What’s the best way to tell if your date is a serial rapist? Oh wait, there isn’t one.
Truth is, most women wouldn’t go out with a man she suspected was a sociopath. No woman says, “OMG I’ve been talking to this guy online and he’s giving off this super sexy Ted Bundy vibe. We’re meeting tomorrow – yay!” Nah, most of the time women just think their date “seems like a nice guy.”
For the most part, the great majority of the people you meet online are NOT murderers and sex offenders. But there’s always that wee chance they are. You may have read about the recent conviction of a man who raped women he met on ChristianMingle.com (the irony, right?) and Match.com. There are other cases as well. Just Google “online dating rapist” and you’ll see.
In short, it’s always wise to take precautions. These are the things that I do when I go out with someone I meet online, and think you should, too.
(Yes, there is a giveaway. Scroll down and read, impatient little buggers.)
1. Don’t put personal info in your profile
Not your name, not your Instagram account, not where you work and certainly not your e-mail address, street address or phone number. Why on earth would you make any of this accessible to the thousands of members — and potential creeps — the site boasts? You can give out your first name and phone number after a few e-mails, but not before you…
2. Suss him out before meeting
While I have little patience for weeks and months of pre-date e-mailing and texting, a bit of it can help you get to know him before your face-to-face. You’re a woman, use your intuition. If something seems a little weird, don’t ignore it. Try to speak on the phone — a phone conversation will give you more cues than text alone. If your gut says this guy is bad news, maybe he is. Remember, you don’t owe him a date. And if he gets mad, fuck him. I mean, not literally fuck him, but you know, screw him. Wait, not that either. Dammit, you know what I mean.
3. Always meet in public on first dates
ALWAYS! This is an absolute must. While it may seem old fashioned and chivalrous for a man to pick you up at home, it’s also telling a complete stranger where he can find you if he feels like a little murder next week. Go somewhere where there are plenty of witnesses – a café, bar, or restaurant make good meeting places because the waiter or barista could say to the police, “Oh, yeah, I remember that smarmy looking dude sitting at table 52 with the hot girl. He went thataway!”
4. Don’t get into his car
I made this mistake once. He wasn’t a homicidal maniac but he was a major fucking creep and I wound up stranded in Santa Monica miles from my car. That really sucked, but not as much as being abducted and ending up in a dumpster. Find your own means of transportation to and from the date and do not enter his vehicle at any point in between.
5. Carry the right paraphernalia
Besides lip gloss and breath mints, you need to take along some important safety items in your bag. These include: fully charged cell phone for emergency calls, some cash, credit cards, ID. Pepper spray is a smart idea. Nunchucks if you’re badass. This handy anti-rape skirt if you’re crafty.
6. Give a friend your date’s info
Make sure someone knows where you’re going to meet him. Give them the details in writing – the location of your date, the time and some information about the guy. Sometimes I’ll take a screenshot of his online profile and send it to my friends, telling them, “In case I’m found disemboweled, this is the guy I was last seen with.”
7. Don’t get drunk
Hopefully I don’t have to say this. Hopefully you are saying “No, duh, Naomi!” but I felt obliged to mention it. Don’t make it easy for someone to take advantage of you. One drink is fine, two max, depending on your tolerance. Also, always keep an eye on your drink so he can’t slip you a mickey. It may seem like mom advice, but — even though we hate to admit it — sometimes mom was right. Damn her.
8. Download a personal safety app
Ooh, you haven’t heard this one before, have you? Well, they’ve got them now. Watch Over Me is a new personal safety app you can download to your phone that has these awesome features:
- The app notifies your emergency contact list with your GPS location and video capture if you fail to check in at a time you pre-select.
- If you find yourself in danger, just shake your phone to trigger an emergency alert to your list and begin recording video of the situation.
Check out this girl’s testimonial:
“Someone tried to take my phone and car keys and I told him my phone is on Watch Over Me mode and would track him and video him. He looked at me like I was crazy then I shook it and got a video of him and told him the police had it now and he ran away 🙂 thank you guys! A country girl in a dangerous city!”
Note that it doesn’t actually notify the police, but rather your emergency contact list. But the creep doesn’t need to know that.
This is an awesome idea, gals, if nothing for a little peace of mind. It makes a great gift idea for sisters and girlfriends and moms, too.
I’m Giving Away 10 Personal Safety Apps Now!
In the spirit of safety, the folks at Watch Over Me are giving me 10 personal safety apps FREE (normally $4.95) for the first 10 people who leave me a comment below or on Facebook.
Just write “I want the app!” or something along those lines. If you comment below, be sure you leave your e-mail in the space provided (it will not be published), so I can contact you with info on how to claim your prize.
Now, if only they’d come up with an app to prevent dick pics, we’d be golden. Be safe, y’all.
Categories: In My Most Excellent Opinion