Dating can be a very fun way of meeting new people and finding that special someone. Unfortunately, in this day and age, everyone needs to be a bit cautious. I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish me and my friends could date without worrying about whether or not the guy or girl across from us has bad intentions, but it is better to be alert and wary than to end up in a dangerous situation. I wish this list wasn’t necessary, but it very much is. Here are some of my tips for having a safe first date:
1. If possible, get a second opinion: If online dating, show their profile/social media to someone with a good creep detector, and actually their advice under consideration. They may be seeing something that you can’t. Of course, only so much can be seen in a photo or their bio, but sometimes you can find some pretty glaring warning signs.
2. Text someone where you are and who you’re with: This is so important. Before any first (or even second or third) date, make sure you always let at least someone know your location and the name of your date. If the date goes on longer than expected, send that person a text to let them know you’re still okay. And of course, tell them when the date ends.
3. Public spaces are the best places: Never, I repeat, NEVER go to a person’s house on the first date. If you are really interested in dating, then go on a proper date somewhere public and safe, preferably a coffee shop. Coffee is an excellent first date because you can make a quick getaway if you need to.
4. Be sober: A bar doesn’t make for a great first date in general, especially if either of you are drunk. For one, it’s good to have your wits about you on a date. For two, a lot of bad things can happen to drunk people in bars or clubs (though I am in not saying in any way that an intoxicated person is at fault for anything bad that happens to them). It’s just a sad fact that drunk people are at a higher risk of being taken advantage of by their dates, friends, or even complete strangers.
5. Never get into their car: This is basically the same principal as not going to their home. You are in a private space, not in control of where you’re going, and completely at the mercy of their whim. Plus, it’s a lot harder to make a quick escape if necessary.
6. Trust your gut: This is by far the most important tip that I can offer. Have you ever had the instinct that something wasn’t right? You couldn’t pinpoint why, but you just knew deep down that something wasn’t right? That’s your gut talking to you. And sadly, so many people disregard their instincts as paranoia or nervousness, and as result, end up in some scary situations. Never ever ignore what your gut is telling you. It is one of the most important tools that you have and it works hard to keep you safe.