First date safety tips for women

27 Feb

Regardless of age safety is rule number one when it comes to dating. With the rise of Internet dating especially, it is more common now that “Blind” dates are truly unknown quantities. Still, dating is an important part of everyone’s life at some point and women especially need to take steps to insure the experience is a safe one.

The most important thing is to always have all the information you can gather, and to verify it is true. People say I’m over zealous, but I stick to a few simple rules that work well. Too many young women I deal with make the mistake of setting up dates without actually verbally speaking to their prospective date. Get a phone number for them whether it be home or work and have some evidence that this person is who they say they are. If they will not give you their number be suspicious, use you instincts and realize this may not be the person advertised. For your own safety I usually suggest you call from a payphone on first contact so your real number can’t be trapped just in case something with Mr. right turns out wrong.

 Before you leave the house make sure at least two people know where you are going, who you will be with, and when you expect to be back. I also usually suggest you keep the same information written down and left someplace it can easily be found should there be a problem. This information should also include anything you have on your date such as name, address, employer, phone number, etc… We all want to believe nothing bad will ever happen to us but unfortunately statistics state otherwise, even to those of us who go prepared. Information is power and a safety net.

When you do first meet, make sure it is a location you know and are comfortable with. If you happen to know people that frequent or work at that particular location so much the better. It never hurts to have extra eyes you can tip off to have watching over you or to lend aid should there be a problem. If you must go to a location you aren’t familiar with, if possible, ask a friend to tag along separately that can keep an eye on things from afar until you let him or her know you are okay by prearranged signal.

Take your own transportation. This is true on the first date especially. You do not want to be in a position where you feel dependent on your date giving you a ride home. This is a bad idea because when you allow them to physically see where you live that is a lot of information. Not every first date is going to go well and you may decide you like

the guy but not enough to keep seeing him. He may have other ideas and become a stalker to some degree making unannounced pop-ins and the such or worse. It is sad, but it always has to be in the back of your mind such things can and do occur. Also, be sure you have cash on hand to make a call or grab a cab home. It can also be helpful to have the numbers for friends on hand that can pick you up and help provide an exit during a bad date, after all that’s what friends are for.

 Most phones now come with a camera built in and I have always found that when possible it is good idea to snap a pic of your date. This can be done very discretely without them knowing before you actually meet, or it can be done playfully. Either way you have exactly what they looked like on that night recorded. Again, I am a hyper vigilant person, but most of us that have had dates that turned violent are. Once the pic is snapped it can easily be emailed to a friend while using the bathroom or should you have some other occasion of being apart. This may seem silly but how many people have had dates (Especially from online sources) that simply did not match the picture or description given.

Have a plan for the night and stick to it. If the plan was dinner and a movie, or club, do not stray. Remember that you have told people where you will be and on the first date especially it is good to limit the spontaneity a bit. It can be tempting to agree to run off to the beach to watch the grunion run, or stop by this neat little out of the way spot he knows, but it just isn’t safe. The more people around you the better. Intimacy can come later if it’s meant to happen, the first date is about getting to see if you mesh well, not taking the risk of hooking up.

It is also a good idea to set a “Potential time limit” at the beginning of the date by stating you have something to do early the next morning or whatever fits your needs so you can beg off the date early if you desire without causing too much friction. If you want to stay out later than you originally planned excuse yourself to call a friend and let them know you will be out later, or at least pretend to. Either way make sure he knows/believes someone is aware of who you are with, where you are, where you’re going, and when you’ll be back. This can nip many potential problems before they begin.

Know how to defend yourself. While stun guns are illegal in many areas, pepper spray isn’t and is very effective. It doesn’t take up much room in your purse and works fast. It will certainly give you enough time to get away. Also it is good to keep a whistle on your key chain. Sometimes noise will stop a person in their tracks but don’t count on it as your only option. It should also be noted that as weird as it sounds should you be in a position where you feel the need to scream for help, don’t scream “Help.” Studies have shown people all too often don’t want to get involved. If however you yell “Fire” people tend to come in droves to watch. For whatever reason that has been proved to get a crowd to appear the quickest and once people are there the odds of ending any problem are greatly in your favor.

These tips are a bit extreme to some folks, but they do work extremely well. Following them doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it just means you are very prepared, and a date that knows you are prepared is less likely to push the envelope and get out of hand. Being prepared doesn’t mean you are scared, it means you are in control. No date is worth the risk of being undertaken totally blind, so please whether you follow these tips or others, always be vigilant and insure you are prepared for any situation.

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