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In short, yes, so long as the dating app is legit and you interact safely with other members. So how do you find out if a dating app is legit? And how do you safely interact with others when using a dating app? Let’s answer those questions, shall we?!
There are several ways to find out if a dating app is safe to use, or not. Find below the most common ways to do so.
Firstly, have a look at GooglePlay and the App Store to see what the reviews say. Some apps will hire people to write reviews, but if an app has thousands of reviews, they won’t all be paid reviews.
Secondly, google the app. Are there press articles about it? I.e. articles in well-known magazines where they talk about the app and what it’s like using it?
Lastly, have a look on Dating Scout and AskMen and see if they’ve reviewed it. While anyone can write a review on sites dedicated to reviews, such as TrustPilot, the people doing reviews for those two sites are independent reviewers. Meaning that while they may get paid by the dating sites for sending traffic their way, they are not going to endorse bad sites. Why? Because their own reputation is on the line.
The same cannot be said for other dating app review sites. Many people set up so-called “review sites” where they review one thing or another, but their aim is not to give proper reviews, but to get traffic to the site and earn commission through ads. Or they get paid to send traffic to the site in question.
Another problem comes with sites like TrustPilot as usually only unsatisfied people use them to complain about their experience. Even the largest dating apps usually only get three out of five stars on sites like that.
Also, look at the dating app’s homepage. Are they displaying members on the landing page? Or do you need to login to see who the members are? If you aren’t comfortable being displayed on someone’s homepage, this is important.
Most dating apps these days offer to verify profiles. If a member is verified, there’s usually a tick next to their image, or something similar. Some dating apps take it further and offer to run criminal checks (which is maybe not so fun for a forty-year-old who got arrested for shoplifting when they were sixteen!).
Usually the dating apps mention these things on their landing page. Sites like Dating Scout furthermore tend to write about this in their reviews. That way you can choose a dating app that offers to verify profiles, if that’s what you want.
Just because a dating app offers you to verify your profile, doesn’t mean you have to do so in most instances. There are specific apps where it’s a must, but they are few and far in-between. Often what you can do, however, is to choose to only interact with verified members.
If you don’t want to display your profile to just anyone, there are dating apps that offer you to only show your profile to those you “like.” I.e. you choose who can see your profile.
Of course, dating safety isn’t just about whether the dating app is safe, or not. It’s also about how you interact with potential dates. There are some ground rules to follow.
You wouldn’t hand out your credit card details, home address, or work address to someone you just met at a bar. So don’t do it online, either. Bear in mind, that if you give away the name of the company you work for, the other person will likely be able to locate you.
If someone asks where you’re based, give them the name of the area, not your street. If they ask where you work, say you work for a tech company, a bank, or an ad agency—don’t give away the name of it.
If you want to stay extra safe, don’t hand out your surname, either.
Some dating apps offer in-app calling and video chatting, which is great if you don’t want to hand out your phone number right away. Sooner or later, chances are you will hand out your phone number though, so be sure your address is not available to look up via your phone number.
When meeting someone for the first time (and possibly the second and third time, too), meet them in a public place. Go for a walk in a busy park, have a stroll at a local farmer’s market, meet for a coffee, have a drink at a bar, go bowling, play a game of chess at a coffee shop, or do something else in a public place where you feel comfortable. Keep the date nice and short (make sure you mention beforehand that you have somewhere else to be at a certain hour), so that in case the person isn’t what you expected, you aren’t stuck for hours.
Some people like looking the other person up on social media before meeting — it’s great in that you can check they’re for real, it’s bad in that they will be able to see your profile, too, if you add them.
If you hand out your surname, remember that most people will google you and find your social media profiles, unless you change your privacy settings on social media so that you cannot be found that way.