10 Online Dating Tips to Avoid Catfish, Fake Profiles & Risky Dates

Be In The Driver's Seat

When it comes to arranging a first date, it can quickly fill you with butterflies, excitement, and nerves! But rather than leave the finer details to your date, take control of your own destiny by planning it yourself. By being in the driver’s seat you can choose a place where you feel most comfortable, and also drive yourself there too. This helps keep your date at a bit of distance in terms of personal details, as they won’t be picking you up or dropping you off back home. Should they turn out to be ‘not your type’ being in control of your location and travel arrangements will help you feel more confident to end it early and leave.

Break The Ice With A Double Date First

Most people feel anxious about meeting a stranger for the first time, and although you can make sure to meet up in a public place, you should also explore the option of double first dating. This is where you and a friend arrange to meet two strangers for your first dates together. Not only is this a safer solution but it’s also a great way to break the ice too. By double dating, you also open up the possibility of doing something different as a group, such as an escape room, wine tasting, or perhaps a Champagne picnic!

Keep Your Dating Pics Exclusive

In this digital-first society, it’s becoming easier than ever to find almost anyone online. To protect yourself when searching for a potential partner, keep your online dating pics exclusive to the platform. This means having a dating-only photoshoot when you set up a dating profile and never using the same pictures on social media. Should anyone you match with reverse image search your dating profile pic, it’s not going to instantly reveal your social media accounts. Plus this can be a fantastic girl’s night in opportunity and involve wine, makeovers, and outfit changes until you get your best picture!

Portray Who You Want To Be

A top online dating tip is to capture a picture of yourself that portrays the person you want to be and not exactly who you are at this moment. The idea behind this dating tip is to attract a partner who shares your same visions for the future and lifestyle goals. So let’s say you’d like a more adventurous guy who you can travel with. Make sure to take a picture of yourself hiking or packing for a trip, as this will give off the right impression of who you ‘want’ to be. Even if this isn’t a true reflection, it will intrigue someone who is looking for that type of person.

Online Stalking is OK

Most people online will be looking up potential love interests on social media to protect themselves before meeting up in the real world, and that’s OK. A great dating tip for women about to arrange a first date is to spend an hour or so on social media to see if you can figure out who you’re meeting. A bit of online stalking will help you prepare and potentially figure out if you’re about to be catfished or not.

Team Up With Your Server

Dating can feel a little daunting especially if you’re new to the game, so this is a pretty smart dating tip to keep yourself safe when you meet up for the first, second, or third time. Hopefully, you’ve already chosen where you’re going to have the date, so now you can show up early and talk to the server or bartender. By filling them in on your date and giving them a codeword or phrase such as ‘can I get a strong coffee’, you can quickly alert someone if you feel unsure about how your date is going. When you say your secret message, they could say a friend is asking for you at another table, or you need to come to the front desk for a moment.

Pause Before You Answer Questions

Getting to know your new love interest is a major part of online dating, but always pause before answering questions. This gives you time to consider how much information you want to reveal. Instead of telling someone what city you’re in, where you work, and your favorite coffee shop, consider more generic answers instead, that still lets someone get to know you, but doesn’t put yourself in a vulnerable position straight away.

Video Call Before A First Date

Unfortunately, it is easy to create a fake profile online and catfish someone, but there are plenty of ways to catch a catfish! The first thing you’ll want to do is ask for another picture and see how quickly they can deliver. Next, ask for a video of themselves, but saying ‘Hi (your name). This rules out any stock videos that can be downloaded online. Last, of all, consider a video chat before meeting up. A quick video call helps to break the ice and also confirms who you’re about to meet, their mannerism, voice, accent, and appearance.

Avoid Fake Profiles

After a tough break-up, there is a possibility that an ex might be tempted to create a fake dating profile to check-up on you and your love life. To be one step ahead of the game, here are 5 red flags that scream fake profiles.

1: Their profile pictures look edited, filtered, or they only have one headshot.

2: They reach out to you and start firing questions straight off the bat.

3: If it’s an ex, they’re going to start asking about your ex-partners pretty quickly and persistently.

4: It feels like a one-way conversation or an interview.

5: They avoid answering questions about themselves and always turn them back on you.

Notice any of these red flags and it’s time to move on!

Drop Baggage At The Dating Door

Dating is a fun, exciting, and thrilling way to meet new partners, experience new things, and socialize with new people. Having an open mind, and dropping your baggage at the dating door will be key to your success. Let’s be honest, most people looking for love online are hopeful and in need of someone who they can connect with and share their life with. Where many people go wrong is when they hold themselves back by putting up an emotional guard or offloading their emotional baggage to a new love interest. Instead, approach online dating with a fresh, happy-go-lucky attitude and don’t invest too much emotional energy into it. If you get a message, great news, but if you don’t that’s not the end of your journey. Life has a funny way of guiding you in the right direction so be true to yourself and be patient!