So, you’re ready to sweep your perfect match off their feet on your first date? Make sure you grab your wits and common-sense on your way out the door, to make sure your first date goes off as expected AND also safely:
Meet in public
Making a three-course candle-lit gourmet meal from scratch at your home might sound romantic and score you a few brownie points, but it’s better to have an audience the first time you meet and it could sound a bit risky. Arrange your first date in a public place. You can do the candle-lit dinner on a later date.
Keep it short and sweet
Rather opt for doing something that is quick and requires less commitment – for example, a drink or cup of coffee. That way if you find the spark just isn’t there in person, you can bow out gracefully. And, if you hit it off, you can always extend your first date from a ‘quickie’ to a dinner or a movie. No lengthy commitment leaves the back door open for either of you.
How about a threesome or chaperone?
No, nothing kinky! But it may be a good idea to take a friend along if you are a bit unsure. At the very least, tell one person where you’re going, who you’re meeting and what time they can expect you back. Get a friend or family member to give you a ‘rescue call’ timed for mid-date. You can use the call as an excuse to cut it short if you need or want to.
If possible, have your own transport or means of getting there. This will make it easier to turn down a lift and not leave you on the back foot.
Guard your identity and personal details
Even though you’re face to face for the first time, try holding back full details about your life and identity. There’ll be plenty of time to get to know one other if it goes well. Remember hindsight is 20/20.
Don’t forget your mobile phone
Make sure you have your phone with you, make sure it’s charged and that you know your network’s emergency number… just in case. Maybe even switch location service on.
Keep your eyes on your drink and stuff
Don’t leave your drink unattended, and keep your personal belongings with you at all times – even when you go to the bathroom. Remember the devil comes dressed as everything you want for a reason…
Have an exit plan
Think in advance about what your answer will be to the question ‘What are you doing afterwards?’ You may want to spend more time with your date but, if not, having another ‘appointment you have to get to’ can help avoid awkward answers. Also have an exit strategy should you want to make a quick escape, like that call from a friend or family member or setup an alarm reminder.
Going the long distance
If you are meeting far away from home, make sure to arrange your own accommodation, preferably with a friend or relative. Keep the location to yourself. If you can’t arrange accommodation, rather postpone your first date or have your match travel to your part of the world.
It’s OK to be cautious
Forewarned is forearmed. In fact, it’s just plain wise. It’s your right to feel safe and secure in any social situation you choose, so don’t be pressured into anything that makes you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable AND don’t be scared to voice it either.
The Dating Sites Team