Dating can be incredibly exciting but also a little scary. Technology certainly has changed how we date. People of all ages are now meeting total strangers they found online or had a few chats with through a dating app. Blind dating has become the most popular way to meet people. Keep your blind date experiences fun but also safe by following these 10 safety tips.
1 – Tell a Friend
Always be sure to let a close friend or family member know exactly where you will be. Give them your date’s contact information as well. Let them know when you expect to be home and plan to check in with them via phone or text during the date, so they know you are safe and sound. If someone knows you are out and expected home, if anything goes wrong they will know to alert the authorities and start looking for you right away. You can also set up a tracking app on your mobile phone, so a trusted friend knows where you are at all times.
2 – Do Your Homework
The Internet has not only changed the way we date but also provides a valuable resource so you can have as much information as possible before meeting your blind date. You can use a criminal lookup service to check for any arrests, outstanding warrants or other violations. You should also check them out on social media. The more you know before you meet your blind date, the safer you will be. Information is power!
3 – Take Your Own Transportation
Even dating services recommend you always take your own transportation. If you are meeting someone for the first time, do not have them pick you up in their car. Although everything may be fine, it is not a safe way to start off. You can take an Uber taxi or public transportation but make sure you control how you get there and how you get home.
4 – Meet in a Public Place
When you meet someone new always meet them at a well-lit, public place that has plenty of people. Do not meet at your date’s house or somewhere private that they suggest. If you control the environment, you will be safer. Be sure to park your car in a well-lit area as well. Not only is it safer to meet in a crowded environment but people may remember you later if something goes wrong.
5 – Don’t Leave Your Food or Drink Unattended
We’ve all heard about people’s food or drink being drugged or tampered with while on a date. Don’t leave anything up to chance and make sure you control your food and drink the entire time. It’s a good idea to limit alcohol consumption during a blind date so you can stay alert and safe.
6 – Don’t Give Out Your Personal Information Too Early
You don’t want to lie to a potential soulmate, but you also don’t want to be too forthcoming. Never give out your address or phone number to a blind date until you know them well enough and feel comfortable to do so. You may even want to have a separate email address for online dating and maybe even a prepaid phone. This way you don’t jeopardize your personal information in case the date goes poorly, or something goes wrong.
7 – Meet During the Day
It is always best to meet for a lunch date or do something during the day. The night presents more danger for dating and a first time meeting with someone you do not know. You may not be familiar with the area you are traveling to and won’t know the safe or dangerous areas. Instead meet somewhere you are familiar with during the day.
8 – Have a Friend Nearby or On Speed Dial
You may also want to have a friend sitting at a nearby table at your meeting place. Your date doesn’t even have to know they are there. Having a trusted friend there with you will make you feel more comfortable and safe. You can always have your friend leave if things are going well. If you don’t choose to have them present, make sure they are available in case you need emergency assistance, and you reach them quickly with your cell phone.
9 – Protect Yourself
You cannot be too careful and taking self-defense classes are a great way to feel confident and safe and know that you can protect yourself if someone tries to hurt you. Another suggestion is to carry pepper spray in your purse or pocket for a quick solution. There are other small protection devices inducing rape whistles, pocket-knives and tasers which also might give you that added sense of safety when going out on a blind date.
10 – Listen to Your Gut
If during your online courtship you feel anything, which sets off a red flag in your head or just feels “off” in any way, pull the plug. Your subconscious is constantly watching out for you by filtering all the information you are taking in, and these subtle pangs of “something is just not right” are messages you need to listen to be safe. Trust your instinct and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel 100% right to you. Listening to your gut could just save your life.