A study by cybersecurity company Kaspersky has revealed that dating app users have become more anxious about meeting face-to-face with their matches.
The survey, conducted among 18,658 users across 27 countries last June, shows that four in 10 dating app users prefer to meet with someone only if he or she has a vaccine certificate.
In fact, the number of people who do not meet any of their dating matches offline has more than doubled from 16% to 35%. Overall, 50% of users feel nervous or unsafe (18%) when they meet a date in person for the first time.
In order to alleviate some of these worries, the majority (72%) of those who use online dating sites and apps want to first talk by phone or video with a date before they agree to meet.
“Dating apps have made it possible to connect with new people during the pandemic—virtually. A physical encounter is something else entirely. It’s about body language, smell, and touch. Only when these components come together can we really decide how we feel about that person,” said therapist Birgitt Hölzel from the Munich practice Liebling + Schatz.
“The pandemic has shaken us,” Hölzel continued. “The insecurities, especially on the level of physical contact are enormous. That’s why it’s a normal reaction for dating app users to play it safe – by insisting on meeting only those who take their need for security and safety seriously. Because feeling like you’re being taken seriously is an essential aspect of building a successful partnership.”
Meanwhile, Kaspersky experts and Stefan Ruzas, therapist from the Munich practice Liebling + Schatz, recommend doing the following to make online and offline dating safe and enjoyable:
- Share photos that don’t give away information such as your address or employer.
- Use the built-in messenger function of dating platforms instead of sharing your phone number or other messaging apps.
- Use an effective security solution that offers advanced protection across multiple devices. Kaspersky Security Cloud can help manage your apps and remove permissions where this is not necessary.
- Always meet in public the first few times, whether it’s at a restaurant or going for a walk.
- Give someone you trust all the details of your meeting – when, where, and who.
- Do not meet near to where you live and do not share your address right away.
- If you have an uneasy feeling about a person, end the date. You are not obliged to do anything.