After-work or school dates have advantages as well as a few pitfalls:
- Unless you work in a one-person operation, you're meeting in a public place and can keep your private home address to yourself for now.
- Presumably, your co-workers will still be around. It's a great opportunity to see how well your date relates to others.
- You can still exercise the option to provide your own transportation from work — you can leave your car there and call a cab from the restaurant or theater.
- One disadvantage is that it increases the pressure for your date to offer to escort you home if you haven't left a car at your meeting place.
- Another disadvantage: Now your date knows where to find you eight hours a day. At home, at least you can leave the machine on or change your phone number if the situation gets too dicey (for example, your date won't take no for an answer). In some working environments — a store, restaurant, driving a city bus — it can be much harder to avoid a too-ardent admirer.
- Meeting somewhere near work can offset the major disadvantage of meeting at work: blowing your cover.
Meeting in your 'hood
Your neighborhood is your territory. It's where you feel comfy and known. Meeting at some nearby landmark — the fountain in town, the gas station, the Piggly Wiggly — has several advantages. It's public, close to home, and chances are, neighbors who care about you will see you.
Always make sure you have enough cash to get yourself home should you decide to walk away in a huff. Tuck twenty bucks inside your shoe. Just remember to take it out at the end of the evening or you'll have a closet full of cash.
Safety in numbers
The top criterion for a safe date is to meet in a public place. When you do, you're creating your own safety zone — essential for not only feeling relaxed emotionally, but for releasing your body from guard duty, as well. Isolated, dark, quiet places may be great for romance, but on a first date, the goal is to get comfortable with each other. And comfort comes with safety. And safety comes in well-trafficked public places where you can let your guard down (see table below).
|Outdoor concert||Meeting at a bar||Going for a drive|
|In-line skating in the park on Saturday||A private party (unless you know the party-givers)||Midnight walk on the beach|
|Going for ice cream or coffee||Seeing a drive-in movie||Weekend in the country|
|Doing lunch or brunch||Sporting event (testosterone levels can go sky-high if it's a violent sport)||His or her home alone|
||A hike in the woods|
|5K run in a public park||
||Jogging in an isolated area|
Excerpted from Dating For Dummies™, published by Wiley Publishing Inc.
For more information on "Dating For Dummies®", or other books, visit Dummies.com.