CLOSER NEWS REPORT
Twenty per cent of the UK population use dating apps, but a third of women on them have been emotionally or physically abused. We meet two women taking action to stay safe…
Jade Gani has been single and using dating apps for almost seven years. In that time, she’s been ghosted, stood up and –terrifyingly –stalked. Now she’s taking matters into her own hands and doing her best to check out potential suitors before she meets them. Jade does a reverse image search, Googles them extensively and checks social media –and she’s joined Facebook group “Are We Dating The Same Guy?”, which posts pictures of men to warn other women off. The movement started in New York in 2022 and has spread internationally. The London group alone has 80,000 members.
Jade, 33, who’s a lawyer from Bracknell, says, “Dating these days can be soul destroying. Men on the apps treat you as a disposable commodity. It’s made me disengage –I don’t particularly bother to get dressed up anymore, as you’re likely to be cancelled as you walk out of the door.”
She adds, “I ended it with one man and he bombarded me with calls and messages. When I blocked him, he called from a friend’s phone and threatened to turn up at my work. It took me telling him I’d call the police for him to stop. It was terrifying.
“I now do a host of checks, such as insisting on seeing their social media. I’ve discovered men are married, and I recently posted a potential man who seemed a bit intense on the Are We Dating The Same Guy? group and 10 women warned me off. I see it as saving me time and energy –it’s the only sensible thing to do these days.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by matchmaking expert Lara Besbrode, MD of The Matchmaker UK. She tells Closer, “The dating scene is worse than ever. The number of people coming to us has doubled because we do such extensive checks –we need to because it’s so problematic out there.
“Dating without doing checks is dangerous. To have a safe dating journey, you must vet the person before you exchange numbers. I can’t emphasise how important this is. Ninety-five per cent of our female clients have experienced unpleasantness on their dating journey. The problems range from lying about looking for a committed relationship to physical, mental and financial abuse.”
Relationship expert Emma Pruen runs workshops on finding love. She says, “While apps are here to stay, we suggest going back to old-school dating. So, do a hobby you love and meet someone organically if you can. Also work on your other relationships, with friends and family, so you don’t put all the pressure on finding a relationship.
“And if something goes wrong, remind yourself it’s their problem if they lie or