1. If you’ve connected with someone through an online dating service or a matchmaking agency, take time to get to know the individual before you agree to meet the person face-to-face. Converse on the telephone and e-mail for a couple of weeks. This should give you a better idea as to whether you would feel comfortable meeting this individual in-person.
  2. Consider setting up an e-mail account just for use with “matches” referred by these services. This limits your need to provide any further personal details to your “match” until your instinct tells you this is someone you can trust. Another option is to use “call block” on your phone if you prefer the other party not know your phone number until you get to know him/her better. It’s perfectly fine to take your time.
  3. Meet your introduction in-person when you’re ready. Remember, even if you decide to meet, you have the right to change your mind.
  4. When you do decide to meet face-to-face, meet in a public area with a defined time limit—this should be “a must” for everyone on a first date, unless they already know the person.
  5. Provide your own transportation there and back and always let someone know your whereabouts. Be sure to check in when you return home.
  6. Get to know this person fairly well before revealing all your personal details, including your home and work addresses. If your date won’t take no for an answer or tries to pressure you for any kind of personal information that you don’t feel comfortable sharing, please find a reason to leave.
  7. Take note of your date’s behaviour with others; i.e. rude, impatient, etc., as this can serve as a warning as to how your date could eventually treat you.
  8. Carry a cell phone with or be sure to have some spare change for the phone. If you find yourself becoming uncomfortable, find an excuse to call home or your family and then tell your date that you’re sorry but you have to leave. And don’t feel guilty for leaving early.
  9. Be responsible. Don’t become prematurely intimate with someone you’ve just met—no matter how much the hormones are sending you another message. Pace yourself. Get to know the person first. And if or when the time comes when you both feel ready to become intimate, act responsibly. Practice safe sex. Use a condom.
  10. Watch for these red flags:
    1. Your date fails to provide you with direct answers.
    2. The information your date is providing is inconsistent with what the two of you have previously discussed.
    3. Your date asks to borrow money from you. Please use common sense or you risk getting taken in.
    4. Your date shares his/her financial hardships, therefore, inclining you to offer him/her some money.
    5. Your date only pays in cash on each of your dates. [Books on how to know if your partner is having an affair warn that this could be a sign that your partner is married.]
  11. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually because it isn’t. Trust your instincts—go with your gut feeling.
  12. If you’re on a date and become worried about your safety, don’t take any chances. Find a reason to leave and/or ask the nearest person to call the police.

Safety and common sense go hand-in-hand. You are ultimately in control of your dating experience. Take the time to be informed and to be safe.

Leona Hamel, Romance Agent™
Romance Unlimited™
Tel. (613) 830-3560
Toll free 1-877-229-5477
Fax (613) 830-8976

Copyright 2005. Romance Unlimited™. All rights reserved.
A division of LDH Enterprises Inc.