If you use any dating app, you’ll eventually probably get to a point where you want to meet up with someone from your app. We’ve put together list of things to do to help make sure you stay safe when you’re meeting up with someone.
Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again: when you’re meeting someone from a dating app, meet them in public. If you’re meeting them for a date that you’re hoping will end in a hook up, choose a bar that you know well or a restaurant you’ve been to before. If you’re meeting up and you’re looking more for a relationship, choose a coffee shop or restaurant that’s well let that you know well. If your date chooses the location, google it and make sure it’s somewhere you’re comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask them to meet you somewhere you’re more comfortable! If they’re on the up and up, they won’t mind.
Tell Someone The Plan
Before your date, let a trusted friend know where you’re going, who you’re meeting, and when you’re expecting to get home. If this is your roommate, even better because then they’ll know that you got home safe. Otherwise, make sure to text your friend to let you know you got home safe. It’s important when you’re meeting a stranger you met on a dating app that you don’t go into it blind. If your friend knows where you’ll be and the name and phone number of the person you’re meeting then you’ll have back up if something goes wrong.
Have An Easy Out
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place for the date to end if it’s going poorly or if you don’t feel safe. If at all possible, make plans for after the date so you have a definitive end for the date. Another option would be to have a friend plan to text you an hour in as an excuse to leave. In all honesty, you don’t actually have to go meet friends after your date as an excuse to end it, but if you can make actual plans then you know that if you don’t make it to those plans because (god forbid) something went wrong on the date, you know you’re covered.
It seems excessive, but it’s always better to be over prepared. If it’s legal in your state, consider bringing pepper spray with you. You might even consider making a joke about having pepper spray so he knows not to try anything. You could also considering bringing a personal alarm or panic button- again, letting your date know that you have these things might seem strange but it will tell them you’re not going to take any trouble from them and might dissuade them. If you’re not comfortable with either of these options, which is totally understandable, you might consider meeting your date in a group setting first.
Trust Your Gut
If you get on your date and you just have a bad vibe, trust your gut. On dating apps, people present the best side of themselves. When you meet them in person, the vibe that someone gives off can really tell you about them. You might sit down and immediately feel like something’s off, or it might hit you halfway through the night. Either way, if you get a bad feeling about your date at some point, trust that feeling and get out.
Watch Your Drink And Play It Safe
It is never your fault if you get drugged on a date. It’s the fault of whoever drugged you, and no matter what it’s never your fault. That being said, you should of course still take actions to avoid it. You can’t control whether or not someone tries to drug you, and ultimately you might not be able to control whether or not they’re successful, but you can do your best to prevent it. If you need to go to the bathroom, try to wait until you’ve finished your drink. If you can’t wait, ask your date to take a sip of your drink when you get back. It might make them feel like you don’t trust them, but the awkward moment is worth the peace of mind. If your date refuses to take a sip, it could just mean they’re insulted and they didn’t put anything in your drink, but that still says a lot about them that they’re not willing to set their ego aside so you feel safe.
Don’t Be Afraid To Just Leave
This isn’t everyone’s style, but it’s something you can totally do. You don’t need an excuse to leave. You have the right if you don’t feel comfortable or safe to just leave. If the situation is really dire, you might consider telling your date you’re getting a drink or going to the bathroom and instead leave or let the bartender know what’s up and pay your tab. If you feel comfortable doing so, it’s also totally okay to just let your date know you aren’t feeling it and want to leave. Just make sure you do it politely. People on dating apps can be pretty hit or miss, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit through a terrible date if you’re miserable or uncomfortable.