Online dating has become prevalent nowadays as technology becomes a part of our everyday lives. Social media and dating sites are now the new platforms in meeting new people, and some of these online acquaintances decided to meet in person.
However, the threat is still out there. Meeting a stranger in person is a risky decision. But if you want to meet with your online friend, then you must be vigilant and follow these safety tips before and during your meetup.
Do Your Research
You must conduct a background check of the person you met online before deciding to meet them in person. You can start your research online. Look for social media accounts and see if they are real or just pretending to be someone else.
List down as much information as you can, and it would be better to give this information to your family and friends, including a photo of the person. If you have some red flags on your sleuthing, then do not hesitate to cancel your date as soon as possible.
Do Not Give Your Date Too Much Information
Remember that this is just your first date, and it is not a bad idea to keep some information from your dates such as your home and office address, personal phone number, and the location of your family members.
If your relationship will work out, there is still a lot of time for that person to know this information about you, but the first date is not the best time to disclose personal details. If you are not comfortable disclosing specific information, then don’t.
Bring a Protection
It is always advised to bring protection whenever you are. A pepper spray or a taser would be the best protection to carry around with you. Just hope that you would not be able to use these protections and that your date will go smoothly.
Don’t Leave Your Food and Drink Unguarded
It is crucial to keep an eye on your food and beverages during your date. Predators can easily put date rape drugs such as roofies and gamma-hydroxybutyrate to anything you consume. These drugs are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, which can be very hard to discern.
It is best to visit the washroom before the food arrives on your table, or if you need to go to the restroom in the middle of your meal, it is best not to eat what is left on your plate when you go back from the restroom.
Additionally, it would be best if you always opened your drink, do not consume anything given by your date. If you consume these drugs, it will make you disoriented and unconscious, which will be very easy for the predator to take advantage of you.
Consider A Group Date Instead
The group date is a more secure way to meet your online guy in person. It is also an excellent way to introduce your date to your friends. Your friends can also act as an extra layer of protection and look out for you just if you lost track of yourself.
Use a Google Voice Number in Contacting Your Date
Instead of using your number in contacting your date, you should use google voice number instead. This way, you can keep your number confidential. It is also advised that you use a temporary number when signing up a dating account.
Get To Know The Person As Much As You Can
During your phone calls and messages before your date, you have to get to know that person as much as you can. It may give you a hint of what kind of person you are about to meet, and maybe you can see some red flags suggesting that the person is hiding something.
Go Home On Your Own
Never let your date accompany you on your way home, cause if you do, that person will know where you live. You are still getting to know the stage with this person you met online, without knowing a single person in this stranger’s life and letting him into your home would be a bad idea.
You do not know if this person is going to be a part of your life or not, so it is just right to keep this vital information for yourself. In case everything doesn’t work out according to the plan, that person will not have a single idea where you live.
Set A Limit
You have to set a limit and make sure that you stick to it. Keep in mind that this is not the only time you will meet your date, so you have to set a time limit. When you reach your limit, do not hesitate to leave.
You also have to limit your emotions as it can cloud your judgment. Most predators are very good at engaging their prey into sweet talks. Even if you feel secure with that person, still stick to your limitations.
Trust Your Instinct
If you don’t feel right about the date or the person, then don’t do it. Move on and look for another date online where you will feel comfortable and secure. Most of the time, our instinct does not lie, and it can be the only thing that can save you from harm.
If you are already on a date with that person and feel uncomfortable around him, don’t be shy to leave. If a specific person makes you feel uneasy, then maybe that person is not suitable for you, after all.
But the most important thing to do on a first date is to have fun. You can have fun without jeopardizing your safety. If you feel safe and can make sure that the person you are with will not harm you, you can now consider taking your relationship to the next level. If this is the case, it would also be a good idea to carry Bellesatoys with you just in case.
You have to prioritize your safety before anything else. Meeting with a person you met online is all right as long as you follow the given safety tips. Always remind yourself that you are meeting with a stranger, so be cautious all the time.