What does personal safety mean to you? How do you keep yourself safe when you are dating? A relationship counselor lays out her dating safety plan for single women.

What steps do you take on a regular basis to keep yourself and your future safe? Maybe you buy insurance and save for retirement, carry a firearm or learn judo, wear your seatbelt or a bicycle helmet, practice defensive driving and safe sex, lock your windows and draw the blinds before you go to bed, and the list goes on. No matter where or when we live, every creature on this planet faces very real and existential dangers every day. There are also the more subtle dangers to our happiness and overall well-being that may not immediately kill us, but are real pitfalls, nonetheless. 

To survive and thrive in this dangerous world takes awareness, vigilance, and listening to our instincts, and women – particularly women who are dating – need to be especially mindful of protecting themselves as they move through their lives. 

As a dating consultant, I have observed that too many women don’t think about keeping themselves safe, and it is one of the themes I harp on consistently. Personal safety precautions come in a series of concentric circles of security, starting with those things we do to keep ourselves safe from strangers or outside forces like the weather or traffic as well as the precautions we take to keep ourselves safe from those we allow into our lives in increasingly intimate ways. 

As you move through the modern dating environment, it is important to be aware of the fact that you are vulnerable. No matter how self-sufficient and martial-arts trained a woman may be, she can still be overpowered by a larger male. She is still susceptible to con-artists and date-rape and sexually-transmitted diseases. There will always be people who want to take advantage of other people in almost any environment, but when you are out there looking for love, you are especially at risk.

There are many ways to keep yourself safe, and in this post, I want to start with some ways you can keep yourself safe from strangers when you are dating.

Online Safety: If you decide to sign up for an online dating service, be careful what personal information you put out there. Nobody needs to know where you live. They don’t need to know where you work or if you have children. When you talk to people online, be careful about what you share and what you agree to do. If someone asks you for nude photos or sends you dick-pics, or makes you in any way uncomfortable, cease contact with that person immediately! You are a DIVA, and you don’t have time to deal with that kind of dangerous loser.

Club Safety: If you go to the club, go with friends. Before you leave home, put a hundred dollar bill (or as close as you can) in your shoe – you may lose your purse or have your wallet stolen, your friends may leave you behind or get separated from you, and you need to be able to get to a safe place in an emergency. Don’t ever leave your drink unattended or give anyone an opportunity to slip something in it. Don’t ever leave the club with a guy you don’t know. Never. Ever. Don’t drink too much – have a drink or two, but once you start to feel a buzz, stop. The club is not a safe environment to let loose in.

Date Safety: When you agree to go on a date with someone you don’t know yet, never allow him to pick you up at your house. Always meet in a public place with lots of other people and ways for you to get away quickly if you need to. Consider having a friend call or text you to check on you and have a codeword ready in case you need extraction. Again, don’t drink too much, it makes you vulnerable. And finally, don’t go home with him or take him to your home afterward. If the date goes well, you can transition him slowly from stranger to friend and go from there. If he is a good guy, he will respect that you are being safe and he will not pressure you in any way.

So, my DIVAs, keep yourself safe! Be aware of your surroundings, whether they are real or virtual. Be mindful of what you and the people you interact with say and do. Be smart, informed, and listen to your instincts. 

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