My number one criteria for a safe date is to meet in a public place. When you do, you're creating your own safety zone. Essential for not only feeling relaxed emotionally, but for releasing your body from guard duty as well. Your shoulders drop, your eyes stop darting left and right, your breathing deepens and slows. Isolated, dark, quiet places may be great for romance, but on a first date, the goal is to get comfortable with each other. And comfort comes with safety. And safety comes in well-trafficked public places where you can let your guard down.
Here's a list of safe things to do on a first date (go to Chapter 10 for more information on great date locations):
Rollerblading in the park on Saturday
Going for ice cream
Meeting for coffee
5K run in the park
Meeting at a bar
A private party (unless you know the party-givers)
Seeing a drive-in movie
Sporting event (testosterone levels can go sky-high if it's a violent sport)
Going for a drive
Midnight walk on the beach
Weekend in the country
His or her home alone
A hike in the woods
Times Square: New Year's Eve after midnight
Again, this list is not intended to scare you into joining a monastic order. Certainly, a midnight stroll on the beach can blossom into one of the most memorable dates of your life, but a midnight stroll doesn't have to be a first date. Mom was right: It is better to be safe than sorry. In the dating world, avoiding iffy situations in the first place is better than trying to figure out how to get out alive and intact. This is dating, not undercover work.
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