Tips on safe dating
11 tips of staying safe on dates
1. Meet in public for the first few dates
This may be a common one but it’s exceptionally important. If your date doesn’t want to meet in public, then there is clearly something wrong or dodgy going on. This is often a red flag. Suggestions of places to meet can be coffee shops, restaurants, the cinema, bowling etc…
2. Always try and pick the place or pick a place that you are familiar with
As well as making sure you meet in public, try and pick a place that is familiar to you. Make sure you know how to get to your date and avoid travelling long distances to unfamiliar areas. The best way to keep safe is to ensure you know the area well and are able to get there and leave safely.
3. Don’t give out your personal details such as full name, number and where you work
It may be easy to feel comfortable with someone straight away and give out all your personal details but try and keep these for a few dates in the future. If they ask for where you work or where you live, try and give the sector name and city you live in rather than the precise work place and home location. If you feel uncomfortable disclosing where you live an easy thing to say is ‘I just live roughly 15 minutes from here’
4. Always let someone know where you’re going
This is so important! Screenshot the photos of your date, their name and the address of where you’re going. Tell multiple people and always give them a timescale of how long you plan to be on the date. A good tip on being safe is to excuse yourself to send a quick text to your friends to let them know how it’s going or if you change location.
5. Don’t leave food or drink unattended
It may be easy to leave for a bathroom break half way through your food but try to go before ordering or once you’ve finished eating and drinking. At the end of the day this person is still a complete stranger and their actions are unpredictable.
6. Avoid drinking too much alcohol
Avoid being taken advantage of and avoid drinking alcohol. You want to be able to remain in control and get home safely, you can’t do that if you’re wasted. If your date is trying to push you to drink more or doesn’t respect your wishes to not drink, then there clearly is something wrong.
7. Video chat your date before meeting
Get a feel for who they are by asking to video call. Any decent person would accept and you shouldn't feel afraid or embarrassed to ask to video call someone.
8. Make sure your phone is fully charged and you have connection to order an Uber or a taxi
Try and ensure your phone is fully charged and you’re always in an area that has service. You don’t want to be left stranded somewhere and you certainly don’t want to make yourself vulnerable by not having access to what could potentially save your life.
9. If you feel unsafe, leave.
Don’t stay out of politeness. LEAVE. The truth is, if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable you should leave. You have no requirement to stay and shouldn’t feel awkward leaving half-way through.
10. Research your date
Try and find out a bit more information on them and do some background research. This can help you verify the person is who they say they are. On Afterglow all members are verified, however, you can still conduct your own research. Treat it as a fun experiment!
11. Don’t accept a drink that was bought for you before you arrived
Again, food and drink wise. Don’t accept anything that was bought for you if you haven’t seen it being poured. This stranger could have spiked your drink and at the end of the day you want to keep yourself safe. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to say no. A small tip is to say ‘Sorry I can’t drink that, here you have it’ or ‘Sorry, I’m allergic’ or even just being remotely honest ‘Sorry, I didn’t see it being poured and this is our first date so I’m going to decline. Thank you though.’
All images/gifs provided by Giphy.