First Date Safety Advice

Thursday, May 07th, 2015

Photo of a man and woman taken from the neck to the knee. Holding hands.You’ve probably heard horror stories about online dating being a dangerous place to meet someone, from people who have never used a dating website, but online dating is no more dangerous than meeting someone in the supermarket queue. Whether you’ve met someone at a party, at the races, or online, it’s important to think about your safety when you meet up for the first time.

Here is some basic advice to help to keep yourself safe when meeting a relative stranger:

Trust your gut instinct

Before you even start to arrange to meet someone, think about what your gut instinct is telling you. If you feel uncomfortable communicating with someone, don’t meet up with them!

Research if you’re not sure

If you know a few bits of information about someone you can look them up online to find out more about them. You may find a Facebook account, a LinkedIn account or a workplace profile, which will help you to verify who they are.

Some people find it a bit creepy to know that they have been investigated in this way, while others will admit to having done it themselves.

Tell someone where you are going

Anyone who enjoys hiking in remote terrains will tell you that you should always tell someone where you are going and roughly what time you expect to get back. The same advice applies to first dates, but we wouldn’t  suggest that you crampons with you.

You may wish to have a friend on the end of the phone if you would like an excuse to leave. Or, a few friends could be in the same venue as you (but not next to you) if you would like moral support.

Choose a public place

When looking for somewhere to meet up, pick somewhere where you know there will be lots of other people. For example, you could go to a busy pub or cafe.

Plan your transport

Whatever you do, don’t rely on your date to pick you up and take you home. Plan a safe method of transport to get you to the venue and back again, allowing extra time to get home if you’re really enjoying yourself. If, for example, you are using a rural bus service that stops at 5pm and  are meeting your date for lunch, make a note of a taxi number  in case you want to stay on for a couple of lemonades.

If you are not happy when you are on the date, make your excuses and leave.