Staying Safe When Online Dating

It’s important to think about safety BEFORE you show up to your in-person date. Don’t be afraid to date, be informed, aware, and smart! As widowed people, we are vulnerable! We are used to being in that marriage relationship with a higher level of trust and communication. It’s not in our wheel house (the things we know) to think about predatory behaviors, but they’re out there. I can organize safety into a couple of sections. This is part 2 of a three part (maybe four?) series!

Keeping Your Body Safe

  • Meet in a public space.
  • Take your own car.
  • Park in a well lit or busy area.
  • Let a trusted friend know where you’re going to be.
  • Send that friend a screenshot of your date.
  • Turn on the Find My Phone feature if you have an iPhone.
  • Buy your own drinks, and have eyes on them at all times.
  • Don’t let your date bring you a drink.
  • Arrange a check in phone call from your friend while on the date

Keeping Your Heart Safe

  • Have fun!
  • Remember this is just round one in your drafting process.
  • If he or she says something that raises your intuition, pay attention.
  • You are allowed to extend or cut short the date for any reason.
  • Perhaps avoid alcohol because it leads to lots of poor choices.
  • Poor choices should be made with a clear head.
  • If you enjoyed the company, move that person up to round two in the draft!
  • If you did not enjoy the company, don’t kiss them (or sleep with them)
  • If there were red flags, break it off quickly and cleanly.
  • You pick: 30 seconds of discomfort verses months of discomfort if you need to end it.

I want you to have a good time and enjoy yourself! I don’t want you to be freaked out, ok? You just need to have that back up plan in case you meet one that isn’t clicking.

This happens to men and women! One gentlemen had a strategy that I loved. This is how it went:

  1. He prearranged a phone call with a friend with the following rules: Either the man would call the friend as soon as the date was over, OR the friend would call the man after an hour and a half about “business.”
  2. He would apologize for the interruption and put the call on speaker so the date could hear it.
  3. He would tell the friend he was on a date, and the friend would ask how’s it going? If the man said, “we’re having an amazing time” then the friend knew everything was ok, and would apologize for interrupting and tell him to call him the next day. IF the man said, “she is so interesting” (or some other code), then the friend would apologize and say that they were having an emergency and was there any way he could come down to the …..
  4. The date in this situation never knew what was happening! She wasn’t offended, hurt, angered, or crushed. The date had a definite hard end if it was needed, and the gentleman knew that the worst case scenario was he was spending an hour getting to know someone new.

I hope this helps!

Julie

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