Dating Security

 Trust is a history. In order to know if you can trust someone, you need to create a little history with them.

Trust is a history. In order to know if you can trust someone, you need to create a little history with them.

Since February is coming up, the internet dating sites will be hopping with people who are looking for a sweetie by Feb 14th. But does romance need security?

Well, I’m glad you asked that, because with the onset of internet dating and meeting people online in social sites, people have to be careful in a different way than they did when they met people at church or even at a bar.

Today, we’re going to look at some ways to keep the date safe when you meet someone for the first time, whether it’s a blind date or someone you met on the internet.

1) Keeping it on a first name basis at first

It sounds a little weird until you realize how very much information about us is readily available online. Avoid offering personal information that might lead the person back to you before you know more about them. For example, real property records, company records, and other ‘transparent’ information make us available to nearly anyone with a computer who has your first and last name and city. Maybe you don’t want that guy to know all of your business until you get to know him a little. So keep your private business private.

The one thing people on dating sites do suspect about you is that you’re a single woman. Maybe you have a big black lab, and a .357 magnum tucked under the pillow. Perhaps you have a terrific smart security system, locks and a deadbolt on every door, and motion detectors. Maybe. Or maybe not. Predator behavior is to find out under the guise of doing something else, like dating.

You might want to google yourself, as well, so you can find out what is out there. Don’t add dates to your social media account, either, because if that allows him access to your friend list, you just made them all available to him, too.

 Time will tell if a person is really all you hope them to be. It's really okay to enjoy getting to know them before you decide.

Time will tell if a person is really all you hope them to be. It's really okay to enjoy getting to know them before you decide.

2) Meet in public several times

Whether it’s a coffee shop or a local eatery, meet someplace public. It should not be your usual hangout, either. Even though it’s comforting thinking there will be people who know you if things go south, it’s also a way for him to link back up with you.

3) Don’t get in anyone’s car

Before you get to know someone, it’s a wise idea to drive your own car to meet. A car offers you a quick escape and also doesn’t put you in a potentially uncomfortable situation. The same is true with letting him ride in your car.

4)  Avoid alcohol

The first time you meet someone, you may want to have all of your wits about you so that you can catch red flags. You need to have your gut on the alert. If it’s trying to tell you something is off, you don’t want a couple of beers to hush it up. It will probably be fine, but it’s better if your wits aren’t compromised when you decide that person isn’t your thing at about the same time they decide you really, really are.

4) Let someone know where you ‘re going to be and when you get home

When you meet someone new, and even if you later decide you want to date them, tell someone where you’re going, give her a link to the profile and his telephone number. Some people like to use the ‘find my friend’ feature to keep an eye on things, and some women snap a picture of the date’s license plate and offer a description of the car. Regardless of how you do it, make sure people have a way to catch back up with you. You can do this a lot of times without being a pest.

5) Keep the first meeting short

 So romantic! Just him, me, and that process server who is walking up to hand him papers ordering him to quit stalking his ex...

So romantic! Just him, me, and that process server who is walking up to hand him papers ordering him to quit stalking his ex...

Suppose you meet a guy and you’re really into him. You spend hours talking, and you home convinced he is your next romance. And then---

He doesn’t call.  Maybe he wasn’t that into you. Perhaps he met someone else. Maybe he went back to his wife or got picked up for missing his anger management class one too many times. But, for whatever reason, you need to be a good steward of your time with people you don’t know.

6)  The fifty-mile rule

In the Valley, fifty miles is technically a long way away for a romance. While people profess that finding someone is more important than distance, the distance can be a logistical nightmare. People need smiles and hugs, and you don’t want to wait for him to drive for an hour just to say hi. 

7) The fifty-hour rule

Some women want fifty hours of face-to-face with a man before they feel comfortable with moving a romance forward. The way they explain it is to compare to a new employee at work. The first week, everyone may think the new employee is genuinely fantastic and going to revolutionize his job and department. By the middle of the second week, They’re rolling your eyes and wondering how HR let this idiot slip through the crack and into their laps. If a date was a new employee, 50 hours would just barely be enough to ascertain competence. 

In the case of a getting to know someone, fifty hours is plenty of time for them to mention their ex is not quite an ex yet, their HIV-positive status, or that they’re a chef by profession but haven’t worked in eighteen months because, you know, the economy.  Things which may or may not matter to you, but should be mentioned before things get too serious.

By Valentine's Day, you and your new sweetie might be an item. But until you find the love of your life, stay safe out there!

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