One of the most exciting aspects of college is, of course, the dating world. You don’t have to get permission from your parents, you can wear whatever you want, and you can stay out as late as you want, or (sorry parents) you can even stay over.
So with all the exciting components of the college dating scene, it’s understandable that a young college student wouldn’t want to think of the downside. Specifically, the dangers of the dating world.
But not thinking about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. So here are a few ways to ensure that while your date may not be a love connection, you’ll still be safe and sound at the end of the night.
1.) Meet (and stay) in a public place. It should go without saying, but often times the romance of the occasion (“A moonlit walk? That’s so romantic!”) tends to win out. Of course a moonlit walk is romantic, but when you barely know the person a moonlit walk could potentially turn into a terrifying experience. Stick to places where there are many people present, like bars, coffee shops, movie theaters, restaurants, theme parks and sporting events.
2.) Have backup. Sure you never want to use it, but the fact is having mace in your purse could come in handy later. And at www.secureoncampus.com you can even purchase disguised pepper sprays, like ones shaped like lipstick or perfume. Other things, like personal alarms or “screechers” will help you defend yourself should the occasion arise.
3.) Provide your own transportation. This is essential for two reasons: 1.) It means you have the freedom to leave whenever you want, and it means the person you are meeting doesn’t know where you live. Trust me, I’ve made the mistake of having him pick me up, only to find out halfway through the date that he was a huge creep (he asked to make a plaster cast of my breasts). That is not the kind of guy you want knowing your home address.
4.) Keep others informed. Making sure your roommate (or mom) knows your whereabouts is essential, that way if anything does happen (God forbid), people will know where to start looking. Even a simple text when your date goes to use the bathroom (“It’s going great! Think we’re gonna head for ice cream! ”) is an easy way to keep everyone’s mind at ease and keep yourself a little safer in the process.
5.) Take it easy on the alcohol. The reasoning here is pretty cut and dry: alcohol impairs judgment. As much as you may like this person, the fact is that you’re out with a stranger. Besides, no one wants to go out on a date with a sloshed idiot, no matter how fun you think you are when you drink.
If you feel you must drink though, be sure to always have an eye on your drink and keep it to one or two (that’s one or two glasses of wine, not one or two Long Island Iced Teas).
6.) Trust your gut. If you get that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, listen to it! Believe it or not, you are instinctively wired to identify potentially dangerous situations, so if your gut says leave, don’t let your brain talk to you back into an uncomfortable situation. Besides, the worst that can happen if you choose to listen to your gut feeling is infinitely better than the worst that could happen if you choose to ignore it.
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