I have received several ‘what if’ questions over the years, and I thought this would be a great place to share some of these discussions.
1. What do I do when meeting a stranger on a 1st date?
The first thing I recommend when dating—especially going on a 1st time, blind date—is careful planning and preparation. Meeting a person for the first time can be emotionally draining and challenging. This can be especially true for someone who has been on dates that were not fun. People often have hidden agendas and/or go to the date with expectations of physical intimacy.
The first step in preparation: you need to make the decision where to meet. Stay away from remote locations such as parks, walking trails, or any place where a quick exit would be difficult or impossible.
Choose a restaurant, bar, coffee house or other establishment where you are on first name basis with the owner, bartender, or other staff. Your established rapport with the staff will give you an advantage because the suitor will be on your turf; so-to-speak. There will be a reduced risk of the person threatening or harming you if they know there are others present that will come to your aide.
If you meet at a restaurant, make sure it has a bar. It would be best to meet them at the bar for a drink; not on the restaurant floor. It is also a good idea to meet them at an early hour when the bar/restaurant is not elbow-to-elbow (happy hour). You may also want to consider drinking tea or a soft drink instead of alcohol.
These procedures are important for several reasons:
A. If things don’t work out and you feel uncomfortable, you can quickly pay for your drink, call a friend and have them meet you outside the restaurant, and then leave with your friend.
“It was nice to meet you, but I need to be going.”
It will be much more of a challenge to leave during the middle of the meal if you start to feel uncomfortable or threatened. You can enjoy a meal later if you feel comfortable with your date after spending time together at the bar.
B. While at the bar, do not let the suitor offer to buy your drinks. You must know your alcohol limits and stay within those limits. Aggressor’s know that alcohol causes people to relax their guard, and it’s often a tool used to weaken your defenses. If they offer to buy you a drink, politely thank them and refuse.
Some might challenge you in small ways by stating, “well, that’s kind of strange. I’ve never had anyone refuse a drink from me before.”
It’s a good thing to be brutally honest with them at this point. Simply point out to them that you are aware of several people who have been harmed by strangers buying them drinks, putting things in their drinks, trying to get them drunk so they can take advantage of them, etc. And summarize your statement with something like, “No one is going to do that sort of thing to me. That’s why I buy my own drinks when I’m meeting someone new.”
C. Sometimes aggressor’s slip a drug or other intoxicant into drinks when people aren’t looking, or when then leave the bar for a minute. If you have to leave to use the restroom, do not leave your drink alone. Either finish the drink before you go, take the drink with you, or ask the bartender to make you a new drink once you return to the bar.
D. Do not leave the restaurant with the person on the first date. If they offer to walk you to your car, or try to continue the date somewhere else, find a way to politely but assertively refuse their offer. They need to know that you are in charge, and that you are an assertive person.
2. Symptoms of Sociopathic and Psychotic Behavior |
3. What do I do if I’m on a date and I become scared?
“There is safety in numbers” … a good bit of advice in the old cliche. Although not always practical, who wants to bring friends along on a first date. But a would be aggressor will usually be on their best behavior if there are others present. If you are alone and find yourself threatened or otherwise uncomfortable on the date, politely excuse yourself from the table and calmly walk towards the first restaurant/bar staff you can find.
Explain to the staff that the person you are with has become aggressive, and that you need their assistance. Ask to see the manager, and follow the staff to the manager’s location. Explain the situation to the manager and ask for an escort to your car.
If you didn’t drive, try to contact a family member or friend to come get you, or ask the manager to call a taxi for you. Remain with the restaurant/bar staff until your family member/friend or taxi has arrived, and ask for an escort to the taxi. The manager of the restaurant/bar will appreciate your keeping the incident quiet, and thus avoiding a negative atmosphere in their establishment.
Do not interact with the aggressor in any way. Let the manager and/or staff deal with the aggressor in whatever way they deem necessary to diffuse the situation. Later, when you are safe, consider contacting the police if the person either threatened physical violence or issued other threats to you.
More to follow…
Please feel free to submit any questions you may have on these subjects and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.