Not only did I emerge into 2021 as a single parent, but it was also into the world of online dating. Whilst I had some previous experience of online dating before being married in 2014, it was way before any dating apps were around! It was going to be a whole new world for me but I quite liked the idea of being as picky as I wanted, afterall, I know I’m a catch for the right person!

How you can find someone with similar interests online

The key to feeling safest whilst online dating is to make sure you’re in the right arena for your interests so you both know you’re on the same page. Whether you’re more interested in outdoor pursuits and want to be matched with someone muddy or at the other end of the spectrum interested in femdom dating. Ensuring that you’ve done your initial checks to sign up to the right kind of dating arena will remove any questions, awkwardness, or misconstrued ideas about what you’re looking for in a relationship or online dating arrangement.

Check you’re actually signed up to a dating site in the first place!

Dating sites these days have lots of safeguarding measures in place for people wanting to meet online. There are reporting tools if things get more heated than you were expecting! The reason I mention this is because I once tried to sell a pair of shoes on eBay and had lots of personal messages sent asking to purchase photos of my feet. It was unexpected and I didn’t feel eBay was the place to be having those conversations.

I even had a man approach me asking if I would make a video of me crushing bugs whilst wearing stiletto heels and another asking me to be a “FinDom”. Neither of which was I aware there was a “market” for and looking back now I see how naive I was at the time. Instead, I directed them to google the term “mistress near me” so they could find someone more appropriate than me who was just wanting to shift on some used work shoes!

Keep your financial details out of the picture.

There are lots of apps and financial tolls which allow you to collect or transfer money without exposing your bank details. CashApp is particularly popular at the moment. PayPal is also a safe bet.

How to keep physically safe when online dating.

If you’re new to online dating and considering meeting up in person, here are my top tips for staying safe:

  1. The first thing to do is speak out about any concerns you have. Look out for those red flags and don’t ignore them. Talking through any online conversations with your friends can offer you a bit of outside perspective which will help you see what’s normal and what isn’t acceptable.
  2. Raise any worries with your potential date too. Be honest about what’s making you anxious and see if they go to any lengths to reassure you.
  3. Schedule a well-timed phonecall from your friends to check in with you whilst you’re in person with your date. You could have a code word if things aren’t going well and you need a reason to absent yourself.
  4. Have a safeword between you and your date if you’re looking to take things into that arena. Be clear on the instructions and agree whether no means no on this occasion.
  5. Download a personal safety app such as Hollie Guard. In danger? With a simple shake or tap it activates Hollie Guard, immediately notifying your chosen contacts, pinpointing your location and sending audio and video evidence directly to their mobile phones.
  6. Know exactly where you are with What Three Words. This app has divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words. what3words addresses are easy to say and share, and as accurate as GPS coordinates. You can find these out for the location you’re going to meet up PRIOR to even setting off and could share them with your friends.
  7. Know what you like before meeting up by doing your research. This way you won’t feel pressured into trying something new with someone new.

Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.