Here at Free and Single our number one priority is to bring together people with similar interests so they can have truly great dates. However, the most important aspect of online dating is to stay safe when meeting up with, after all, strangers you have only ever known through the internet.
Once you agree to go on a date and meet up with someone you have met online and feel a connection with, put some measures in place to keep yourself safe – then you can relax and have lots of fun secure in the knowledge that if anything turns out badly, you can escape back home with no harm done.
First up, tell a few people who care about you where you are going and when. No point telling the postman! Don’t let embarrassment get in the way of your safety. Tell a few friends then you know you have back-up should you need it. Also set a time when you plan to return from your date – maybe a phone call or a text to discuss how it went with a friend will let them know it all went fine and give you a chance to gossip!
Second, choose a public place for your date. Offering to cook dinner at home is a sweet gesture, but it could hide a darker plan. Until you know you trust your date completely, you should stick to areas where you can be seen by other people. Why else would restaurants, movie theatres and coffee houses be the ideal first date venues?
Third, if at any time you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with your date, remember this: you are an adult. You do not have to bow to peer pressure and you most certainly should not feel you have to do anything you don’t want to just because you are on a date. After all, the date will never develop into anything further if they stress you out that much, so no need to capitulate ‘just this once’.
Fourth. Right. The awkward bit. If, for whatever reason, you decide to go a few steps further than is traditional for a first date – maybe you get carried away by sheer animal lust, or just want to see if you can still do ‘it’ after a long while single – be sensible. Use a condom. STDs are not pretty. Knocked Up is not a film to recreate.
The most important things to remember when heading out the door to enjoy a first date with someone you have only ever interacted with online are these: make sure you stay safe at all times and have lots of fun! After all, even if that wasn’t your best date there are plenty more singles waiting to fill up your inbox here on Free and Single!