Nowadays, the search for the perfect man can not only be frustrating (REALLY frustrating!), it can be downright dangerous if you get mixed up with the wrong guy. I’ve seen enough movies about psycho stalkers and have met enough 40-somethings who still love with their moms to know that being selective is not the only-precaution you should take when dating; it’s critical that you also be alert and prepared for things to go wrong. There are some pretty horrible people out there, lets hope your first date doesn’t end up like this.

Happy Couple KissingDon’t get me wrong… I’m not trying to jinx your next date. In fact, with applying just a few tips, every date can be a safe one. I can’t promise that every date will be a good time, but at least you’ll be safer. Here are 5 simple tips to safer dating:

Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged.

I’m sure you don’t need convincing of this, since we’re all practically dependent on our phones. If you do use your phone a lot like I do, all the more reason to make sure that you don’t step out your door on a date unless your phone has a fully-charged battery. You never know when you’ll need it for an emergency.

Don’t keep your date a secret.

Make sure that you inform your BFF, roomie, or someone else that you trust with whatever details about your upcoming date. Let him or her know where you plan to be, when you plan to be back, who the person is that you’re going out with, why you’re going out (blind date, hanging out with an old friend, etc.), and whatever other pertinent information that may be important if you don’t return from your date. If you have a picture of the guy or know what kind of car he drives, obviously this would be good to share as well. Such information can prove very valuable and helpful to the authorities if something goes wrong.

Watch your drink and don’t overdo it.

The number of girls who fall victim to date rape each year is alarming. Watch every drink that gets poured and handed to you, even if it’s not alcoholic. Don’t ever leave your drink unattended, even for a minute. If a drink doesn’t taste right or if you’re simply uneasy with the drink in your hand, don’t drink it. No matter how comfortable you feel with your date, don’t overdo the alcohol.

You should always be in total control of your mental and physical faculties. It may seem more fun to lower your inhibitions, but many regret doing so by the time the next day rolls around. Besides, if you really enjoy your date, wouldn’t it be nice to remember it and all the details the next morning?

Be aware

Don’t allow your date to take you somewhere you don’t feel comfortable with or that is too isolated. Especially with a stranger, date only in public places. However, be aware that 73% of all sexual assaults are committed by non-strangers. So again, be smart about where you are and how alone you get… with anyone.

Remember that you are a strong woman

No matter how the evening goes, you don’t OWE anyone anything. Never do anything that you’re uncomfortable with or that is against your better judgement. If the date is going south real quick, ditch him. Don’t worry about feelings or protocol… your safety is the priority. Be prepared to say “No” and to do so firmly.

Take some self-defense classes too… after all, a woman is raped every two minutes in the United States. Be determined to never let that victim be you. For your first date with someone, it’s a good idea to drive your own car and to meet your date where you’re planning to spend your date, so that you can leave whenever you need or want to.

If you review all five tips above, you’ll see a common theme… It’s all about being in control. If you become a “Don’t mess with me” type of target, you’ll be able to enjoy the dating scene with more confidence.

Happy and safe dating! Have you ever had a first date experience that was less than perfect? Tell us in the comments below!

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