You know the story: The text and photo did not belong to the person who put them on his/her profile. There you are, stuck with someone you wouldn’t answer the door for and you’re out on a date. Ugh.
Let this be a lesson to you. If you were shopping for a second-hand dining room table, you’d have asked the color, the wood, the length, the width, the carving or other artistic features, perhaps the style of the chairs, the number of those chairs, and, of course, the condition of the set long before you put your key in the ignition to take a look. So why should a date get less scrutiny than that? Common courtesy demands that you put at least as much effort into selecting your date as you would a chair. Not to mention the incredible difference it would make to you to not end up in a dark alley with the wrong person.
In these days of ecstasy, rohypnol and the rest of the buffet of date-rape drugs, it happens. So here are some guidelines to avoid all that.
- Don’t ever, under any circumstances, feel desperate. If you catch yourself doing the desperation thing, take a walk, work out, say affirmations, call your friend and talk for two hours, take a bubble bath, read an absorbing book, plan a vacation, but under no circumstances should you allow yourself for one single moment that panicky feeling of desperation.
If you find yourself nursing feelings of desperation, take out a few pieces of loose leaf paper and make a list entitled, “My wonderful attributes,” and then start writing. Don’t tell me you don’t have any, because if you really believed that then why should someone else—who can’t know you like you know yourself—see in you what you don’t? Make sure the list exceeds 100 attributes. Read them over every day, maybe multiple times if the problem is severe. You’ve got to love yourself.
- Take some deep breaths and ask questions before you go out with a total stranger. I really understand how these questions often do not capture the real person and you would need to meet face-to-face to learn who this person is. Nevertheless, you should be able to rule out such unwanted characteristics as selfishness, insensitivity, rudeness, immaturity, or temper on a couple of calls. Has this person been in trouble at any time? Does this individual drink or use drugs? Is she or he holding a steady job? And for how long? There is absolutely nothing wrong with checking out your date before the date.
The best checking, by the way, is to talk to the prospective date’s sister. You will hear more than you ever wanted to. It certainly doesn’t hurt to inquire of people who might know this person what their thoughts are.
- Have your own means of transportation and never invite a guy up to your place on a first date.
This way, you will avoid being stuck somewhere that you wouldn’t want to be.
- Listen to your gut. If you have any weird feelings—listen to them! Do not, ever, ignore weird feelings. I once had a client with all kinds of dating problems who parenthetically told me of the awful stomach aches she had. “What a kind stomach you have,” I told her, “You should thank your stomach for trying to protect you. Next time, listen.”