Read our dating advice for divorced men and women if you are returning to the dating scene since getting divorced. You will probably need as much help as you can get to negotiate it without damage to yourself or others!
Being aware of your personal safety must be top on your list of priorities and this advice applies to men as well as women. Use your common sense and follow these rules to make you safe.
If you are off to meet someone you have met on an internet dating site then try to find out as much as you can about them beforehand by ‘Googling’ them. Look up any details they may unwittingly have let drop such as where they went to school, any nicknames they may have had, places they have worked etc.
Dressing modestly on a first date is very important for both sexes. Tone yourself down as it is better not to raise unrealistic hopes in the other person by flaunting your best features. By dressing modestly your date will be able to relax and pay attention to you and you to him/her. There is nothing so distracting for a man as a modest cleavage when trying to concentrate on getting to know you. Men are not simple creatures (I am one) but we are sometimes less focussed than we ought to be in the dating situation!
Be in touch with a friend by phone
Tell someone else where you are going and what you are doing when you go to meet someone for the first time. It's a very good idea to phone in from the date to say you have met and confirm where you are.
Take a friend
If you feel really uncomfortable about going on your own for a first meeting with someone - which is understandable if all this is new to you - then you could think about arranging a double date with a friend.
This means you get support from someone else as well as possibly being more fun and if things go well between you and your date then your friend can make discreet excuses and leave you alone with your date to get on with things.
Meet in public
Always arrange a first rendezvous in a public place where there will be plenty of other people around. Make contact with the waiter or waitress so that whoever you’re with can be identified or arrange to have a couple of chums at the table next to you. Meeting at lunchtime is better than an evening date. This gives ample opportunity for a fast exit if the situation becomes uncomfortable or just plain too boring.
Trust your instincts
Your intuition is a valuable tool so take careful note of your date’s relationship history. if this sounds some mild alarm bells take heed of this. If you are uncomfortable about any aspects be especially careful and wary. Talk some more about these concerns and find out more about whatever is worrying you. In the end trust your instincts and take no risks.
There is a world of difference between having a couple of drinks in order to relax and get things going with your date and drinking to excess which can adversely affect your state of mind, your judgement and lead to events that are best left to a later time should the relationship progress.
Be aware of any date who asks you to lend them money no matter how plausible their story. Leave at the first possible opportunity. If you met them through a reputable dating site or an introductions agency then you should let them know straight away as this sort of behaviour is entirely unacceptable.
Emergency get out
As a last ditch backup if things do not go the way you want them to then pre arrange with a friend to call you at a specified time. Take the call away from your date and on your return announce a family emergency and get the hell out of there as fast as you can.