Fall is a classic time to try dating. Whether you’ve been out of the game for a while or are trying to refresh your romantic vibes for a new season, the cooler weather and fall-themed activities are great reasons to find someone new to spend your time with. But just because it’s a cozier season with plenty to do doesn’t mean it’s time to let your guard down.
There’s no reason to be afraid on a date, but having a bit of caution can mean the difference between a good time and a bad night out. Here are some fall dating tips to help keep you safe while you look for love.
Keep the Alcohol Out of the First Date
Going for a quick happy hour after work or a brewery tour may sound like great first date ideas. But alcohol can impair your judgment and make you susceptible to behavior you might not normally engage in. It’s also a key way that predators take advantage of women.
For a more tame but safer option, try a coffee shop or lunch for the first date or two so you can get to know your date before letting it all hang out. You can also try fun “adventure” dates, like ice skating, pumpkin picking, or other outdoor activities. All of these date ideas allow you to get to know each other while also being out in a public area. Plus, these quick, short date ideas also give you a built-in end time, rather than the open-ended night out for drinks or even a movie.
Let Friends Know Where You Are and When You Expect to Be Home
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, especially if you met them online, it’s a good idea to make sure a friend or family member knows about your plans.
Make sure your roommate, family members, or a good friend knows:
- Where you’re going
- What time you’ll be there
- When you expect to be done
- Who you’re going with
You can also set a time for your trusted loved one to check in with you on your date so that you can let them know if things are going well. While there’s no need to be rude by texting or talking on the phone during the date, you can take a minute in the restroom to let a friend know if you’re having a good time or if you need an excuse to leave.
Don’t Give Away Too Much Info Too Soon
It can be a really exciting feeling to really like someone on a first date — especially if you feel like you can tell them anything. But once again, it’s a good idea to keep the truly personal details to yourself until you know someone better and can really trust them.
No matter how comfortable you feel on a first date, you should be careful about divulging:
- Financial information like banking details
- Personal identifying information (like your social security number — no one needs that!)
- Your home address or living situation
Predators and con-men will be looking for ways to take advantage of you, and that doesn’t always mean sexually. If someone is pressuring you for information you don’t want to give, tell them no and get out of the date.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Up For Yourself
Whenever you go out, it’s always a good idea to follow safety tips you would if you were out with your girlfriends. For instance, never leave your drink unattended and stay aware of your surroundings. But one of the best things you can do is trust your intuition and stand up for yourself. Remember that if someone is pushing you to do things you’re not interested in, that’s a huge red flag and a good reason to leave and not look back.
If someone is making you uncomfortable for any reason, tell them to get back and stop. You can enlist help from other people, including waitstaff, bartenders, or anyone else who may be nearby. We promise, you’re not overreacting. If you’re uncomfortable, a good date will stop what they’re doing to make sure you feel safe. Period.
And if someone crosses a line, do not hesitate to let the authorities know. If you’re in immediate danger, always call 911. Your willingness to stop someone from getting away with something — even if it doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal — can save a life down the line.
Make Sure You Have an Exit Strategy
Regardless of what kind of date you decide to go on, make sure you know how you’re getting home. Having your date pick you up can seem romantic, but if you don’t know them very well, save that for a few dates in. Meet at the (public) location for a first date.
It’s not a bad idea to arrange a ride home with a friend who can pick you up at a set time and place, especially if you do decide to have a few drinks. This ensures that you have an end to the night and a safe way to get home with someone you trust. Ridesharing or taxis are also a good idea, although they come with their own issues.
You can also tell your date before you go that you’ll have to leave at a certain time so that you can set expectations. This gives you more control over the date and will let you determine if you want to see the person another time. If someone is worth a second (or third) date, they’ll respect your boundaries, and that includes what time you need to get home.
With a little caution and some thoughtfulness, you can have a romantic fall filled with fun, engaging dates.