Safe meet practices

I’d like to take a few minutes to outline safe meeting practices you should always be using in your dating activities, and any guy you go out with, with the intention of dating, should be okay with this, too. I’ll cover the ‘criteria to meet’ stuff elsewhere, but this post is all about the safety aspect of meeting someone new.

1) Fly a kite. Don’t actually go out and fly a kite; this is a phrase from tradecraft 101, and is talking about making sure you have direct communication with someone you trust that can be there for you if things go sideways.

Your friend, your sister, your roommate; whoever it is, it needs to be someone you trust, and someone who agrees to do this for you. After that, it’s very simple.

Give your friend the time and place of the meeting, the name and picture of the guy you’re meeting, and access to your conversation with them, or to your dating profile, so they can follow up if needs be.

Stay in touch with your friend from beginning to end. You don’t need to have Rambo on the line, but your friend should know when you’ve arrived, when you met the guy, your initial impression, and when you’re all done and back safely on your way.

Have a failsafe; if your friend doesn’t hear from you by 15 minutes after the scheduled meet time, they should check on you and verify you’re okay. If that call fails three times, they should come to the meeting place to see if they can spot you, and determine the next course of action. This way, if you arrive, and things go sideways faster than you can call for help, your friend will take care of it for you, without any action on your part.

Alright, so you’ve got your friend/roomie/sister/bff/Rambo all setup to keep a watchful ear on you, now it’s time to go.

2) Meet in a public place. A coffee shop, a bar, a pool hall, a Yoga studio, a fitness center, a restaurant; any of these are fine, just be sure to meet in a public place. This gives you the safety of ‘power in numbers’ without having to bring all your friends along, and gives you an easy out if things go south.

The chances of something going sideways in a public place are pretty slim, because there’s a bunch of people around. Don’t meet at a public place that’s not populated; there needs to be other people around.

3) Be yourself, relax, trust your instincts, and relax. Now’s the really fun part! Let your friend know you’ve met with the guy, he’s super cute, and you love his beard. 😉

If something seems off, or doesn’t feel right, then leave! For me, if a girl says, “I’ve got to go”, then the meeting’s over, and she’s got to go, that simple. I think it’s better to be honest and up front, and while it’s certainly polite to offer a little bit of explanation, you’re not obligated to do so. On the other side of that, don’t be a total bitch, make a scene, and act like a toddler. Just let the guy know you’ve got to go, and then quietly go.

4) From here, it’s up to you to decide how fast and how far things go. Be yourself, do what you want to do, but make sure your friend knows your next move is you go somewhere else with the guy, and I recommend you drive yourself there, just so you have an added layer of security.

Dating is easy once you’ve decided what your guidelines are, so figure it out, set your boundaries, and go find a guy you want to spend time with! 😀

Dealbreakers

Alright, let’s break this down a little bit, shall we?

Several years ago, I had a roommate, who was much smarter than me, or at least it seemed so because he had his shit together, ducks in a row, and so on. He said to me, in a conversation about dating, “…dating is easy once you know what you want, what you don’t want, and what your deal breakers are. If you don’t know those things, you’re gonna have a bad time.” That stuck with me for a long time, until I finally put it into action, and figured out what my deal breakers are.

So, what *IS* a deal breaker, you ask?

A deal breaker is something that you have decided you simply will not accept, tolerate, or be a part of, and nothing can change your mind about it. Simply put, it’s something that will break the deal, no matter how good the deal (dating) is.

Alright, now that we know what a deal breaker is, let’s break mine down a bit more.

“Dealbreakers:
Tobacco use, substance abuse, excess criminal activity, poor attitude, communication, or hygiene, and closed minds.”

1) Tobacco use.

This one is pretty clear cut; if you smoke, chew, dip, or otherwise use Tobacco, that’s a deal breaker for me.

2) Substance abuse.

A drug is anything other than food that alters your state of mind. There are many things that fall into this category, and truth be told, I don’t care if people use them. In fact, I rather encourage people to use certain drugs in a medicinal way, but not pharmaceuticals; actual, natural drugs. However, if you abuse those drugs, that’s a deal breaker. You smoke marijuana now and then to relax and rest your bones? Awesome, i’m cool with that. I won’t smoke it with you, but i’m cool with it. You use cocaine to get your rocks off, but in the privacy of your own home, and without abusing it? Neat. See the difference?

3) Excess criminal activity.

I bet we all break a law at least three times a day, without even knowing it. Going 1 MPH over the speed limit? Law breaker. Didn’t come to a COMPLETE stop at that fourth stop sign in a row? You criminal, you. Changed lanes without using your turn signal? I will judge you for that, but it’s also a criminal offense. When I say excess criminal activity, i’m talking about intentionally setting out to commit a crime, and usually that involves violating the rights of someone else, or denying them of their property. Stole someones TV out of their house? Nope, deal breaker. Broke someones car windows to ‘teach them a lesson’? Be gone with you. So on and so on.

4) Poor Attitude.

If you have a generally poor attitude about life, then I don’t want to be around. You’re a downer, and in short time you’re going to hate me because i’ll inevitably say, “You have a problem for every solution, don’t you?”. You’ll take a minute to ponder that, understand it, then be upset with me. Then you’ll dislike me, it’ll turn ugly, and you’ll probably make it all the way to hating me when you realize you can’t change me, or even have any of my attention anymore. Save yourself the trouble, move it along.

5) Poor Hygiene

Yes, I know I skipped one, but it’s the big one, so i’ll come back to it last.

Poor hygiene is very simple; if you don’t take care of your body, I don’t want to be near you. Done.

6) Closed minds.

Yeah, close-minded people and I don’t get along, because I invariably challenge their ideas of life, usually with well-thought, logical arguments. They don’t like that I figured it out, so they lash out. Cue the drama, and that’s my exit.

7) Last, but by far the most important things to me, COMMUNICATION.

If you have poor communication skills, we’re never even going to start. There is so much stuff in life that I want to share with my future wife, and it all requires clear, concise, communication. Say what you mean, mean what you say, hold true to your word, and use your words to express your thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, and ideas. Can’t? Move along. Won’t? Heh. Please don’t.

My deal breakers are set in place as a result of things I learned that I simply will not tolerate, at all, in any amount, for any reason. If you have one or more of these, keep in mind that none of this is about you, it’s about me, my decisions, and my desires. If we don’t match, that’s not the end of the world, that’s just the end of the thought of use dating. There’s seven billion people on this planet, almost half men and half women. Trust me ladies, somewhere out there is a guy who will treat you better than you ever imagined, who will love you in a way you’ve never felt, and with whom you will love deeper, stronger, and wider than you’ve ever known. Don’t be afraid to hold your standards high; you might be single a little longer, but single is better than miserable any day.

Expectations

One of the biggest issues I run into with people in general, and moreso in the dating world, is dealing with expectations.

When you’ve just met someone for the first time, it’s easy to cast them off for any number of reasons, but generally what I find is that it boils down to a lack of meeting expectations, which usually stems from not expressing those expectations ahead of time.

If you have some expectations of me, and you don’t discuss them with me, then i’ll probably not meet your expectations, and you may add that a negative dates collection that just wears you down, or discourages you from dating. Yeah, it really does go that far.

Instead, have a conversation with me, talk to me about more than just you and I, let’s go deeper, and talk about things you can’t talk to just anyone with, because let’s be honest here, most people are so shallow-minded that they can’t handle going that deep.

Time to meet

Alright ladies, listen up:

Once you agree to meet with the guy, don’t change your criteria to meet.

I understand life happens, but that’s got nothing to do with the decision to meet. A little perspective here:

I had a meeting setup with a nice young lady that messaged me first, yesterday. We decided yesterday that we would meet today, which is part of the reason I traveled the 70 miles to the city she’s in. Now, i’ve got other things going on here, too, so it’s not a loss, but still. 

So here we are, about four hours until we’re supposed to meet, and she suddenly starts grilling me like i’m some kind of serial killer, and then blows up on me about how I won’t give her all my information. Not cool. 

The more that happens, the more warning signs I can learn to see, and the less likely I am to spend time with ladies that exhibit those warning signs. Potential loss for me? Of course. Big deal? Yeah, it just perpetuates the cycle of, “Dating sucks”. 

BTW, if you think dating sucks, it’s because you’re making it harder than it has to be. Stop that, make up your mind, and stick to your word.

Looking (for)?

I sometimes get asked, “What are you looking for?”, which is an odd question on two levels to me, because 1) I’ve clearly stated in my profile what i’m after, and what i’m open to, and 2) I’m not looking for so much as looking at, which seems to be the whole idea of dating, or at least it is to me.

I’m sure there’s women out there who will say, “I’m looking for a man to marry”; great! Do you know who he is? No. Do you know where he lives? No. Do you know what he does for a living? No. Hm. Well, how do you plan to find him? ……..uhm……. Yeah.

Just as it says in my profile, i’m open to everything up to, and including marriage. I’m not setting out with the intention of getting married because I haven’t found a woman worth marrying yet. The fun part here is that I won’t know a woman worth marrying until we’ve been dating for some time, and that means we’ve got to meet first.

My system

Anything that I have to do more than once gets a system. I either take a functioning system, and modify it to suit my needs, or, I build a system that fits my needs. In this case, there was already a system put in place by the universe (it’s that whole ‘gut feeling’ thing we all have), and I just chose to place it and modify it. Here it is:

1) Are you pretty? Are you smiling or happy in your pictures? Do you seem like a kind, genuine, intelligent person? Am I attracted to you at all? If all of those are yes, then i’m looking at your profile, swiping right, sending you a message, of otherwise signaling interest.

2) My first question is designed to get a general overview of how you view your life. I’m not deeply interested in anything going on in your life just yet, i’m just looking to see how you respond.

3) Do we have any of each others deal-breakers? If yes, we move on. If no, we head towards Criteria to Meet.

4) Once we’ve gotten through the first few messages, i’m looking for your criteria to meet. If we meet each others criteria, then we should meet. If you don’t know what criteria to meet means, then I know we’re all done here.

5) So long as there’s been no difficulty, angry outbursts, or generally red-flag behavior, the next step is to meet in person. I’ll cover that in a separate post.

The meeting

Alright, so you’ve made it through my gauntlet of questions, all four of them, and we’ve decided to meet. Here’s how I figure this out:

1) Coffee place, alcohol place, eating place.

I’m going to choose one of these three places so we can check off several things at once. I want to meet in a public place because that’s just the smart thing to do, and it’s supposed to help you feel comfortable and relaxed because i’m a guy, which means i’m the spawn of satan, right? (Wrong, more on that later). I want to meet in a place where we can have a drink; coffee, tea, beer, wine, whatever, just something we can sip on, or if it’s around eating time, something to nibble on while we’re chatting. it’s not so much the conversation as it is about the time we spend together that makes up the meeting portion for me. If you’ve got nothing to do besides talk and listen, chances are you’ll get nervous, and that just causes problems, but if you have something to drink, something to eat, something to fiddle with, that can help ease your anxiety about the situation, and make the whole scene a little easier.

2) I’m going to pick a place where I would be happy to go by myself.

I do this so that, first, if you stand me up, it doesn’t matter to me, i’ll enjoy myself whether you show or not. This way, I can’t even begin to get mad if you stand me up, which means i’ve got less to be mad about over all. Win-win.

I also do this so that if you show up, and turn out to be ‘not my cup of tea’, i’m happy to stay alone and continue my day.

Lastly, I do this so that I can be in a place where i’m comfortable and relaxed.

3) I’m going to pick a place that’s well-suited for conversation and interaction. I won’t ask you to a movie for a meeting, that’s just silly to me. I love a good, local, coffee house because there’s always great sights, smells, sounds, and seating that’s conducive to conversation and interaction without being pushy or in someones personal space.

4) Lastly, i’m looking for a place that’s comfortable or inviting to women.

I’m not going to invite you to a sports bar where there’s s UFC fight going on, unless you’ve asked for that, because it’s not a great place for us to have fun conversation, and I don’t think you’d be comfortable there.

I’d much rather meet in a coffee shop just across from a park, so when we decide we really enjoy each others vibes, we can extend our time into a walk around the park and see the sparkle in the others eyes while they’re sharing fond memories of time spent in nature, or something akin to that.

 

The bottom line for me is i’m here to meet you, see who you really are, and give you the opportunity to do the same with me. Public, comfortable, conducive to conversation, easy in and out, and we’re on the path to sharing some great time with each other.