When I recently joined a dating site I became concerned over how in the heck other women are able to safely navigate the risk infested waters of online dating. I don’t want to talk about all of the bad, horrible things I’ve seen so far or the statistics of what happens or could happen. It’s more important to me to provide the reader with suggestions and tools to immensely increase your level of safety and reduce the risk of something happening to you, so that you can safely get through the remaining madness of the online dating experience.
First and most important is the foundation of anything you can do to keep yourself safe: make the decision to put your safety first. You are responsible for picking your priorities; no one else can do it for you. You get to decide whether or not you make your safety negotiable. You currently may not know better, but I’m hoping that after reading this series you will not only know better but be willing to do better, too. The cold hard facts are that making safe choices is uncomfortable, unpopular and almost always inconvenient. But it’s worth it because whether or not you believe it: You are worth it and deserve to be safe.
You are worthy and deserving of a safe and respectful dating experience and relationship. If that statement is something that doesn’t sit well with you, please stop dating and invest in yourself until you are able to accept that fact. It doesn’t matter what route you take; there are many. You can use therapy, yoga, meditation, inspirational speakers, mantras, affirmations – to name a few. The method is irrelevant. You will not decide to make your safety a priority unless you accept that you have value and deserve to be safe.
In this short series, we are going to address a few different types of concerns relating to online dating. The first is having a safe online presence and ensuring we aren’t providing identifying information that allows unwanted followers. Next, we are going to talk about qualifying the people we find of interest to ensure we aren’t picking unsafe or abusive partners. Then we will discuss staying physically safe while meeting on a first date or dates thereafter, and lastly we will cover leaving carefully. Keep in mind, the foundation for everything covered and addressed, is making that decision that your safety is not negotiable.
Carrie Conrad is a single mom and self defense specialist in Detroit. To support her daughter and her special needs she took her decades of martial arts training and lifetime of experience with violence to begin an evolving journey with Beating Disaster, a business offering specialized self defense training. From Basic Self Defense to coaching for parents with violent children, she invests her time in high level training in order to provide relatable guidance to women and children. You can find out more at www.BeatingDisaster.com or follow for safety tips and tricks at www.facebook.com/BeatingDisaster.