Dating Safety Tips and Dating Violence Red Flags

Feb 25 '2022, 12:12 PM | By Chris

Practicing basic dating safety conduct can save your life. In October 2021, personality Geoffrey Paschel from the fourth season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days was convicted of kidnapping and assaulting his ex-fiancée Kristen Wilson in 2019.

He appeared on the show in 2020 with another woman, his current fiancée Varya Malina. The victim, Wilson, sustained a concussion, bruises, and cuts during the attack. Paschel has a history of drug charges, and this past helped cement his ruling in February 202 — 18 years without parole.

This is a very public case of dating violence, and not every case meets a just closure. Moreover, dating violence doesn’t just occur far into a relationship — it can happen on a first date.

Be on the lookout for tell-tale signs of a toxic or violent person. Educate yourself on what the red flags are for dating violence. Implement distress call protocols to save yourself in case you need to escape a date. These are just a few things that can help keep you out of harm’s way when dating.

How to stay safe on a first date

So you’ve chatted with someone for a couple of weeks. Now it’s time to meet them in person.

Meet somewhere other than your home

When choosing a place to rendezvous, always meet somewhere other than your place. Better yet, meet in a different neighborhood or city. This way, if you sense weird energy from your date, they can’t appear uninvited at your front door even if you’ve told them you are not interested.

It’s also a practical idea to always have your ride figured out before a date. You don’t want to be stuck with them if the date goes bad. You definitely don’t want to rely on them to get you home if they are acting strange, either.

Always let someone know where you are and who you are with

There’s a few systems you can use to make sure someone knows your whereabouts and can get to you if the date becomes dangerous.

● Download apps that make you check in at a designated time like uSafeUs and SafeDate.

● You can let a friend know you are on a date; if you don’t respond by X time, tell them to call you or check your location.

● Have a code word or phrase ready with your designated safe contact in case you need to signal for help discreetly through a phone call or text.

● Share your location on your phone with family and friends. This feature is available on both Android (Google Maps) and Apple phones (Find My app).

Choose your first date meeting point

One way to gain more control of the date is by picking the bar, restaurant, Movie Theater, etc. It can be a place you know well, where you’re familiar with the staff. You might also know the entrances and exits by heart.

Be ready to leave and don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings

If you feel uncomfortable, don’t be that person who stays because they don’t want to be rude. However, you can excuse yourself to use the restroom and leave or wait until they use the restroom if you want to avoid confrontation.

Ghosting is a common dating phenomenon, but this is not a case of ghosting. This is ensuring your personal safety.

Always be in control when drinking or taking substances

Being under the influence can be great if you’re around people who you trust 100%. However, not all of us can remain cordial.

Attentively coherent when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You know yourself best: Abstaining from substances that you know you can’t tolerate helps to ensure you can make a rational decision if needed. This can also prevent dating violence like sexual assault.

First date red flags

Besides establishing dating safety practices, you also need to be vigilant about your date. It is unfortunate that some aspects of dating feel so dangerous, but it is the reality of modern dating.

They want to leave the venue and go back to their place immediately

If your date keeps trying to goad you to their place before your entrée has even been served, leave.

They don’t respect your personal space

Your update may be overly affectionate by putting their arm around you, touching you inappropriately, or going in for an unwanted kiss. Stand firm and protect your boundaries — anyone who tries to invade your personal space and disregard your consent is not worth your time.

They are nagging you

This is a phenomenon mostly applicable to men. It happens when a man is constantly giving you backhanded compliments that are giving you mixed signals. In reality, they are trying to erode your self-esteem to not only make themselves feel superior, but to make you want to seek validation from them.

Here are some examples someone might say on a date:

● Nice dress! With your physique, it shouldn’t look flattering, but it somehow looks good.

● You graduated in Civil Engineering? I’m impressed. You must have had really good tutors helping you!

● You run five miles a day? Well, I’ve been running marathons for years now, it’s pretty easy.

Nagging comes in the form of backhanded compliments, unnecessary comparisons, trump stories, and fake advice or constructive criticism.

They insist on meeting at a specific spot with no compromise

This person has no regard for your feelings or safety. They might even be planning something nefarious if they insist on meeting at a certain place you are uncomfortable traveling to.

They keep getting caught in lies

If their stories are suddenly not matching with what they’ve previously told you, they may not be who they say they are. You can confront them about it if you feel comfortable, but if you sense that they are impulsive or dangerous, try to carefully remove yourself from the situation.

They’re excessively trash-talking their ex, colleagues, family, etc.

This is a sign that they are emotionally abusive. Equally worse, it’s a sign that they can’t form healthy relationships with anybody in their lives. You don’t want to get caught up in this toxic person’s web.

They are love bombing you

This is a huge red flag to watch out for. If your date brought flowers, jewelry, and chocolates to the first date, something is up. They might also constantly bombard you with lovey dovey text messages that don’t reflect your relationship at all.

In fact, you may have only spoken through a video call once before meeting in person. This is a common tactic for abusive partners. It’s a way of luring in victims and a way to “apologize” for their behavior when it inevitably turns ugly.

They are challenging everything you’re saying

Someone who can’t have a conversation without blowing up when you disagree on a subject is usually someone with anger management issues. Whether it’s conflicting views on something small like what dish to order or something more personal like political views, civil, calm discussion should be the norm, not loud altercations.

New relationship red flags

At the start of a new relationship, it can be easy to excuse (or completely miss) toxic behavior. The alarm bells in your head may be drowned out by feelings of new relationship energy, or that honeymoon phase. Nevertheless, if you know what to look for, it can be easier to think clearly.

They don’t value your time, opinions, and boundaries

Some abusers start with small, barely noticeable violations like guilting you into doing things you don’t want to do just so your partner doesn’t become upset. This can turn into something more serious in time.

They threaten you

If someone uses fear to control you, you are experiencing dating violence and abuse. They might yell at you or use physical force to get their way, which are both unacceptable.

They make all your decisions for you

During the early stages of dating, your partner may assert control over little things. For instance, they might order your food for you or make plants that include you without checking in with you first.

Eventually, these little things graduate into bigger decisions. Either way, your partner might make you feel guilty if you question these decisions.

They refuse to use/let you use of birth control

If you are a male with a female partner and they claim they are using a contraceptive but then later reveal they are not, it’s time to break up. Conversely, if you are female and your partner is male, they should support whatever contraceptive you choose.

If they insist on ditching a condom using the excuse that sex feels different with it on, then they can find someone else. These are instances of reproductive coercion and are considered intimate partner violence.

They isolate you from family and friends

When a person doesn’t let you see your circle, they are trying to control you. This is a sign of dating violence which can be disguised as a loving partner who wants to spend all their time with you.

More often than not, though, this controlling behavior is violent and victims are often physically forced to stay with their partner.

They pressure you to do things you don’t want to

Drugs, alcohol, sexual favors — if your new significant other is forcing you into something, it’s a sign of an abusive relationship. Perpetrators like Geoffrey Paschel use manipulation, intimidation, and physical force to get what they want.

If you notice this behavior early on, follow your instinct and cut ties with your new partner.

Besides dating safety, there are many ways to keep yourself safe when online dating. Unfortunately, dating services and apps are almost always dealing with dating scammers. Learn about the red flags in online poly dating, specifically, which is ripe with financial scammers and fake profiles.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers Inc:


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