The first date. It can be hard for anyone, there’s all sorts of jitters and butterflies to navigate. But for women, it can be even harder because we have to think intentionally about our safety in addition to flirting.
Love Coach Jerica Jech is a dating expert who understands how it feels. She wants to help women in middle age get back into dating, and do it safely.
Jerica says that dating in midlife is different, which means some safety protocol are too
Often, being single in midlife is accompanied with a lifestyle change. For most people who are dating in their midlife, they were once married and found themselves suddenly single again. This change alters our lifestyle practices and what we want out of a relationship. It also changes our relationship to safety.
When we are single young women, we are taught to be very alert and to take our safety seriously. That’s a good thing, but then when you get married and settle down, you may not be in as many solitary situations anymore. When you get back out onto the dating scene, you may notice that your guard is back up again.
There are some normal safety protocols that women should follow, regardless of their age
Like, letting someone else know where you are going, if it’s the first few dates with a new man. Plenty of cell phones allow you to share your location data with select people, but you can also simply text your friends.
“A lot of this stuff is peace of mind, so that you feel comfortable.”
Other common things that might help you feel comfortable are: keeping cash on you, and meeting in a public place.
Think ahead about your comfort level
You comfort level may fluctuate with time and different situations, but something that will help you feel better prepared overall is having a plan about certain dating moments. It’s up to you to decide when you might be okay with a first kiss, and if you want to ride in his car. Having a plan may help you navigate these issues when they come up.
Any guy who is worth it will understand and respect your desire for safety
Even better, according to Jerica, it’s actually pretty attractive to men if you have boundaries and self respect in this way. If you can assert yourself in a kind way, you will gain his respect, and he will go out of his way to impress you.
With online dating, comes a few online scams
But it’s pretty safe to avoid this. Jerica suggests meeting a man in person as quickly as you can. There’s a lot of benefits that come with this! You don’t waste your time texting a stranger, you get to save the chitchat for a real first date, and an online scammer won’t ever agree to meet you face to face. That’s a really quick way to weed out someone who is not legit.
Meeting in person might look a little different these days
The last year, our relationship to our health has become another level of safety that we must learn to navigate. If your area is experiencing a surge in Covid cases, you may decide that you prefer a Zoom date to an in-person one. Alternatively, you could meet at your city’s most popular park and social distance. It’s not perfect, but it will help you get to know someone better while still respecting your boundaries.
You can’t have a fun date without feeling comfortable
Your safety is the most important thing when you go on any date. In her own words, all of Jerica’s tips are for this:
“It’s about you feeling comfortable, and you feeling safe and keeping yourself safe.”
Comfort and safety are necessary so that you can then loosen up and be your authentic self. Without being safe, you psychologically cannot loosen up enough to have fun. So, define your boundaries, assert yourself, and have a great, safe, date!
Jerica has a lot of good safety tips and ideas for implementing them in the video below!
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