Four safety tips for Mormon single women while out on a date include being careful about who they agree to date, know the plan for the date, stay in public places and to not be afraid of calling the date off early if need be.
These are based on results from a February 2011 survey of 618 Utah Valley University students about their own dating experiences provided four strategies for safe dating.
Even though they were not specifically asked to do so, women and men voluntarily offered dating safety advice for single women who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1. Be careful about who you agree to date.
One young man advised, “Stay away from guys who just want the physical stuff.”
A woman suggested that if it is a new acquaintance you agreed to date, “Have him drop by or spend time with him somewhere before the date so you might get to know him more.” Another woman suggested, “Be willing to say 'no' before the date, even if you already said 'yes.’ ”
2. Know the entire plan for the date before you go anywhere and share it with a friend.
“Tell a friend the entire date plan: who, what, why, when, where and how,” a woman advised. While on the date, “have a friend text you a short message, then reply back about how things are going,” a man advised.
Isn't texting while on a date rude? In other parts of the survey, LDS daters cautioned about the potential for coming across as being rude by texting too much during a date and ignoring the other person. An occasional text for touching base would not likely come across as being rude, especially if you let the date know up front that you may need to touch base with a roommate or family member during the date.
3. Be aware of places and activities.
Men and women reported that “public dates are safer dates and group dates are safer than when a man and woman date by themselves.”
The men also advised, “Don’t go to secluded places, including his apartment, and whatever you do, don’t go with anyone who is drinking or using other substances.”
4. Call the date off if need be.
A married woman gave the parameters of when it is all right to end the date abruptly. “If he is too aggressive, jokingly criticizes you or plays tricks on you, he might be secretively measuring you up to see what he can get away with.”
Another woman suggested, “Be willing to end the date if rudeness, aggression, inconsideration or threats occur. Don’t be afraid to hurt your date’s feelings if you are not interested or have a bad feeling (intuition). Simply call it off or cancel it.”
The researchers did not ask for safety advice. It was given voluntarily by the respondents. That suggest that being safety minded is important for women. Both the men and women offering this safety advice made it clear that the woman’s judgment is far more important that the man’s feelings.
A final note
Finally, safety and respect have to go both ways where the man treats the woman he goes out with on a date with respect and she returns the favor of respect back.
As one 23-year-old single man suggested, “I will try to always treat you with the highest respect. Please return the favor.”
Ron J. Hammond has a Ph.D. in family studies from BYU. He is a professor in the UVU family studies department. He and his wife, Alisa, are co-researchers on a number of family-related studies. Their website is ldsfree99.com