Consent should ideally be a normalized part of flirting. But, once you match with someone online, you’re one layer removed from the other person, especially if you’ve just started texting. Navigating consent in such situations may feel challenging at first, but a good way to go about it is to lead by example.
For instance, maybe you could start by asking your match before sending a voice note or a picture if they’re okay with it. Something as basic as this may set the tone for how you can bring up consent, without even having to mention the word itself. As your conversation flows and interest evolves, consent could further extend to things like exchanging numbers or social handles if you both are comfortable with the same.
Consent isn’t just about a yes or a no, one needs to be able to hold space for the maybes as well. It’s not just a one-time conversation either because consent is so much more than permission and rules. So, bear in mind that consent practice definitely takes effort, time, energy, and space.