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Updated 11 February 2013

Pull the plug on dating disasters

If you feel uncomfortable about something, trust your instincts and leave. You should not feel like a bad sport or give in to peer pressure if your instincts tell you to go home.

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This is the time of your life when you will probably go out on a date for the first time. Most often these dates are fun and exciting, but if you feel uncomfortable about something, trust your instincts and leave. You should not feel like a bad sport or give in to peer pressure if your instincts tell you to go home. Phone a friend, or in a crisis, take a taxi. You might never see your date again, but would you want to?

There are some signs that should alert you that it would be wise to go home immediately. So what are they?

A new destination. If you've been told you're going to a movie and the plans are changed in midstream without talking to you first, there could be a problem. Is it possible that you might not have accepted the invitation if you knew you were in fact heading for Steve's house for a large braai with 30 people you don't know? And no one knows where you are. If you feel like going to the new destination, fine, but just phone home and let your parents know.

Hitting the bottle. If your date drinks too much, you could be in trouble, especially if this person has to drive you home. If you think your date is not sober enough to drive, phone home and get someone to fetch you. You don't want to end up as another accident statistic. And the message is clear, if this person wants to see you again, it's strictly no drinking and driving.

Not a soul to be seen. If your date takes you places where there are no other people, it is not a good sign. Never go anywhere dark and isolated with someone you don't know well. Driving to lookout points is a hot favourite here. If you feel uncomfortable, ask to be taken home immediately.

Overtly sexual remarks. If your date is making overtly sexual remarks that you think are inappropriate, say so. If they don't stop, it's time to go home. Things will not get better, they will only get worse.

Drugs drama. If your date is doing drugs and expects you to do the same, get home as quickly as possible. There is no reason why you should do something that's bad for you just because of peer pressure. Go home and say why you're doing it. Take care that your drink does not get laced with something while you're not looking.

Inappropriate touching/kissing. If you don't feel comfortable with the way you're being touched, say so. If it doesn't stop, it may be wise to get a lift home or ask someone to come and fetch you.

Driving nightmare. If your date drives like a bat out of hell, rather than criticise the driving, ask to be dropped off. Phone someone else to come and fetch you – you are far more likely to come to grief in an accident with a bad driver at the wheel, than you are waiting somewhere for your lift.

Underage club. If you are 15 and your date tries to pass you off as 18 to get into a club, this is not a good sign. There is a reason why there is an age limit and you should not be expected to lie about your age.

You're left on your own. If you go somewhere and your date disappears into the blue and leaves you high and dry with lots of people you don't really know, feel free to go home. You owe him/her nothing and he/she clearly also feels that they owe you nothing.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, October 2006)

 
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