Unless you’re one of those people who loves the anticipation and preparation for a first date, the entire process can be a bit daunting. There are plenty of guides out there to help you figure out what to wear and what to say (and a few things not to say), but we thought we’d share a few simple first date tips that will help you stay safe when you’re ready to meet that guy or gal you met online.
Meet in a public place
This applies any time you’re meeting someone for the first time from the internet, whether it’s a sale on Craigslist or a first date from Tinder. It’s also a good idea to have at least one backup public location ready to go in case something goes wrong or the person can’t find the place.
Be smart about sharing personal information
Sharing your full name, email address or phone number can give people you’re meeting access to a lot more information about you than you may realize, from where you work to where you live and even a list of friends and associates. Keep your full name private until you feel comfortable, and use a Burner instead of your personal number when you want to graduate from in-app messages.
Tell a friend
Any time you’re meeting up with someone new, let a friend know when and where you’ll be going on your date. Pro tip: have a set time for your friend to call you in case you need a reason to bail.
Don't be afraid to cut it short
A full meal is a bad idea for a first date -- go for coffee instead. Starbucks often has plenty of parking and coffee can be short and sweet if it’s not going well.
Listen to your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, don't be afraid to pull the rip cord after a few minutes. Remember, you're never going to see this person again (and if you used a Burner, don’t forget to ditch the number!)
Temper expectations, but stay aware
Almost everyone does a little fibbing on their social profiles. According to OKCupid, people often say they are taller than they actually are and make more money than they actually earn; there’s a good chance they are embellishing about their age too. These are pretty minor, but be on the lookout for any signs that there may be something larger or more concerning that may signal that it’s time to cut the date short.
Pretty simple? We think so! Just remember to have fun and extend that Burner if things work out!