Wow! What a wonderful feeling. You've found a connection to someone you've met on an Online Dating site, and you've agreed to a first date. This is such an exciting time in your romantic journey and I'm thrilled for you!
Dear Friend, as happy as I know you feel, I'm going to ask you for a personal favor. I care for your safety, and I've been in some first date situations that at best would be described as unnerving. We go to such lengths to protect ourselves before the initial meeting. Please use the same discretion before, during and after the date as well … just in case …
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I hope that this new match gives you butterflies, and that he turns out to be as amazing as you imagine. But if perhaps he doesn’t, allow me to give you a little extra TLC with Safety Tips to help keep your wits in check.
TLC as in tender loving care? What does that have to do with my safety?
No, no, dear ones. TLC means Table, Ladies Room, Car ... Keep your guard up in each of these places in case the date goes badly. Should you choose to end communication, you don’t want Mr. Not-So-Charming to figure out your true identity.
Should you decide you’re not a match, you don’t want this person to be able to beeline a path to your door. So for your personal comfort as well as your protection, I'll share some safety tips. I do realize that the likelihood of meeting Jeffrey Dahmer is low (unless, like me, you’re in Wisconsin), but Mom was right: Better safe than sorry.
And yes, Mom, I did just say that you were right <wink>
Let’s dive into the TLC now, and take a peek at each of the possible scenarios.
The table presents an opportunity for your date to learn your true identity - something you may overlook in our automated world. Mom always said to carry cab fare; I encourage you to always have at least a $20 tucked in your purse. This is enough to pay for your own coffee or drink should you decide that you’re not interested in further pursuing a relationship. If you’re trying to split the bill by paying with a credit card, you've now presented documentation of your full name. Keep those cards in your wallet and carry cash. It’s safer.
2. Ladies Room
What? He's not going to follow me in there, right?
Of course not, but don't be so trusting that you leave your purse at the table asking for him to watch it for you; someone needs to be watching him. Sound unbelievable? Not only is this very possible, I actually dated that Toad.
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Saved by an eagle-eyed bartender, I ended the date abruptly when returning from the Ladies Room to have the bartender hand me my purse from behind the bar explaining to me that the gentleman I was with couldn't find my chapstick ... hint hint ...
And this is a big tip - your bartender is your friend. If you state within earshot a "So nice to finally meet you" the wise wait staff tends to pay a little extra interest if you catch his or her eye.