Do you really know who you're meeting when you set up a hookup date from an app? 

Author Tom Driver and editor Jake Hook give us their top tips on making sure you’re more informed before setting out on a date.

Tips on using dating apps like Grindr safely,

Prove the picture is him

tilt shift lens photography of person holding magnifying glass
Photo by fotografierende on

If he has a profile photo and you are meeting through an app, right-click the image and do a google image search it to make sure it is him. It will be very clear, quickly if the picture is a stock photo.

Name check

If you have a forename and surname back to the search engine and check out social media accounts, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Web trawl

Your research could mean you will be able to cross-reference the image to make sure it is current. Find out about his hobbies. Read his posts and find out about likes and dislikes. Check out his family and friends.

There may be professional profiles enabling you to look at the work play contrast.

Chat with him before a date


Is the guy a big drinker? If so go for a meal unless you are thinking of loosening him up and getting into the sac.

For a meal, you may already know where he likes to eat or perhaps a favourite food. Coffee or Cognac? All this insider information could make you look intuitive and compatible. Just remember if he knows all there is about you too, it is time to smile at each other and reveal you are both members of Stalkers Anonymous!

“STOP THE BUS!” You will have a foot in the door and established a rapport with these cheats, but now it is time to interact.

First Date Advice

Best advice for a first date is listen and learn. You already know about yourself, so give the guy some time to tell you about him. Wait and see if he wants to learn about and ask about you.

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If he loves puppies and brought you flowers (did I mention a small gift as an icebreaker) is attentive and smiles a lot, brushing aside questions about himself, he could be a keeper.

Get Out Clause

Have an out option in case he is not for you and the thought of spending another minute with him is hell on earth. I usually have a text ready to send and a friend primed to call me if I am bored, frightened or falling into the whirly pits of despair with a guy on a first date.

Bring an extra battery

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Don’t get caught out with the dreaded 5% battery warning. Make sure your phone is fully juiced and that you have a charging cable and an extra battery pack. Having an UBER account (if they operate in your area) on your phone with an up-to-date credit card is also essential.

Let someone know

Letting your flat/housemates, or friends or family know you’re out for the night is a good policy to have. Write down the address of the place you are going. Also, let your date know that you’ve let other people know that you’re out with them.

About the author: Tom Driver

Disillusioned and back in the closet man who likes other men.

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Strongly opinionated, possibly outdated. Genuine, cynical, candid and consider I have a humourous outlook.

Older than acceptable in Gay circles, larger of frame than is fashionably desirable.

Looking for a platform to share my views and listen to others