I was walking on California's Stinson Beach in August 2009 when I struck up a conversation with a woman who seemed utterly delightful.Captivated, I invited her to dinner at my house that evening. While I ate my dinner, she drank hers — then refused to leave. My acquaintance of 12 hours bizarrely insisted that we were living together.You want to use the same mentality with your dates: make sure there's always someone around no matter where you're meeting.Although it is chivalrous if your date wants to pick you up at your house or place of employment, safe dating doesn't include allowing a relative stranger to get you at this stage of the game.
Harassment and abuse of women and girls in public and private places is a rampant yet largely neglected issue..That's why everyone who is part of that world must take some basic steps to ensure his or her physical safety. When you've exchanged emails with a prospect and you feel it's time to furnish phone numbers, the man should offer his first. I can't think of any good reason why a legitimately eligible man would withhold his digits; if he does, that's ample cause to feel unsafe. We all want to believe the best about people, but a date you don't really know deserves only a modicum of trust.At the very least, consider adopting the approaches below; all of them draw on my 12 years of recent online dating experience. So rather than rolling the dice when it comes to your personal safety, try following the steps above. They might even be a shortcut to finding the right person out there.The two of us spent 45 minutes coaxing my surprise head case to leave, but it took a threat to call the police to finally get her out the door. If your date refuses to meet at a cafe or insists on a less public place, simply move on. When she turned her attack on me, I got up and left — and was thankful for an audience to witness my exit. Do likewise if he talks about becoming sexual after 15 minutes, or attempts to corral you into a relationship. I was enjoying a second date at a restaurant when my companion took a call during dinner. "I'm just fine," she told the caller, then stowed the phone with an apologetic smile. My current girlfriend (whom I met online, by the way) invited me into her home after only our second date.Does it jar you to find a man writing about dating safety? As my fatal attraction to that mad mermaid proved, scary situations can pop up for anyone in the dating world — female or male, online or not. If you feel truly threatened, explain the situation to the cafe manager and ask him or her to walk you to your car. "What would your friend have done if you hadn't picked up? "She had instructions to call the police," she replied. I accepted, thanking her for her trust, but later mentioned that she could have been putting herself at risk.