Learn More About Dating Apps

Even if you’ve used a dating app before, it might still be helpful to get an explicit refresher now that you’re looking at safety information. What can you expect from a dating app?

Lots of People Looking for a Relationship

For a dating app to function properly, the system has to offer a good selection of people. The more people that are looking for dates, the more variety in the system, and that makes it easier for someone to find a person that matches well enough to potentially end up in an actual relationship.

Although you might only think of the biggest dating apps on the market--eHarmony, Match, Tinder--it might surprise you to learn that there are dating apps that span a whole range of people and specific interests. Even with these niche dating apps, you can sometimes find a surprising number of people.

Matching Based on Various Factors

Different dating apps match you with potential partners based on different things. These can be incredibly surface-level or truly reflect part of who you are — it’s all about what app you choose. Many of the most in-depth apps also allow you to opt out of certain questions, so you can choose to answer more personal questions and get a better match or forgo those questions in favor of a quicker experience.

Dating apps regularly use your age, general interests, location, and answers to different personality and interests survey questions to match you with the right person. Then, there are other dating apps that are more user-focused, requiring you to match with nearby people as the app shows you their profiles. It’s all about which apps you use.

A benefit of most dating apps is that you can match a number of people at once, then you can maintain a few conversations until you find someone that truly interests you.

Taking a Date Offline

Eventually, you’re probably going to want to take one of these dates offline. The benefit of dating apps is that you can start with a “hello,” then talk for just a little while. If you don’t feel the sparks fly, no big deal. But if you do feel a connection, you can invite the person to go out with you on an official date.

When it comes time to take your date offline, you get the opportunity to choose a place together, which can itself be a great bonding experience. As dating apps tend to be more casual (in general) than some other forms of dating, you can usually use a similarly casual method of choosing a date. Once you meet up, you’re effectively at the same stage as a couple who met offline.

What Are Some Dangers of Dating Apps?

Some people seem to only want to talk about how dangerous dating apps are, which can be kind of frustrating if you’re interested in the concept. But it’s good to at least have an understanding of the genuine concerns.

Catfishing

It can sometimes seem like catfish are everywhere. And although it’s actually relatively unlikely that you’ll fall for an individual trying to steal your money, the experience does happen. It’s a good idea to remind yourself of that and to take common-sense precautions every time you match with someone new on a dating app.

All you have to do is remember that it’s okay to take things slowly at first. Most casual dating apps also allow you to meet up pretty quickly, which can drastically reduce the chance of encountering a catfish. (They rely on the anonymity of the internet to maintain their facade.) Try to set up a date before you really establish a serious relationship if you’re worried about it.

Shady Characters

It’s a good idea to pay attention to the fact that violent and dangerous individuals occasionally use dating apps. There’s no need to worry too much, because even traditional dating has its dangers in this area. But you should take certain precautions.

For example, it’s always a good idea to book your first date in a public area and to drive yourself to and from the date. Don’t let your date pick you up, and don’t pick up your date — if you don’t have your own car, ask a friend or take a rideshare. Take the extra steps you need to keep yourself safe.

Scammers and Information Thieves

Though less common than some other dangers of a dating app, it’s true that some scammers hang out on dating apps to attempt to snag a catch. On the very low-effort side, you’ll find spambots that promise illicit encounters through a special link. But some people do personally handle dating app profiles exclusively for the purpose of a quick scam.

Some people also try to harvest information. It’s relatively uncommon, but it might surprise you how readily you accidentally give up certain pieces of information. Be careful with your private information and make sure it stays truly private.

How Can I Stay Safe on a Dating App?

At the end of the day, you just want to stay safe as you try to find a partner. No matter what app you plan to use, these tips can help you stay on the safe side.

Always Trust Your Gut

Everyone deserves a fair shot, but you get the final say on whether an individual gets to keep talking to you. Although your gut might not be a 100% scientific way to make a judgment, it can also keep you safe. You don’t have to reply to everyone or accept an invitation for a date — you get to make your own rules.

The best way to implement this is simply to remember that you don’t owe anyone on the app anything. If you just feel uncomfortable because of the way a person phrased a sentence, you can stop replying. Follow your gut, and you’ll likely be glad that you did.

Perform a Background Check Before You Start Really Talking

If you do feel that spark between the two of you, that’s amazing. After all, it’s the first step toward a genuine date. But you need to temper that passion with a measure of caution. Because it’s so easy to do through PeopleFinders, this should be the time that you try to perform a background check on your current conversation partner.

With PeopleFinders, it’s easy to find information on other adults in the U.S. That’s why you should do it as soon as the conversation starts to take a slightly more serious turn. When you utilize PeopleFinders, you get to take advantage of the company’s many years in the industry and unparalleled database. See if you can get the criminal records you’re looking for, and make a more informed decision about whether or not to continue your conversation.

Pay Attention to General Safety

Your parents probably taught you basic safety information growing up, but it might amaze you how many people seem to forget those general safety tips on a date. When you choose a place for your date, make sure it’s well-lit and populated, tell your friends where you’ll be going, and text them once you get home.

These small decisions, as well as other ones you make when you’re actively thinking about safety, may genuinely make an impact on your overall date safety. Especially when you combine this safety behavior with a background check from PeopleFinders, you can stay safe and have a great time.

How Do Dating Apps Work?