Safety First: A Guide For Safer Dating

We know that dating safety isn’t always the most fun topic to talk about. It’s much more exciting to gush over how cute your new match is or figure out how to win them over on your first date, but the truth of the matter is that dating safety is probably the most important topic we can, and should, talk about.

We want you to feel as empowered and confident as possible when dating, which means you need to know how to keep yourself safe both online and in person.

There are no answers that cover every situation when it comes to dating, but following some general safety guidelines can help ensure that you stay as safe as possible:

1. Do your homework

Guess what? Googling your date beforehand is actually encouraged. You don’t need to find out EVERYTHING about them before the date (you still want some mystery, after all) but do your due diligence and look them up. Encourage them to get their Mutual profile verified if they haven’t already, so that you know they look like the person in the pictures they are showing.

2. Don’t give out private information about yourself

Your date doesn’t need to know your mother’s maiden name or your apartment number. Never give your personal information such as credit card numbers, bank information, home address, office address, or social security number to people that you do not know.

3. Meet in a public place

If your date wants to pick you up for a remote hike or wants you to come to dinner at their house for a first date, DON’T! As harmless as it may seem, you never know what someone’s intentions might be. Play it safe and meet in a public place with lots of people around when meeting someone for the first time.

4. Arrive at the location separately

Just like you wouldn’t accept a ride from a stranger at the grocery store, don’t accept rides from people you are meeting in-person for the first time. For safety purposes, consider them strangers.  When meeting for the first time, it’s important for you to be in control of your transportation both to and from the date so that you can leave when necessary. Insist that you meet them at the location separately and provide your own transportation. Don’t have a vehicle of your own? Ask a friend for a ride, download a rideshare app, or choose to meet somewhere close enough to walk to.

5. Tell someone where you’re going

Make sure someone knows where you are going to be and how long you expect to be gone. Let them know that you will contact them with an update within a certain amount of time. Consider using your phone to temporarily share your location with a friend (just make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave!)

6. Have an exit plan prepared

If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you do not need to apologize or get permission from your date to leave. You are free to leave at any point for any reason. Have an exit plan prepared for how you would want to leave, what you would want to say and a safe location to go to. While it is important to be kind and considerate on dates, when it comes to safety, put yourself first. You do NOT need permission, and you do NOT need an excuse. 

7. Enlist the help of a waiter or worker

If you are in a public place, there is likely a waiter or a worker of some kind who you can ask for help. Tell them that you are in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. Ask them to help you safely get awayor to call the police.

8. Trust Your Gut

If you have a feeling that you need to leave the date but you can’t pinpoint exactly why, just leave. The spirit will speak to you and warn you of unsafe situations, even if you aren’t aware of them yet. Don’t worry about seeming rude! Don’t stick around and try to force it to “feel right.” If things feel wrong, get out.

If, for any reason, you felt uncomfortable or unsafe during any part of dating or using Mutual, block or report that person on the app. This will prevent them from accessing your profile in the future.

We have a support team working to weed out anyone who violates our Community Guidelines. All reports are kept completely anonymous. Relatively vague language is used to address situations, so a reported user will never know who flagged their account. While we may not always be able to share the outcome of a report, you can rest easy knowing that each one is handled by people who care.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, and you are looking for support- call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4673 🤍 Help is available. You are not alone.

If you have any questions or need additional information, don’t hesitate to reach out to support@mutual.app

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