These are my rules for me
But they might work for you too. Over the years of dating I learnt things that kept me safe. In part 2 I’ll tell you a story from a friend that reinforces, to me, that rules and instincts are crucial.
You might read my rules and think I’m overzealous. In some ways I would agree with you and there have been dates where I went with my instincts and didn’t follow my “rules” religiously. But they’ve also kept me safe in more dangerous situations.
- Don’t take nude or semi-nude photos of yourself to send to someone that include your face. See why in my dick pic blog post here
- Don’t give out too much personal information. That includes your address, exactly where you work or information about your family. I avoided LinkedIn for that reason. I didn’t want someone to find me with just two clicks of a mouse and turning up at my work.
- Don’t become Facebook friends early on and make sure you have full privacy settings on your social media so that they can’t work out enough things to find you.
Before you go on the date
- Get their surname. Although keep in mind that anyone reluctant to give out their surname may have a completely reasonable explanation, don’t immediately assume the worse.
- Swap up to date selfies. It gives a helpful idea of who you’ll be seeing and prepares you for any uncontrollable reactions you may have on first meeting.
- Find out a bit about the job they do (it doesn’t need to be the organisation/company). It will give you something to talk about too.
- Find out if they’re after casual sex or longer term. Does that match with what you want?
- Think about what questions you might ask or subjects you might focus on in case there’s a conversation lull. Silence on a first date can be awkward and uncomfortable and while it’s not a job interview sometimes a bit of preparation helps.
- Speak on the phone, even for just a short time. It can help calm the nerves too.
- I don’t do this but one friend recommended doing a google search, just in case they’re a wanted murderer!
- Find out what town they live in. It might be that the app or the website has messed up and they’re 200 miles away rather than the 2 you thought.
Remember that you’ve never met this person and while they may appear lovely and charming it doesn’t mean you know them.
It’s suddenly date night, what dos and don’ts should you be considering?
- Do plan your own transport, whether it’s train, bus or driving. A quick escape might be necessary and you don’t want to be requesting change from them while trying to make a swift emergency exit. Don’t get into their car, if you do then you’re completely at their mercy. In all seriousness I’ve heard a story of someone who was attacked by a man on her first date in his car. It’s not worth putting yourself in a situation like this.
- Don’t get drunk. I’m not saying stay stone cold sober, after all you may feel you need to settle your nerves. But too much alcohol can lead to decisions that you normally wouldn’t make and as a result put you in a vulnerable position. Even worse, our douchebag side might come out of its hidden depths. I’ve been on a date with a guy who, in his drunkenness, ended up telling me all sorts of secrets and stories, including exes he’d cheated on.
- Don’t reveal where you live. If the potential is in any way unhinged you’re welcoming a stalker into your life.
- Don’t go back to theirs. Also, ideally don’t invite them back to yours either. Obviously if the aim is to hook up then some of these rules won’t work for you.
- Don’t leave your phone alone with them at any point, who knows what they’ll do with it?
- Do meet somewhere public. Safety is important at all times. This also gives you some control in a situation that can put you at risk.
- Do encourage physical contact if you want it. If you’re shy or taking it slow then the occasional brush of the leg and touching hands over the table can make a massive difference. I’m not saying maul them, unless you’re both up for that, but there’s also no harm in holding a little back either if you prefer to do that.
- Do tell someone where you’re going, who with, what time you’re meeting them and when you should be home by. I had a friend that had a time to call me if I haven’t called them first.
- Do make sure the other person is safe getting home but don’t force your presence on them if they’d rather be alone.
Other things like where and when you meet up and who pays is best left to the people involved and the decisions aren’t anyone else’s business.
So you’ve read my “rules” and you’re left in shock and horror – I must be the most conservative woman in the world. Well… not really. I’ve gone against all my rules at one time or another. But this is what worked for me and I’ll tell you in my next post one reason why.
I have one more “do”. You may find this a little extreme but it made me feel safe. On my phone I had the “find my IPhone” app and I gave the password to my sister. They knew to check it if I didn’t contact them after a certain number of hours. It also meant if I ended up on a date with a murderer they’d know what skip to find my phone in… joking, hopefully.
One complication came on my first date with Mr Fumble and I got a message from my sister asking
“Why haven’t you left the house yet???”