Staying safe when swiping right

NOW: Staying safe when swiping right

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Dating apps continue to gain popularity for finding true love - even on Valentines Day, but it can also cause some safety concerns.

The days of meeting people in person before dating may be in the past— thanks to apps like Tinder.

A recent study shows 50 percent of tinder matches have met up in real life.

From Hinge to Bumble there’s so many options, but Matt Lester a bartender at Spirited in downtown South Bend says meeting virtually doesn’t eliminate uncomfortable first dates.

“It’s important that we acknowledge that not everybody’s having the same level of fun and we have to make sure we’re communicating with those people to give them some kind of idea that they’re not alone," said Lester.

Lester who’s bartended in many major cities across the U.S. for over twenty years says he hasn’t witnessed any situations where a customer expresses they’re in danger, but he recognizes it’s a common problem — typically for females.

“My house is your house. So if you’re not comfortable in here I’m not comfortable here and I’m gonna do everything in my hands to make sure that you are comfortable," said Lester.

Across the country, bartenders have developed drinks like the angel shot - a well-known drink order that communicates you're feeling unsafe vibes.

Lester who previously had a secret menu says signals like those can sometimes be misread. He recommends pulling bartenders aside to express exactly how you’re feeling.

“I have no problem getting rid of that other person and having them kick rocks and have a great day," said Lester.

And while he might end up losing out on a customer — he says its worth it to make sure all his guests feel safe.

"In an environment like this you have to always feel comfortable and to not be scared to go out and enjoy yourself," said Lester.

Experts say arriving early to a first date to give your server a heads up — maybe even creating a code word — is another great way to remain safe.

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