A first date is a chance to connect with someone new and many times, a chance to spark a potential romance and step into the exciting unknown.
However, for many, especially women, there is also an underlying worry about personal safety. How can one prioritize their well-being while still ensuring that they have a wonderful experience?
We asked relationship and psychology experts for advice on some of the ways individuals, especially women can prioritize their safety on first dates.
This article details some practical tips and research-backed advice on how to enjoy the experience and also stay safe. We will explore essential dos and don’ts, discuss common safety concerns, and empower you to approach your next date with confidence and awareness.
First Date Do’s And Don’ts
Sharing Personal Information
When meeting someone for the first time, Personal Development and Psychologist Mary Mukimba advised that you do not share your personal information with the date.
It can be difficult for some to determine what information is too much information. However, according to Mukimba, information such as your home address, workplace, or financial details are something to keep to yourself until you ascertain that you trust the person.
“Don’t just share information. One does not have to share beyond just the basic information because you still do not know this person especially assuming that you are meeting them for the first time.
“And if they press on getting the information out of you, Mukimba says that you can terminate the conversation nicely and leave, for example, you can ask them, ‘can we schedule this for another time?”
Mukimba also advised that you can take a friend with you if you are meeting the person for the first time.
Although first dates can be exciting, she explained that it is important to have someone else you trust around to help point out the things you do not see.
Additionally, Psychologist Faith Masambia stated that you will also be more comfortable because you know that someone has your back.
“Tell a friend and let them check on you frequently. Sometimes you may not know the intention of the other person,” Masambia advised.
Because of the benefits of technology, one can share a live location with a friend if they are not able to bring them along. This enables them to track your movements throughout the date and check on you through texts to ensure that you are okay.
Ignoring Red Flags
Masambia advised that you should not ignore red flags on the first date and while communicating with the person on days leading to the date.
She said that it is easy for a person to type something on the phone and not mean it and it is therefore important to read between the lines. Especially when meeting through dating apps.
“It is easy to type something on the phone and not mean it or be. Pay attention to the red flags way before the meeting date, you will likely catch the red flag,” she stated.
On the other hand, Mukimba explained that you can also meet crafty individuals who will intentionally leave you with huge bills, leaving you stranded on your own.
“Sometimes they tell you to go to the hotel and spend your own money because they are coming to refund. Run, don’t allow them to leave you with the bill and lie that they are coming back to refund,” she said.
Meet in an Open Location
The experts also advised that it is important to steer clear of secluded areas when meeting a person for a first date.
They advised that you can choose to meet in public places where you anticipate that people will be present like restaurants and other public spaces.
While on the date, Mukimba advised that it is important to pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. And when uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation immediately.
“A lady may feel that there is a discomfort, and they are not at ease. You don’t have to wait for a third opinion,” she added.