answers to your quesƟons about sex and relaƟonships Any tips when using Tinder or other dating apps? When it comes to online dating, everyone seems to have an opinion. But whether you think swiping right is the ultimate way to meet your future bae, or the end of dating as we know it – the reality is that it’s here to stay. The following tips can help keep you safe and may even increase your odds of finding love in the time of Tinder: . Do your homework – Remember how you had to cite multiple sources in that last paper you wrote? Take the same approach with your potential dates by cross-referencing them on social media to avoid being catfished. Look at their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles to see if things check out, and pay attention to their posts. . Take your time – A lot can come to light in the period between when you “meet” someone online and before the big offline reveal. Chat with them until you feel comfortable sharing your number, but not before. As the Tinder website states, “We don't conduct criminal background checks on our users, so it’s up to you to do your own research and remain cautious.” . Meet in public – Ready to see if the real thing matches that perfect profile pic? Meet up in the daytime, in a public place – local coffee shops are usually a good bet. Consider bringing a friend along or at least choose a place where you know a friend is not far away. . Bring yourself – Be in control of your own transportation to the meet up spot, whether it’s driving, taking a cab, walking, etc. Don’t accept any offers to get picked up at home. . Tell a friend – If you are heading out alone, be sure to tell a friend who you are meeting and where you are going. Charge your phone beforehand so you can stay connected. . Avoid booze – To keep your judgement clear for those first initial encounters. . Use your head – ...and trust your gut. They are still your best defense against sketchy people and scenarios in the brave new world of mobile dating. Have a question? Email it to email@example.com SexTalk is written by Lee Ann Hamilton, MA, CHES, David Salafsky, MPH, and Carrie Hardesty, MEd, CHES, health educators at The UA Campus Health Service. Get the latest SexTalk delivered to your inbox every Monday! www.health.arizona.edu • . .