15 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Date

15 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Date
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 14, 2012

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This goes for online dating sites, twitter, etc. Everyone wants an eye-catching username, but if your name is “bigbootykitty” you’ll attract a very specific person, and most likely, not the guy you had in mind.

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There are many companies that allow you to select a private number by state (you can choose which one) and record a voicemail greeting. When someone calls that number they’ll go directly to that voicemail, thinking they’ve reached your real phone. You will be alerted by an email or text message and can then access their voice message over the phone or internet. It’s a great dating tool if you want to play it safe.

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Fifty percent of all singles are using online dating sites and the typical step is a “chat.” Using online instant messaging services is the safest, easiest, and cheapest way to chat in real time. Investing in a microphone and set of headphones for your computer will cost hardly anything and give you unlimited safe chat time!

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As always, a good password is essential for all of your online dating and social media accounts. A scammer should not be able to easily guess your password or they may even hijack your profile.

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If you’re not quite sure how interested you are in someone, go out in a group. You can disguise it (“I’d love to check out this new lounge with you, and some friends of mine are going on Saturday…”) while still making sure you aren’t stuck alone.

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As romantic as a candlelight dinner at your date’s apartment may sound, it’s not safe. Never ever ever (ever!) go on a first date at your place or someone’s house.

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Keeping an eye on your drink — at all times — means someone else can’t slip something in it and change your plans for the evening without you knowing about it. This one’s just too easy to ignore, and if you do, the consequences could be grave.

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If something, or someone, doesn’t feel right, listen to that feeling. It’s there for a reason.

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You don’t have to give up all the juicy details, but at least let someone know what your plans are and when you’ll be back.

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Everything seemed great at first, but it went downhill faster than you could believe. Now you’re stuck at a club and just want to run. Having cash available in your wallet makes catching a cab (your safest option), much easier.

Agree to a time to check in with a friend – If you don’t want to worry about calling someone at a preset time, have them call you.

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While having your date pick you up may seem nice, it can also leave you stranded if the date isn’t going well and you want to bounce. Schedule a public first meeting and rely on yourself for transportation.

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Know your limit and stick to it. The majority of sexual assault cases on dates involved alcohol. Don’t get yourself into a situation you didn’t plan on due to too much Moscato.

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You might think a conversation is flowing nicely without realizing the other person is feeling pressured into or uncomfortable about the discussion. A simple way to ensure your date partner is comfortable in your conversation is to give them options. If, for example, you’ve just shared a story about your relationship history, give them the option of not reciprocating by saying, “So that’s my story but if you’re not comfortable sharing yours just yet that’s fine, I’ll understand.”

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This goes for online and offline dating. You should not reveal details like where you work or even what gym you go to. This information has the potential to be used against you.

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Don’t put pictures of you and your kids up on a dating site (or for that matter on any website that you cannot control who can, and cannot see your photos), don’t let your children meet your date until things are serious and several of months into the relationship, and never ever leave your children alone with your date.

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