Relationships

Safer Dating Tips

"Safe isn't just about sex." (http://www.avp.org/datingsafety.htm) Being away from home puts you in charge of both choosing friends and dating in a whole new way. You will be creating a social life on and off campus; meeting a variety of new friends and going to different places. Some safety tips to consider include:

  • Get to know new people in group settings. Meet their friends and introduce them to yours; avoid "loners." Don't go to a private place with someone you don't know.
  • Go out with friends you trust; look out for one another. Commit to a "buddy system" before you go out, and stick to it. You can exchange phone numbers with that new person and talk tomorrow.
  • When going out on a date, tell a friend so someone knows where you are - and with whom. If it's a first date, you could plan to "check in" some time during the evening. Ask questions about your date, and get to know his or her friends. Someone you can trust will be open with information, not secretive.
  • Protect your belongings. Don't carry a lot of unnecessary cash, and keep your cell phone and keys with you at all times.
  • Mix your own drinks, preferably from sealed containers. Prefer canned, unopened beverages; opened liquor and soda bottles can be "doctored." Never pick up a drink if you have left it unattended; it's safer to throw it away.
  • "Date-rape" drugs do exist. If you feel funny, disoriented, or suddenly tired, tell your friends immediately and leave. Seek medical attention if needed. But keep in mind, the most common "date rape drug" is alcohol. Set a safer drink limit for yourself, and stick to it.
  • Be clear about your limits and expectations. "No" means "no," but only "yes" means "yes." Any person, male or female, who is impaired by alcohol or other drugs cannot give legal consent to sexual contact. If you or your companion have had too much to drink, go home - tomorrow is another day.