In a time when people barely look up from their phone in public places, online dating
seems to be the only answer for those seeking for a partner. Whether you are a busy person who doesn’t have a spare time to meet new people, or an introvert who is uncomfortable taking the first step to get to know someone, online dating can help many people find their ‘match’, or – in some cases – ‘the one’. But enter the scammers, the catfishes (someone who pretends to be someone they’re not), and the harassers, and online dating can look like a frightening field.
Imantya Putri, Image and Dating Coach from Indonesia-based online dating platform Setipe.com, gave some insights during February’s session of Ruang (Ny)aman themed “Woman in Online Dating” at Ke:Kini Co-Working Space in Central Jakarta.
“Many people still feel that Indonesians aren’t suitable to use online dating sites or applications. But the fact is since 2013 Setipe has recorded 287 couples who met through our platform and ended up getting married. So it’s not true that online dating is not suitable for Indonesian,” said Putri, who is married to a man she met through an online dating site.
She debunked the myth that most men in online dating platforms are just there to fool around instead of looking for serious type of relationship. She said 51 percent of Setipe users are men.
“I have some male clients who think the same: that women just want to play around. So it’s not just women who feel that way,” she added.
She gave some tips for successful online dating:
- Build a standout online profile
“There are hundreds and thousands of online dating users, and some of those will come across your profile. Draw your passion and confidence in your profile. Build a good image, but don’t try to be someone else,” explained Putri.
“Some users might be scammers, that is why background check is important to prevent it from happening,” said Putri. “Always do a background check of all the information you receive about your match. You need to ensure whether they are real or fake. Make sure you’re not getting catfished.”
- Meet up
“Online dating is just a platform that facilitates you to meet many new people. But people are way more than the profile that you see on your phone screen. Meet them in person. The real interaction is direct interaction, so you would know if there is a chemistry between you and your match,” said Putri.
- Block and report the abusers
Putri said that women who receive online harassment through online dating platforms should block the user right away. “If the platform provide the report option, report it, so the platform would follow up the incident,” she added.
And here are some of the things to avoid:
- Giving out personal data
“If they ask for your personal information, there is a big chance that they are a fraud. Be wise enough to know who has good intention and who doesn’t,” said Putri.
- Suspicious places
Putri said to be alert if your match asked the first meet to take place at a private place such as their or their friend’s house or apartment, or in a hotel room. She also suggested to be cautious upon the first meeting. “For safety, make sure at least a friend or family member knows about it. If needed, use the WhatsApp live location feature,” she suggested.
The risks of scams, fraud and harassment aside, online dating is nothing to fear off.
“The most important thing is to always be on alert, but without closing your path to find the one,” said Putri.
This month’s Ruang (Ny)aman session on March 21 will be discussing the topic of “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”, at Ke:Kini Co-Working Space, Cikini, Central Jakarta. If you’re interested, register here.
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