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July 2014

There's enough to stress about before you head out on a date. With everything else your mind (and heart!) may be focusing on, your safety should be built into your plans instead of something you decide to think about later. Use these 10 tips for college dating safety to make sure your fun night out stays just that.

  1. Tell someone where you're going (your roommate, your best friend) -- and when you'll be back. You don't have to spill all the juicy details, but at least let someone know what your plans are and who you will be with.
  2. Drive yourself, or agree to meet your date somewhere where you can easily get to and from via NYC’s fantastic public transportation system. While having your date pick you up may seem nice, it can also leave you stranded if the date isn't going well and you want to split.
  3. Go with another couple. If you're not quite sure how interested you are in someone, go out with a group of people. You can disguise it ("I'd love to check out this new club with you, and some friends of mine are going on Saturday...") while still making sure you aren't stuck alone.
  4. Go somewhere public. As romantic as a candlelight dinner at your date's apartment may sound, it's not a good idea if you don't know someone very well. Meet somewhere very public during your first few dates.
  5. Use alcohol responsibly. If you're old enough to be drinking, you're old enough to handle it like an adult. Don't get yourself into a situation you didn't plan on due to alcohol.
  6. Say "no" when you feel like it. Don't want to grab drinks after dinner? Don't even want to order dessert. Saying “no” is fine at any point, and you shouldn't worry about sounding rude. There are plenty of ways to say "no" nicely!
  7. Listen to your gut. If something, or someone, doesn't feel right, listen to that feeling. It's there for a reason.
  8. Watch your drink. Keeping an eye on your drink -- at all times -- means someone else can't change your plans for the evening without you knowing about it
  9. Carry cash. Everything seemed great at first, but it went downhill faster than you could believe. Now you're stuck at a club and just want to run. Having cash available in your wallet makes catching a cab or bus much, much easier.
  10. Agree to check in with a friend at a certain time. If you don't want to worry about calling someone at a preset time, have them call you. Decide beforehand language you can use to say if it's going well or not. ("Yes, the food here is fantastic", or "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you're sick!" won't sound strange to your date, but your friend can pick up on what's going on.) Having your roommate call you because she's "suddenly sick" is a great way to slip out of a bad date early. Just make sure to answer the phone when your friend calls!