For a lot of people, going on their first dates can be scary. Not only are you letting yourself be open and honest about your emotions, but you’re also meeting a stranger that you may have only known online. Some are even hesitant to meet their dates because of their fear of sexual assault.
While several aspects are beyond your control, there are things that you can do to make you feel safe when going out on a date. Read more to learn a few tips about how to stay safe when meeting someone online.
Let your loved ones know
One of the first things you need to do is let at least one person know your location. You can share your actual time location or GPS so that other people will know where you are. Another way to let them know your status is by creating a safety code system with any of your loved ones if you need to go out. For instance, you can send a message to a friend with a code word, and they’ll immediately call you and pick you at your location. Another way is to set a meet up in a public place and buy your drinks. Also, it’s best not to accept their offer to take you home or go to their location.
Screengrab their pictures
If you have seen the series Catfish, then you’re already familiar with how people use another person’s online profile to create their own. That’s why days before the date, screengrab a few of their pictures and do an online search using their image. You can also send a screenshot of your messages to any one of your trusted loved ones that shows their name, contact details and where you’re going to meet.
Let others know your date’s details
Tell at least one of your loved ones all the essential details that they need to know about your date. It can be their address, place of employment or even your date’s background. Remember that you’ll probably go to a busy place when you’re on a date. You can use it to your advantage by getting his registered number and sending it to your friend or any one of your family members. Then, let them know the status of your date so that they’ll know how you’re doing.
Meet in a public place
It’s always best to arrange your date in a public place where there are many people around. It can be a shopping centre, a café or even a restaurant. If your date makes you feel uncomfortable or if you notice any red flags during your conversation, then it’s best to leave. Remember that you’re not obliged to stay or explain yourself about your decision to leave. If you feel any signs that make you feel uneasy, don’t hesitate to trust your gut.
Arrange your transportation
When you’re meeting with someone for the first time, arranging your means of transportation is a practical choice. It’s wise to avoid letting your date know your address until you feel comfortable with them. You can either drive yourself to the dating place or get someone to pick you up. What’s important is that your date won’t have to pick you up or take you home.
Keep some extra cash stashed
Bringing some extra cash into your purse is also an excellent idea. Anything can happen during your date. Having some extra money can be handy, especially if you lose your bag or get stolen. In that way, you wouldn’t have to rely on your date for some funds. It’ll also show how prepared you are when something unexpected happens.
Keep a self-defence tool handy
You won’t know what’ll happen during your date. So, it’s best to get yourself ready in case something goes awry. Bringing a self-defence tool within your reach can be a practical option, especially if it makes you feel safer. You can consider bringing a pepper spray or a mace and putting it somewhere just within your reach. You can even use your ring as a self-defence tool too.
Have an exit plan
You should plan your route home before going out on your date. It’s highly advisable, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the place. If you can’t bring a car, you might want to consider knowing how to get in and out of the area via public transport. It’s also best to let any of your loved ones know your location.
Most people often have lovely experiences when it comes to dating. However, it also wouldn’t hurt if you stay alert with everything that’s going on. You can always keep the tips mentioned in mind to ensure that you and your date feel comfortable around each other. So, don’t be afraid to have fun as you get to know others as you explore your city.
First Date Ideas
First dates are notoriously tricky. There are a few crucial things to take into account since you might not have spent any time with the person in person and may only have interacted with them in a friend group. Time is first. You might want to arrange a first date that you can leave early if the two of you really don’t click. Hey, there’s a good reason drinks or coffee dates are so common. Second, chitchat. The best date ideas encourage conversation so you can get to know one another better. The phrase “dinner and a movie” has come to be associated with this because it allows you to learn a little bit about the other person before you even consider doing the movie.
These first date suggestions go above and beyond because you are anything but the norm. There is something for everyone, from active people who like to get a conversation going while they work up a sweat to indoor cats who prefer more sedentary activities. If you and your new sweetie can’t be in the same meatspace, we have options for crafty, foodie, culture-loving, and even long-distance first dates. Good luck out there, lovers!
Active First Dates
- Take a walk. Put your shoes on and head outside. Pick a populated, well-lit walking path, a nearby park, or take a stroll down the main street of your hometown. If you run out of things to say, you can always remark on the surroundings.
- Go skating. Ice skating or roller skating is a traditional date activity. If you’re not an expert skater, you can laugh at each other’s wobbling while holding hands to steady yourself. To keep the fun going after, stop for hot cocoa or visit the snack bar.
- Play tennis or pickleball. What are you waiting for to get on the pickleball bandwagon if you haven’t already? The rules are simple enough for anyone to quickly learn, and it’s a fun way to get your heart rate up.
- Take a dance class. Yes, anyone is welcome to go dancing at the club. But enrolling in a course to train your two left feet to work together will demonstrate that learning is hot.
- Do couples’ yoga. Nothing brings you closer together like deep breathing and meditative movement. Additionally, you’ll glow afterward from being healthy.
- Ride bikes. Take a cue from the neighborhood children and ride your bike. Bonus points if the picnic is cute.
- Try rock climbing. Visit a gym for indoor climbing to evaluate your upper body strength. Fear not; most have instructors available for complete beginners.
- Go kayaking or canoeing. This one involves some risk because you’ll need to work together to row and, if things don’t go well, you’ll all be stuck in the boat together. Stick close to the shore if you’re nervous so you can escape if necessary.
Creative First Dates
- Take a paint and sip class. At one of these occasions, even those with the worst artistic abilities on the planet can produce something lovely. You’ll also be able to observe how well they follow instructions.
- Build a fire. Make a roaring fire indoors or outdoors in an area that has been approved for fires to channel your inner Boy or Girl Scout. Remember that there’s more!
- Learn a tik-tok dance. Yes, you’ll appear ridiculous. No, it’s unlikely that you’ll gain widespread popularity. However, if there is a better way to get over first date jitters than dancing around like a fool, we haven’t heard of it.
- Make a craft. If you’re not the DIY type, pick up a crafting kit or get your favorite art supplies out and create something with your hands. You’ll have something to show for your time even if no sparks fly.
- Sing karaoke. Either you’ll wow your date with your singing ability or you’ll both get to laugh at how tone deaf you are. In either case, it’s a blast.
- Take a cooking class. Practicing your knife skills while taking pleasure in food you prepared yourself? You will definitely have a great time.
- Visit an art gallery. Nothing inspires you to be more creative than admiring the talent of others. There is also a ton of conversation starters everywhere you look.
- Read a romance novel together. They serve as a sort of manual for love, don’t you think? The more pungent and blush-inducing, the better.
Indoor First Dates
- Hit up a museum. Museums give you plenty to ponder, whether it be history, science, or an odd and zany exhibit (World’s Largest Ball of Twine, anyone?). Discuss your findings in the cafe that follows.
- Challenge them to trivia. Everyone of us has at least one subject that we could talk about for hours. Discover theirs.
- Watch a sports game. If you really get into it, even high school basketball can be a ton of fun. We also advise you to give it your all.
- Go wine or beer tasting. Local breweries, distilleries, and wineries frequently offer tours and tastings. Learn something new about your preferred libation as a fun diversion from the usual drinks date.
- Shop for antiques. Find the strangest, coolest, or spookiest item in the store, then challenge your friends to find it.
- Go to an arcade. Visit an arcade to reconnect with your middle school self. They might even get you a plush toy.
- See a play or a concert. Well, dinner and a movie and this one do have a lot in common. However, promoting the arts is hot, and you can tell a lot about someone by the music or plays they recommend.
- Visit an aquarium. Clams can “scoot” across the ocean floor, in case you didn’t know. Add some interesting fish facts to your arsenal of cocktail party conversation starters.
- See a drag show. Drag shows are a ton of fun because they are flirtatious, sometimes with adult themes. Bring singles for tipping, don’t forget.
- Go bowling. I know those shoes don’t go with your outfit, but is there a better way to flirt than to ask them to help you with your form? Did not believe so.
Cute First Dates
- Have a picnic. Eating outside has such a lovely quality. Bring your favorite wine, cheese and crackers, sliced fruit and vegetables, or whatever else your little heart desires, along with a blanket or just an old sheet.
- Choose library books for each other. Since you can’t discuss a specific level in the library, choose books that you believe the other person will enjoy, and then read them aloud to each other over coffee.
- Visit a cat cafe. There will be other cute people there besides just the two of you.
- Shop for records. You’ll start talking about your favorite musicians as you search through the bins for the best find.
- Go stargazing. There is an app for that, yes. Warm beverages, a cozy blanket, and cuddling are strongly advised.
- Play a board game. Bring out your previous favorites or visit a gaming café to try out some fresh options. After the event, the loser is required to pay for dinner or drinks.
- Pretend to be tourists. Even if it’s just a stroll down the main street, every city or town has something that only tourists do. If you do that, your hometown (and hopefully your date) will win your heart.
- Go bird-watching. It is currently popular for a reason. You won’t believe how contagious the excitement of catching a new species is.
- Check out the zoo. You will definitely laugh as you watch the animals there and their adorable antics.
- Shop at a thrift store. Set a spending limit and choose outfits for one another; the more original, the better.
Some people may have a personal rule that they never leave a first date with someone. Determining this boundary can help you gauge how safe you feel around someone. If they try to cross this line, it’s a big red flag; if they accept it without hesitation, it’s a green flag.
If you choose to get close on a first date or decide to visit someone again for the first time, hopefully, this is because they have given you all the assurances you need to feel secure.
Having a check-in person is probably the best thing you can do when it comes to protecting yourself from violence after going home with someone. It’s difficult to predict how people will treat us when we’re dating. Making a safety plan should enable you to feel and act more securely.