His response will let you know if you should proceed or run. He might come up with excuses to avoid video calling but insist on this before agreeing to an actual date.

Take it slow

So, you’ve made it to Valentine’s Day and your date has pulled out all the stops and you can already see yourself walking into the sunset with him. Pause. He might suggest hopping on a flight to continue the conversation in a different city or country to start your lives together. Cue romantic music, ok! Before you get carried away, remember you just met, and besides spending a few hours together, you don’t really know this guy. Rather thank him for an amazing evening and Uber yourself home, assuming you had some bubbles and weren’t planning on driving. This is just the safest option but if you have other ideas which don’t include jet setting, then by all means…just keep it safe and cute.

If you sense danger, run!

If the guy has enemies and his life is in danger, run girl run! No, you’re not going to try and save him, and you’re not getting drawn into his drama. Think self-preservation, think safety…your knight in shining armour shouldn’t be wearing a bulletproof vest, and neither should you. It’s just not cute, apart from safety concerns.

Try not to take out loans for him

No, it’s not your job to rescue him from his enemies using your credit card. Focus, you signed up on the dating site to find love, and not to service debt. To echo J. LO’s words, “my love doesn’t cost a thing”, and neither should his. If you’ve already secured a loan and he’s asking you to secure another one or pawn your car…please don’t do it. Better yet, be like Ayleen and suggest selling his clothes instead.

Netflix and chill

Instead of overlooking red flags, you could always binge watch your favourite shows on Netflix. Give yourself time, who knows, this time, next year, you’ll probably be all loved up, with all your coins intact.

Stream Tinder Swindler on Netflix

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