1. Always Let A Friend Know Where You Are
Never go out with someone new without letting a friend or relative know where you're going to be heading and who you're going there with. Arrange a time when you can send them a text or give them a phone call to let them know you're ok.
2. Don't Go To Their House
Never arrange to go to your date's house on your first meeting. No matter how romantic a home-made candlelit dinner may sound, it's always safer to meet in a public place like a cafe or restaurant. You should also resist the urge to go back to their place after the date is over - no matter how strong the physical attraction may be, it's always best to wait for a few dates before jumping into anything physical.
3. Plan Your Homeward Journey
Always know how you're going to get home after your date, especially if you will be drinking or if it will be late at night. If you can, take your own car so that you can drive yourself home at a moment's notice when you're ready to leave.
4. Watch Out For Red Flags
Don't get carried away with the excitement of being out with a new partner - remember to pay attention to the way your date behaves and the things they say. If they say or do anything that makes you feel like something is a bit off, don't be afraid to leave early.
5. Don't Get Drunk
It can be very tempting to have a few drinks when you're out on a date with someone new, after all you're likely to be feeling nervous. However it's very important to avoid getting drunk. If you have too much to drink, you'll lose your inhibitions and you might find that you do things you'll later regret.
6. Don't Leave Your Drink Unattended
It's important never to leave your glass unattended when you're on a first date as it may be tampered with. You should also avoid leaving your bag or phone unattended too as you don't know yet whether you're out with someone you can trust.
7. Consider A Double Date
One way of staying safe on a first date is to make it a group event. Consider going out with another couple that you know, or each bringing a single friend along so that you have someone you know there to keep a watchful eye on the proceedings.
8. Don't Get In Their Car
Never accept a lift from your date and never be tempted to get into their car for a goodnight kiss. If you want to have a bit of a smooch before you leave, that's fine, but stay in a public, well-lit area where you can still be seen.
9. Maintain Some Privacy
Until you know your new partner better, it's sensible to avoid giving out too much personal information. Don't let your date know where you live or where you work until you know that they can be trusted.
10. Take Some Spare Cash
Take some spare cash with you and put it somewhere safe on your person, such as in your shoe. That way, if you lose your bag or your wallet you still know you have enough money to get home, and you'll have cash to hand in the event of an emergency.