After the decision was made to join the dating pool, it was very shortly after signing up for a dating site I became concerned over how in the heck other women are able to safely navigate the risk infested waters of online dating. I don’t want to talk about all of the bad, horrible things I’ve seen or the statistics of what happens or could happen. It’s more important to provide suggestions and tools to immensely increase your level of safety and reduce the risk of something unfortunate happening, so that you can safely get through the remaining madness of the online dating experience.
First and most important is the foundation of anything you can do to keep yourself safe: make the decision to put your safety first. You are responsible for picking your priorities; no one else can do it for you. You get to decide whether or not you make your safety negotiable. You currently may not know better, but I’m hoping that after reading this series you will not only know better but be willing to do better, too. The cold hard facts are that making safe choices is uncomfortable, unpopular and almost always inconvenient. But it’s worth it because whether or not you believe it: You are worth it and deserve to be safe.
Of course we recommend you Take a Self Defense Class. Self defense training is something that is best when taken regularly, at least annually. These are skills that are to be developed. Find a class that addresses and includes situational awareness, avoidance and defensive communication skills. If you can't take one from Beating Disaster then if you have Krav Maga nearby, go with that. If you are limited to police offerings, dojos or community centers then take them all as they cover different approaches and perspectives. If possible, a female instructor is ideal.
You are worthy and deserving of a safe and respectful dating experience and relationship. If that statement is something that doesn’t sit well with you, please stop dating and invest in yourself until you are able to accept that fact. It doesn’t matter what route you take; there are many. You can go to therapy or yoga, invest in meditation, mantras, affirmations; or listen to inspiration speakers – to name a few. The method you use is up to you, but you will not decide to make your safety a priority unless you accept that you have value and deserve to be safe.
In this short series, we are going to address a few different types of concerns relating to online dating. The first is having a safe online presence and ensuring we aren’t providing identifying information that allows unwanted followers. Next, we are going to talk about qualifying the people we find of interest to ensure we aren’t picking unsafe or abusive partners. Then we will discuss staying physically safe while meeting on a first date or dates thereafter, and lastly we will cover leaving carefully. Keep in mind, the foundation for everything covered and addressed is making the decision that your safety is not negotiable.
Next, we keep private information private.