How to stay safe online dating

On the first date with other people, you will pay attention to your own dress, dating time, safety is the first priority for dating.

Before the day of the date arrives, familiarise with the date location. If possible select the location yourself, otherwise a visit prior to the date is a good idea. That way you will know exactly where you are if you need to leave quickly or for some reason find yourself stranded alone.

Travel arrangements should be made by yourself, both to and from the date. If necessary ask a friend or family member to drive you and wait with you until your date arrives; this will also help if you are unfortunately stood up. You should never allow your date to make travel arrangements for you, especially if you hardly know them. You might think they have booked you a taxi home, when they have actually made assumptions and booked a taxi to take you both to their place.

One of the most important things you can do before a date is tell others your plans. Inform friends or family where you are planning to go, who you are meeting, what time you are meeting them, and if possible a time you are aiming to be home by. Remember to tell them if your plans change.

Arrange to give them a ring or text during the date to inform them that you are safe and again once you get home safely after your date. For this reason, make sure you have a mobile phone on you, even if you need to borrow one from a friend.

Once the date is under way, don’t get carried away with enjoyment and let your guard down. This is when you become vulnerable. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy yourself; just have a good time while being sensible. If the type of date you are on involves ordering a drink, preferably a soft drink, always keep it in sight. The last thing you want is to be a victim of having your drink spiked.

Also alcohol should be avoided on a first date; apart from the risk of getting drunk and making a fool of yourself, alcohol will impair your judgement. Don’t put yourself in any unnecessary danger by drinking alcohol. If you need to take a visit to the toilet, either take your drink with you and leave it somewhere safe to collect on the way back, or finish your drink before you go to the toilet.

As well as keeping an eye on your drink, always have your personal belongings such as a bag or jacket, in sight at all times. If you need to pop to the toilet, take your bag or wallet with you.

Don’t risk your personal details being obtained, such as your address, phone number and even bank details, by your date. Remember that you are still getting to know your date, so they are still a stranger to you.

At the end of a first date, never agree to go back to your date’s home with them. Not only could you be putting yourself in danger, you could be ruining what could have been the start of a perfectly good relationship.

If you don’t like how your date is acting when it comes to saying goodbye, try to return to where you have just come from and stay there until you are certain your date has left, or until a friend or family member can come and meet you. Always trust your instincts and never do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.

Your personal safety is an area that should never be overlooked, so always make it your top priority when on a first date.

Good luck.

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