Preparing for your date
So you've been trying out a few possibilities, have updated your profile and put a decent picture up online, now what? You've gone onto the forums and chatted with a few people. There's been a bit of interest and a few cheeky messages, and now it's crunch time - time to actually meet that person from the other side of the screen. You might be getting a little worried about now, especially if you've been off the dating scene for a while - so here's a few quick tips to help you stay safe and still enjoy your time out.
First off, there's no reason to let common sense slip past you on your way out the door. From a safety point of view, here are some essentials to bear in mind:
- Wherever you agree to meet, make sure that it is in a public place. Long walks in isolated areas can wait until you're sure they're not actually Dexter Morgan or Hannibal Lector.
- Take a well charged mobile phone with you and keep it switched on all the way through the date, even if it's on silent. Not only will it come in handy if you need to call a cab, but you can have a friend track you with Latitude, Foursquare or a similar mapping service for extra safety as you check in to places.
- Tell people where you are going, the name of the person you are meeting and what time you expect to be back.
- Keep a close eye on your personal possessions as well as any food and drink you might order while you're out.
- Don't, at least on your first date, rely on your date for transport either to or from wherever you are going. Stay safe by keeping control of your means of transport, your times of travel and route, if only so you can bow out early if it's really not working out.
If it's been a while since you've been out on a date, now's the time to put a bit of thought into how you're going to shine and convince them to line up for a second go. While there's no sure-fire recipe for success, there are a few things you can do to give yourself a boost. All you need is a bit of time, a sense of humour, some basic hygiene and a willingness to listen.
- Take the time to spruce yourself up rather than slouching round looking like something the cat dragged in. First appearances count as much in dating as they do in job hunting, so take the time to have a wash and brush up.
- Select your wardrobe with care. You're proving you're not a small child that needs to be dressed by someone one else, so dress to appropriately impress.
- Above all, dare to relax. Take a good deep breath before you head out the door and just go with the intention to enjoy the evening and the company of the person you're with. Let it all just develop from there as it will. Even if you don't have a second date, the odds are you'll at least have enjoyed the night out.