Ahhhh yes, welcome to the dreaded, ahem…I mean glorious, month of February….either you love it or hate it depending upon the status of your relationship, your stage in life, or merely that you love paying $150.00 for flowers that you can get for $15.00 the day after Valentine’s. So, as we usher in Cupid – that creepy looking cherub trying to attack people with its tiny little bow & arrow – we welcome Valentine’s Day with feelings of emotional & physical security, right? Or, will it be turmoil? Is he/she in love with you? Will they buy you flowers? Will that significant other blow you off to find someone on Tinder, Match, Ok Cupid? What’s the deal? What’s it gonna be in 2016?
Now, don’t get too depressed yet. First of all, it’s a manufactured holiday, so everyone has a reason to bump prices up through guilt…don’t worry, I fall to the pressure of it too. The truth is, we are all inundated with images of “loving relationships” in social media and movies where we watch the romantic scene unfold – uh, humor me here…..
Fade in… the loving couple is running through a field of indescribably beautiful vibrant yellowy flowery thingies (they are never sneezing from hay fever), hair dancing in the wind (how come their hair doesn’t end up being a tangled mess?) while laughter escapes (I swear I hear them wheezing from the run) the very lips that will soon bump into their significant other (ouch! can you say trip to the dentist?) the minute they both gracefully trip into each other’s arms and onto the soft pillow of willowy grass (or that big pile of perfectly placed dog poop)… Fade to black as the couple’s faces register disgust…
Wow, that was cool. But seriously, all of us want a touch of romance in our lives (maybe without the dog poop), mostly when it’s surrounding us in all its fantastical Hallmark glory – but let’s do it safely, okay?
The REAL truth is, preparation and knowledge is the key to inviting someone new into our lives. Here at Get Safe, we can help you figure out the red flags that may indicate when you will have a less than stellar Valentine’s Day, because you don’t want your Valentine’s Days to be crazier than your most recent Exes. Read on…we can help shed some light on the mystery of having a good date and give you action items to minimize those potentially uncomfortable and vulnerable moments for when you finally decide to take that plunge into the dating pool.
So, class – let’s start with the basics – when we prepare to go out into the large dating pool to search for that “perfect mate”, sometimes referred to as swimming with the sharks, are there any risks besides getting your leg bitten off “Jaws” style???? Class? Class? Correct! The answer is YES! We are all put at risk with our physical and emotional selves as we go out into this vast world to seek “that perfect match”. That being said, we don’t want to approach this subject with fear, but rather we want to be armed with awareness and knowledge! It is important to know what to expect from a date, how to act on a date, and most importantly, how to keep yourself safe and comfortable. In this ever increasing world of instantaneous dates via the internet, increased interest of immediate sexual gratification, one-night stands, and even long-term dating, it is all the more important to practice a safety-centric view on this once uncomplicated subject. Now, don’t ask me how to meet these potential partners (some people teach & some people do…that’s all I’m sayin’) – but there are many ways; internet, networking, cooking classes (just don’t throw water on smoking oil….unless you want to stand out or meet some firemen….) – but Get Safe can certainly help keep you stay safer once you choose a path. if you follow some of these simple straightforward rules for first dates and beyond, before you know it, you’ll be popping in that 8-track of the Bee Gees and rocking your jazzy moped all the way to, well, probably home because no one will want to date you, but I digress – please read on:
- Good Picks: When seeking out that potential “perfect partner” or “perfect for Now partner”, it’s best to eliminate ax murderers or men and women wearing hockey masks with a back story that includes the word “Halloween” or “Jason”, best way is to get to know them slowly… Just sayin’.
- Stay Independent: Offer to meet the person in a public place for the first several dates. Not only will you reduce the risk of them knowing where you live, but then you can leave the date when you want. Also, in case he or she isn’t “the one”, have a couple of pre-planned excuses; you have surgery to perform, (wait – you need to be a doctor for that one) or you just realized you forgot to wash your hair – guys if you are bald this may not be the best. But, you catch my drift. Practice these excuses so that they come easily to you, and when necessary, you can make a comfortable exit.
- Leave Info Behind: Always leave your information with someone you trust. That means, make sure your sister/brother, your best friend, your current husband/wife (just kidding) knows where you will be on the date and how long you may be gone. Phone numbers, emails, and locations are all good. I would even suggest taking a picture of someone’s ID or in more casual situations you can pull a lock of hair for DNA testing – keeps ‘em honest.
- Pay Your Own Way: BOOOO!!!! I get it! Women hate this one because it tends to show a lack of chivalry on the men’s side or quite frankly, neither of you should have suggested flying to San Francisco to watch the opera in box seats & eat caviar – it can be expensive! But, what this ultimately shows is that you are independent, and it is a good sign to anyone that you want to stay in control – something that could scare off a potential predator. One easy option is that your date can pay for dinner and you pick up the movies – going “dutch treat” is always a good start.
- Avoid Tricks: There are too many to list here, such as make your own drink and/or have a friend call you to check in on your dating progress (check out www.getsafeusa.com for more tips), but another serious offense is when your date has an “emergency” and has to suddenly go to a private place – or his/her house – to run an errand to take care of the matter….no matter how legitimate it seems, you should END THE DATE. That person may be trying to lure you to their fancy lair to trap you (although if it’s Batman’s lair – I’d fall for that trick, too)….this is a common way for predators to get you alone and potentially put you in danger. Here at Get Safe we are in to helping you avoid risk, not increase risk.
Well ladies & gents, I hope I haven’t scared you too much about dating (although that piece about maintaining single status if you drive a moped and jam to the Bee Gees 8- track, stands firm), just trying to keep dating safety real! Dating can be fun, annoying and time consuming, but all in all, if done right, it’s usually pretty cool. We here at Get Safe just never want dating to be unsafe for you….a Safety Stu pipe dream. However, with these easy to remember safety tips – you should be good to go out and stay safe!
If you would like more information on any of these items, or wish to get first hand training on how to be the person you need to be to find a wonderful partner – we also conduct Healthy Relationships seminars created to bring about more awareness within the world of dating as well as to give you instructions for staying safe in all your dating situations – from first dates to long term relationships.
Thanks for tuning in, and remember you can always learn more…pick up a safety book from your one and only Safety Stu (yes, that’s me!) on our website www.getsafeusa.com or on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Freedom-Stronger-Safer/dp/0981712789 – Gift of Freedom, a Stronger Safer You…and in the future, I will continue to offer up more important tips on how to prepare yourself for any situation (and even some advice on musical selections if you find the Gibb brothers don’t work for you). Until then, stay tuned, because my hope is always that you, your family and your friends Get Safe – Be Safe – Stay Safe.
Stuart Haskin, or Safety Stu as he is known to his thousands (uh, let’s say tens) of admiring followers, is a leading expert in personal safety issues with a black belt in four different martial arts. For the past 30 years, Stuart has been teaching police officers, military personnel, teachers, students, and all people how to use the SAFE technique (Scan Assess Forecast Execute) to expand personal freedoms in all areas of life. #getsafeusa, #safetystu, #safety, #safetyfirst, #safedating, #havefun, #valentinesday