Your Online Date in Safety
by Caroline Mackenzie
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Online Date in Safety
Here are some
common sense safety tips for meeting your online date in person.
Your instincts will play a strong role in keeping you safe too,
so listen to them and take action if you feel uncomfortable or alarmed
at any time. Remember, thereís also a good chance that your date
is perfectly genuine. Tread a sensible line between optimism and
caution and your date will safe and enjoyable.
Meet when youíre
Donít be pressured
into meeting your online date. One of the big attractions of online
dating is that you can find out the important stuff - be sure thereís
a real possibility for a relationship Ė up front, so take your time
and make the most of it. Your offline date should confirm and enhance
your feelings, not lead to disappointment, or nasty surprises!
Meet in a public
of you are yawning at this. However, when youíve build up some trust
online, and share an interest in lonely country walks, say, a lonely
country walk might seem like a great idea for a first date. Give
yourself a severe reality check when arranging a first date. First
dates should always be in well-populated, public places.
Meet in a familiar
or well-known area:
You need to
be able to find your way home, or back to your hotel room, quickly
and easily. Donít travel into unfamiliar neighborhoods and if youíve
traveled to an unfamiliar city to meet your date, choose a hotel
in a central area thatís well known to taxi drivers and locals.
Meet in a place
where youíre not well known:
For first dates,
avoid favorite hangouts where everyone knows you and your business.
Your date can return to pry information out of your favorite bartender
or friends, or turn up uninvited Ė bad news if you decide not to
pursue the relationship.
you live, where youíre staying or getting into a strange vehicle
puts you at risk. Be sure to make your own way to and from your
date, and donít be persuaded otherwise. If you make your travel
arrangements ahead of time, youíll have a good excuse for refusing
any offers to pick you up or drop you home, and if your dateís half
the person you think they are, theyíll respect your independence
Make your own
Donít let your
date take over and make all the decisions about where you go, what
you do, and, if youíre traveling from another city, where you stay.
Make your own travel arrangements (Iíve said this already, but itís
important), book your own hotel, and make sure you and your common
sense get to play a big role in deciding when and where your date
Tell a friend
or relative about your date:
Make sure someone
knows who youíre meeting (their full name and phone number), when,
where and at what time you expect to be back.
Take your cell
If you donít
have a cell phone, borrow one. Arrange for someone to call you at
a certain time to check up on how your date is going, and how youíre
feeling about it. Agree beforehand on some phrases that will let
them know, without giving the game away to your date, whether itís
going well or whether you need to put a pre-arranged escape plan
Sure, a drink
can calm your nerves but be careful not to overdo it and lose your
ability to make safe and sensible decisions.
Leave if you
about your date, you want it to go well, to give it every chance
of success but (and itís a big but) donít let this tempt you into
ignoring or excusing the fact that something doesnít feel right.
If it doesnít feel right it probably isnít. Trust your instincts,
admit it and get out of there. If necessary, enlist the help of
a waiter or manager or some other person that can help you make
a get away, perhaps feigning a call from home or showing you an
alternative way out of the building. Remember though, itís not necessary
to explain yourself to your date. Simply leave.
Watch for strange
When you meet
offline, dating should fall into a natural, comfortable pattern.
Stop dating if it doesnít. For instance, if your date always wants
to meet some distance from where they live or work, is reluctant
to introduce you to friends or family, or has strange rules about
how and when you call each other, somethingís very wrong.
Mackenzie is Co-Owner/Webmaster of The Dating Muse, a guide to online
dating services and personals featuring reviews of the top online
dating sites plus tips and ideas for finding friends, dates, soulmates
and sexual adventure online. You can visit her site at DatingMuse.com
and subscribe to her newsletter at datingmuse.com/subscribe
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