When I was younger it was a widely accepted rule that you didn’t meet anyone from online in real life. It was considered way to risky and irresponsible and it would never have even crossed my mind to consider it. These days though? Things have definitely changed!
A few years ago I hoped on a plane to Manchester and checked in to a hotel with a girl I’d met online. I had taken measures to make sure I was safe and I was confident in my decision to meet a stranger, because to me she wasn’t a stranger. She was a friend.
In January this year I flew down to stay with her and her family, and a few other friends we’ve made online in the past few years too. To some people it might have seemed completely insane but it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time and we’re already planning on doing it again.
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Meeting someone from online in real life is not something you should take lightly. It is not without it’s risks, but that that doesn’t mean it can’t be a successful experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new friend or a potential love interest from one of the totally free online dating sites uk – there is lots of potential online!
Steps For A Safe Meeting With Someone From Online
Verify Their Identity
Make sure you know exactly who you’re meeting. If you’ve met on social media it can be relatively easy to create a fake profile, but using a free site like matchmehappy.co.uk means they have extra hoops to jump through. The use of AI technology ensures you’re more likely to be meeting a verified user.
A quick google of someone’s name can pull up a lot of information. It can be easy to see if something they’re saying doesn’t quite add up. Try a reverse image search with their profile picture to see if it flags up as someone else.
It is also best if you can talk on the phone before meeting. If you’re planning on meeting a woman in her 30’s and on the phone she sounds like a guy…. “she” probably IS a guy and you’re safest steering clear. Even better if you can get them on FaceTime.
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Have A Plan In Place
Where are you going? How long for? What do you plan to do? A plan is crucial. Pick a busy place, and ideally have a seat somewhere central. That way if you are uncomfortable you are surrounded by people you can call on for assistance.
If possible, have a rough estimate of when you will be finished. This will help your friends and family know when they can expect you home. Of course plans can always change, but as long as you keep in contact and provide updates then it’s not a problem.
Share Details With Friends
Telling your friends is so important. Pass on the name and phone number of the person you are going to meet, where you will be and for roughly how long. After the initial meeting it’s a good idea to drop someone a message saying you’re happy with who you’ve met and are going to continue.
Most phones have a location sharing option via an app, and this is the prime opportunity to use it. It means your friends can check in on where you are without having to call or text.
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Have An Exit Plan
What are you going to do if you don’t feel comfortable? In most cases you will just leave, but what if you have concerns about them following you? Knowing that you have a friend who is going to skip their glass of wine that evening so they can pop out and pick you up if you need to give you a little peace of mind – but fingers crossed you won’t have to use it.
Just because you’re conscious of having met this person online doesn’t mean that general safety goes out of the window. Don’t accept drinks that were bought before you arrives, or that you didn’t see being made. Don’t leave your drink unattended, don’t accept a lift or go back to their place on the first meeting.
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