Meeting in Public: Making a Safe Connection On or Off-line

By eHarmony Staff and our Sponsor, ProtectMyID

Meeting in Public: Making a Safe Connection On or Off-line

Making the decision to meet a date in-person for the first time can be exciting. It’s also a great opportunity to revisit the common-sense practices that will give you the confidence and comfort you need to make sure your date goes off without a hitch.

Whenever you’re meeting someone new there are important guidelines to remember.

1.    Meet in Public – Whether you have met a person on or off-line, never accept an offer to be picked up at your house and never agree to meet them at their house or hotel room. First dates should always be done in a public place such as a coffee house, amusement park, bowling alley or restaurant. Choose a spot that is quiet enough to get to know each other, but where there are plenty of people around in case you begin to feel uncomfortable.

2.    Tell a Friend – It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, always tell at least one friend or family member where you are going and who you are meeting. Set a time when you will call them to let them know you are home safely. It’s also a good idea to casually mention to your date that your friends know where you are and who you’re with.

3.    Take Your Phone – This one seems obvious. Nowadays almost everyone carries a cell phone. Some daters ask a friend to call them during the date, just to check in. You can always ignore that call, but it does give you an opportunity to step away and have a quick word if you would like a break.

4.    Stay Sober – The best first dates happen when two people really get to know each other in a relaxed setting. It’s a time for sharing, listening, and determining whether you two are a good fit. Because you want to be sharp and perceptive, it’s best to avoid alcohol on a first date. If you do plan to drink, make it in moderation.

5.    Take your own Car – By taking your own transportation, you are free to leave the date whenever you feel ready. It also prevents a date from knowing too soon the physical place of your home or where you work. When driving, always keep quarters in your car for parking meters and carry cab fare in the event you have car trouble or don’t feel comfortable walking to your car.

6.    Protect your personal information  – Anytime you’re meeting someone new  and out socializing in crowded public places it’s a good practice to watch your personal items. Never leave your credit card, purse, wallet or even your drink unattended while you slip away to the restroom or to make a phone call. If you plan to order another drink, wait until you return.

It’s also a good common-sense practice when talking with a new person to keep certain information to yourself. Details about your children, where you live, work, and bank are simply not appropriate, and, of course, any interest in these details should send up an immediate red flag.

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