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The Safest Ways to Date

by Kristen Moutria, studioD

Dating is a fun and exciting activity for men and women of all ages. Although it is an enjoyable and necessary way to get to know potential mates, it also presents potential dangers that you should be aware of before agreeing to meet anyone. Whether you are online dating, blind dating or traditional dating, there are practical ways to stay safe and have fun.

Meet at a Public Place

The importance of meeting at a public place cannot be overemphasized. StatisticBrain.com reports that 10 percent of sex offenders use online dating websites to meet potential victims. By meeting in a public place, you eliminate the possibility that a dangerous person may take advantage of you when no one is there to protect you. Also make sure to let a friend know where you are going and whom you are meeting. If your friend does not hear from you after a certain amount of time, he or she at least knows where you planned to go and with whom.

Keep Your Information Private

PsychCentral and the UAB Police Academy recommend keeping your information private before and during a date with someone you have never met before. Never publish your address, phone number or email address on a dating website, and do not call a date you have not met from your cellphone. Instead, use a public phone and keep your real number private. If your date insists on having your private information, take it as a cue to end the outing.

Take Your Time

PsychCentral emphasizes the importance of taking your time when it comes to meeting someone new. As you gradually get to know a person, you learn more about who he or she really is. On the first few dates, be aware of anything that may seem suspicious or inconsistent in your date's lifestyle. If at any time you sense that something about your date does not seem quite right, end the date and do not meet the person again.

Keep Yourself Sober

Popular dating website eHarmony advises against getting drunk with your date when you first meet. Truly getting to know your date is not possible if you are drunk, and the most memorable first dates happen when both people are mentally alert. Furthermore, getting drunk could put you at risk of getting taken advantage of. Drinking in moderation is probably acceptable, as long as you understand your limits.

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

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