Safety and Success Dating Tips
- Meet in a public place
- Don't accept a lift
- Tell a friend where you're going
- Keep your cell on you at all times
- Don't get drunk
- Watch your drinks and belongings
- Watch body language and behavior
- Get help at any time
- Trust your instincts
- If it goes well, meet again!
So you've met someone through online dating, have been chatting for a while and now you're ready to meet them in person. First dates are always exciting but it's important to keep your personal safety in mind. No harm can come from being over-cautious; you'll both laugh about it later. If your date cares about and respects you they will respect and reciprocate your concerns. Read on for safe dating tips and dating advice for meeting offline locally.
Always meet in a populated, public place in an area that you're familiar with such as your favorite busy restaurant. A first date is not the time for a hike through the forest or any other remote rendezvous.
Meet at a time and on a day that's convenient for you. Be suspicious if your date insists on meeting at odd hours unless they have a legitimate reason.
Do not accept a lift from your date. If you can't drive to the chosen location then get a friend to drive you, take public transport or a taxi. If you can't get there by yourself don't go.
Tell a friend or family member where you're going, what time you're meeting and how long you expect to be. Give the friend a copy of your date's contact details and make sure you date knows you've done this. Letting your online dating partner know that you're giving someone else their contact is common courtesy but also makes sure they know people are looking out for you.
Keep your cell phone with you and switched on at all times. If you change locations, such moving to a different bar or restaurant, call or text message your friend to keep them updated. Arrange to have the friend call you at a specified time, such as one hour into the date, to check how things are going. Chances are you'll be having a great time and want to chat about their cute smile but if things aren't going well the call will give you an excuse to leave.
Refrain from excessive drinking or any other activity that could impair your judgment and lead to poor decision making. Sure, you're out to have a good time but if everything goes well there will be many, many more good times to come. Getting trashed is also poor dating etiquette.
Do not leave your personal belongings or drink unattended at any time. If you go to the bathroom take your phone, bag and/or wallet with you. Do not risk having your personal details stolen. Keep any drinks close to you at all times and if you've left it, leave it. Half a warm beer isn't worth risking your safety.
Be aware of your date's behavior and body language. Shows of anger, possessiveness, frustration or attempts to pressure or threaten you should set off alarm bells; proceed with great caution. Alternatively if they're sitting up and leaning slightly towards you, showing interest in your conversation and maintaining eye contact you've got a winner!
If you are made to feel uncomfortable at any time attract the attention of someone around you. Tell a waitress, a security guard, a passerby, a stranger in the bathroom - just attract the attention and support of someone around you – and leave. If your date insists on walking you to a car parked down an alley or in a deserted parking lot stop where you are, call a cab and collect your car another time. Your safety is more important that worrying about causing your date offense.
It may sound like a cliché but always trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you to leave, then leave. Similarly if your gut is telling you that you've met the most amazing person in the world, arrange a second date!