The college dating culture has evolved to become an integral part of an individual's college life. In fact, dating while in college often marks the start of many students' romantic lives. Every first-year college student expects a fruitful dating career from their on-campus life and strives to make the best out of their time away from home.
However, as the college dating culture becomes more and more popular, the importance of establishing safe dating practices becomes equally as pronounced. While dating apps and websites have made it much easier to find a date nowadays, the same technology has also enabled scams and frauds.
Moreover, establishing safe dating practices is also important because most students are relatively new to the dating scene. It is much easier to be reckless and endanger your health or even your life when you're young and blooming.
Careless dating can become a hazard before you know it, which is why having a few safety tips and tricks has become a necessity. Here are the top 9 dating safety tips to stay safe while dating in college.
TOP 9 DATING SAFETY TIPS TO STAY SAFE WHILE DATING
As you can see, dating carelessly can bring about more damage than anything else. Therefore, having a safety checklist before you go on your first date in college is an excellent idea. Consider these 9 tips to be your safety checklist before leaving for your next date while in college. Make sure that you meet every one of these "requirements" before you head out for the big date.
Learn all the essential details beforehand
While dating apps and websites have made dating easy, these apps aren't always reliable when it comes to gathering information about your potential date for the night. The profile you come across can just as easily be a different person or may even be a scammer.
Finding out that your date wasn't actually what you thought they were when you meet them in person can be a disappointment and even a risk in some cases. Therefore, gathering all the necessary information about your date beforehand is a logical first step.
Start by carefully examining the other person's profile. Read their bio and swipe through a handful of pictures to check whether you are dealing with an actual person or perhaps just a scammer or even a bot!
Try to ask as many important questions as you can when texting before agreeing to go on a date. Make sure to clear any ambiguities that might be bothersome later on. Ask them important questions like where they live and what they do for a living.
Do not be afraid to ghost that person if you suspect any red flags in the talking phase!
Hold off on personal details
While it is a good idea to know as much about your potential date as you can before you meet for lunch or dinner, it is also a good idea not to indulge in too many personal details with the other person.
Telling the other person about your hobbies or perhaps your favorite song is fine. However, revealing too many personal details, sharing your social media handles, or sharing pictures might not be a good idea before you’ve actually met them in person.
Create a fine balance between what you reveal and what you conceal. It might be okay to talk about personal stuff for the sake of conversation when the other person is also indulging a little bit. However, taking necessary precautions is the best method of staying safe while dating in college.
Be the first one to pick a place
The importance of being the first one to pick the place for your date cannot be understated. There’s nothing worse than being on a date in a place far away from your home and being constantly riddled with anxiety about all the things that could go wrong.
Make sure that when deciding to go on a date with someone, you are the first one to suggest a place. If you are the first to suggest a place, the chances are that your suggestion will take precedence over any subsequent suggestions, if any.
Suggesting a place close to your residence can have a huge impact on your confidence while on the actual date. Being close to your residence can also help immensely if something goes wrong while you're out because you will always have reliable people close to you.
Meet in public during the day
Always make sure to suggest meeting at a public place during the day. Meeting someone at a public place during the day eliminates the possibility of any risky business. You have constant daylight and plenty of witnesses, which simply act as major deterrents for someone who might be looking to hurt you.
If your date suggests meeting at their residence, at a parking lot, or any other place that sounds, and probably is, equally shady, make sure to reject any such proposals. It is never a good idea to be away from the public when going on a date with a stranger, even if your date is not an actual creep.
If the other person constantly suggests meeting at a not-so-public place even after you've suggested continuously that you shouldn't, consider it a major red flag and move on for your safety.
Always have a backup ready
Having a backup ready whenever you go out on a date with a friend is extremely important. Always inform a friend about your plans before leaving. This can be a roommate that you trust or any other friend who might be able to help if the need arises.
Your friend could keep a constant check on you during the date, which might act as a deterrent for the person you are out with if they had any sinister intentions. Moreover, letting a friend know about your plans can save you from particularly troublesome situations – for example, when you just can't find an Uber back home.
It is also a good idea to give your friend all the important details about your date, including their name, address, information about their workplace, and their number.
Prepare a contingency plan
Contingency plans are absolutely essential whenever you are on a date. Imagine going out with someone who turns out to be a totally different person than what you imagined them to be. There's nothing worse than being stuck on a date with a person you are not interested in without a plan to get out of the situation.
Prepare a contingency plan every time you leave your house to go out with someone. These plans could be something as simple as having your friend ready to call you and fake an emergency so that you can leave without feeling any guilt about leaving someone stranded on your first date.
A friend calling with an excuse is the oldest trick in the book to help someone get out of a terrible date. Ask your friend to have multiple excuses ready at hand. Text your friend asking them to call you with an excuse to help you get out of the situation on the first signs of any indecent, inappropriate, or odd behavior,
Contingency plans can also be a lifesaver in case your date turns out to be an actual creep!
Bring your own conveyance
The importance of bringing your own transportation to your first couple of dates with a stranger cannot be overstated.
You risk letting your date know where you live by allowing your date to pick you up. We're not saying that this could always end in disaster, but you should take necessary precautions wherever you can to stay safe while dating. Letting a stranger know where you live is never a good idea, and you should not wait to see if the stranger you are dating is a creep or not.
Bringing your transportation also gives you the freedom to cancel out on your date and return home whenever you want to if the date isn't what you expected it to be.
Stay sober to stay protected
Staying sober when going on a date with a stranger is of paramount importance. If you have been drinking before your date, the other person might be able to take undue advantage.
Not only will you not be able to make a sound judgment about the person you just went out with, but you may also risk welcoming unnecessary advances from your date. Studies show that drinking before going out on a date can lead to disastrous conclusions.
If alcohol helps you with your nerves, having a drink before going out might not be an entirely terrible idea. However, you have to be mindful about how much you’ve had to drink both before and on the date itself.
Staying in control of the situation is the first step towards staying safe while dating. Alcohol numbs your inhibitions, and you might find yourself in particularly terrible situations only because you didn't watch your alcohol!
Always use protection
It is never not a good idea to use protection while being intimate with someone new. You don't know their STD status, and you don't have a concrete way of confirming it anyway. The best thing you can do to stay protected from potentially fatal diseases is to use protection while having sex.