Code Red: 5 Warning Signs for Online Dating

That is often the way date-rape drugs are delivered. Sometimes nerves can cause a person to have one too many cocktails, and certainly a first date can make a person nervous. Still, if your date drinks way too much on your first date, that's all the more reason you should keep a clear head.

He might pressure you to drink with him, and even order a drink for you when you've said no. Don't give in to the pressure.

WARNING SIGNS OF DATING VIOLENCE

Order a soft drink for yourself or sip a glass of water. And consider this -- a person whose drinking is way out of control may also have a problem controlling anger or jealousy, too. If your date is just a little tipsy and from what you know of him this isn't a pattern, maybe you'll want to consider a second date. But make it with another couple, and don't let anyone who has been drinking drive you home. It's a good idea to always have enough money with you that you can call a cab and go home by yourself.

If your date appears to be getting belligerent, ask your waiter or a staff member if there is someplace you can wait until your cab arrives. If this sounds like being overly cautious, it's not. One study of date rape revealed that 75 percent of men and 55 percent of women had used drugs or alcohol before the assault. Rohypnol, a sleeping aid not legally available in the United States, and gamma hydroxybutyrate GHB , a sedative that's prescribed to treat narcolepsy a rare sleep disorder , are often used in date rape.

Slipped into a date's drink while her attention is diverted, these drugs can cause sedation or even unconsciousness. Once she's awake, a woman is unable to remember what happened while she was passed out. Dating should be a pleasurable period of getting to know one another -- not a time to fear getting emotionally or physically abused. But particularly among young people, dating violence is an unfortunate reality. According to a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , about one in 10 teens were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the year preceding the survey.

At this age, kids are still learning about interpersonal relationships, and if they accept that violence is part of the package, it can influence their adult relationships as well. Additionally, teen victims of dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, engage in binge drinking, get into fights, and even attempt suicide. The danger of dating violence doesn't stop with teens.

According to the CDC, more than half of the female university students surveyed at a large urban university had experienced some degree of sexual assault, and 12 percent of those assaults occurred on casual dates. Older people are not immune, either. People who begin dating again in midlife often find that the dating landscape has changed considerably since they were younger.

Code Red: 5 Warning Signs for Online Dating - Positively Positive Positively Positive

There's more reason to be cautious, no matter what your age. Practicing safe sex is critical for all ages. With all this to keep in mind, how can you relax and enjoy a first date? It's not so hard if you just follow a few basic guidelines. Choose a safe, public place for a first date, such as a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a museum. Drive yourself there so you can leave when you want. Don't let your date rush you into having sex. This holds true regardless of whether you're dating someone of the opposite sex or the same sex -- don't be lulled by a false sense of security into thinking that a same-sex partner will have the same strength as you do and so wouldn't be able to overpower you.

Think about your exit strategy ahead of time. Let your friends know where you are, and ask one of them to be available to take a call from you while you're on the date.

Use these warning signs to alert you that you may be in danger

Carry cab fare, or make sure you can get to your car or public transportation easily. If you're an older person returning to the dating world, watch out for anyone who asks about your finances or wants to involve you in investment strategies. Widows whose husbands handled the finances are particularly vulnerable. Consult a financial services professional for advice, never give someone you are dating information about your bank account or investments. In , a year-old man was sentenced for the third time for cheating women out of their money.

He had been married 11 times and had posed as a fireman, a race car driver, a contractor, and a pilot. Con artists like these can often be extremely charming. Always trust your instincts. If something feels a little off to you, steer clear, or even do a background check on the person. Often you can do this yourself for a small fee online. Or hire a private investigator -- it could be money well spent. Practicing a little caution won't guarantee that your first date won't be a dud -- but it can help prevent it from being dangerous.


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They are warning signs that you are likely to be in danger in the future. Take notice of the warning signs and protect yourself from dating violence.


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  8. He isolates you and tries to make you feel guilty for wanting contact with family, friends or for participating in activities outside the relationship. He never takes responsibility for himself, always blames others or something else. He intimidates others e.

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    He holds you against your will to keep you from walking away or leaving the room.