Online dating has maintained and even increased its incredible popularity over the years, managing to eliminate many of the preconceptions associated with it. But, while the dynamics might have changed a bit, most of the potential risks have remained the same. Keep in mind some of the following tips to ensure your date goes as smoothly and as safely as possible.

Don’t rush When establishing the first date, the best idea is to do it on your own terms. By doing so, you will be able to see if your potential date is trying to pressure you into making changes or rushing things unnecessarily. There shouldn’t be any problems if the date needs to be postponed for a future occasion.

Choose location carefully The location were the two of you will meet should not be secluded in any way. In addition, you should avoid being picked up from your home. Select a public place in which you will feel comfortable and safe and make sure that you have means of transportation that will allow you to come back safely on your own.

Trust your instincts Following your gut is always a good idea as it can help you detect things that aren’t quite as they should be. Avoid consuming alcohol during the first date as it can make you more vulnerable in many ways like finding excuses for inappropriate behavior. By the same token, avoid leaving your drinks unattended. It is also a good idea to tell a friend where you are and even find an excuse to leave early if necessary.

Communicate your boundaries A quick review of your boundaries and limits when dating and even mentioning them to your date if necessary and making your limits while respecting your date’s own limits and perceptions are all good ideas. Besides, communicating your desires can make the entire date more enjoyable, so don’t feel the need to avoid expressing yourself.

Have realistic expectations Given the fact that the two of you have previously talked online, the expectations for the date might be quite high. It’s important to remember that when talking online both of you have extra time to come up with well-thought out or funny remarks. Face to face however, the same principle might not apply. So, try to have a few back up conversation topics anyway. Referring to previous discussions you had can also work.

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