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10 Top Dating Tips and Safety

So far in my 2nd series of blogs that started back in December last year we have looked at the following:

• The Differences between Matchmaker and Dating Sites.

• Places to go on a First Date.

• Things Not to Say or Do on a First Date.

• A Second Date is a Good Idea Because.

Which one has been your favourite? Please do let us know.

Ok, you are about to go on the first date, everything is going so well, but let’s get something straight here. INTRO meets all their clients in person and checks their ID so you are most likely to be in good hands but it is sensible, regardless of how or who set you up (on a date), that you are prepared with some dating tips and how to be safe when dating.

Off the bat, I want to draw attention to something I mentioned in my previous blog “unless the person is not as described in their profile, your second date cannot possibly be any worst and can only get better”. If you missed it, pop back over to “A Second Date is a Good Idea Because...” and have a read.

The reason I want to draw attention to this line is that this blog is solely looking out for your safety when dating. It does not matter if it was Intro NW that helped you set up this date or not, it could be your Brother, Sister, your Mother, an Auntie (hopefully not one like mine from my first blog in this series). It could even be your best friend that set you up, none of that matters. If your date is not as described, go back to the source, and let them know. If it is a professional service provider, it is paramount for quality and client safety reasons that they know.

Uber, for example, do the same thing, not only do you get to rate your Uber driver, your driver must evaluate you before he or she can pick up another job. If you misbehave in any way and do it on a regular basis, you will not be able to use Uber as a private hire taxi service. Similarly, if an Uber driver, consistently receives negative feedback Uber will investigate, and it could result in the driver having their license revoked.

For you in the dating scene, your service provider has spent a lot of time creating a profile that they assessed as accurate and correct. If your date is not as described, do not hold back.

One of my favourite movies is Hitch starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes and Kevin James and there is a particular scene that I love, but I would like to use it to demonstrate what could happen when your service provider (or friend, family member or colleague) tries to set you up.

Click on the image to jump to the scene I am referring to, and I will explain after you have watched. Don’t worry when you click on the image YouTube should pop up via a new window.

Okay, so you see Vance looking to hire Hitch to help get a date a with a girl. The initial conversation is a lot of beautiful things that Vance loves about this girl but then concludes with Vance’s true intentions coming out and Hitch refusing to work with him.

Now imagine that this conversation is symbolic of the personal profile building session(s) that one would receive from say Intro NW. The client answers all of the questions that he or she is asked, volunteers some useful insights to help get their profiles built, but omits the fact that their only intention is to as Vance puts it... “bang her; you know, bang her. Clear my head, get in get off, get out!”

Now it could be anything, it doesn’t have to be sex, but if anything is discovered later that a service user/date has hidden, the service provider needs to know, just like your Brother, Sister, your Mother and even your Auntie would need to know. Come forward immediately if something is fundamentally not right; do not go on a second date.

Let’s look at some dating tips that will not only keep you safe but can also help you have a better date in the first place so your decision to go on further subsequent dates a little more comfortable.

1. Talk on the phone first. Yes, text, IM and email are straightforward to do but how someone speaks to you will give you a real sense of who they are and raise any red flags that you otherwise would not have the chance to find if you stuck to text, instant messaging, and email. Being the traditionalist that I am this would also be the first real conversation you would have will your date meaning you might be less nervous when you finally meet.

No call = first real conversation would be when you first meet. You’re nervous as it is so it would be sensible to give yourself as much of a chance to portray who you really are on your date rather than gagging yourself behind a mask of nerves.

2. Do not ignore red flags when you do exchange phone calls, emails, text etc. It is natural to want the date to go well because we fear a perceived failure, or maybe because you want to avoid being set up again by the infamous Auntie but do not ignore them. What do I mean by red flags, I mean things like a tendency to be judgemental or pushy or all around negative. Of course, if you are a trained criminologist or criminal psychologist and your potential date has all the tell signs of something more serious, act accordingly.

3. Treat your personal information like your body, do not give away too much of it when you are dating. There is plenty of time to share the information as the trust grows, just like there is plenty of time to show off your body as your relationship develops. And if your personal beliefs are that this sort of thing means you wait until you are married, excellent so be it. It does not mean though that you must give up more of your personal information before you are ready to.

4. Meet your date close to your venue. Again, it is another expectation, supported by Hollywood movies that the guy should pick up his date at her home but there is a safety exposure by allowing this. Think of it this way, if your date is not what you expected or hoped for, do you want them knowing where you live exactly? Apart from that safety exposure, it is 2018, and we should be working towards being independent individuals.

5. Being independent does not mean you do not take a ride from your friends to get to your date. If you do not have the means to get to your date then yes, accept a ride from your friends or family. At least this way someone else knows where you were and what you were doing.

6. Disclosure. If you are making your own way to your date venue, let someone know who you are going to meet. Advise someone of their name, where you met them and what they look like. There is a whole host of reasons why this is a useful tip but here are a few. Your date turns out to be a worst possible scenario/situation. There is a public disturbance, something that would make the news and signpost the likes of Facebook and Twitter to do their “declare that you are safe” mini-campaigns.

7. Date in public, where other people are going to be. Date where other people are also dating. Your initial dates should be highly visible, whereby if something were seriously wrong you would have people around who can witness, or assist should it be needed.

8. Have a way out. If things are going downhill and despite reading my previous blog you have decided there will be no second date, and in fact you want this date to end, let your friend know and devise a way to remove yourself from the date. Personally, I have never had to use this but it my time of dating I always had a friend coached to help me get out if it were required. A straightforward text to your friend saying “Out” is a good enough que for your friend to ring you and enable you to leave at short notice.

9. Okay, so these have been serious tips until now about being safe, but these last two tips are to help you have a successful date. Be courteous; if he or she holds a door open, thank them, if they pull out a chair, thank them. If they insist that you order first, thank them. Remember manners cost nothing and can go a long way. If through your nerves you forget half the stuff you intended to talk about, trust me your date will remember your manners for a lot longer than any story you were planning on telling them.

10. Be organised. Be on time and know what you are doing. Despite your date venue possibly being inclusive to everyone and it is not just a date venue, call ahead and let them know you have a date here and you want to check the reservation is okay, parking is still available, how is traffic in the area. Are there any anticipated issues where the kitchen is concerned? You are not looking to offend, but you are primarily covering all bases where things could go wrong. Be organised, and you will feel better about yourself, lowering your anxiety and enabling you to be you.

This brings my final blog of the second series to a close, thank you for taking the time to read this blog today and every other guest blog I have written for Intro NW.


Christopher McPhillips

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