13 Nov Online Dating – Safety First
Reading time: 4 mins
Online Dating is fun and hard work, and it’s really easy to get carried away or be too trusting sometimes. Yes, part of enjoying the journey involves letting your guard down a little bit, but you also need to understand when it’s right to trust, and when it’s your right not to trust.
To make sure you enjoy your journey and don’t run into any mishaps, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you stay sharp, stay safe, and stay ahead of the game.
You’re allowed to be a grass – Report them
The number one rule for all of this, that stands for every single point below is this: Do not be afraid to report anything
If anyone in the SBS community has made you feel uncomfortable, offended, threatened or is being unreasonable or acting suspicious in any way, you must inform the SBS team immediately. Even if you feel like it’s not a big deal and that nothing will come of it – that’s for us to decide.
You can come to us and we will handle the situation discreetly and appropriately.
Take things at your own pace
We recommend that when you start chatting to someone online, you keep the conversation on the website, until you feel 100% comfortable to take it offline. If someone asks for your number, you’re not obliged to give it to them. And if they ask to meet you, you’re not obliged to say yes.
If you’re having a good conversation but you want more time to feel comfortable before you meet them, that’s fine. You can just say you’re busy until the following week, and buy yourself a bit more time to talk to them.
The same goes if you’re at one of our events. If someone asks for your number, or suggests you leave the event to go somewhere private, you don’t need to say yes. You can reach out to anyone on the SBS team (we’re always wearing yellow lanyards), or any of the bar staff, and let them know you’re feeling uncomfortable, and we will handle it.
You don’t owe anyone anything
Never ever give someone money or lend them any of your valuable belongings, unless you are actually in a trusting relationship with them. Whether they outright ask, or if a conversation leads to you offering, the answer should always be No.
If someone asks you to help pay a bill or if they can borrow your car, or come to your house to use your printer or anything else that would give them access to your home or something valuable to you, you need to fight all your urges to be polite, and stand your ground to say No. As much as you might want to help someone in need, it’s not your problem and you don’t need to feel guilty about it.
Even if it means they might lose interest in you – they should be able to ask their own friends and family for help.
Always meet somewhere safe and neutral
Even if you’ve been talking for months and you feel like you know and trust this person, the first few times you meet them should ALWAYS be somewhere public, easy for both of you to get to, well lit, and at a time of day that there will be people around and you can get home safely by yourself.
Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where the only way you can get home is if they drive or come with you, or if you’re likely to be travelling back alone late at night.
Make sure someone knows where you are
You don’t need to tell the whole world where you’re going. It can be hard to talk about if dating is new to you, but you should always make sure at least one person will know when and where to find you if something goes wrong.
And back to rule #1: Make sure you know how to report someone
It’s really easy to report any member of the SBS community. There are 2 simple ways:
1. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the username or details of the person you want to report
2. Go to their profile on the SBS website, scroll down to the bottom and click the ‘Report this user’ button
Then just simply tell us why you’re reporting them, and we’ll take it from there.
Not every date is going to go amazing, and you’re not going to like or get along with everyone you meet. So be ready but cautious about letting someone new in your life.
Remember, you can talk to us. Kamey and I work extremely hard to make sure you have a high quality experience in being part of the SBS Community, so we need to know if something is making you feel uneasy. That way we can do everything we can to make it better for you and everyone else.
Stay safe, see you on the next one.