Dating can be a fun and exciting time for any single person, especially after chatting for a few weeks back and forth. While the first meeting is a nerve-wracking experience for both parties, it’s important to keep safety at the front of any new encounter. To help keep you safe on a date, here are a few things to remember:
Always find out who you’re dating
It would be nice to take someone at their word, but unfortunately, thinking you know someone and learning about their past are two completely different things. That’s why you should always run a background check before meeting someone for the first time.
A background check will provide some indication on the person you’re meeting that they may not have outwardly shared with you. Criminal history and sex offender status are two main areas to look for when reviewing their report. Take note of any charges that you were unaware of, as well as any arrests (with or without conviction).
Although someone’s past shouldn’t dictate the person they are today, repeated history of aggressive or violent charges, drug-related offenses, or major felonies may influence your decision to head out for an evening of fun.
Likewise, it’s important to ensure that anyone you’re meeting is not registered on the sex offender registry. This registry lists the names of individuals convicted of sexually based crimes against people or children. This section is especially important if the status was not disclosed before the date, or if you happen to have children.
Always tell someone the details of your date
Even the most private individual needs to ensure their whereabouts and date’s details are shared when first deciding to get together. You can share this information with a friend, family member, or neighbor, but make sure you’re specific about the details.
It may seem like overkill, but sharing the name, brief description, and phone number of the individual you’re meeting can help keep you safe when you’re meeting someone for the first time. You should also make sure to disclose the location of the date, who is attending (whether one on one or a group date), and the time you expect to return.
Should you both be enjoying your evening and want to extend the date further, make sure to check in with your safety net (the person who knows where you are) to give them the new location and expected time to get home.
Meet in public locations for a first meet up
It may seem like common sense, but always make sure that the first meet up with a new date is in a public location. Stick with heavily populated areas like bars, restaurants, or community areas with lots of people. Likewise, make sure that you opt for well lit outdoor areas if the date is an outdoor setting. These places will ensure you’re not only protected from unwanted advances; The people around can offer some protection if you’d like to end the date quickly.
If you are on your date and would like to end things, feel free to approach the staff or another patron for help leaving the establishment safely. Many restaurants or bars are happy to escort you to your car in the event you need to leave.
Provide your transportation
Long gone are the days of your date picking you up and bringing you out. To stay safe on your date, it’s always safest to arrange your transportation to and from the event. Having your vehicle provides a quick exit from an evening, should things turn sour. In the event you don’t have your vehicle, consider using public transportation or a fare-based service to get around for your date.
Refrain from giving personal details
Although it might seem like a natural flow of conversation, it’s important to remain vague and lighthearted when you’re meeting someone for the first time. For the average person, this means limiting confidential information like financial status, identifying details like employment, or even children’s names.
Once you’ve built a rapport with someone, there’s nothing wrong with giving a few details about your personal life, but from a safety standpoint, keep the dialogue unidentifiable. This way should your date end negatively, you won’t have to worry about the individual showing up at your place of employment or worse.