Going on a date in your own city is a piece of cake. You’re out with your girls; you happen to step away from the group for a quick second and a handsome man catches your eye. He smiles, you smile and the next thing you know he’s heading in your direction. After a few minutes of small talk, he asks for your number and then you two head your separate ways for the night. If the chemistry between the two of you was strong enough, you should be expecting a couple of text messages followed by a phone call and a date or two. See simple!
Now let’s change the story up a bit. Same scenario but instead of being in your own city you’re now out of the country with your friends or on a solo trip. That’s when the questions start flowing such as: “Should I give him my number? Is this safe? Is he crazy? What about the language barrier?” I was faced with this exact scenario while traveling to Rome, Italy the summer I lived in Europe. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts based on my experience.
DO: Make sure you tell your friend(s) where you are going. Just like you would back home in your own city.
DON’T: Allow your date to change the location or add a second stop to the plans. If he says lets meet at this restaurant and changes the location, don’t let him. Remember you just told your friends where you will be. Also, try to scope out the place prior to the date.
DO: Try to make the situation as comfortable as possible for yourself. I wasn’t comfortable going on my date alone so I brought my entire group of friends with me. If you can do this as well, go for it or at least try a double date.
DON’T: Allow your date to determine the transportation for you. This isn’t the South where it’s respectful for the guy to pick you up for your date. You’re in another country! You either take the cab there or use public transportation (if you’ve gotten familiar with it). I made the mistake of riding on the moped with my date to the restaurant.
I was 20 years old and was living in the moment. Bad idea! Luckily for me nothing happened, but I was extremely paranoid. I didn’t even enjoy the ride because the entire time I was thinking of ways I could escape. I also thought he was making eye contact with this man driving a white van at a red light. I was convinced I was about to be kidnapped and sold into the sex slave industry (I watched too many Lifetime movies growing up). I learned my lesson this day.
Going on a date while traveling abroad may leave you with a great story to tell when you return home or it could very well be your future husband. I know a few people who have met their husbands through their foreign travels. Either way dating is supposed to be fun but also remember to stay safe. Listen to your intuition and use precaution every step of the way.
Have you ever been on a date while traveling abroad? If not would you ever consider it?