How to date online safely (without DearReal!)

We check on our loved ones as often as possible and ask them “to stay safe”, but we sometimes don’t apply these essential rules for ourselves. This is true with online dating, dating apps and social media accounts.

DearReal stands for:

  • safety
  • truthfulness
  • privacy

We are passionate about your online dating safety and want to give you the tools to protect yourself and that good friend looking online for a relationship.

Congratulations on your online dating search

Have a dating strategy and use it

A big cheer for taking charge of the base ingredient of a happy life.

While finding a partner creates an irrational bond with your chosen one, it is a good idea to put a lot of thinking before meeting that special someone.

Take your time

Online dating is one of the fastest ways to find a partner, while what is important is to find one that suits you.

We all want to believe in love on the first date. But you need hindsight to realise that this intuition was correct.

Set your online dating objectives

The most important of all dating safety tips! Know where you are at and what you are looking for online.

Be fair to yourself. Online dating can be free, but you must manage your time, emotional journey, and unlimited dating app options. This will enable you to make decisions and pinpoint the users you want to meet in person.

Be fair to other users. You want to be mindful of their time and efforts. Don’t seek suspicious ego boosts by collecting online matches to nowhere. We believe in karma, and these temporary lifts won’t fix anything with your long-term state of mind.

Be true to yourself. Are you ready? What stage of your life are you in? How will this be a win/win for you and this person? Can you make your life compatible with their ambitions?

What are you looking for?

Think of yourself 20 years from now. What are you looking forward to? What does this someone standing next to you look like?

Do you want to be ambitious in choosing diversity that will complement and enrich your background? Or do you prefer to play things closer to home (safer), dating people similar to you?

I planned for someone from my country to be sure my future children would stay close to me if the worst came. I also appreciated that every relationship has challenges and that sharing a similar background and proximity to friends and family would be easier.

Some of my friends marry across continents, offering incredible diversity to their children and themselves. Being exposed to diversity is an opportunity for self-improvement.

Are you looking for a big family? Are you looking to live in a city or the countryside or abroad? Do you want to have experiences or financial wealth, all of the above? Are you looking at finishing your studies and changing locations in a couple of months or years?

Many users hope to date someone that shares their religious beliefs; this makes things easier when bringing up children. Some vegetarians would prefer to date someone with the same diet. Some of us have a preference for tall or small. Some daters want perfect grammar!

List these personal ambitions online for future editing. Keep things open by default to let life surprise you!

Your date report

Create this fictional person

Give them a name, an age, a location, an occupation, parents, siblings, a bike or a car to commute with! More importantly, describe their ambitions.

You may have different options that do not fit under one persona. You can virtually build two people to work with until meeting one in the real world ;-).

Where are you at?

With your candidates lined up, why would they give you access to their life and ambitions?

Meeting someone is a two-way street; online, it is easy to become detached from reality. A dating site, Instagram and a quick search online can deliver photo and video that transports us. Human contact is much more challenging and rewarding.

There is little limit to who you can date while setting the bar high includes meeting it too.


The most obvious discrepancy is with the looks. Grab that gym membership, and remember you are chasing your persona when doing cardio on the treadmill!

Be careful what you eat. Eating has more impact on your health and looks than any level of training. Train your taste buds on flavour instead of sweet, fat and salt! This will improve your levels of stamina, how you look, your skin tone and your breath!

Stay sharp and clean. One might think that this is superficial, while this is foundational.

Right time & Location

Men find it difficult to date women their age right after their studies. Woman’s options for more stable men at that time are numerous. There is no need for men to hide in a cave but acknowledge the facts and prepare for their turn.

I’ve studied and worked abroad, moving every year while hoping to find my match in my home country. It was just not the right time or location for me to be pursuing someone.


Keep your dating ambitions from influencing your interests. Someone is going to be attracted to you because of your passions. So get out there, go to classes, exercise your talent, and be bold about who you are to meet someone equally interesting.


Sorry Disney, extreme financial differences do not play well in the real world, even when started on the internet.

While the difference in spouses’ wealth is habitual, too big of a difference needs compensation (age, brain or looks). This imbalance will create issues in the future.

It is clever to start at a close enough financial range and have shared ambitions and views on support when it comes to money.

Looking for that “high-value” spouse? Become one so you can both enjoy it and have a balanced relationship, or even better, use online dating to find someone who shares this ambition to help each other become high-value.

Why is a dating strategy so important to online safety?

A clear, ambitious and realistic online dating plan will reduce the risks of being taken advantage of. You will be purposeful, clearer in your communication and capable of empathising to make sure things make sense and “click” around a common project.

How to stay safe on Tinder and other mainstream dating apps?

Sadly not all users of online dating are there for good reasons. Someone can quickly look for their next victim through dating apps such as Tinder.

This might be for money, sexual gratification or other suspicious reasons which won’t help anyone’s mental health.

DearReal avoids these pitfalls while there are many bigger dating apps, and most users will download several dating sites.

Set up your app

How to build a safe dating profile

Secure your personal information

Keep your contact information private when creating your dating profile. There is no need to show your home address, phone number or social media profiles on dating apps.

Personal information is sometimes there when you think your identity is private.

A DearReal member has told us about being tracked through her username. She used the same username on her dating app and eBay profile. Her address details, including her house number, were found by ordering from her, and a perpetrator showed up at her doorstep.

Pick a photo that you only use for your dating sites.

DearReal’s trademark lawyer told us he was outed at work when someone did a Google reverse image search on a work photo he had also used on dating apps.

A dating profile as a Hock and deterrent

Your dating profile creates interest with compatible users and filters out incompatible ones. In a light-hearted fashion, expose your ambitions and what makes you uncomfortable. There is no need to share more personal information than what is required. You will have the opportunity to share more safely once you have established mutual interest.

Finding someone online

The safest way to date

Distinguish valuable people from lost ones.

Sadly, apart from using only DearReal, there is no way women will be able to avoid the sexual brutality and crudeness many uncomfortable messages include.

It isn’t only on Tinder; Happn has featured all the inconveniences of no-shows, lying and even more disturbing in their TV campaign as a necessary evil.

Requests for private photos have no place on dating websites and expose you to future blackmail. All this needs to be blocked and reported.

You can identify robots as they don’t incorporate your feedback in their follow-up.

Other nuisances include members wanting to move the conversation

  • on Instagram, where they aim to collect more followers
  • on WhatsApp, on a phone number or other social media where they can offer “services” or quick money bitcoin schemes while diminishing the risk of being reported and losing access to their account.

Report, report, report. It is helpful to us in policing online dating.

Meeting someone

Once you have skimmed through these uncomfortable messages and established mutual interest with a person on a dating site. Checked their ambitions are compatible with your strategy. It is time to progress.

Do some detective work

This can be done for safety or to prepare relevant topics for your first date.

Go and check their social media. You can google their name to cross-verify the information they have shared with you.

While it is easy to get pictures for your date on websites (right-click), you need to screenshot the dating profile and crop it to the size of the photo. This photo will then work with reverse image search.

Getting on a call or a video chat is a great way to prepare for the date and see if your instincts are in check. When you plan to meet, get and check the phone number, which will be much easier to trace than a deleted app account.

Plan the date

Plan for your dating safety

Choose a public location with plenty of people. Plan for something small, like a drink in a local bar or a coffee shop late in the afternoon. You can keep it nice and short for a start.

Have a friend in the loop

Let a friend know when and where you are meeting. Share your WhatsApp live location for the next 8 hours. Agree for them to call you when the date is supposed to end so they can be reassured that you are well and safe or can call for help if there is no news from you.

On the date

Be safe and happy on your first date
Say No

We have interviewed our fair share of users that met people that did not match their photos. Outdated photos, lying on weight, height or age, is not a good start. Don’t get mad; stay kind but cut your loss and learn from it (use DearReal).

Any change of plan should be suspicious. If your date is not on his own, that is not right; if there are last-minute changes in locations, that is a red flag. Your date should understand this, share your concern and make you as comfortable as possible. If this is not the case, they are not worth your time.

Watch Your glass

Sadly keep your eyes on your glass. This means downing your glass before going to the bathroom while ensuring you don’t have too much to drink on this first date. Do not take any chances here.

Ask for help

Do mention the first slightest discomfort to the waitress, the bartender, or the people at the door. Don’t let them guess. Most have received training and have ways of making you disappear without anyone noticing.

How to finish a first date?

Everything went great! You could both relax, break a laugh and open up about shared interests. How do you make sure you continue with your momentum?

Through our research, we were surprised to learn that daters are likelier to be physical with a good-looking suitor with no long-term prospects than a handsome suitor with long-term potential.

While it is tempting to set things off immediately, you will learn from your potential partner if you hold back on intimacy on the first date. That goodbye and their behaviour will tell you much about their ambitions and respect.

Why is DearReal the safest dating app?

DearReal unlocks per to per matchmaking. Users can see who is single in their immediate and extended network.

We ensure our messages are free from horrors and lies as one needs to be vouched by two friends or matchmaked to send a message.

We enable you to manage your privacy. Your profile can be only visible to

  1. your chosen matchmakers
  2. their friends
  3. everyone on the app

Register for our newsletter to take action as soon as we launch!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *