Meeting people from Tinder is exciting if you know how to stay safe. Though online dating does have some of risk, most people use it very safely by taking physical and emotional precautions before meeting up with any dates. Vet your Tinder date in several ways before agreeing to meet, and take steps to protect yourself during the meeting. Give yourself the best chance to find that special someone in the online dating pool.

Exchange Messages for a Few Days

Learn a little about potential suitors you’re thinking of meeting before setting up that date. Get an idea of how they like to spend their free time, what they want from Tinder, and what kind of disposition they have. Chatting is the best first step to weed out people who are incompatible with you. It will also help you ditch those who make you uncomfortable.

Choose a Public Meeting Place

Pick a public place to meet, and get yourself there, whether that means driving your car or taking the train. No matter how normal people seem, don’t let them pick you up or spend time at your place. Avoid spending time at others’ places, too. Somewhere like a restaurant, a coffee shop, or a populated public park makes for a good first date. Make sure this meeting happens during daylight hours, too.

Give a Friend or Family Member the Details

Tell people you trust about the Tinder date. Give them the information you have about your date, including their name, any social media profiles you found, and the time and place of your date. Have these people on stand-by in case you need to call them for a quick escape. If it makes you feel better, have your friend or family member be in the vicinity during your date.

Run a Background Check

Ask for enough information, like a first and last name, and a phone number, to run a background check on your date. Find out if you’ll be going out with a criminal or a sex offender, or someone who is already married. At the same time, remember to protect your own privacy while you’re on Tinder. Don’t give out too many personal details that make you easy to find, like your last name or address.

Think About What You Want

Before, during, and after your Tinder date, think about what you want from a romantic partner. Everyone has nonnegotiable requirements and areas where they’re willing to compromise. Sometimes meeting new people helps you define what you’re looking for. Envision your future lifestyle, including your spirituality, health, daily activities, and long-term goals. When you’ve thought about this, you can more easily figure out if someone is right for you.

Remember that dating, through Tinder or otherwise, takes time. You might get lucky and run into your soul mate on one of your first matches, but you’ll probably have to go on several dates before you hit it off with someone. Stay safe, keep your own emotional health in mind, and remember to enjoy yourself.

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