I like to consider myself a fairly typical girl. I’m 29 and dating. I like getting made-up, going out, enjoying life, my friends, and my family. I live in Virginia and love the people, climate, and beach-life very much.
In my dating life, I have had some great experiences along with some really awkward and not so great experiences. Like everyone else I guess, the more you date, the more you experience the full spectrum of the singles scene and even people in general. I’ve had guys woo me with flowers and consideration and I’ve had guys make me want to run for the door. This specific date that I am about to divulge was the worst and scariest I have ever been on, changing how I think about dating and safety forever on.
I’ll begin by saying that as many of my dates have begun, this one also began with meeting someone online. We will call him “Tre”. I began talking with Tre and felt a great connection. He was very handsome and sincere in his profile and it seemed even more so once we began talking. I liked his voice, his opinions on things, his easy-going nature; I liked it all.
The date began as you might imagine most dates beginning. I was just a few minutes late, but he was smiling, looking very charming, waiting for me at the popular restaurant we had mutually picked out. Even now things looked really good. He was smiling, holding the door for me, being a total gentleman.
Everything was great, at least for those first, ideal moments. Upon placing our orders with the waiter, he began to question me as to why I supposedly looked interested in the waiter. Immediately taken aback, I denied this crazy line of questioning and tried to shrug it off and just continue onward.
Before anything could get any worse, I could tell something wasn’t quite right. I was feeling a sense of domineering from his disposition, something I did not like. How could this be though? Everything was so right before. Was this the same guy I had been talking to online and on the phone?
We continued a very awkward and strained dinner and conversation. It became clearer to me with every moment that he was not the shining, man of my dreams that I thought he was before. “Why haven’t you tried holding my hand?” “I’m right here, why are your eyes going everywhere else?” By this point, I just wanted out.
The Fearful Escape
I prayed for someone to call me so I could maybe step out and get away. I searched my mind for ways to leave. Finally, at the point of totally feeling trapped, to my amazement, an old friend came in and was seated very close to us. My prayers were answered.
She was on a date of her own and had no idea of my current situation. Seeing each other, we hugged and I whispered a very brief message of distress in her ear. Knowing I needed help, she began to act like the annoying old friend, coming to sit with us, and injecting herself as much as possible. Finally she asked me the very best question I had been asked in a long time. “Will you come outside with me for just a minute?”
Tre begrudgingly relented and I was off. As soon as we got outside, I broke down in her arms. Quickly, she saw me to my car and said that she would go in and tell him that I had become sick and needed to go home. I was shaken but I was free.
My joy was short-lived though. Within a few short minutes, the calls and texts began. They were relentless and very scary. He made it clear that he was the boss and I was somehow his possession simply because we had agreed to go on a date. His texts and voicemails had me questioning a call to the police.
Thankfully, the harassment stopped within an hour or so. I had turned off my phone and spent the rest of the evening in a state of shock and paranoia, wondering what to do next. Later, when I finally had the nerve to turn my phone back on, I was extremely relieved to see that the calls and texts had stopped.
I’m a fairly strong girl but this really had shaken me. What had I done wrong? What could I learn from it? How can I prevent myself from experiencing something like that again?
I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I ran into a dangerous person with major issues. This was not my fault and I had no way of foreseeing this. I was also very lucky that my friend was there and willing to help. I think I would have left anyway, but I have a feeling it would not have been such a calm scene there in that restaurant.
The biggest thing I have taken away from this experience is a deeper awareness of dating safety. Thankfully, I had not had the occasion to give him my address. Can you imagine how differently things may have gone if I did? Never give your address to anyone you are simply dating.
My friend’s intervention was also key. Do keep friends in the loop and try to have a contingency plan should you begin to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Nowadays, I will let a friend know times, places, and other info about my date so that I can have a little more security.
This experience changed me, but for the better. I am now more aware of these areas of dating safety and gladly share the story with others in the hopes of advocating the same safety ideas to others. This was a rare occurrence and I refuse to let it damper my future love life. It is with this that I simply say everyone be safe, be aware, and enjoy that vast majority of online dates that are truly good, fun, and promising.
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