I’m always surprised when I leave DC with its inherent hustle and bustle and a million people and a million things to do. I’ll tell people about going to meet with guys I met on dating sites, and they’re like, “Wait. Pause show. Are you telling me you went out with a guy you knew nothing about????” This is amusing to me, because it tells me that they know little about online dating, and even less about how often in DC you go out with someone you know nothing, or almost nothing, about. You develop a keen sixth sense. The constant adventure stops phasing you.
Of course we all know that just because you feel safe doesn’t mean you are safe. Ergo, without further ado, here are some tips on ways to stay safe if you’re on, essentially, a blind date.
1) Tell someone where you’re going. I don’t care how a big a girl you are. The one time you forget will be the one time you wish you had. Tell someone where you’re going, what you’re doing, and what time you’ll be home. Tell them if they don’t hear from you within 2 hours of that time, they’re authorized to call the police.
2) In the event the date goes badly–and it could–you’re going to need a more elaborate system.
Step 1: Have someone lined up to “emergency” call you mid-date so that you have the option of leaving if you need to.
Step 2: Set up a buddy system whereby you are constantly in touch with someone for a couple of weeks. Every single location you go to. Constantly in touch.
Step 3: Don’t give out more contact info than you’re prepared to block at a moment’s notice. Just don’t. That’s really dumb. I don’t care how good of a vibe you’re getting: crazy comes in all shapes and sizes. And remember: you can’t block an address. So maybe don’t invite him back to your place till you’ve run a background check, huh?
In other words, be careful, use your head, and remember–you may act the independent woman in front of him–but sometimes the best way to be independent is to know where your vulnerabilities are. So know them. Don’t show them. And go have amazing dates knowing that you’re completely safe.