In an era run by likes and follows, it’s no surprise that 30 percent of American adults have dabbled with online dating apps.
In fact, researchers say 40 percent of relationships start online as of 2017. By contrast, online 27 percent of relationships today start at a bar and 20 percent of start through friends.
Now couple those statistics with social distancing — a.k.a. as the ultimate cock block — and it’s lead to a significant spike in online dating since April.
Whether you met your lover by swiping left and right or during a raid in an MMO, there are precautions you should take to make sure your in-person introduction is as safe and smooth possible.
How to Meet Your Online Lover IRL Safely
Be Your Own Detective
Whip out your magnifying glass and deerstalker hat, it’s time to do a little sleuthing.
Before migrating from eggplants and peaches to phalluses and gluteus maximuses, ask yourself the following questions:
- How long have I known this person for?
- Do their social media profiles seem legitimate?
- How old are their social media accounts?
- How many photos do they have of themselves online?
- How many friends and followers do they have?
- What kind of comments do they get on their posts and photos?
- How much time have we spent video chatting?
- Does this person give me any creepy vibes at all?
While it’s normal to have butterflies or anxiety at the thought of meeting in person, you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about the person you’re about to meet.
Always follow your gut-feeling. If there’s anything that feels off about your modern day Romeo or Juliet, don’t ignore it. Investigate it.
Always Meet in Public First
Meeting in public first is a rule of thumb when it comes to online dating. Pick a well-populated public setting, like a café, restaurant, public park, bookstore, comic shop, etc…
Even if they seem like Prince Charming or Snow White right away, it’s wise not to go home with them after just one in-person date. This is especially true if you’ve only known them for a few weeks or months.
Feel them out in public a few more times before moving to a more intimate setting.
Let Your Loved Ones Know What You’re Doing and Where You’re Going
Before your first in-person date with your online lover, let multiple people know what you’re doing and where you’re going. That way, they can take action if for any reason at all you need police intervention.
Plus, if things are awkward, you can always rely on your best friend to get you out of the date early with a fake emergency phone call.
Just be sure to check in with your loved ones during your date. Excuse yourself to the bathroom if you need to just to text your loved ones that you’re okay.
You wouldn’t want them to get worried and panic-dial the police if they haven’t heard from you for a few hours and things are going perfect, right?
… That could be a bit of a turn off.
Keep An Eye Out For Suspicious Behavior
If they’re not acting like a perfect gentleman or gentlewoman, kick on your BS detectors. Keep an eye out for creepy, suspicious behavior, like:
- Persistently and relentlessly insisting to “take this date somewhere more private”
- Offhand, predatory comments
- Unwarranted and unwanted touching or groping
If at any point you feel uneasy or unsafe, get the fuck out of there.
How to Meet Your Online Lover IRL Smoothly
Of course, safety isn’t the only concern when meeting your online lover in-person. Seeing their set of pearly whites after growing accustomed to their “:)” can be overwhelming (and even a bit awkward) at first.
Make Sure You Really Know Them First
While this is a safety precaution, it also social precaution. If you only met online three days ago and jump right into meeting them in person, it increases the risk of having an awkward encounter.
After all, you don’t want to show up only to realize you know literally nothing about the other person.
It’s one thing to have a bit of mystery, and it’s another not to know what their general interests are or what they do for a living.
Prepare For the Worst, Hope For the Best
We’ve all heard our fair share of catfishing stories and perhaps have a few of these experiences personally under our belts.
But even if you’ve spent hours on FaceTime, you may be surprised by what you see when you meet face to face for the first time.
Angels are everything, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Who knows — maybe they’ll look even better in person!
… Perhaps that’s a bit too optimistic, but you get the point.
Be Specific About Your Meeting Arangements
Make sure you’re both meeting at the right place and the right time. This is especially true if you’re meeting at a Starbucks in the city. When there’s a Starbucks on every corner, you have to be specific about which one you’re meeting at.
It’s also a good idea to tell them what you’re wearing or snap them a photo of your outfit beforehand. You wouldn’t want to run up and have your “REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD” moment with the wrong person.
Now THAT’s awkward.
Travel Wisely and Intelligently
If you’re flying across country or across the globe to meet your online lover, travel wisely and intelligently.
Instead of showing up at airport security with a suitcase full of rubber dicks and vibrating sticks, consider having some fresh, new toys shipped to your lover’s house.
Nothing is worse than having a TSA agent inquisitively wave a 7-inch dildo in front of your face as the rest of the security line rolls their eyes at the hold-up.
Just make sure your partner remembers to bring the sex toys if/when you do rendezvous in your hotel room.
For example, any lube larger than 3.4oz won’t fly with airport security.
If you’re ballsy enough to travel with your dildos and vibrators on hand, make sure you remove the batteries first.
Otherwise, you run the risk of your toys turning on mid-travel, which can spur off into a number of embarrassing circumstances that could’ve very easily been prevented.
Head on over to Chic Sex Shop to start stocking up on luxurious sexual wellness products for your digital-to-IRL romance!
Even if you’re not anywhere near meeting in-person yet, vibrators, dildos, and masturbators are a great way to spice up your phone sex.