A new study conducted by Roosevelt University reveals women take their first date safety more seriously when meeting men from online dating sites. As a dating coach, that’s a relief because your safety is so important. But, the same thing should be true for a man you meet in person as well.
The good news about online dating in my mind is that, in 11 years as a dating coach, I have not had even one client tell me a negative story about her safety. Most of the women I work with are smart about first dates. The vast majority of men might not be your ideal mate, but are usually civilized. That said, you never know, so it can't hurt to take steps to be safe.
Here are nine safety tips, some expanded on from the article and some of my own, to keep yourself safe when going on a first date with any man. Most single women follow at least the first three, but the rest are up to your own personal comfort level.
1. Guard your privacy until you build trust. Don't tell a man you just met your last name, where you work or live. Sharing just the city is okay though. Before you call him, dial *67 to block caller ID. This way he can't look up your home address in the reverse phone book online. Even though cell phones ownership can't be looked up yet, you still might not want him to know your number right away.
2. Meet in a public place with lots of other people. This is why my dating advice is to meet at a coffee shop, a book store with a cafe, or an upscale restaurant bar because you are sure to have others around you. There is safety in numbers. Even though hiking in nature might sound like a great date, you'd be alone with a stranger in the woods. Save that for later when you know him better.
3. Take your own transportation. Since you shouldn't tell your date where you live, you have to get where you are going on your own. Take your own car or public transportation to meet at the date location. Make sure you have money for parking or a cab if needed.
4. Tell someone where you are going on your date. Some women are nervous about meeting strangers — this is understandable! If this sounds like you, then tell a friend or family member where you are going, how long you'll be there, and when you expect to return. I recommend short first dates of no longer than 90-minutes to leave him wanting more. Once time is up, tell him it was nice to meet him, but it's time to go.
5. Have a friend call to check on you. It's not great to answer your cell phone or respond to a text while on a first date. But if you feel very nervous, you could have a friend call you at an agreed time to check in and make sure you are doing okay. You can slip away to a restroom, or just be honest with your date that you've scheduled a safety check-in with your friend. If he is not OK with this, ask yourself if he's such a good catch. Just don't answer any other calls because this is a pet peeve for most people.
6. Stop at two drinks. Things happen when you indulge in one too many. I've heard too many stories from clients who tell me how things "just happened" and now they're regretting them. To avoid this problem, simply don't have more than one or two drinks — tops. Drinking too much might keep you from being at your best — remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. In addition, alcohol impairs your judgment and you want to be clear-headed to get to know a man and make smart choices.
7. Take someone with you. If you have a willing friend or family member, you can have them come to the same location, but not hang out with you. That person is there for support and safety. Sometimes people want to bring the friend to the date. This could be awkward unless it's a group setting, which would make it easier.
8. Smooch outside the car. Sometimes a man wants to be chivalrous and walk you to your car. That's why I recommend parking in a well-lit area for greater safety. If he wants a goodnight kiss and you are up for it, go ahead. But don't let him talk you into getting in the car for a makeout session where your safety is at risk in the semi-privacy your vehicle provides.
9. Don't let him drive you home. This combines tip numbers one and eight because you want to wait a bit longer to tell a guy where you live and you don't want to get in the car with him. Be smart — if he's into you, there will be plenty of more opportunities.
Are you an over 40 woman struggling to find love? As a dating coach for women 40+, I provide proven dating methods that have helped thousands. Get more tips in my FREE book 5 Big Turnoffs That Drive Men Away. Let me help you find love with the right man and avoid the many potential pitfalls along the way.
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