It’s a difficult world for single folks, and despite online dating being a relatively safe way to meet new people (provided you take certain precautions), you can never tell who you might encounter.

Like the time certain unwitting Tinder users chatted with a sweet young girl who came across as really nice until they discovered she was actually a robot designed to trick you into engaging with her on the app, following which you were directed to an ad for Ex Machina, a recently released sci-fi film about the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Talk about being scammed, that too ironically!

While being careful online is possible and relatively easy to ensure, what about when your date wants to meet offline? Sure you can stage a setup with hidden cameras so your date is screened and recorded for evidence in case they try anything funny, but that really isn’t the attitude you want to start a potential relationship with.

There are plenty of articles, podcasts and videos on how to prepare for a first date, what to say and what to definitely not say, but nothing really empowers you enough to deal with a first date, which can be stressful territory, especially with all the pressure to pick the perfect venue, outfit, drink, meal and of course, conversation topics. Check out the advice for sure, but base your actions on each individual situation, and decide what things are just the ultimate deal breakers that can influence whether you go on to a second date, or have to return to the drawing board, or your favorite dating app. Just be sure you’re not talking to a robot!

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Read More:
5 First Date Faux Pas You Must Avoid
5 Common Online Dating Mistakes To Avoid

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.