We are in the age where digital connections, whether fleeting or for the long term, are being widely embraced. Dating apps can help us find hookups, partners, friends with or without benefits, and those classic queer ambiguous connections. As a powerful avenue for exploration and connection, dating apps can be fun and empowering. At the same time, it’s important to remember to make space for taking care of your own mental health, especially in a space that often makes one feel disposable.
When navigating the world of online dating it is important to consider what information to share, and what to keep private. When selecting pictures for your profile, use pictures you wouldn’t mind other people seeing. Remember dating apps are public services and places.
In both your profile and conversations, it is important to be clear with your intention to make sure you truly are a good match for each other. There is no shame in stating your expectations or intentions and being upfront about what you are looking for whether it be casual sex, companionship, long term relationship, or whatever else. There is also no shame in these intentions changing over time.
Don’t be afraid to ask a match questions that will help you check your compatibility and uncover any red flags. Communicating questions directly can set the stage for a more successful and satisfying date. It’s a good idea to ask a match what they are looking for directly so that you can clarify expectations and find a good fit. You might also want to ask questions that might give you insight into their beliefs and values.
For example: “Have you ever watched RuPaul Drag Race?” or “Did you like the Barbie movie?” By asking these types of questions early on, you can avoid being stuck on a date with someone who thinks things like we shouldn’t have gender-neutral washrooms, and find someone more aligned with your worldview. Similarly you can ask age-related questions to verify that the person you’ve matched with isn’t misrepresenting their age. Asking questions that people of a certain demographic should know can help you be sure you’re talking to the right person. For example: “What was your favorite show on YTV growing up?”
Be sure to prioritize your safety when meeting someone from an online platform by meeting in public places and sharing your plans with a friend or someone you trust.
Avoid excessive alcohol or substance use on dates to ensure clear judgment and safety.
It’s okay to look up your date online to verify their identity and ensure they are who they claim to be.
Before meeting in person, consider having a video call to verify the person’s identity and build trust.
Dating apps are becoming more niche, so take time to explore which ones are the best fit for you. Remember, care for your mental health first and foremost. Recognize if you need time away from the apps to reset.