Kindred's Dating Safety Tips
Here at Kindred HQ, your safety is paramount. It's exciting and a little nerve-wracking meeting new people in the hope of creating a meaningful relationship. It's always best to approach with caution, trust your gut and put your safety first above all else, whether interacting with someone on the app or meeting in person. Your judgment and intuition are necessary to protect yourself, so never ignore your instincts.
You can do several things to keep yourself safe when meeting people both online and in real life. We've compiled a list of advice and tips below:
Keeping safe online
Don't reveal too much
It's vital that you protect yourself and avoid divulging too much personal information when getting to know someone online or IRL. Even if you have instant chemistry, hold back on sharing too many personal details. Never include your last name, email address, home address, telephone number, place of work or any other identifying information in your profile or messages during the early days of getting to know each other.
Once you've given out personal information, you can't take it back. It only takes a few details for someone to be able to find out a whole lot about you or even find you without your knowledge or consent.
Keep the conversation on Kindred
It's always best to keep your conversations on the Kindred app while you're getting to know someone, where you have the option to block or report them if they behave inappropriately. Always be cautious if someone immediately requests to move communications off the app. Users who don't have the best intentions often quickly move the conversation to text, messaging apps, email, or phone.
Reporting any inappropriate behaviour
If someone crosses the line, we want to know about it. If a match makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened, play it safe and pause the conversation, then report them using the profile options in the app.
Don't ignore any hesitancy or feelings of discomfort – always trust your gut; you know when something feels off. You shouldn't need to talk yourself into investing in a relationship with someone you haven't met in person, so don't let a charming stranger or the urge to be in a relationship convince you to deny your gut feelings.
Here are some examples of things that should raise a red flag:
Any harassment, threats, or offensive messages/language
Requests for money
Dick pics or any other nudity/pornographic imagery
Spam or solicitation, including links to commercial websites or attempts to sell products or services
Claims to be a local but currently living, working or travelling abroad
Disappears suddenly from the app then reappears under a different name
Wants the relationship to progress faster than you are comfortable going
Asks inappropriate questions
Gives vague answers to specific questions
Anyone who will not meet in person or talk on phone/video call
Tells inconsistent or exaggerated stories
Urges you to compromise your principles
Constantly blames others for troubles in their lives
If you come across any of the above, you can report any concerns about suspicious behaviour to us from their profile page, using the contact us page, or by emailing email@example.com.
Never reveal financial information or send money
Sadly, there are many fraudsters out there who want to get their hands on your hard-earned money. Never send money or goods, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Don't share information that could provide access to your financial accounts. If anyone asks for money or pushes you to reveal personal information, report it to us immediately.
Never give out your credit card number or bank account information
Never share your mother's maiden name or other private information such as your address that could provide access to your financial information
Never send money or goods to a person
Ignore and report anyone claiming they are experiencing an emergency that requires your assistance
Protect your account details
Always keep your login information private. Create a strong password, and be careful when logging into your account from a public or shared computer. The Kindred team will never contact you asking for your username or password details. If you receive any communications asking for account information, report it to us immediately.
Be your own detective
Social media does have its benefits when it comes to dating. Before meeting a potential date, have a look at their social profiles. If the social media accounts appear brand new, be cautious. A brief look through their friend's list could also be helpful – do the accounts look legit?
Don't trust everything you see or read on social media; do just the opposite. Anyone can create a fake lifestyle, and the internet has made it far too easy for people to do just that. Explore a person's profile and test it for authenticity. If they say very little about themselves, view this as a warning as they may have something to hide.
Do bear in mind that your future date could be the type of person who is inactive or doesn't use social media, but if you've got a nagging feeling, do your research. Pay attention to the details your match shares with you. If something doesn't feel right, trust your judgement, stop the conversation and report it to us.
Meeting in real life
So, you've matched and agreed to a date, and you're feeling excited to meet in person to explore if you have chemistry. Always remember that your safety is, and always should be, your first priority. These tips can help you feel comfortable when you meet your match in person.
Take your time
Go at your own pace and get to know the person you've matched with via in-app text and video calls before agreeing to meet or share any details. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions. If you match with someone online, you have every right to ask as many questions as needed to put your mind at ease.
If they're genuine, making you feel safe and secure will be a priority for them. People can create fake personas online. If anything sounds strange or unbelievable, ask questions. If the person is defensive, you're likely on to something.
If your potential date seems desperate to meet straight away, that is not acceptable. It takes time to get to know someone, and no one should pressure you to meet the moment you connect. Take your time, and don't feel pressured to go on a date with anyone if you don't feel comfortable.
Keep it public
Arrange to meet your date in a public space for the first few times, never at a private location. You have several advantages with this option - there are other people around, and if you're in a bar or pub, they'll likely have CCTV cameras operating. Plus, should you change your mind, your date won't have your address. If your date pressures you to meet at their house, your house or an isolated location, cancel the date.
Make sure you have battery life on your phone
Charge your phone before the date and invest in a portable charger.
If you're in a public venue and your battery runs out, you can always ask the manager if they're able to lend you a charger (or put it on charge in their office). Alternatively, if it's urgent, you could explain the situation and ask to borrow a phone.
What's the safe word?
Regardless of your gender, ask your friend to call and have a code word ready to use if you need their help.
Don't worry about potentially offending your date by taking the call. If they're a decent person, they'll understand.
Send a friend, housemate or family member a quick text with the name and address of the location you've arranged to meet and the name of the person you're meeting up with and the time of your date. Be sure to let that person know when you get home safely after each date.
From A - B
You need to be in control of how you travel to and from your date so that you can leave whenever you want. If you're driving yourself, it's a good idea to have a backup plan such as a ride-share app or a friend to pick you up.
Use your own transportation or public transport, so you can leave whenever you want to. Never agree to be picked up and, wherever possible, drive yourself or use a ride-share app to get home late at night.
Know your limits
Be aware of the effects of drugs or alcohol on you, and they can impair your judgment and your alertness. When it comes to drug and alcohol consumption, don't let your date pressure you to do something you're not comfortable with. Know your limits and be confident in your decisions.
Don't leave drinks or personal items unattended. Know where your drink comes from and know where it is at all times — only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bar staff. Many substances that are slipped into drinks to facilitate sexual assault are odourless, colourless, and tasteless. Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, and anything containing personal information with you at all times.
Don't stay to be polite…EVER
It's ok to end the date early if you're feeling uncomfortable. In fact, it's encouraged. And if your instincts are telling you something is off, or you feel unsafe, ask a bartender or member of security for help. You're never obligated to stay on a date if you don't want to be there.
Does something just not feel right? That's ok, you're not impolite or rude if you decide to end the date. Just tell the date you need to leave and order a taxi home or to another place of safety. It's also a good idea to message or call a friend or family member and ask them to meet you or stay on the phone with them if you prefer.
It doesn't matter if it comes off as offensive to the other person; you have a right to leave if you don't feel comfortable.
Keep it positive
Not every match is going to be right for you, and that's ok. Ending a conversation or having a match end a chat with you is a natural and healthy part of the dating process. It can be hard to be rejected or close off communication with someone but, if you do, please be honest, direct and polite. After all, it's better to let people know than become yet another ghost.
Here are some suggestions for how to end things in a respectful and positive approach:
It was great meeting you, but I didn't feel any chemistry
I had a blast, but I got more of a friend vibe
You seem lovely, but I didn't feel a spark between us
I don't see this going in the direction of a serious relationship which is what I'm looking for
I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you, but I should be honest that I don't see a future together
I respect you, so I want to be straightforward that despite having a nice time, I don't see this going any further
Thanks for chatting with me, I don't think we'd be a good fit but best of luck
Until the next update,
Ele (Co-Founder of Kindred)