Your safety is a top priority.
As part of the program, we recommend ways to meet single men in your area and go on initial coffee dates as a way to practice the skills you learn throughout the course. We strongly recommend the following safety tips when meeting new people or going on dates:
1. Bring a friend. Not only does bring a friend make the experience more enjoyable it can also increase your level of safety. We encourage you to attend activities to meet men with your friends. You can also synchronize the time and location for mini coffee dates with another friend who is also taking the program. If a date is acting inappropriately, you can end your date and quickly join your friend. We also recommend that you leave the activity with your friend and not your date. Using the same transportation as your friend or walking each other to your cars can also increase your safety.
2. Don't drink anything you did not see made or was out of your sight. To avoid being drugged, do not accept drinks from your date that you did not see made. Even if you have to use the bathroom, either finish your drink or order something new when you return but do not drink a drink that was out of your sight. Also it is a very good idea not to drink alcohol as to better evaluate your dates behavior and the safety of your environment.
3. Trust your gut instinct. If someone is acting inappropriate don't go on a date with the person or end the date immediately. Acting inappropriately includes behaviors like texting too much, being overly aggressive either physically or sexually, sharing too much information too quickly in an effort to manipulate you, or pretending there is a "special connection" when you have very little history. These are common tactics bad people use to see how easily someone can be manipulated. If your gut is telling you there is something wrong, then don't go on the date or end it immediately. A good person will respect your no and need for safety.
4. Meet in a public places. Remember, even if you have shared several great emails or long conversations on the phone, your date is still a stranger until you have had several weeks of interactions and experienced different situations in which to judge his behaviors and values. Keep your dates in public areas and use your own transportation to increase your safety. Again, a good person will respect your need for safety.
5. Meet during the day. Not only does daytime activities bring a light casual vibe to your first dates, it also increases your safety. In the Dating to Get Married program, we recommend all first dates being during the day.
6. Don't give out personal or financial data. Do not disclose any personal information like your address, where you work, credit card information, bank account details, or your social security number. Do not wire money or give cash even if the person is in an emergency. For more information, click on the video below to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's advice to avoid online romance scams, also available here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0560-online-dating-scams-infographic
Always report a potential dating scam to your local government authorities and the online dating service, if applicable.
Video from US FTC on online dating scams: