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Tips for Dating Safely—During COVID and After

Safety is extremely important when it comes to dating, whether you’re getting to know someone online or meeting that someone in-person for the first time. Your protection and well-being is paramount to WhatsYourPrice, which is why we strongly advise you to keep these safe dating tips in mind.

Don’t use your full name for your username.

Anonymity can really protect you online, regardless if you’re searching on WhatsYourPrice, posting on social media or ordering something from an online retailer. We suggest using only your first name or creating an account that can’t be connected to your identity. Get creative and come up with something fun and flirty!

Don’t list social media accounts—or use the photos from those accounts—on your profile.

As documented on MTV’s ultra-popular TV show Catfish, it’s fairly easy to trace and track someone by using the information and photos presented on their social media profiles. Doing this will not only keep you safe, but also everyone on your friends list.

Use face-to face chat as a way to screen your potential date.

While you might have seen a number of profile photos of the person you’ll soon be meeting, sometimes photos can be deceiving. WhatsYourPrice recently added its new Video Chat feature, which allows you to see your date live, right from your inbox! If you haven’t upgraded to this feature, consider suggesting to your date a virtual meeting on Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or Facebook.

Feeling uncomfortable with your conversation? End it.

Your safety and security is of utmost importance to WhatsYourPrice. If you’re chatting with someone from WYP and the conversation becomes uncomfortable, simply say “good-bye,” end the conversation block and/or report the WYP member.

Be careful with what you send and say.

Safety is always a priority, which is why being cautious with the information and photos that you send someone you’re chatting with is extremely important. We advise not giving out your phone number, as there are a number of apps that allow you to conduct voice calls with over your computer. Also, avoid giving too much information before you get to know the person you’re talking to—don’t give them specifics about your location or workplace, where you have been recently or anything that they could use to trace your whereabouts.

Do not give anyone money or financial information online.

This is a good idea for online activity in general, let alone dating online. Be safe and secure by keeping your financial information private.

Keep your residential information private.

Always meet someone you have met online in a public place—and make sure your friends and family know where and who you’re meeting. For added security, suggest having a friend—wingman or wingwoman—come with you. And never let anyone you meet online know your physical address or if you live alone.

Have cash or a credit card ready.

The date might go south, you might have a family or friend emergency, or you just need to get home and shouldn’t rely on your date (more on that later). Have financial resources to get home safe and sound.

Always meet in a public place.

As stated above, we advise everyone to meet someone they met online at a public space—and to let their friends or family know who and where they are meeting. Never meet someone at a motel or hotel, in a parking lot, at their car, or wherever you feel you cannot get away safely and quickly. And if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, don’t wait—get out of there as soon as you can. Having a can of pepper spray on you is a smart idea, as well.

Be aware.

When you are meeting someone you met online, be observant of their body language and facial expressions. If you are uncomfortable with the signs you are reading, consider leaving the date early.

Watch your drink—and how many you have.

Keep your cocktail (or beer, glass of wine, cup of club soda) in your eyesight the entire time you’re meeting someone. A number of drugs—including roofies and/or date rape drugs)—are entirely too easy for someone to slip in another’s drink without them noticing. Be observant and stay safe.

Get home safe.

Do not accept a ride home from your date—doing this lets them know where you live and could result in them taking you somewhere else. Whether it’s your own vehicle, public transportation, a friend who is nearby and willing to drive you or whatever else the options may be, have a ride home at-the-ready.

Tips for Dating Safely During COVID

Consider virtual dates first.

Case rates are going up across the United States and all around the world, so surely there might be some extra-cautious daters out there. Most regional governments consider the proper quarantine time to observe (which ensures one person isn’t going to test positive) to be between 10 and 14 days. That’s only two weeks! Certainly you can get to know someone via video chat for a couple of dates—while quarantining—before seeing them in person.

Have a conversation about COVID.

Some daters might be interested in only dating others who are taking the same safety precautions that they are living their lives by. Others might be fairly carefree about meeting in person. Finding this out before—and not during an awkward first date—is a great idea. You also can ask your potential date a few other questions during this conversation, like:

  • Do you have any COVID symptoms?

  • Have you had COVID before?

  • Have you been tested for COVID?

  • Are you at special risk for COVID?

  • What are your thoughts on masks?

  • Are you OK with going on an indoor date?

  • Are you OK with social distancing?

Opt for outdoor dates instead of indoor dates.

One thing that has been made abundantly clear by the mainstream media is that we’re at lower risks of catching COVID if we’re outdoors. Why not build that into your date? Depending on the local health ordinances, you might even get to take your mask off!

Choose a safe location that is observing all health measures.

Decide on a meeting place that is maintaining social distancing, observes a thorough cleaning procedure and has adequate ventilation. And while indoor venues will likely have access to soap and sinks, that’s important to remember—wash your hands, daters!

Follow all local and regional health regulations—no, really.

Each community around the world is addressing this pandemic differently, so it’s important to keep up with your local news or find your local health authority’s website to know about the changing policies and procedures. Sure, it might be a drag to keep your mask on at that outdoor bar—your date doesn’t get to see your face, you have to sneak sips of your drink and talk somewhat uncomfortably loud sometimes—but better safe than sorry! Also, keep in mind social distancing regulations—most communities have them set at 6 feet apart—and curfews.

Woke up with COVID symptoms on date day? Cancelling would be the safe thing to do.

Got a bad cough? Wake up with a fever? While cancelling your date will obviously disappoint, chances are your date will forgive this time—especially if you reschedule. Go get tested, wait for your results and plan your dating life from there.

Consider getting COVID-tested before—and after—your date.

Deciding to get tested before will give you some peace of mind and show your date that you’re taking this seriously. The thing is, that’s not exactly good enough. They could have contracted COVID right after the test or right before they meet you. This is why following up with another test a couple of days after the date is also important.

WhatsYourPrice is devoted to helping people find fun—and firstly, safe—dates that enrich their lives and experiences. We do hope you’ll take this tips to heart, listen to your conscience and make safe and secure choices while dating.