Rules / Sage Advice

Thou Shalt Always Meet in Public Places


Remember that time your mother told you not to talk to strangers? Turns out talking to them is fine, meeting them in a secluded place is not.

Any veteran online dater knows that you don’t make plans to meet in a secret alley – even the anonymous  posters on the casual encounters tab on Craig’s List go to great lengths to ensure meet-ups take place in a coffee shop – then they’ll club you and drag you back to their apartment as you walk back to your car… Kidding! (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

I’ve had my fair share of close encounters of the creepy kind. Luckily, though, they’ve been in public places. One for instance comes to mind…. (interlude sequence starts now)

I was a senior in college and had opted to meet a guy I had been talking to for a week at my local Panera. I had work to do so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone – figuratively of course. As soon as I sat down I saw him coming towards me. All I could think was “please not me, please not me.”  Thankfully he did a lap, which then landed him back at my table.

He was nice, but something was clearly wrong up there. Not in a “Oh-my-god-you’re-going-to-hit-me-over-the-head-with-a-baguette” but in a “I don’t really want to make pleasant talk with you while I have chills up my spine” way.

So I did what any smart girl would do…I faked an emergency and ran out of there faster than a cheetah runs after its lunch. While scurrying out I heard him call “Do I get a second date?” …to which I laughed and kept running.

You better believe I didn’t look back at that one.

Now just imagine if I had agreed to go to his place, or worse yet, invited him to mine. I’d be stuck with that weirdness for longer than the five minutes I had to endure.

Please ladies, and men, make your dates public.

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