When things start to get serious
Online dating is a lot of noncommittal fun, and that is why so many of us love it. You get to talk to new people, flirt, fool around online and generally get a lot of relationship benefits without any of the risks. However, if you are serious about finding love and building something solid you will have to leave the comfort and security of the screen at some point.
Meeting in real life after dating online is not something to take lightly. How that date goes can be what determines whether or not you and your love interest have a future. What is interesting is that it is just as serious for people who have been at it for long as it is for a couple that just got started. One of the most important things to consider when planning this super important date is your security. Here are a few tips that will come in handy.
Keeping yourself safe
Outdoor dates over indoor dates
It is the most important rule when it comes to meeting an online date in real life. Meeting in a public place means you get free security from all the strangers around you. If you would like some privacy, then choose dates in less crowded places like park picnics on weekdays and moderate traffic nature trails.
Involve a third party
Now before you panic, I don’t mean getting a chaperone or anything old school of that nature. Unless, of course, you feel like that’s your style in which case do it. In all seriousness though, you need to make sure that at least one other person knows where you are going, who you are going with and when to expect you back. It might seem a little paranoid, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.
Do your homework on your date
All the butterflies and warm fuzzies might blind you to your potential beaux faults. That happens to all of us, but when it comes to a first real-life date, you cannot afford to take chances. Take a few moments to step out of your lovey-dovey daze and do some research on the person you are about to meet up with. What you are looking for here are things like criminal history, restraining orders and anything else that may indicate risk of danger to yourself.
Don’t stay out too late
You are probably thinking to yourself right now, “I’m a grownup, and I can stay out as late as I want.”
No one disagrees with this one bit. Regardless, you should remember that one of the most important rules of first offline dates is getting security from the masses. The later you stay out the few people you have around to help in case anything goes wrong. Enough said.
Meet-up over pick-up
Picking up a date or getting picked up is without a doubt super romantic. You get to live that straight-out-of-Hollywood descent down the stairs moment with the person all dolled up. Despite the obvious allure pickups are just not worth the risk. Remember it means revealing your address to a stranger. Instead, meet up at the date venue and have them pick you up when you have established trust.
Save the goods for subsequent dates
We live in a day and age of sexual liberation where things like casual sex and one night stands are a positive thing. While this progressive attitude does have its perks, it also bears some serious risks. It is, therefore, better to take your time to at least get to know your date before bringing them home with you. That will help not only emotionally but regarding your security.
Pace yourself if there is alcohol involved
Alcohol can make a date interesting. It allows you to get rid of all those first date jitters and just be yourself. However, the lack of inhibition and subsequent impaired judgment might end up working against you. So make sure to pace yourself, take plenty of water and grab a bite or two to keep yourself capacitated.
Feel free to leave
This one is simple. If you feel threatened, unsafe or in any way uncomfortable, then leave. Remember, you should always trust your gut and not ignore potential red flags. You also don’t owe anyone but yourself anything. So excuse yourself politely and find your way home. You will thank yourself for it.
Always remember that eventually meeting offline is inevitable with internet dating if you want something real. However, you should never compromise your safety for the sake of love; it’s not that desperately necessary.
The tips and tricks provided above will come in handy for your first in real life hang-out. That way you will have fun and get a feel of what you are working with without having to worry about getting kidnapped, robbed or having heaven knows what else happen to you at the hands of your date.