You have a date all set up with someone whom you have been talking with online. But there is one problem. You have this uneasiness about meeting up with this person. There is something about them that seems off. You can’t quite put your finger on what it is!
If you find yourself in this situation, you might want to read our best tips for staying safe on the first date or meetup! These are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your date remains completely secure and that you can get back home unharmed and in one piece!
Video Chat Ahead of Time
There is something about seeing your date face-to-face that has the potential to alleviate a lot of anxiety you might be facing before the date. Video chat confirms what your date looks like, and you can compare this against their profile pictures or against the way that they have described themselves in conversation or in their description online.
Do not go into a date having only texted. If you cannot set up a time to video chat, you could always do a phone call which is not as good in our opinion but still give you some sort of authenticity to your date beyond a string of text messages.
Choose a Public Place
One of the best ways to keep safe on a first date is to choose a public place. Something even better is a public place that you regularly frequent, one where you are going to run into a lot of people you know. This can take away a lot of the stress or anxiety you might be facing going into a date with someone whom you are unsure about.
You do not want to choose a location you are unfamiliar with or a location that is geographically isolated, or a location where there are few people. This will only leave you vulnerable to possible harm if your date has ill intentions. The more people that you can be around, the better!
Some great suggestions for a first-date location include places like the coffee shop where you spend all of your free time, a busy park somewhere in a big city, or a popular restaurant where there are always a ton of people milling around.
Have Your Car on Standby
Do not rely on your date to pick you up and take you to the date location. Bring your own car and have it on standby just in case you get into an awkward or weird situation and you have to ditch out. Imagine going on a date, and you realize a few minutes in that your date is really creepy or a total weirdo, but you have no car to get away. The last thing you want is to be trapped and at the mercy of your date to get back home.
Have your car sitting close by for a quick getaway if need be. Park close to the building entrance if it’s possible, so you do not have a long walk to get into your vehicle. A remote starter is always a valuable resource when it comes to situations like this as well. Anything you can do to make the getaway that much easier, go for it!
Let a Friend or Family Member Know About the Meetup
If you are feeling uncomfortable about your upcoming date, let your friends or family know about where you will be and whom you are meeting up with. You can even go the extra mile and download a safety app where your friends and family can get your real-time location and notifications when you are on the move.
If you have really good friends or family, you could even ask for them to come and stay posted somewhere nearby as an added layer of insurance! You could even work out a system where you send your friend or family member a text message if you begin feeling uncomfortable during the interaction and you need some backup protection.
Another great tip for staying safe on the first date is to have a friend call in during the date. Let them know out loud in front of your date where you are and what you are doing. This will put your date on notice. Someone knows about their whereabouts.
Ask Your Date a Lot of Questions
During the course of your date, be sure to ask your date plenty of questions in an effort to get to know what kind of person they are. This is a simple strategy that can help to alleviate possible concerns or worries you might have about your date.
You can get a general idea of what kind of person you are dealing with within a few minutes of back-and-forth discussion. You can ask them important questions like:
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
- What gets you up in the mornings?
- What are your friends like?
These kinds of questions can give you a showcase of their character and motivations.
Be Vigilant During the Date
One of the best things you can do to remain vigilant on this first date is to either not drink or reduce how much you would normally drink. You need to be alert on this first date if you feel nervous, not impaired. Another important thing you can do is to never leave your food or drink left unattended. If you are suspicious of your date, there is a chance they could slip something in there.
Just be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Keep a close eye on what your date is saying and their body language. Know where the exits are. Make sure you are in a place where you are visible to plenty of other people.
Pack Some Heat
Do not hesitate to carry a little backup protection with you. Pack some mace or a taser gun in a secure place where you can easily grab it if needed. If you have a conceal-carry license, bring that piece to your date for some added protection. You never know when something might go down, and you will want to be prepared to defend yourself against any sort of threat.
Having these defenses on hand is for just such purposes: defense. We hope that you never end up having to use these precautions, especially on your first date! But it is nice to know that those things are there waiting to be used if you find yourself in any sort of trouble or peril.
Be Wary of Sharing Any Personal Information
It is a good idea to refrain from sharing any of your personal contact information with your date until you have had enough time to get to know them and trust them. This means that you should really only limit interactions to the dating apps you are using, at least for the time being.
Do not share your phone number. The last thing you need is to be getting texts or calls from someone you already have a funny feeling about. The same goes for giving out your personal email. We even suggest refraining from adding them on social media. At the end of the day, our official recommendation is to simply use the dating app to make contact.
Another huge detail that you should never share with your date is your home address or the address of your workplace. This is just asking for trouble, provided your date is a stalker or has some sort of bad intentions toward you. It is generally never good to share this sort of information so early on.
Do Some Research on your Date
When in doubt, it never hurts to take to check Google, Twitter, or Facebook to find out who your date really is! This is a simple way to detect if the person is who they say they are. You can also get some insight into what they are like based on their friends, what they post, and how they interact with other people.
This might seem like taking things a step too far, but it never hurts to play things safe. For all you know, this person could have a felony, or they could simply be a person that many other people on social media have had problems or run-ins with. Do yourself a favor and do some research on your date so that you will know what it is you are walking into.
If you can identify some red flags early on and dodge a bullet, that is always a good thing.
And do not be afraid to cancel the date if you do not like what you see based on your research. You will be doing yourself a favor and saving yourself from some potential heartache! It is only going to be a waste of everyone’s time if you plow ahead with the date just to save some face.