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 taser 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.