Dating tips are essential for teenagers and adolescents as they’re just navigating the world. Creeps and criminals can prey on their vulnerability to harm them. This is especially important in today’s digital world. Dating can be intimidating for all age ranges, especially teenagers and young adults who are inexperienced.
While it is important to explore new relationships and experiences, it is equally important to prioritize your safety and well-being.
Whether you’re meeting someone online or in-person, taking precautions can go a long way in protecting yourself from potential risks.
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 dating safety tips that every teenager and adolescent should keep in mind. So, if you’re ready to navigate the dating world confidently and cautiously, let’s get started!
Get to Know the Person Before Meeting
When it comes to dating, you need to take things slowly and get to know the person before meeting up. This is especially important for teenagers and adolescents, who may be more vulnerable to online predators or scams.
By getting to know the person before meeting them, you can ensure that you are safe and secure when you finally meet up.
Here are some dating tips for getting to know someone before meeting them:
- Communicate through messaging or phone calls: Before you meet someone, it is a good idea to communicate with them through messaging or phone calls. This can help you get to know the person better. It can also give you a sense of whether or not you are compatible.
- Ask open-ended questions: When communicating with someone online, you have to help yourself to ask open-ended questions that encourage them to share more about themselves. For example, you could ask them about their hobbies, interests, or goals for the future. Yes/No questions make it difficult to truly know someone.
- Observe their responses and how they interact with you: When you are talking to someone online, pay attention to their responses and how they interact with you. Do they seem interested in getting to know you, or are they just looking for a quick hookup? Are they respectful and courteous, or do they seem pushy and aggressive?
- Look up their social media profiles: Another way to get to know someone before meeting them is to look up their social media profiles. This can give you a sense of their interests, friends, and overall personality.
- Google their name: It is also a good idea to Google the person’s name to see if there are any red flags. For example, if they have a criminal record or a history of scamming people, this should be a major warning sign.
- Use online resources to do a background check: Several online resources can help you do a background check on someone before you meet them. These resources can help you find out if they have a criminal record, are married, or have a history of scamming people.
Meet in a Public Place
One of the most important dating tips for teenagers is to meet potential partners publicly.
Meeting in a public place can help ensure that you are safe and secure when meeting someone for the first time and can also give you a chance to get to know the person better in a safe environment.
Here are some tips for meeting in a public place:
- Choose a well-lit and populated location: When choosing a public place to meet, choose a well-lit and populated location.
- Tell someone where you are going: Before you meet someone, make sure that you tell a friend or family member where you are going and who you are meeting. This can give you an added layer of safety and security. It can also help ensure that someone knows where you are in case of an emergency.
- Don’t leave the public place: When meeting someone for the first time, stay in a public place. This can help ensure that you are safe and secure. Don’t give in to “I know a better place,” or “do you want to get out of here?”
Bring a Friend or Let Someone Know Where You Are Going
Taking a friend or trusted family member with you is an excellent safety precaution and one of the most recommended dating safety tips for teenagers or adults. Alternatively, you can tell someone where you’re going, who you’re meeting with, and how long you’ll be gone for.
If you’ll be taking someone along, they don’t have to sit at the same table with you and your date. They can keep a safe distance, monitoring what’s going on. Below are some dating safety tips for teenagers taking someone with them on a date.
- Choose a reliable friend or family member: When bringing a friend or letting someone know where you are going, choose someone reliable and trustworthy.
- Make sure they have your contact information: Before you go on a date, make sure that your friend or family member has your contact information, including your phone number and the name and address of the place you are going.
- Keep them updated: Throughout the date, keep your friend or family member updated on your whereabouts and how the date is going. This can help ensure that you are safe and secure and can also give you an added layer of protection in case of an emergency.
- Consider a code word: Another option to consider is to have a code word that you can use to signal to your friend or family member that you need help. This could be a simple phrase or word you can use in an emergency.
- Don’t be afraid to call for help: If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any point during the date, don’t be afraid to call for help. This could mean calling a trusted friend or family member or even calling the police if you feel that you are in danger.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
Romance scam is on the rise. Millions of people fall victim yearly, including adolescents and adults. Not sharing personal information and keeping personally identifiable information (PII) private are one of the best dating tips teenagers must take on board.
- Don’t give out your full name: When communicating with someone online or in person, avoid giving out your full name. Instead, use a nickname or only share your first name until you get to know the person better.
- Don’t share your address: Avoid sharing your address with someone you don’t know well. This includes your home address, school address, and any other location that could be used to track you down.
- Don’t share your phone number: Similarly, avoid sharing your phone number with someone you don’t know well. This can make it easier for someone to harass or stalk you.
- Avoid sharing personal details: When getting to know someone, avoid sharing personal details such as your social security number, bank account information, or other sensitive information. Your PII can be used to commit identity theft, making you liable for any crime perpetrated with your ID.
- Use privacy settings: When using social media or dating apps, make sure to use privacy settings to limit the amount of personal information that is visible to others.
Trust Your Instincts
No, you’re not paranoid. If something feels off, it probably is. Teenagers often feel pressured into feeling like adults, which is why trusting your instincts is one of the best dating tips anyone can give you.
- Pay attention to how you feel: When getting to know someone, pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel comfortable and safe, or do you feel uneasy or anxious?
- Trust your gut: If you have a bad feeling about someone, trust your gut. It’s better to be safe than sorry; listening to your instincts can help you avoid dangerous or uncomfortable situations.
- Take action if necessary: If you feel that something is not right or if you feel unsafe, take action. This could mean leaving the situation or seeking help from a trusted friend or family member.
Watch for Red Flags
This is another reason why you should always ask open-ended questions. Here are some red flags to watch out for in a potential partner. If you find any of these, there’s little to no reason why you should allow the relationship to blossom:
- Controlling behavior: If a prospective partner tries to control who you see, what you wear, or where you go, it’s a red flag that they may be abusive or manipulative.
- Disrespectful behavior: If your partner is disrespectful to you or others, it’s a sign that they may not value you or your feelings.
- Lying: If your partner lies about small things, it’s a red flag that they may not be trustworthy.
- Anger issues: If your partner has a quick temper or gets angry easily, it’s a sign that they may be unable to control their emotions.
- Jealousy: If your partner is jealous of your friends or other relationships, it’s a sign that they may not trust you.
- Pressure to move quickly: If your partner is pressuring you to move quickly in the relationship, it’s a red flag that they may not be respecting your boundaries.
Be Cautious of Drugs and Alcohol
When it comes to dating, it’s important to be cautious of drugs and alcohol. Using drugs or alcohol can impair your judgment and put you in dangerous situations.
- Limit your consumption: If you choose to drink alcohol or use drugs, limit your consumption to a moderate amount.
- Avoid unfamiliar substances: Avoid using unfamiliar drugs or substances, as they may be laced with harmful chemicals or drugs.
Practice Safe Sex
When it comes to dating, practicing safe sex is important and necessary. Safe sex can help prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Here are some tips for practicing safe sex:
- Use protection: Always use a condom or other form of barrier protection during sexual activity to prevent the transmission of STIs.
- Get tested regularly: Get tested for STIs regularly, especially if you are sexually active with multiple partners.
- Communicate with your partner: Talk to your partner about safe sex practices and make sure you are both on the same page.
Trust Takes Time
- Be honest: Honesty is the foundation of trust. Be honest with your partner, even if it’s difficult.
- Keep your promises: Follow through on your promises, no matter how small they may be. This shows that you are dependable and trustworthy.
- Communicate openly: Communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings, thoughts, and concerns. This helps build understanding and trust.
- Give trust to get trust: Trust is a two-way street. Give trust to your partner in order to receive it in return.
- Be patient: Building trust takes time. Don’t expect it to happen overnight.
Don’t Feel Pressured
Don’t let your friends or the media decide what’s “cool” for you. And don’t be pressured into doing what you’re not interested in.
- Know your boundaries: Be clear about what you are and are not comfortable with, and communicate your boundaries to your partner.
- Respect yourself: Remember that you have the right to say no to anything that makes you uncomfortable.
- Don’t feel guilty: Don’t feel guilty for saying no or setting boundaries. You have the right to take care of yourself and your own well-being.
- Be assertive: Lastly, if you feel pressured or uncomfortable, speak up for yourself.
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