Part of the fun of an app like Lucky or Tinder is that you get to go with your gut instinct. See someone you like? Swipe right. If they swipe on you too, you start talking, and things go from there. It’s as easy as that.
Of course, this kind of freedom requires some common sense. The last thing you want is for something as fun as a hookup going south, and becoming uncomfortable. Or even worse, to find yourself in an unsafe situation. (Hopefully you haven’t been there, because it kinda sucks.)
Good thing there’s a middle ground. A little common sense can go a long way in the world of online dating — keep these tips in mind, and the rest will be all about having a good time.
1. Share Your Details, Slowly
Lucky’s cool, because we let you send pics, texts, audio, video, and make phone calls, all within the app. This way, you can decide when to hand out your personal number. You’ll know the right time for that, but until that time, it’s always best to keep identifying info to a minimum.
2. And That Goes For Your Name
It’s crazy how much information someone can get, just when they know your first and last name. If you want to go by your first name? That’s cool. But hold on to the rest until you know someone well enough to know they’re not a weirdo.
3. Report Creeps
If someone’s bugging you? You know it. It’s not just someone not getting the hint — this person feels unstable. Please, block that person, and report them (this is true for us, and for other dating apps). Getting that person off the site makes the whole experience better and safer for everybody, and with any luck, you haven’t told them anything about yourself.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Detective Work
This is a big one. It’s easy to call someone a stalker when they’re combing through the last few years of a match’s social media, but it’s actually not a bad idea. You’re not breaking into anybody’s diary here — this is information they’re sharing with the world, provided they’re willing to share their name with you. Just so happens that it’s also a great way to find out whether someone is actually, well, real. Click away.
5. Share Your Whereabouts
When you’re heading out the door to meet someone, drop your best friend a text, telling them that you’re going out. Or tell your roommate, or whoever. Point is, let somebody know that you’re going out, and where they can look for you if you go AWOL. Nobody wants to jump to conclusions, but better safe than sorry, and it’ll take, like, 10 seconds.
6. Meet on Neutral Ground
If it’s your first time meeting someone (especially if you haven’t known them for very long), arrange to meet somewhere in the middle for both of you. If the date starts getting weird, you can always back out, and because the other person didn’t pick you up, they don’t know where you live. If the date is going really well, though? We’ll leave inviting them over for a nightcap up to you.
7. People Places
And while you’re at it, meet someplace where there are lots of people. A mall, a bustling restaurant, you get the idea. We’d love to think that everyone is just out for some fun, but save the more secluded experiences (long hikes in the woods or road trips) for later on, once you’ve gotten to know each other a little and decide you want something more than just a hookup.
8. Daytime Meeting
Everyone’s schedule can be a little hectic, but don’t immediately discount the idea of meeting up in the daytime. Maybe start by grabbing a cup of coffee in some cool part of town, and going from there. Nobody ever said hooking up was an activity exclusively for the evening hours.
9. Just, Be Safe.
We’ll cut to the chase: it’s probably not the best idea in the world to invite a stranger over to your house. We’re don’t want to tell you what you can and can’t do, and we want you to have an awesome time doing what it is you do. But you have to admit, it would be kinda weird to put together a “Top 10 Tips” list and not include “Don’t invite a total stranger over.”
10. Finally, Go With Your Gut.
You know the feeling… something’s off. Sometimes, the best move is to go with instinct, so don’t be afraid to cut off the date early, or just walk out altogether.