One hundred years ago dating was simple. Safe. Easy. Chances are, you met someone in school or church or perhaps your parents knew of someone they wanted to introduce you to.
Fast forward to the 21st century where women outnumber men by at least 2:1, and more in some areas. In the worst scenarios, finding the perfect mate has become a difficult task fraught with heartbreaking disappointment after disappointment.
For others, the dating scene is nothing more than an adventure through every social media platform available as they meet and “interview” every possible candidate, swiping left and right and checking off hearts next to Photoshopped pics.
Most women, through sheer lack of other viable opportunities, either meet someone at work (not a very good idea for so many reasons) or rely on dating apps. And that’s all fine and dandy as long as you completely understand some of the inherent dangers of hooking up with strangers.
No matter how well you think you know someone, whether it’s after a few weeks or even years, horror stories abound about good guys gone bad.
In short – you just never know how things will turn out, so be safe and be prepared!
- Before handing over any type of personal contact information, get an app that allows you to have a second phone number on your cell phone. The apps are usually free but they require you to purchase a phone number that remains active for a specific period of time, and the numbers come with a certain number of minutes. Many of these apps/numbers also allow texting. If you decide to halt communication with anyone, just don’t renew that phone number. (It’s a good idea to even have a different phone number for each person you are chatting with online.)
- Do the same thing with email. Get an email account that is used only for your dating activities. Worst case, you can actually delete the entire account.
- If you plan to meet up with someone who is a real stranger (as opposed to someone at work or someone your friends or family introduced to you), don’t go overboard with the personal details. If his real goal is to do harm, all these personal details could be used against you in the future.
- Meet in a public place. If you aren’t familiar with the spot, go check it out before the actual date. Is there a safe place to park? Be leery of large poorly lit parking garages or dark out of the way parking lots.
- Tell your friends or family where you will be and at what time. Also, give them whatever information you have for your date, such as name or even his phone number or user name from the app used to meet each other.
- If you are having cocktails, make sure you don’t leave your drink alone. If your date has any idea of getting you into bed against your will, this is the ideal time to get that drug ingested. Need to use the ladies room? Take your drink.
- If anything seems “off,” listen to your gut. There’s a reason humans have been gifted with that sixth sense of danger. Make your excuses and leave.
- Have your own money with you. Don’t assume your date will be paying for everything. And it’s not unheard of for some of these losers to pull the “I forgot my wallet…” routine. Don’t fall for it. It’s guaranteed that he has his wallet because he would need to be carrying his license / ID with him, and where else would that be?
- Sure, a real gentleman will offer to walk you to your car after dinner. This one is a tough call. He could be one of those classy guys with real old school manners. Or, he could have some bad intentions like following you home.
- No matter how cute he is, or how worldly, educated, funny, interesting or charming he may be, keep your cool. All the victims of Ted Bundy had thought the same thing.
You never really get to know anyone. Couples divorce after decades of marriage because those pesky skeletons have a way of coming out of the closet and ruining lives and families. There are ways of being safe without being paranoid. And, yes – Mr. Right does exist! It just might take a while to find him.