Dating, for the most part, is done online now. People use apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble. Most of the time, people believe the only risk you will face is an awkward date. However, it is good to fall on the side of caution when meeting a stranger, as you never know what could happen. These tips will remind you to keep your safety your number one priority.
1. Meet in a Public Place
It is normal to have nerves when first meeting someone, remember that the other party is probably just as nervous. Meeting up in a public space allows you to be seen. Going somewhere isolated and desolate is not smart for a first date since you do not know what the other person's intentions are. Going to a busy coffee shop or local lunch spot is a great first date. We always recommend first dates occur during the day.
2. Tell a Friend About Your Plans
Before meeting your online date in real life, you should always tell someone close to you all the details about the meetup. Include where you guys are meeting, when, what day, and time. You can send your friend screenshots of this person's online profile to ensure they have a face to the name. You and your friends should have a check-in time to make sure everything is going as planned. If things go wrong, always have a bailout strategy with your close friend. If your friend is up for the escape plan, they can be at a restaurant around the corner and pop in and interrupt the date. The easiest and most played one is faking a phone call and leaving!
3. Research Your Date
People search engines like GladiKnow (https://gladiknow.com/) can allow you to learn more about the person you plan on meeting up with. A quick search can reveal something that might not be discussed on the first date, but good to know. A search can tell you about a criminal background, marriages, addresses, and usernames. You can have access to that information to help you see if this person is authentic with you. If you do find something that is a red flag, remain calm and politely decline the date. You do not owe anyone anything, so if you have to cancel for your safety, do it.
4. Follow Your Instincts
If your date is saying all the right things or if they are contradicting themselves, it may be useful to follow your gut. If you feel like something is off, do not pursue them. The block button is your friend. If someone on social media is pressuring you to hang out after you canceled, it's probably best to block them.
5. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is an easy go-to on a first date. It can soothe your nerves and allow you to be "loose." Unfortunately, even one drink can make you a target for a predator. Being vulnerable is the last thing you want on a first date; you must be careful. Keep your eyes on your drink and food. If you have to go to the bathroom, make sure your glass is done, and food is not out yet, it is easy to slip something into food or drink.
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