For most college students, dating is an important part of life. Since colleges and universities are filled with potential dating partners, there is perhaps no better time in a student's life than college when it comes to finding love. Unfortunately, there are plenty of hazards and dangers. According to a report by the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly three percent of college women are the victim or rape or attempted rape. Of course, rape is just one hazard involved in college dating, along with physical and verbal abuse, alcohol-related accidents, stalking, and harassment. This article presents ten tips for safe dating in college.
1. Group dates. It is much safer to go on a group date than to go out on a date with a partner you may not know very well.
2. Stick to public places. This is especially important when going on a blind date or meeting a person for the first time.
3. Keep your friends informed. Let your friends know where you are going and who you will be with. If anything should happen to you, it's a good idea to make sure people know where they may be able to find you.
4. Take your phone. It may be rude to talk on your phone while out on a date, but having a phone in an emergency situation just may save your life.
5. Stay in an area with cellphone reception. A cellular phone is only useful if you are in an area with a signal.
6. Limit alchohol consumption. 90% of all campus rapes are alcohol-related, according to a recent study by the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse.
7. Build a friendship first. Get to know a person as an individual before you decide to date them. Not only will you be safer, but you'll have the framework already in place for a meaningful and productive relationship.
8. Wait to date. Studies have shown that college women are most vulnerable to rape during the first few weeks of the freshman and sophomore years. Until you are familiar with your college, your town, and the students, focus on building friendships rather than relationships.
10. Learn to identify signs of abusive behavior. Extreme jealousy, road rage, uncontrollable anger, and over-possessive behavior are a few sings that may indicate you are headed for an abusive relationship.
While there is no way to guarantee a safe date, the above ten tips will certainly help to minimize the dangers and hazards of college dating.