By Jolene Moore / Staff writer

“How can I make sure I’m being safe when using dating apps?” – Christine

Dear Christine,

Online dating can be scary, but sometimes in the end, it can also be rewarding.

Whether it’s just a one-night stand, a two-month relationship, or even a lifelong thing, there are certain precautions you should consider before meeting strangers online.

When I started using the Tinder and Bumble apps, I was beyond nervous not only to talk to new men, but also having to meet up with them for food or watching Netflix. What I would do to protect myself was making sure at least two people knew the exact address of where we were meeting up, along with them knowing the first and last name of the person I was meeting, and giving them updates on my well being all through the night.

It’s also best that you, as a woman, call the shots on where to meet and what to do. Your comfort and safety are the most important in this case. A way to make sure of your safety is to drive yourself to wherever you are meeting your person so if it starts to get weird you don’t have to ride home with them. Also, if you’re drinking anything, protect that drink. Do not leave it unattended, and make sure you open the drink yourself. If you do leave your drink unattended, ask for a new one when you come back.

If your date of the night starts to leave an uneasy feeling in your stomach, there are ways to leave the date without sparking a fight or notifying the person you are with that you don’t want to be there anymore. One way to accomplish this is to excuse yourself outside or to the bathroom and shoot a text to a close friend to call you in a few moments and make up an excuse such as a car accident, your sibling needs to be picked up or some kind of emergency that you absolutely have to leave them for.

Now, it might sound a little crazy or overbearing but it’s better to be safe than, you know, dead. But, honestly, the best advice I can give is to relax and have fun. Try to get to know at least their favorite animal, even if you never plan on seeing them again. It’s nice to be comfortable with the man or woman you’re spending your time with. Be comfortable, but be wary.

Jolene Moore is a Hutchinson freshman in General Studies. To have your dating or relationship question(s) answered by Collegian staff members, email You can leave a different name to protect your identity if you choose.

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