Safe Dating Guidelines
Safe Dating Guidelines
Starting a new relationship is always exciting, but sometimes dating can be a little scary or confusing. There are a variety of ways to meet people, from social settings to social media. Navigating how and when you meet takes some thinking. When it comes to dating, here are some practical rules for a safe and meaningful experience:
- Rule number one is to trust your instincts. This holds true for any type of relationship. If something doesn’t feel right, ask for help immediately or walk away. You don’t owe anyone anything, especially if you don’t want to do something.
- In general, people like to talk about themselves. Ask a lot of questions, specifically about the person’s background, family, friends, and work. If your date doesn’t mention any friends or has a history of violence, this should catch your attention. Additionally, any other unusual or suspicious behaviors should serve as red flags. Some examples are:
- Multiple conversations about “fate” and “destiny.”
- Suggests they are newly widowed.
- Claims to want your address to send gifts and/or flowers.
- Writes or emails you with excessive spelling and/or grammatical errors.
- Sends emails with strange links to third-party websites.
- Always protect your finances. Never give out your credit card or bank account number. If your date asks for money, do not feel obligated to give to them; there is nothing wrong with saying no.
In addition, these helpful guidelines apply to online dating scenarios and your first date:
True or false- You might want to believe the best about someone, and that’s an admirable quality. However, don’t assume everything online is true. People often lie on the Internet, and dating sites do not generally participate in criminal background checks.
Privacy- If you do have a dating profile, keep things like your phone number, home address, and email address private. If you do not feel safe giving out your number on a first date, communicate through the dating service’s website. You can also look into a separate number for free through programs like Google Voice. Do not give out your home or work address to anyone you haven’t met in person. Be wary if your date suggests talking on an outside email address opposed to the dating service’s protected website.
Questions- There’s nothing wrong with asking a lot of questions. Before you agree to go on a date, don’t be afraid to gain insight about the person. Asking questions pertaining to who they are and what’s important to them is both helpful and safe. If they are unwilling to show you a photo of themselves or provide the information you feel you need, don’t meet them in person.
Too good- Beware of someone who is eager to meet immediately. Also, if a person seems too good to be true, they probably are. If they really want to date you, then they’ll be willing to wait until you feel comfortable.
No bullying- If people are rude or verbally abusive online, don’t make time for a date. Instead, block their profile and report their behavior to a website moderator.
Your First Date
Your call- Don’t let yourself be talked into anything you don’t want to do. If someone is pressuring you to go out again before you are ready, say no without guilt. A person worth dating will understand.
Stay public- When meeting a date for the first time, stay in a public and well-lit place. Keep your cell phone on hand. Communicate with at least one friend where you are going and whom you are meeting. Take a private moment and text or call them to let them know everything is fine. If you don’t feel safe, call a friend to come and pick you up immediately.
Transportation- It’s a good idea to have your own transportation to and from the date. Do not accept a ride home from someone you don’t know well, because this gives the individual your home address.
Call authorities- Give your friends or family members permission to call you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t answer your phone, let them know it’s okay to call the police.
Stay sober- It’s never a good idea to impair your judgment with someone you don’t know well. Remaining sober or monitoring your drinking helps you avoid making decisions you will regret.
Watch your stuff- Keep your personal items with you, like your cell phone, purse, or wallet. Never leave your drink unsupervised. Tampering with drinks is a serious thing, but it does happen.
Short and sweet- Keep the date to a short, specific time limit. This way, you’ll feel comfortable leaving when you want and won’t feel pressured to stay if you don’t want to.
Long distance tips- In the same way that you would not give out your home address for a local date, do not give out your hotel information. If you’re meeting someone long-distance, arrange your own transportation, and keep your friends or family updated. They should know whom you’re with and where you’re going.
Applying these guidelines to any new relationship will help you have safe and mature experiences. When you feel safe and comfortable, you are more likely to make the best decisions for yourself and have the most fun as you meet new people.
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