Overthinking a date is pretty common. What do I wear or what will we talk about? While those can run through your mind remember the number one rule of dating which is to stay safe. Please make your safety a priority, especially with online dating.
When we are using online applications to date we often meet someone and begin chatting. So many people let their guard down as they start chatting more and more. You may even feel that you know them well. DON"T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. Keep these next tips in mind until you truly trust and know the person you are going out with!
1. Specifically, on the first few dates DO NOT meet in a secluded place. Meet in a public spot with others around. Do not meet at the date’s home, in the parking lot, etc.
2. Do not add each other on social media. I know it can be tempting but allowing someone in to see everything you do, all your friends/family members before you know them can be dangerous. Some people may even list their work location without even realizing it.
3. Trust your instincts: Remember that you never have to stay. You can always excuse yourself and say that something came up if you are not feeling safe or are feeling uncomfortable.
4. Provide your own transportation to and from the location.
5. Keep an eye out on your drinks. Someone can easily slip something in your drinks. If you are feeling that someone may have snuck something in your drink tell an employee and ask them to help you call a family member or friend to pick you up.
6. Make sure a friend or family member knows that you are going out on a date and let them know where you are meeting the person.
7. Have your car keys out so that you are not looking for them while trying to get into your car. Keep your finger on your emergency button on your keys in case someone charges you.
8. Have your phone charged.
9. Watch any substance or alcohol use. Being under the influence can make you more vulnerable.
10. If you have to use the restroom during the date take your purse with you. People can take your ID, bank cards, etc.
11. Park in well-lit areas. Walk out of the restaurant, Starbucks, etc. with a group of people if possible.
12. When talking to the prospective date avoid talking about the company you work for, what street you live on, where your children go to school, etc.
13. Don't judge a book by it's cover-I love what former FBI profiler Candice Delong says, "Remember, everyone's nice on the first date-even psychopaths. Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers of young women in history, was handsome and charismatic."
14. Keep some pepper spray or a whistle on you to use if needed.
15. Fight, scream, bite, scratch, kick, hit if you are being attacked. Do not let them take you to a second location. Your survival rates go down dramatically.