The festive season is a time of merriment and creating wonderful memories with friends and family. If you’re single, watching your married/engaged friends having a wonderful time with each other may cause you to use online/mobile dating sites to find a potential ‘friend’ with whom you can enjoy the season.
However, don’t allow your haste to cloud your judgement – a ‘love at first pic’ mindset can be dangerous. At Marie Stopes South Africa, your safety is our priority. The best dating advice that we can give you is: if you plan to respond to the ‘you have a new match’, notification or email/message, and are planning to meet up, ensure that you look out for the following red flags. Also, please be aware of your surroundings and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel unsafe.
Be wary of the following three red flags
A very short (or lengthy) profile
A bio within an overall profile is meant to give you a slight peek into the life and personality of the individual. If you’ve used internet / mobile dating sites before, you’ll have seen that some people have written a couple of vague phrases (not even coherent sentences) and others have compiled their life story.
With the former, you have a minimal idea about them, and with the latter, you already know too much before you’ve even met them IRL (in real life) – it’s worth familiarising yourself with the acronyms too.
Don’t be fooled by blurry photos that almost look like Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling – this is an instant red flag (sorry, but the chances they resemble the heartthrobs is unlikely.) The individual clearly has something to hide. It’s best to delete, block or swipe left.
They talk about sex straight away
If the individual starts the conversation with vulgar pick-up lines or immediately sends sexually-explicit messages, don’t continue chatting because it says a lot about personality and intentions. You hear horror stories about ‘dates’ that have resulted in sexual and physical abuse. Besides the emotional consequences, the potential for contracting an STI or falling pregnant is a reality.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Marie Stopes is the global leader in sexual and reproductive health. If you become a victim of sexual abuse, we are here to help you, always.
In South Africa, we operate 17 centres across seven provinces and are a Section 21 non-profit organisation recognised for the quality of our clinical services and our non-judgmental, client-friendly approach.
To make an appointment for a safe abortion book an appointment or call us on 0800 11 77 85.