Tips To Stalker-Proof Your Dating Profile

online dating stalker

A woman recently posted this harrowing story about being stalked by a Tinder match.

An abbreviated version: a hair-stylist matched with a man on Tinder. They chatted, he asked where she worked, she explicitly tells him she doesn't like to give out that information. The conversation fizzles and she ghosts him. Apparently, he figured out where she worked by Googling all the hair salons in her area. Some time in the near future, he shows up at her job.

His justification? "She left me on read."

Okay. Let's unpack this.

First, I hate that so many apps use a GPS locator when searching for matches. Women shouldn't have to hide their distance - or anything else - on a dating app in order to avoid being stalked and harassed. But you know what? Because of this, I'm going to suggest women do exactly that. Just one more thing we have to do because certain men posses a disturbing level of entitlement.

With this story in mind, allow me to run through a few other things That Are Not Okay.

Circumventing a dating app and contacting someone using another platform. Nope. NOT OKAY! I recently saw a website for men that encourages they do this if they are struggling to get matches on Tinder. NOT OKAY!!! It's a clear breach of personal boundaries. When you have a unique name (as I do), you're easier to find by performing a simple Google search. It takes just a first name and little else. This is why I advise people who are concerned for their privacy to use an alias on their dating profiles. Not a totally fake name, but a variation of one. ie Catherine can go by Kathryn. That way, you can avoid awkward conversations about how you someone a gave a fake name, but you have reasons. No matter what that explanation is, it's going to give the impression you have a complicated back story.

Asking questions about where someone lives or works. NOT OKAY! I mean, unless you want to set off their internal stalker radar, of course. Inquiries like that will instantly put a person on the defensive. They're going to want to know why you need that information. From that point on, they're going to be extra cautious when communicating with you. When you're initially messaging or otherwise communicating with someone online, keep your questions to what they've addressed in their bio or your conversation. Never ask - and more importantly, never expect - your matches to reveal too much in regards to anything that could help you find their location.

Never - and I mean NEVER - friend or follow someone on a social media platform unless they invite you to do so. NOT OKAY! It's now commonplace to do some quick recon on your match. You hit up Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tik, etc. I get it. I'm not going to suggest you not do these kinds of searches because, please. However, you do not want your latest match to know you've already looked them up. Besides making you look too invested, it makes them feel violated. Yeah, the info is public, but that doesn't make having a stranger you just met on Hinge follow you any less invasive. NOTE: There are certain Instagram accounts that post nothing but screen shots of the crazy messages they receive from people who found them on the platform. Understand that, in .many cases, the owner of Instagram account has intentionally included their Instagram page in their bio to get followers. Call that stuff out. Aspiring influencers ask people to follow them on Instagram to build their following. Avoid these accounts as well. They are not on the app to meet someone.

You get angry when someone doesn't respond to you. DEFINITELY NOT OKAY! Hi. You're a stranger. They owe you nothing. It sucks when people cancel, or blow you off, or ghost, but that's part of online dating. I'm not saying it's polite, I'm saying learn to accept the things you can not change. As an adult, you should have learned how to read more common social cues by now. A lack of response IS a response.

You follow up with a nasty email when someone doesn't reply to your initial message. NOT OKAY! That's harassment. Full stop. Take your toys and go home.

Some additional suggestions to stalker-proof your online dating experience.