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I receive countless questions about dating especially about first dates.  I have even discussed the subject on my radio show What Now? With Laurie Giles and here on my Fabulously 40 and beyond What Now?   blog. The questions and comments run the gambit from how to meet someone to the do's and don't of first dates.  One subject that has been missing is first date safety.  So I decided to start the conversation, hopefully you will add your comments and tips to this blog. Here are my top 5 tips.

1. Go public
Always meet in public places.  it is important that you remain visible. Never meet for a first date at a private or secluded location; your home, his home or a deserted parking lot or park. This is especially true with blind dates.  Remember, even if you have been communicating via internet and you have become comfortable, the person is still a stranger, thus tantamount to a blind date. Regardless of the "chemistry" you may feel, never bring the person home on the first date, nor be picked up at your home Don't get into a car alone. Haven't you told your children don't get into a car with a stranger, practice what you preach.  

2. Keep it general
Keep the information you  divulge general. You will likely be the topic of at least part of the conversation, keep it general.  Talk in generalities, I work downtown, or I live close to here, or my kids play football.   Don't be specific with addresses, last names, place of employment or names of kids' schools or teams. Before you give information ask yourself if you would disclose it to the person standing in line behind you at Macy's. In short don't give information which may later lead to locating you against your wishes. You may not want a second date.  

3. Guard your identity We often use ATM machines and credit cards without regard for who is around us. Use caution when entering pin numbers.  Be sure that the numbers entered are not visible. And while it may seem obvious, do not leave your purse or wallet  unattended or open. Only carry items; credit cards, cash, identification  that you absolutely need for the date.  

4. Set up a temporary safety net  

 If you are meeting at a restaurant  tell the  maitre d/ hostess or waitperson that you are meeting for the fist time and ask them to keep a look out for signs or signals that you are uncomfortable or need assistance.  

5. Tell before you kiss
Tell  friends or family when you are going out on a first date. Share any and all information that you have; full name, address, and place of employment. Also leave a note on the refrigerator or some other visible place in your home with all of the information.  It may seem silly, but you can never be too cautious.  

Please add your tips, let's keep each other safe.  

Laurie Giles
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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Turbandiva wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • Hi Laurie; I’m long past dating, but when I look back, I am always amazed at how lucky I was that I wasn’t killed because I thought everyone was as trustworthy as I am.  This is great information.  I think #5 means to give all that info to friends & relatives, not your date?

      On the topic of kids, as tempting as it is, showing pictures is not safe. Predators can seek out single moms. Posting pics of your kids on Facebook or other social media sites is not safe. These should be visible only to family and friends you personally know, not as part of your profile.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • Yes this is an important hub indeed, I have also written about this, so you can find time to see it on my blogs.  Thanks for the info my friend....heartbreak



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Therese Schmidt wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • The best advice I ever received was from a drill Sargent in basic training for the US Army.  Always know where the fire alarms are in the buildings you are in.  If you get in trouble NEVER yell “Rape”  ALWAYS yell “Fire” and try to get to an alarm.  People don’t want to be involved in a rape but they LOVE to watch stuff burn and the alarm will bring help.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • Always meet in a public place familiar to you - near transport (either very near somewhere you can park your car, or easily get a cab, bus or train). Always meet at the venue (I’m surprised by several women who not having cars have agreed blind-dates pick them up at their house - are they nuts?)I often try to make the first blind-date in day time - perhaps just meet for coffee or lunch the first time. Any decent guy will respect these precautions. Lastly of course have your mobile phone on...just in case.

      Timbuktu



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurie Giles wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • this is great advice



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tealyn wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • I, too, am long past dating (married 27 years) but I have a very good friend who is 40/single/dating. Her first dates are in the daytime, close to home. She always lets a friend or two know when/where/who details and touches bases when home. Couple or group dates are also a good way to get to know the new person and get valuable feedback from your friends. I think the fire alarm tip was excellent, too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • Loved it, but remember always get your own drink never let them get it because you never know.  If your familiar with the bar or restrauant your meeting at great then you know the wait staff, otherwise keep it safe.

      Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nancy Oblea wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • Great advice Laurie I also agree with the others with meeting at a place you know and are comfortable with.

      nancyo815heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Paula Marksman wrote Jul 15, 2010
    • I love your comment, queenofgivingback. I could have used it back when I was still dating.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tmas3500 wrote Jul 16, 2010
    • I’ve always met in public, Great Infoestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Jul 16, 2010
    • heartheart there is one more to meeting in public have your good friend there. Meet at a restaurant, have it all prearranged so your table is close to your friends. That way they get a good look at him.
      If your uncomfortable they will notice before anyone on the restaurant staff, they are there to work. And when you leave have your friend following behind you but don’t go straight home. Early date.
      Take these precautions and all the rest it’s not paranoia it’s wanting to live and be safe.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jul 16, 2010
    • heart Great tips!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 17, 2010
    • Being sensible is one thing but taking your best friend along for the date too - oh please! That is paranoia. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. We do need to be vigilant and cautious but there does seem to be a fear rife amongst women especially in US that all men are out to attack them. This isn’t the case. Most men are out there looking for a nice woman to date. You surely don’t believe that all your friends’ husbands, your brothers, male work-mates etc are evil rapists and murderers. Let’s keep things in perspective here.

      Timbuktu



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Evelyn M. wrote Jul 17, 2010
    • I have been single for five years, stopped dating by choice over a year ago, just way to busy with work and my business but here is my advice, although most is common sense:
      1. Arrive early see who your date will be and that way he does not know what car you drive so you are not followed, it also allows you to decide if you want to meet him or not.
      2. Try to meet during day time if possible
      3. always let a best friend know when you are going out, where and what time you expect to be home.
      4. do not give out your cell phone number to him, not yet.
      5. don’t meet in a public central place and then agree to go in his car somewhere else so you don’t have to take two cars.
      6. be prepared to pay your own way if you do not like your date and do not want to repeat it with him, that way you avoid an uncomfortable moment with someone who thinks you owe him just because he paid for your dinner or drinks.
      7. Definitely buy your own drink, and drink it all before you step out to the bathroom.
      Maybe I am paranoid, not all men are bad, but you got to be safe, be careful and take precautions when going out with someone you do not know. Just because you are going out with a guy you don’t throw common sense out the window.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Turbandiva wrote Jul 17, 2010
    • Great advice about watching your drink, Evelyn!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Jul 20, 2010
    • @Timbuktu, with respect you know nothing on this subject.  No one said every male was out to attack them and it isn’t paranoia. Have you been attached, raped? Has someone you know?   I have. And if I was dating and single my friend would be there in the restaurant to see if I wasn’t comfortable. They are not on the date, for if you don’t know the person that well isn’t your safety worth alittle paranoia?  Your living in a fantasy land if you don’t think it can happen.
      Maybe you should be alittle more sensible? !



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 20, 2010
    • I am sorry you have had such a horrible experience Crisasbury, but I still stand by what I say. In the end we all have to make the right decision for ourselves, and that is where we will disagree.  

      I have done quite a bit of Internet dating. The real creeps stand out a mile on their profiles. Anyone who is over-keen - suggesting meeting up before a few phone calls - is a no-no. Anyone who wants to know too many details such as your address or private email straightaway. I winnowed out many, many of these. Probably a few were actually fine, but like you I wasn’t taking risks.

      Of the ones I did meet, all were nice guys - even though I was sure they were decent I still took precautions - it was always at a place I was familiar with, in a busy public place etc - following much of the advice (including my own) as above. I met three really nice guys, although nothing long term ensued for various reasons and two who were pleasant but we just weren’t suited.

      I am not living in a fantasy land - far from it. I also have a daughter who I have taught to look after herself by using common sense and good care. I value my daughter and myself far too highly to take risks, but I have met women (and men) who have been conned simply because they were too gullible and easily flattered. That is where the danger lies.

      Best wishes,
      Timbuktu



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Jul 20, 2010
    • heart I am really glad you’ve met some nice men and I do want to apologize for part of what I posted. I was upset I had just found out I lost my best friend and that was no excuse for me to suggest you lived in a fantasy land. I also will say I have never dated on line and I answered out of stupidity. Although I would have a friend in the restaurant. I am truly embarrassed by my outburst and I am working on it. I believe you know more on this and I’m only offering what I would do and I am definitely bias on this again NO excuse on my part.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 21, 2010
    • Hi Crisastbury, I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. Thanks for your last message, much appreciated. Keep safe out there.

      Timbuktu



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nerissa wrote Jul 21, 2010
    • estatic Along with the other truly great advice there is one other thing to remember/consider from my beloved Mom “Nancee“-How you are treated on the first date. She would always said “the very first date that you go out on with someone is the very best that they will treat you.” Those words are prophetic as I have envisioned past relationships on the ship in my mind reeling back through age and time. Those very words ring so true so I thought I would share them with all of you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Jul 21, 2010
    • heart your welcome and thank you for being so nice about it and for you‘re kind words. happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 23, 2010
    • I have to say even though I am back with my ex and did the dating seen for a short time, all the advice given was right on.  I don’t have any friends here but my 2 oldest sons always knew where I was and with whom. besides the fact that I had access to having the guy checked out, trust me that helped a lot.

      This is all great ladies.  Please be safe out there.

      Dee



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