Dating Safely with Playdate – Dating can be stressful, but it should also be fun. Even if you don’t find “the one”, each date should be something that you enjoy. With TV shows, such as Tinder Swindler, and news reports showing the darker side of dating using apps or online it is important that users make safety a high priority.
Playdate, the UK’s first dating app designed especially for single parents, has put together a series of top tips to help users stay safe and enjoy dating using the app.
Nevine Coutry, founder of Playdate comments, “At Playdate we take the safety of our users very seriously. In the app we have a reporting system and users can block anyone who they would not want to interact with. They can also report users as spam which means that these users would be removed immediately from the app after an internal investigation, and would never be able to rejoin, should they be found guilty. We also ask users to take a selfie of themselves when signing up so that we make sure that it matches the photos they put up on their profiles. Additionally, on our website, we are constantly adding guides and information to help users stay safe.“
“I wanted to share our tips and ideas so that not only Playdate’s users can benefit from them but also anyone who chooses to date online or using an app to do so.
“These are Playdate’s Top 8 Tips for safer dating online that we hope to make bylaws on the app one day. If anyone refuses to abide by these simple rules, then that should raise a major red flag!”
Always tell a friend or family member where you are going
Once you have planned your date, make sure you let someone know where you are going – they can even check in on you to make sure it’s going well and can always be that person who can get you out of a disastrous date with a simple phone call! As well as this, always make sure your first date is somewhere public.
Try to do some research on the person you are dating
Connecting on social media in advance of your date is a great way of doing this. You can also do a bit of research on the person you are meeting, on other platforms or on websites of places they say they work.
Try not to share your number or home address on the first date
One date is not enough to move things forward, you want to have the option of never being contacted again by this person and limiting contact to be via the dating app only until you are comfortable enough to be contactable elsewhere.
Don’t be shy to ask them to show you some ID, and vice versa
Identity theft is commonly known, so don’t feel bad or shy by asking your date to show you some ID on the first date, and you should do the same. This breaks the ice and would just put you both at ease. It is also the most secure way of verifying someone’s identity when they are right there in front of you and you have their ID in your hands.
Show each other pictures of your children
You want to make sure the person you are dating is not only a parent but also has access to their children and is not banned from seeing them because of any malpractice or any form of abuse. Recent photos of them with their children could be quite telling as to the kind of parents they are and how involved they are.
Never ever give the person you are dating money or access to your finances
If they ask, treat this as a huge red flag. This is something that you never do!!
Don’t rely on a dating sites’ verification systems (even ours!!)
Even if a dating site or app asks you to verify your identity, this is not a guarantee that a person is genuine. Uploading images of documents such as driving licenses and passports may make you feel safer but these images can be photoshopped and you could even become a victim of identity fraud if the service provider you are sending them to is hacked or doesn’t store them securely. Usually, only financial institutions would ask you to submit official documents to verify your identity, but even that can subject you to identity fraud. We respect our users’ privacy and would not want to put them in a vulnerable situation by asking them to supply us with any official ID or documents.
Trust your instincts
If something doesn’t feel right there is a good chance that it isn’t. If you have concerns about someone, speak to a friend and get their advice. At the end of the day the best compass on the planet is your gut, don’t lie to yourself and don’t silence that voice telling you to ‘’Run for the hills!’’