1. Meet in public
Make sure you’re meeting your date in a public area! Maybe at a coffee house or in front of the library. Meeting in a public area prevents any awkward situations in private, and in case your date isn't who they say they are, you can make a quick getaway before they notice you're even there. It also means there are people around if something goes wrong.
2. Tell your friends what’s up
Before you leave, make sure you let your pals know where you’ll be when you meet your boo and where you’ll be after that. Constantly be in communication with them. You can always excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, to give your friends a quick update, or ask them to bail you out if need be.
3. Go easy on the drinks
If you choose to drink, it's a smart idea to take it easy—especially on the first date. Set limits for yourself and stick to them! It's easy to "accidentally" drink too much if you don't set limits, and bad things can happen if you're over your limit. But also, let's say the date is going really well—if you're drinking a lot and you end up saying something awkward, then that could be your potential soulmate down the drain! So, if you're going to have a drink, make sure you don't have more than two of them in three hours, and alternate alcoholic ones with non-alcoholic drinks.
You can find some great info about low-risk drinking on keepitsocial.ca.
4. Don’t leave your belongings/drink unattended
No matter where you go, do not leave your drink unattended! If you're in a situation where you have to leave your drink behind for a couple minutes, (like to go to the bathroom or make a quick phone call), don't feel bad about ditching it when you get back. Don't have another sip.
5. Sex etiquette
If your date wants to take it to the next level, and you feel comfortable, sober, and you're both consenting, then go ahead. But make sure to use a condom and other protection against STIs and unwanted pregnancy.
If you’re not feeling comfortable, that’s completely OK. Your date should not be pressuring you into having sex with them. If that’s the case, turn them down and go home—better yet, call a friend to meet you.
6. Leave when you feel uncomfortable!
Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable or have bad vibes at any point during the date, you can always leave! No one can pressure you or guilt you into doing anything you don't want to do.
But hopefully at some point in the not-so-distant future, you'll find that special person. Happy (and safe) dating!