Here are some quick tips to help you make safe dating choices with your crush on campus…
10 Tips For Safe Dating on Campus
by Erin Tillman ‘The Dating Advice Girl’
Another school year is here and you’re back on campus (or on campus for the first time)! New classes, new roommates; a new crush perhaps?!? For those of you who are single, and possibly new to dating in college, safety is a big concern. It has been documented that the number of sexual assault cases on college campuses is on the rise. Dating should be fun, but it’s important to be safe too. Here are 10 tips to help you remain safe while dating on campus…
1. Get as much info as possible from your crush before your date
Check out your crush’s social media pages. You probably already know a little bit about him or her if you’ve agreed to go out with them, but it wouldn’t hurt to check them out online before your date. Do they seem to be who they said they are? Does it look like they are truly single or is there a mystery guy or girl in most of their photos? If a mutual friend set the two of you up, get info about your crush from your friend. Have a text or phone conversation with your crush before your date as a pre-date info session to lessen your nervousness, build excitement, and learn more about your crush before going out. The more info you have, the safer your date will be!
2. Tell someone who you’re going out with & where you’re going on your date
Since you’re probably really excited about your big date with your crush, you’ve probably already told your friends, neighbors, classmates, and anyone else that can hear you shouting it from the rooftop of your dorm! If you haven’t told anyone yet, it might not be a bad idea to tell at least one other person. Just to be safe, think about telling a friend/roommate where you are going, who you are going out with and when you’ll be out on a date with your crush. In case of emergency, even if it’s something as innocent as you getting lost on your way to the date, at least someone will have an idea where you were headed and who you were planning to be out with.
3. Meet in a public place on early dates
See your football or basketball team play. Go to your campus coffee shop together. Maybe there’s a play or concert on campus. Plan a library study date. Whether it’s a daytime or nighttime date, safety is key here. While you’re still getting to know your crush, going to a public restaurant or event is a smart move. People are usually on their best behavior when in public. You’ll be around others, which is much safer than a secluded place. Try not to share your dorm room/apartment number too early while you and your crush are still getting to know each other. Even if it’s simply because you don’t want him or her to pop by unannounced, do what you can to be protective of your private living space.
4. Be sure to bring cash!
Even if you’re planning on your crush paying for the date, anything can happen. What if your crush forgets his or her wallet? What if you were going to pay for your own fair share with a credit card, but your crush takes you to a hipster pizza place that only takes cash? What if you end up needing to take a taxi home because things didn’t go as planned? You just want to make sure that you are prepared for whatever may happen and having cash can help you out of a potentially uncomfortable situation.
5. Avoid sending mixed messages
It’s important to be aware about the verbal and non-verbal messages you’re sending to the people you go out with. If while on the date, you’re discovering that you’re not that interested in your crush after all, it’s important to make sure that you’re not overly flirty or saying things that lead him or her to believe that you see a future for the two of you. Just keep things friendly, respectful, and casual in the beginning and do your best to say what you mean and mean what you say in both words and actions.
6. Don’t overdo the alcohol (students who are over 21)
It’s super important to be as alert as possible when going out with someone new. Yes, your crush seems like a nice person, but the truth is that you are still getting to know him or her. You are still figuring out their intentions as far as you are concerned. If you’re 21, drink responsibly so that you can still make smart decisions and take care of yourself. If your date starts to get too touchy-feely with you or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you want to be clear-headed enough to set him or her straight and get out of a potentially awkward or scary situation.
7. If You Get Intimate, Be Safe!
You’re an adult. You’re on a date with someone you think is super hot! It’s normal to feel all hot and bothered, but if you find yourself in a situation where you are getting intimate with your crush, it’s important to be safe and have protection when you start to get cozy with someone new. Have a conversation about your boundaries. The clearer you are about what is and isn’t okay for you, the less room there is for confusion and uncomfortable scenarios for both you and your crush.
8. Be okay saying NO!
Even if the date is going well, there might be a moment where your crush might test your verbal or physical boundaries. It’s important to remember that even though you may have been okay with the pace at which the date was progressing at first, you are entitled to change your mind about how far and how fast things may be moving. Sending clear messages to your crush with will lessen the potential for uncomfortable scenarios where you will feel inclined to forcefully say NO.
9. Limit sexting and graphic social media messages
Remember that any photos and messages that you send on your phone or online are never really totally deleted. Sending a flirty image can be fun, but remember you are still getting to know your crush. While it’s important not to go through life jaded and suspicious, it’s also crucial to protect yourself and your image in case things don’t go as planned or if you suddenly discover that your date has a crazy vengeful temper and gets pleasure out of revealing personal info or images on various social media platforms for example. Think twice about sending that flirty text or photo.
10. Leave something to the imagination!
Don’t give everything away conversationally and physically on early dates. Besides it not being safe for your date to know every single thing about you, your date will also be excited about seeing you again if you leave him or her wanting more. A little mystery goes a long way.
These are just a few tips to help you to be as safe as possible when dating on campus. If you ever feel like you are being put in a dating scenario that feels unsafe, do what you can to get out of the unsafe situation immediately! The safer and more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll be able to have with less stress.
Happy safe dating college singles!
Erin ‘The Dating Advice Girl’ 🙂
Comfort, Safety & Consent: 15 Questions
by Erin Tillman ‘The Dating Advice Girl’
In the dating game, feeling comfortable, safe, and respected by a partner is super important and can ultimately lead to you enthusiastically consenting to sexual activity with new partners. When getting to know potential new partners, it can be stressful to initiate conversations about sex and intimacy. In a perfect world, all singles would have a serious chat about boundaries before engaging in intimate acts. I highly encourage that in fact. But in reality, those conversations might not happen with every partner at the start of each new dating scenario. For singles who might be shy about discussing specifics about sex, asking yourself a few questions could help determine if a potential partner is a good fit for you. Here are 15 questions that will help you to assess your level of comfort and potential safety with a new partner to determine if you’re comfortable moving forward sexually….
- Do you feel physically safe with your partner?
- Do you feel emotionally safe with your partner?
- Does your partner respect your boundaries in normal scenarios not just intimate scenarios?
- Do you feel comfortable voicing your likes and dislikes to your partner?
- Is your partner open to hearing your likes and dislikes?
- Does your partner respect you when you say ‘No’?
- Does your partner respect your feelings overall?
- Do you trust your partner?
- Does your partner have good judgement?
- Does your partner lose control when under the influence (if you might get intimate while he or she is in that state)?
- Is your partner alert and coherent?
- Is your partner concerned about your well-being?
- Do you feel forced by your partner to try things you’re not interested in?
- Does your partner respect you’re boundaries?
- Would you have any regrets after being intimate with your partner?
If after answering these questions, you still feel excited about the idea of getting it on with a new potential partner, you may be well on your way to intimate sexy times! Before you make a move (or consent to letting your partner make a move), here are a few things to remember…
Pay attention to your potential partner’s behavior outside of the bedroom. Oftentimes a person’s respect level is consistent regardless of the situation ie. If someone’s a douchebag outside the bedroom, they will most likely be a douchebag in the bedroom.
During both intimate moments and regular situations, it’s important to speak up if something feels wrong for you and only put yourself in situations where you feel a high level of comfort. This will help you to avoid awkward or potentially dangerous situations. Your partner is not a mindreader, so it’s important to be clear about what your boundaries are or/and tell your partner if a personal boundary has been crossed, so that he or she knows what is okay or not okay for you. Show and tell your partner what works for you so you can feel more comfortable agreeing to consensual sexy times. If after discussing where your boundaries lie with your partner, he or she ignores them, do what you can to leave the situation safely.
Make sure a friend or roommate knows where you’ll be and who you’re on a date with just in case something unexpected happens. You don’t want to be in a situation where no one knows where you are or who you’re with.
Avoid drama with a new potential partner by using these 15 questions to assess if he or she is a good fit for you. Once you’ve chosen a partner that makes you feel comfortable and safe, the consenting part becomes way easier. Not to mention, safety and consent makes every intimate scenario way sexier.
Hugs and sexy consensual love,
Erin ‘The Dating Advice Girl’ 🙂
How To Get Him To Ask You Out
by Erin Tillman ‘The Dating Advice Girl’
Most guys will tell you that they love it when a girl asks them out, but of course they do! Who doesn’t enjoy the ego boost associated with being asked out on a date? But just because guys love it, doesn’t mean that you have to do it! When a girl asks a guy out, in heterosexual relationships, it can switch the power dynamic in the courtship. There is no right or wrong here, but it’s important to be aware that some guys will take your initial go-getter dating attitude and apply it to all dating scenarios, making you the one that is doing most of the courting and pursuing. Ladies, if someone has caught your eye, and you’d like him to ask you out to maintain the dynamic of you being the one who is romanced and asked out, use these ask-out suggestions to prompt your crush to make a move….
1. Make it known what activities you are interested in.
If your crush is a colleague for example, there is usually a conversation during the week about what you are going to do during the weekend. Talk about your interests, fun things you typically do on weekends, and especially activities that you’ve always wanted to try but never have. Telling your love-interest about some of things you are interested in, gives him tons of material and date night ideas for the two of you. Making small talk about your interests shows your level of interest in him as well as what you could be interested in doing on your next date. Ask him what social activities he’s interested in too. If you have similar interests and you’re crushing on each other, participating in one of these activities together is a no-brainer.
2. Mention that you and some friends are doing something on a specific night (a group date)
If you and your friends are planning a fun activity, invite your crush along. Tell him to bring friends too. Though it’s technically not a date, it’s a less pressurized group outing with your friends designed to get to know your crush better. The hope is that after hanging out with you and your friends and seeing you in a fun social atmosphere, your crush will want to go out with you again…but next time, he’ll have to do the asking. You’ve done your part. You’ve given him a glimpse into what it would be like to date you. If he wants more ‘you time,’ he’ll do what he can to see you again.
3. ‘Jokingly’ tell him that he should ask you out on a date
(Only use this one if you have a really sharp sense of humor….) Playfully suggesting that your crush ask you out could be just the thing to encourage him to do so. Your crush might have no idea that you are interested. By telling him, ‘Maybe we should go out sometime”, “You really should ask me out on a date,” or “I bet we’d have fun if we went out sometime,” you are showing your level of interest, but in an indirect way. If he doesn’t ‘take the bait’ you can pass it off as a joke, plus you’ll know his level of interest (or lack thereof) and can move on to another crush.
There is always a chance that your crush will not pick up on your ask-out hint, that he will be too shy to ask you out, or that he may simply not be interested. If any of these things happen, don’t wallow in self-pity. Either ask him out (knowing that it might change the dating power dynamic) or move on to others who are more forward. Ultimately, if your crush isn’t trying to spend more time with you, he’s not the one for you, but if your ask-out suggestions encourage your love-interest to make a move, a ton of fun date nights could be in your future.
Hugs and love,
Erin ‘The Dating Advice Girl’ 🙂