Get expert tips to avoid a dangerous situation.
These days, online dating is more popular than ever. While there are lots of different dating sites and apps to choose from it's important to stay safe before you put yourself out there. Psychologist Jeffrey R. Gardere, Ph.D., ABPP has six tips you should keep in mind to avoid a dangerous situation when you are meeting new people.
Find out as much as possible about the person you are talking to online before you meet up. Look them up on other social media platforms to find as much information as possible and catch any potential red flags.
Always ask to meet in a public place and pay attention to the location they suggest. As Dr. Gardere warns, you can tell a lot about someone's intentions based on where they ask you to meet. If they suggest somewhere private from the get-go, they may have an unsafe agenda.
When you arrive at your date location, "check in" on social media so that others can see where you are. If the date takes a dangerous turn, your friends and family will have an easier time finding you.
It is important that you have your wits about you and are in control of the situation. Avoid engaging in excessive alcohol and drug use on the date so that you can escape the date if need be.
Don’t Leave Drinks Unattended
If you order any type of beverage (virgin or alcoholic), never leave the drink unattended. Take it with you so there is no chance that someone can put any substances (such as the date rape drug; Rohyphenol, better known as a roofie) in your drink, rendering you inebriated, incoherent, or unconscious.
Be in Charge of Your Own Transportation
You do not want to be reliant on anyone for a ride home, especially if the date is not working out and you want to minimize the possibility of being driven to a location against your will that is secluded or dangerous.