Lovers and Friends… Hello, how are you ? Today, I want to talk on a topic I feel is necessary to chat about when traversing today’s dating world. Safety. As a female, we deal with the subject on a deeper and more consistent level so naturally this chat will be more geared towards my fellow X chromosome having humans. However I do feel it’s an important topic to discuss between genders as whether your preferred dating method is meeting people online, out and about at bars or getting set up by a friend, there will always be some concerns for personal safety. As we wade through some of the more common mistakes made, I thought we’d also talk about some safety tips myself and the entire team here at FROME feel will help in avoiding them. So that you can go about your quest for love safely and securely. Ready, okay let’s go…
If you’re new here, Joe ( our CEO ) and I first matched on Hinge. When setting up our date a mere 5 minutes after chatting, being the gentleman he is, he offered to come and pick me up. So sweet in today’s world but especially in LA. However it also caused instant alarm bells. Because while yes, it was a lovely offer and I was excited to meet him, I’ve lived enough years on this earth to know not all people are to be trusted. And I wasn’t about to put myself in a precarious position on a sweet whim. I believe I said something to effect of ” I appreciate that, but I haven’t fully vetted you and there’s still a possibility of you being a very handsome serial killer so I’ll just meet you at the restaurant. ”
Because you see, in the same sense that Uber has completely demolished the safety mantra of ” don’t get into cars with strangers ” I feel the same could be said of dating apps re: blithely talking to rando’s on the internet. I remember as I was growing up and we got our first computer, my mother and every other mother was so bloody worried about us talking to strangers on the internet. Now, we actively seek out them out and it’s a place where more friendships and relationships are formed than day to day life. However our comfortability with this form of connection or communication shouldn’t completely eradicate those safety mantra’s that are still firmly in place somewhere deep in our subconscious. And while I do feel our collective eye is more open to possible nefarious actions or intents, it doesn’t mean we haven’t gotten ourselves into a scary pickle or two and subsequently need a bit of a safety refresher.
Listen to your Intuition
We’ve all recounted our own heart stopping moments of unheard intuition or the horror stories of friends of a friend. I cannot stress this enough… You’re intuition is there to protect you. Even if it’s seems to be saying something completely ridiculous, far fetched and/or paranoid I urge you to remember this – truth is stranger than fiction. We are made up of energy, and your subconscious can pick up on things before your physical self even has time to register it. If everything looks good on paper with someone or a situation for a date, yet your intuition is strangely saying no, learn to listen to it over any pleas or plights. If you read my previous post ( dating highs and horrors ) I recounted a story that unfortunately was not a unique one in my dating history. Many times I did something that seemed okay when initially laid out, but ended up being on the edge of real danger. All the while my intuition was screaming ” you dumb bitch, this isn’t safe “.
Whether it’s real concerns over catfishing or simply just your cautious nature, there is nothing wrong with a quick check.
Last name : Google is a good friend in moments like these, but more like that friend you adore on a surface level. Please don’t be pilfering through the internet, absorbing any and all information on this person before meeting IRL. It’s weird and build’s unrealistic expectations. But for safety purposes alone if you are armed with someone’s last name, a light search that simply verifies this human is a human is not only harmless, but recommended.
Social : We live in the golden age of social media. Everyone and their dog has it, literally. So a quick scan of someone’s social is nothing more than a personal verification system. However please don’t spend hours ( or days ) scoping out ex’s, preferences or their day to day life as that’s when I feel you step into slight stalker territory. If they don’t have one you ask ? While I do applaud those who are social media free ( how much healthier you must be ) I know the raised eyebrow that’s associated when not being able to find a profile. While it is rare it, isn’t necessarily a safety red flag so I’d just follow up with good ol’ google. If that still doesn’t yield any results, my next step would be requesting an explanation/possible FaceTime if you’re truly interested in meeting this person.
TFA : You know how when setting up for an account, you’ll sometimes get a code sent to your phone to verify its you ? Well, that my friends is called Two Factor Authentication. Something that any secure website, especially a dating app should have and something FROME takes very seriously.
Verification : As per Instagram re: the coveted blue check, a verified account is a sure fire way of feeling secure in someone’s identity. We here at FROME wanted to give our users the option to feel that little bit extra special and secure as well. By obtaining a verified profile on our platform it means user’s are verified not only through FROME’s unique verification process, but also the Appstore VP. So you can be sure the person you’re about to ask out on a date is who they say they are.
Know your limits
Liquor – Many people like to grab a drink on their first date, I sure did back in the days of dating. But if you do decide to go to a bar just make sure you know your personal liquor limits. Not only does being belligerent on a first date almost guarantee there won’t be a second, even when in a public place being drunk with a stranger puts you in an unnecessarily sketchy position.
Should you stay ? – If at any point you feel awkward, uncomfortable or even threatened during the date, you’re in no way obligated to stay. Politeness is never as important as your safety. It’s also always wise to arrange your own transportation to and from the date just so you have more control.
Dating profile – To keep yourself safe, don’t give out personal information to potential dates. Live your life of course, and if you’re more of an open book there’s nothing wrong with that. However I suggest you almost think of it as though you are showing your profile to a crowded bar – how much do you really want a whole bunch of strangers to know about you ? Save the more intimate information for in-person conversations.
Location x 3
Now I know we’ve all been in at least one situation where we text a friend to let them know who we were going out with and when, just purely from a safety standpoint. We send screenshots, full names, really any information we can give ” just in case “. Heck, you probably have locations perpetually turned on for the ones you hold nearest and dearest. I know I do. These are second nature to us, automatic safety responses when venturing out with a stranger for the first time. Tried and true methods that we should always have in our back pocket. However one of the things I love most about FROME is that we eliminate a lot of those safety concerns through premise alone. With every other app on the market, when you match with someone then decide on a IRL date, you’re doing so through the in- app messaging system ( a certain level of security attached ) or through exchanged numbers and text where there is relatively none. When matching with someone on our app, you’re sending them an actual date request by picking the time, place and preferred beverage of choice. Aka our app knows where you are going, at what time and with whom.
We go one step further in layers of safety by sending an alert about an hour into your date, asking how it’s going and how you’re feeling. This ensures that if you are indeed feeling a little sketched out, you can press a button that will send a notification to your emergency contact saying just that. It won’t require you to surreptitiously fumble with your phone, trying to squeak out a jumbled text to a friend with an emergency SOS… Just click the button and we do the rest for you.
Safely keeping the spark alive
Having a chat before meeting in person is very important, yes. Not just purely from a safety standpoint either, I feel we’ve all been in the place of finding someone physically appealing but their humour/personalty, general quirks were completely incompatible with ours. However I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… too much communication through technology beforehand will be the death of a first date. It’s so important to get to know the person, not the profile. But how do we combine the want to keep the spark alive but the need to stay safe ? Well I believe we here at FROME have somewhat figured it out. The chat box on our app will only open 6 hours before your date. This allows you to properly vet someone ( while having a quick dig ) and gives you that brief but beautiful few hours to see if the conversation is headed in the right direction/ the vibe is right. It also gives you ample time to back out if something doesn’t feel right, but won’t allow you stay on there for days, weeks or even months just randomly chatting until the spark dies. Ultimately, the app is designed for real connections to be made in real life just in the safest way we know how.
Quick side note : if you’re looking for more time, more security, more room to move when being your spontaneous self the levels of FROME go as such : Olive – The chat box opens 12 hours ahead. You get a verification badge, are able to save 10 profiles ( just in case you’re feeling indecisive that day ) and 5 undo last skipped options, because we all have fumbling fingers occasionally. Blush includes that 12 hour window along with your verification badge but also includes with 10 undo skipped profiles and the ability to save 15 profiles. And if you are looking for the full FROME experience, our top tier Terracotta once again includes 12 hours and verification badge, along with 15 undo skips, 20 saved profiles and a video Introduction available on your profile.
Waving the Red Flag
I want to end this blog with some ultimate red flags, as I feel there are a couple that are too blatantly unbecoming to ignore. If the person you have matched with has an incredibly vague or incomplete profile, no social media to speak of, is unfindable through any search’s and ultimately isn’t forthcoming with any information… this leads me to believe they are trying to hide something and I would run. Though if your curiosity gets the better of you, please keep you guard all the way up and do any extra steps of verification you can think of before venturing out. If a person get’s angry or upset when you deny their request to move the convo off the dating app, or they try to follow/ friend you on a new platform when you’ve already stated it isn’t something you’re comfortable with, this is a huge sign that they don’t respect boundaries. If they’re doing it now, you can be sure that disrespect will continue on a deeper level if you decide to deign them a date.
Venturing out into the dating world and what could be a potential new relationship is exciting, confusing, a big old rush of emotions… but the one thing it should always be is safe. Unfortunately not everyone online is as trustworthy as you would wish and we all need to take precautions to avoid the risk of inviting unstable humans into our lives. Trust your instincts, listened to learned advice and here’s me truly hoping some of the points above have reconfirmed what area’s are most important to protect. Until next time x