Dating today is SO much different than it was in our parents’ day. They were ready to settle down and start their lives early (AKA they weren’t playing games!), and they didn’t have the technology we do today that makes the "getting to know you” process so much more painful. They got straight to the point: met in person, dated in person, and settled down. It was simple, and although every relationship of any generation has their struggles, they didn’t have to deal with the pains of dating in this digital age.
Today though, we rely on technology to do everything, and that includes meeting people and praying the conversation moves beyond “wyd” and “gm” and all of the other annoying lazy texting. It’s an adventure for sure, and I’ve already started sharing with you my experience with online dating. With my busy schedule, I kinda need this technology and dating apps. It makes it so much easier, and based on your feedback, you agree.
Many of you have joined me in this online dating thing, and it comes with tons of questions and comments about the Do’s and Don’ts of dating (I’m no pro, but I know a thing or two, LOL). Most questions center on first date etiquette and safety, which I’m big on. First impressions are everything, and so is making sure you’re mixing some safety in with your sexy. Let me tell you, whenever I’m out on a first date, especially if I met them online, I always make sure my friends and family know where I am. License plate numbers, screenshots, pictures…you can never be too safe, LOL! Unlike some other apps I’ve used, BLK has managed to help weed out the crazies a little (the app is still new so you may find one or two), so although I’m always practicing safety, I’m way more confident that I’ve got someone decent on my hands.
So, what are my first date etiquette tips to ensure my safety?
1. First date should always be during the day. I love a good brunch or a lunch date. Aside from having my favorite breakfast foods, I love the overall vibe of brunch; it isn’t as intimate as a dinner date and leaves no room for the awkward “your place or mine?” conversation after the check comes. Nope, not even on the table. If you’re not feeling his/her vibe and you need to make a smooth exit, my trick is to say I’ve got scheduled plans after brunch and then thank them for their company, but I’ve got to run. Of course, I also pick places on my side of town. Never go into unchartered territory on the first date.
2. Share your location. Whenever you're out with someone new, share your location in a group chat with some go-to friends or family who can be on standby. This adds that extra blanket of security and lets you know that you’re being “watched” by someone you trust in the event that the date takes a turn for the worst.
3. Get to know each other prior. This goes without saying. Have you ever matched with someone on an app and their first message is “Let’s meet up for a drink.” Um, BLOCK! Texting, phone, FaceTime...do all of that before agreeing to meet up. Talk about what you like, don’t like, past experiences, hobbies, etc. This not only helps drive the conversation in person, but it gives you a better feel for the type of person you’ll be dealing with. Any red flags that come up in convo will be red flags in person. Talk that talk and know who you’re meeting!
4. Keep it cute; know your limit. Even if you enjoy the turn up, leave the turn up at home on the first date so you can be aware of your surroundings. I like to keep my drinking at a minimum; I know my tolerance is too high for liquor, so I stay away from cocktails. I’m more of a beer girl, so I’m usually trying a local beer whenever I’m out. I stick to one beer, and I'll have two if the conversation is good. One glass of wine, one cocktail, or one beer is perfect for a first date. Don't go overboard!
5. Go home alone. No matter how strong the initial connection, you’re still meeting a stranger. Go home alone. I have a strict no nightcap rule; I try to get past that person’s representative and know the real them before making myself vulnerable to the risk of being at home alone with them.
Everyone’s dating experience is different, but general safety is general safety. These rules work best for me; I especially need them as I adjust to this new online dating world! .
If you haven’t already, join me on BLK and let’s try this thing together! It's brand new app for an exclusive community of African Americans. They're working super hard to take this app to the next level and I'm so excited to be one of the first to test it out. I’m loving the stories from dating hits and misses. And of course, I’m always open to your suggestions, tips, and questions in the comments section!
Oh! Stay tuned to my Instagram; myself and Paris Pullen will be working together to share the best experience ever for Charlotte singles. More details to come, but all in all, you don't want to miss out!
This post was sponsored by BLK. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Talk to you soon, lovers!