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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Tips for a Safe Date - Stay Safe While Having Fun
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Tips for a Safe Date - Stay Safe While Having Fun

First dates are tough, there's no question about it, and can also be dangerous. It's the same for online dating no matter how easy it is. So, keep these tips in mind when you go for your first date.

1

Know Who You're Talking to

No matter how genuine they sound, you need to make sure that the information they provide about them is true, you don't want to appear on an episode of Catfish, do you? It's true that use pictures of them from a decade ago, but if they have a grainy picture or minimal information on their profile, there's a chance that they might not be who they say they are. So, do some background research and find out if the information they give actually corresponds. The advantage of living in such a digitalised age is that almost everything is online. You don't need to find out about their foot size or their mother's maiden name; but things like what they do for work, age and state or city that they live in would help you find out that the person you're about to meet is not a phony.

2

If in Doubt, Block them

One of the best ways of staying safe in online dating is to block or delete someone that you are doubtful about or that you think can become a danger to yourself. Therefore, you need to sign up with a site that has this feature. Even better, there are some online dating sites like Meet Me Virgin that will take action if you alert them about anyone violating the terms in an offensive or harassing manner. However, you need to know that none of these sites are responsible for your acts or of others, so you need to maintain common sense and vigilance at all times. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, requests certain photos of you that you are not happy to share with them, you need to make the decision that this person is not suitable for you and move on. Remember that you have no obligation to meet someone irrespective of how long you have been chatting with them.

3

Opt for a Neutral Meeting Place

For your first date, it's very, very important that you both agree to meet at a neutral place, somewhere where there are a lot of people and not a place where it will be just you and your date. Actually, it's safer to do this until the second, third or any date, until you know for sure that you can trust the person to not harm you. Never agree to meet anyone at their place, no matter how long the online relationship is. Also, don't ask to be picked up, especially from your house, as they do not need to know where you live at this stage of dating. It would be really good if you could take a friend with you, like a double date maybe? If not, make sure to let your loved ones know where you're going, with whom and expected time of getting back home.

Never, ever leave your drink or food unattended! Date rape drugs are absolutely undetectable and can turn your date into a nightmare.

4

Always be on the Alert

And not just on the first date too. We live in a time where it's very hard to trust someone, even someone whom you've known for a long time. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network of US, "nearly half of sexual assaults are committed by a friend or an acquaintance". So imagine meeting a stranger! It's best recommended staying sober during your date, as being drunk can dull your senses and reduce control of yourself and your strength. Be sure to use protection at all times to avoid any STD's. If your date asks you for your address, credit or debit card numbers, bank details, or any personal information that you think is irrelevant, you need to stop all communication with that person and move on. Do not be afraid to say 'no' to anything that you don't feel comfortable about, even if it means meeting them for the first time.

After you're checked out all these things, there's one more tip that you need to know about on your first date with your online romantic interest, and that is- HAVE FUN!