Safe dating can seem a lot harder in our culture of meeting people in coffee shops and on dating apps and websites.
Although it’s definitely easiest to date people who you’ve known for a while, sometimes you meet people in the strangest places and really hit it off. Grocery store, coffee shop, you name it! But when you’re going on dates with people you’ve only just met, safety can be even more of a concern than with people you’ve known for a while.
Something I’m really passionate about is helping girls make wise choices, even if they aren’t as fun or easy as what everyone else is doing! So today I’m talking safe dating, and here are 9 of my best tips to stay safe on your dates!
1. Ask other people’s opinions about him
I know that it’s very rare that you have mutual friends with someone you just meet in a coffee shop or on a dating app or something, but whenever possible get a second opinion. I’ve had friends who have met guys they thought were super cute only to learn that they definitely did not have very good moral character after talking to some mutual friends. Consider other people’s impressions and not just your own–they’re often much more objective!
2. Go to public places on early dates
If you meet someone on the bus, in a coffee shop, or on a dating app/site stay in public places for a while at the beginning. This keeps you safe since there are other people around, he has no way of knowing where you live, and you can easily end the date without him having any way to keep you from leaving. Avoid going anywhere privately with your date until you have enough information to know that it is safe.
3. Avoid getting into a car
This is along the same lines as above. Even if you’re going somewhere public and it’s going really well, if he suggests you move locations do not get in his car. Rather, say that you’d rather stay where you are or get directions to where he wants to go and meet him there in your own vehicle, if that is an option.
4. Always tell a friend where you are
It’s always good to have accountability and to know that someone will be looking out for you. If you have a roommate, this is the perfect person to tell since she will know if you don’t come home when you say you will. Also, set up a time for that person to call you if you are not home yet so that you can communicate if there is anything wrong or if it’s going well and they do not need to worry.
5. Realize that it’s not rude to say you’re uncomfortable
Often we girls put up with a lot of stuff because we don’t want to hurt the guy’s feelings. But let me be clear: if he’s making inappropriate comments, getting too close for comfort, or just generally making you feel uncomfortable, even if you can’t pinpoint what it is, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. It is perfectly acceptable to say “I’m uncomfortable with you doing that. Please stop.” If he doesn’t stop, get up and leave. That is not rude–he is the one who is being rude. You are simply respecting yourself and asking him to do the same.
6. Keep a sharp mind
If you’re going out with a new guy, don’t do anything that will dull your senses. Personally I would advise against drinking in those situations, since if you’re caught up in the moment it can be quite easy to have one more glass of wine than you should have. If a guy is looking to take advantage of you, getting drunk or even a little tipsy only helps him, and you can have a fun time without alcohol, anyway! As well, if you’re going out with someone you don’t really know all that well you want to be paying attention to what they do with a sharp mind so that your assessment of the date is 100% accurate before you continue to pursue the relationship!
7. Bring friends along
As much as possible, see if he’d be willing to meet up with you and some of your friends. See if he will come to an event a club at your school is putting on, or if he wants to play soccer with your friends at the beach. This is good for two reasons: first, you are in a situation with people you trust who you know are looking out for you and second, it’s a more relaxed environment where you can actually get to know the guy without putting on the whole “dating persona” that we all have.
As well, make sure never to be outnumbered by him and his friends. If you meet someone at a coffee shop and he invites you to hang out with him and a bunch of his buddies, I highly suggest turning down the offer and proposing a new one. Your safety comes first, and even if he seems like a great guy you don’t want to put your trust in a guy you only just met. Rather, have him earn your trust instead.
8. Have a set end time
When you set up the time to meet, mention what time you absolutely have to leave by. For example, if you’re meeting at 6:30 for dinner, then you can say “yes that works wonderfully because I have a friend stopping by at 9, so that will give us plenty of time to meet before I have to leave.” It doesn’t need to be true, you’re just providing a cap on how long this date can go for.
There’s really no downside to this one. If the date’s going really well, then you end it with both of you wanting to talk more, which makes it more likely you two will decide to have a second date. If it’s going terribly, however, you have a very gracious exit strategy already communicated.
9.Download the DateScan App for Free
I talked about DateScan in my post about Spring Break safety, too, and it is great for staying safe while dating! There are tons of great features with DateScan that help you stay safe when dating someone you just met. Here are a few of my favourite:
1: It allows you to search your date’s name against national sex offender databases.
As soon as you meet someone you think you could be interested in, you can search his name through the app to make sure that he doesn’t have a record. Considering how many criminals serially victimize girls, I think this feature is amazing. And no, it’s not very fun to think about, but that is no reason to not watch out for your safety.
2: The fake call feature
I love this one. You can schedule the app to call you at a certain time and have it look like it’s coming from mom or dad. This gives you an excuse to get up and leave the date if it’s not going very well or you feel uncomfortable, or you can just ignore it if the date is going fine!
3: It’s so easy to set up!
A huge pet-peeve of mine is when apps require pages upon pages of personal information to set up. DateScan doesn’t do that–instead, all you need is a telephone number. That’s it! As well, all of the data that you put in as well as the data created when you use the app is kept safe and is not shared with anyone, ensuring that you are protected!
Overall I am thoroughly impressed with this app. Even though I’m married and therefore don’t date, I actually downloaded this for the dynamic 911 feature (I talked about that in this post) as well as the fake call feature! How many times do you find yourself in awkward situations where you wish you had an exit strategy? This app is great for that!
Those are my best tips to stay safe while dating. Dating safe is important, and we can overlook it too often!
What are your best safe dating tips? What are some ways that you make sure your safety always comes first?
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