Online dating is not as frowned upon as it once was. In fact, these days it seems to be quite a normal way to find a new partner. The initial stages of online dating are exhilarating, especially when you plan the first meeting. No doubt you feel a certain level of comfort with your date or you wouldn’t still be talking to him. However, people aren’t always as honest over the internet as they are in person. Even if you feel completely secure that your date won’t turn out to be a psychopath, you should still take some safety measures when you meet him for the first time.
Meet in a public place
People have been spouting this safety tip since online dating began. There is a very good reason though. As previously mentioned, people online may not be giving a true impression of who they are. When you meet your date for the first time, it is wise to do so in a public place, just in case he isn’t what you expected. The first time I met my online date, we met at a busy café. Even though I didn’t think he would be a monster, I felt much safer knowing I could easily walk away if I needed to. Thankfully, everything worked out just fine!
Arrange to meet at an alcohol free zone
It might be tempting to arrange your first date at a nightclub or a bar, but that isn’t ideal. Yes, it is a public place but the potential for disaster in that kind of setting is much higher. He might have too much to drink and then you will have to figure out a way to get him home, or you might get drunk and say something embarrassing. In a worst case scenario, your date might even slip something in your drink when you aren’t paying attention. The worst case scenario is very unlikely, but safety should always come first when planning to meet an online date.
Tell someone where you are
The first time I met my online date, I told one of my friends where I would be, who I was meeting and roughly what time I expected to get home. Really, it was just an added precaution as I met him in a public place, limiting the possibility of problems. It is a good thing to do though. It means that you have an extra back up in the rare event that something goes wrong.
Listen carefully to your date
This is the true test as to whether or not your date measures up in reality. You will be able to tell very quickly if he was just saying all the right things online to make you like him. In real conversation there is no delete button, so what he says is probably what he means. Reading his body language will also give clues about whether or not he has been lying to you.
Don’t let him drive you home
Even if your date is everything you dreamed it would be, there is no need to rush it. If he offers to drive you home, make an excuse. This is a wise choice because if things go wrong between you before the next date, he won’t know where you live. It really is that simple!
You should never be frightened about meeting your online date. If you feel that way, you shouldn’t be meeting him at all. But your safety should always come before everything else. The chances are, when you meet him everything will be perfect, however it isn’t something you can guarantee. Many people who meet an online date go on to have fantastic, long relationships with them. Bad things only happen to a small minority, but by playing it safe, you can ensure you don’t fall into that category. Don’t forget, if you feel any sense of uneasiness before you go on the date, don’t go.