I posted a comment on this thread and decided to post and elaborate on my comment here about safety tips for meeting people online. The thread in question had women discussing how TIMs had tricked them into going on dates and how the apps are overrun with them. I only have three so feel free to add more below as I think sharing the experience of meeting people online will really help other women not get roped into being tricked on dates with creeps.
We used to have a lot more concerns about meeting people online but with the number of dating apps increasing we’ve lost a lot of the sense of danger around meeting people online, especially as there are TIMS desperate to break into lesbian spaces and sleep with lesbians.
Schedule a “FaceTime date”. You need to verify that they are who they say they are and they’re not doing any fancy photoshop or using anyone else’s pictures. If they refuse, no date, if they won’t turn the camera on, no date, if they won’t speak, no date etc. Double check their profile and google their username. They will sometimes post links on their profile that will take you to TikTok accounts or Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts. Check their tagged photos as well as the ones they’ve uploaded themselves - some great aunt on Facebook might have uploaded a picture of them and tagged it which shows them in their full male glory and not the photoshopped woman they seem on their profile. I’ve also read that TIMs have taken photos of their girlfriends holding up todays newspaper or holding paper with usernames on. If you can agree to a FaceTime date and actually speak to them a regular handmaiden girlfriend will get uncomfortable quick, it’s one thing to take a photo of them holding a piece of paper, you can almost do that without even fully disclosing why your doing it, but to be complicit in an entire FaceTime date? There are going to be a lot of women uncomfortable with lying to that extent.
First date, make it something quick like a coffee. Have a time limit in mind - you’ve got somewhere else to be afterwards, if your at risk of loosing yourself then make plans for afterwards. You don’t stray from anywhere public.**** I’ve got taxis to and from these dates to avoid someone knowing my licence plate number or following me on public transport. If you get there and it’s a TIM you don’t go anywhere private with him, don’t give him the oppertunity to follow you to a parking lot, you drink your coffee and you GTFO. Coffee shops are good because they’re public, there’s no alcohol and the date can be short. If you like the person you can schedule another one quickly but if the person who turns up isn’t what you thought they’d be or something goes wrong you can exit quickly and sober - this goes for meeting regular lesbians not just the possibility of a TIM turning up. Don’t stray from this date (going off on walks, going to get lunch, whatever) even if your having a good time you can make another one where you have dinner or go for drinks. If it’s a real adult human female lesbian who’s come and you like each other you can schedule your next date together there and then (because in my experience women are crap at nailing down dates) but if you don’t like them you can blow it off with “I need to check my schedule, so sorry I’ve got to go I’ve really got to prep for my work meeting/ pick my kids up from school/ visit my sick grandpa at the vets byeeeee”.
Someone needs to know where you are for the duration of the date and be available if needed. Lots of apps have geolocation sharing which I do with my friends - some of them will let your friends see where you are on the map until you switch it off. That way they can act if you stray from where you intended to be. There are apps you can download where if you shake your phone it can send emergancy texts, or just send one yourself from the coffee shop bathroom if things go awry and your scared. Make plans with your friends of what you’ll do in emergancy situations, I’ve had people get funny with me when I’ve had to take an “emergency call” from a friend to leave in a hurry. So, for example, if you’ve turned up on a date and there’s a TIM there (even after you’ve verified, people can still lie online as previously discussed) you can make an prior arrangement with a friend who isn’t too far away, maybe the reason your date to the coffee shop is short because the prior arrangement you have is meeting your friend afterwards and your going to work on something together (in my experience men tend to be more respectful when something is a “work” thing over study or time with friends but they’re certainly not always like that). If your friend is close by your emergency arrangement could be her and her boyfriend comming to that coffee shop. It’s good where possible to have a man help bail you out of this situation (a brother, cousin, dad, uncle, friend, friends boyfriend etc) TIMs do not respect women because they’re misogynists but they have more respect for men and they’re more likely to back off in that circumstance. If there isn’t a man available a friend will do because just the presence of another person should ward him off.
Please feel free to add your other safety tips! I also posted this in o/lesbians