Screen-Shot-2013-11-14-at-10.22.18Nigeria is very homophobic which drives same sex relationships underground. Then came the Internet (I often wonder how men hooked up in the 80s, but that’s matter for another day).

Anyway we depend on the Internet with mobile apps to meet with someone these days. However there is the possibility too that these apps and sites have been infiltrated by gay bashers. Knowing the society we live in, avoidance is key.

These are my tips for secure Internet dating or “market hustling” as some of my friends call it (LOL).

1. Trust your instincts.

I think this is one of the biggest tools we have. If something doesn’t feel right, do not go forward with it. I often say that it’s better your instincts were wrong and you obeyed them, than they were right and you did not heed them. So if you have reservations about meeting someone, don’t!!! It could save your life.

2. Give out very little details.

When you meet someone online and start communicating with them via social media, share very little personal information until you get to know them well enough. Do not give out your address, the name of the company you work for, your department in school etc. Engage while giving out very little information until you are sure of his intentions.

3. Have a trusted friend who knows everything.

You should have a friend who knows details of whom you are meeting, his number, where you are meeting him etc. Get rid of petty jealousy and let a trusted friend know your movements. It may save your life.

4. Always meet in a public place for the first meeting.

Pick a cinema, an eatery, a crowded mall etc for a first date. Don’t ever invite someone to your house or go to someone’s house or hotel until you get to know them well and become comfortable with them. Also when you do meet them, be observant and if something doesn’t feel right, please walk away. You can always get shagged another day!

5. If possible have a friend escort you to your first date.

He can sit a few tables away. Two sharp eyes are better than one…LOL.

Being safety conscious is very important, and in a country in which it will be the basher’s word against yours, you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Be vigilant, every one, and have a great day.

Written by Dennis Macaulay. He works as a Brand Executive in Port Harcourt. Follow him on twitter @Eko_bloke

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