The Digital World: Safe and Honest Dating Tips

It’s almost that time of year again, folks. The time of year that many dread, and another “many” just wait for the inevitable disappointment to hit them smack-dab in the jaw. No, not your bi-annual hygiene visit at the dentist.

Something I feel is far more painful than a root canal.

Valentine’s Day

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I’m not that day’s cheerleader at all. I won’t lay it all out here today, but you can get some insight from my 2015 day of love quasi-rant.

At this very moment, there are thousands of people frantically clicking and swiping right in the hopes of not being alone on Valentine’s Day. So today, I want to take the opportunity to remind all of those cyber-daters about safe and practical ways to approach online dating.

I outlined safe dating in my “Three C’s” blog, and was recently delighted to learn that what I touched on in my Caution section is now an inexpensive app available to anyone with a smartphone. (No… I am not getting paid for what I am about to write. I am truly a fan of the app’s concept.)

Online Dating Safety Infographic

The succinct infographic above was provided by Affinityclick, who is the creator of the HushedApp. This app allows a user to purchase a second phone number for both talk and text use. With a variety of inexpensive packages available, it’s not just for dating, but also a great enhancement for small businesses. Take the booming industry of online home-based businesses, for example. Many shy away from posting their phone numbers on their sites, but some customers really just want to talk it out once in a while (especially when it comes to custom orders). What a great alternative! No pay-as you go phone to purchase or maintain.

Such an app can allow you to stay connected in a safe way without the worry of a date-gone-bad making your life a living hell with repeated texts or phone calls afterwards. Bravo HushedApp! I wish you had been around when I was on the hunt for love.

Since I’m on the topic of apps, there are some that I urge against—or at least advise to use with a Godzilla-sized grain of salt.

Do you like cilantro?

I hate, hate, HATE cilantro.

Although my mother taught me that, “Hate is a very strong word,” and encouraged me to simply say that I “don’t care for” something, I must apologize to her now, because—I HATE cilantro.

Let’s pretend there is an app that allowed people to critique food items, and I went on to blast cilantro for all the world to see. Can you give something a -2,000 score? Doubtful.

Along comes Mary-Beth from Alaska who’s never tried cilantro, but sees my scathing commentary on, what I feel, was a combined fail by both Mother Nature and God. Mary-Beth, a very trusting 13-year old, heeds my advice and steers clear of cilantro for 14 years until she meets her soul-mate, William. Billy LOVES cilantro and will add it to most everything he makes. Three years into their marriage, after countless meals that saw Mary-Beth refusing to partake in his famous ox tail goulash, Billy pulls a fast one on his beloved.

Mary-Beth comes home from a hard day of work at the local post office (it’s Christmastime, and she’s exhausted from processing the endless mountains of Amazon boxes), and Billy tells her that he has made her a very special meal without any traces of cilantro in it whatsoever.

The candles are lit, the wine is poured, and Mary-Beth and Billy have a romantic evening together. They spend hours at the table just talking, enjoying a meal made with love, and… well… falling in love a little more, as they reconnect during the harried holiday season.

The two put on their respective Snuggies and cuddle up on the sofa in front of a crackling fire with hot toddies in hand. A silent tear cascades down Mary-Beth’s cheek and she turns to Billy and thanks him for being so considerate to her by making such an effort. She tells him that she has honestly never had a meal so delicious, but is curious about one of the ingredients. It has a unique flavor that she just can’t peg, but it completely made the meal for her.

Billy takes their hot toddies and places them gingerly on the coffee table. He takes her hands in his, and looks lovingly in her eyes and tells her the truth. He tells her that the wonderful ingredient that she can’t peg was cilantro.

In that moment, Mary-Beth curses me to the ends of the earth, yet also kicks herself for missing out on so many years of consuming such an amazing herb with her meals. She vows never to trust anyone’s opinion ever again.

My point? My long, drawn out, illustration?

There are rating apps available to rate a date (none of which I will do the service of acknowledging here today). An app where you can rate your experience with another human being.

What if Josh is to you, what cilantro is to me? But yet, Josh is to someone else what cilantro is to Billy?

What if you are actually the loathful cilantro in this case? Before you post that scathing review about Michael, the handsome-yet-misunderstood Pharmacist from Albuquerque, take a breath, and be honest about what your intentions really are.

If you are frustrated with the dating world, and feel you need the upper-hand of using such an app, please:

  • take it with the biggest grain of Kosher salt you can find
  • remember that not everyone is going to have a positive connection
  • take an honest look at yourself if you’re encountering repeated dating failures

Bottom line—date safe, date smart, date with an open mind, date without cilantro.

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