Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
While I prefer to embark on new adventures with nothing but a positive outlook, I'm also painfully aware that there are still people in this world who wish harm on others. Simply put, in the infamous words of Dorothy, "we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto." And that applies as much to first date safety as anything else for which the cliche is overused.
Dating in general can be a little nerve wracking, but that first date, whether you've been set up through friends or met online, needs to be something that is handled with great care. These five little tips can leave you breathing a little easier and remove a level of stress.
1. Meet for a set duration of time.
Your first date needs to have a definite start time and a definite end time. Make it clear that you have somewhere else to be following your date - not so much that you're acting like you're squeezing them into your schedule, but be clear that someone will be waiting for you if you don't leave on time. You HAVE to stick to this, no matter what.
2. Meet in a public place.
While I recognize this may seem a bit like "well, DUH!" you would be surprised how easily it seems like you know someone when you've traded emails, phone calls and text messages for several days. No matter how many conversations you've had, if you haven't met face to face, always meet in a public place, preferably one that's busy. And on that note, do not drink anything that isn't brought to the table by the waitstaff.
3. Have a safety call.
Designate one trusted person who is near their phone to check in with when you get there and when you leave. And by "leave," I mean you literally pick up your phone and call them as you're walking to your car. Don't be so distracted that you're not paying attention, but someone is less likely to club you over the head and drag you into a trunk if you're on the phone with a live person.
4. Tell your safety call everything you know about the person you're meeting.
Send an email with their name, phone number, email address, work location, dog's name -- any information you have.
5. If your intuition is giving you a nudge to check them out, profess a belief in astrology.
Here's why - if you ask for their birth date (as a way of getting an astrological profile, for example) you can also run a background check on them. Intelius.com is a safe site for that. More often than not, you will find that someone has a clear history, but since you are your most precious commodity, you are not something you want falling into the wrong hands. If anything is suspicious, just don't go.
First date (or any date) safety is nothing to scoff at. It is always better to be completely safe than utterly sorry.