How to Stay Safe During Your First Meet-Up
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What I love about long distance relationships, is that it allows you to explore. Long distance relationships have a way of taking us on an adventure to place we’ve never been to before.
Sometimes these adventures can take us to new countries or allow us to explore new regions.
A lot of times we get so caught up in the excitement, that we gotta reel it back in and to focus on how we can stay safe during this journey.
Not only are you about to meet someone you’ve met online in person but you could be also leaving the country to go meet them.
These tips will help keep you safe when you are meeting your LDR partner for the first time.
Before You Get There
Before you head out to meet your partner, make sure that you and your partner have already established a layer of trust. You build trust by doing video and voice calls.
While you are having a call with your partner, talk about what their living situation looks like, have them “show you around” their living space and neighborhood.
If you find your partner is reluctant to do either of these things then that’s a warning sign. That is a big red flag in long distance relationships.
If a person cannot be upfront and honest with you about their life over a video call, then I would strongly urge you to put meeting on hold until they are able to.
Talk About Finances
Another thing to do with your partner is talk about finances. Discuss with them what your budget is for going out there as well as their budget for having you over.
Long Distance Relationships are expensive, and finances like travel should become a topic you and your partner should be comfortable with early on.
Discussing finances will also help to keep you safe. You will know how much money you need to travel in their area.
As well as understand how much things would cost if you suddenly have to cut the trip short.
Or in my case, if you miss your flight back to your country.
Have A Credit Card + Extra Cash
That’s why it’s so important to have a credit card with you when you travel. Just in case you have to deal with unforeseen expenses.
Like missing your flight back to your country 🤦♀️
I like to travel with a credit card in case of emergencies and I also like to have some cash on me just in case if I lose my cards.
Also it would great to see if the country you are going to accepts google or apple pay before you get there. That way you can use your phone as a payment method.
Research The Area
Tuomas and I are history nerds and love learning about local culture, history, and news before we travel to an area.
I also recommend checking out the local news to the area you are travelling to before you go that way you can stay informed with current events happening in the area.
You never know you could find a really fun event or festival to attend as an added bonus.
Researching the area before you get there will also help to relieve some of those pre meet-up nerves.
Learn the Emergency Process
Whenever you travel, it’s good to know some emergency phrases or at least the number to call for an emergency.
If you are traveling to a country where they speak another language than your native when then try learning some emergency phrases you can use. Also, consider getting travel insurance for your meet-up.
I recommend using World Nomads they have a good track record and are well known in the travel community for their coverage.
When you have all the facts organized you will feel more confident during your travels.
This will also be helpful when talking to friends and family about meeting your partner for the first time.
Let Someone Know Where You’re Staying
Every trip I plan to Finland, I make sure to give a copy of the addresses, phone numbers, and dates of where I will be staying at to my close friends family.
Doing this helps to give my family peace of mind 🤗
If you are a US citizen you can also enroll your travel in the US Step Program. Enrolling in the STEP program will you access to updates from the US Embassy.
These updates will help you stay safe in the country you are traveling to.
It also will alert you of any environmental emergencies and allows your family to connect with you while you’re out of the country.
Make Copies of Travel Documents
The last thing you want is to be stranded in an unfamiliar area without any copies of your passport or debit or credit cards on you.
I mentioned giving copies addresses of places I will be staying to my immediate family.
I also give them a copy of my; passport, plane tickets, hotel receipts, and travel insurance.
Then I keep a copy of those things on my Google Drive 💁♀️
Some of you might think of this as extra, but I much rather have my documents always accessible by a public computer.
Just in case I lose my phone, again 😅
Meet In a Public Place
Tuomas and I first met at the airport. That was our public space.
I felt really confident about meeting Tuomas because we had been friends online for a while and he had met with other people in our gaming group before.
That gave me a sense of security 😊
Meeting at the airport was my favorite option because it gave me some control over the situation.
If he ghosted me at the airport I could have my own adventure in Finland. Or if he catfished me, I could dip out under the radar.
Another good option would be to meet at a restaurant or museum in the area.
I wouldn’t recommend having them meet you at the hotel unless you feel really comfortable with your partner.
Plan Out Things You Can Do Solo
When you are planning your first visit, you should find some things you want to do solo. Solo travel is an exhilarating experience.
You are able to pick out things you want to do by yourself 😍
Not having to worry about what anyone else wants to do. This is also good to do because your partner might not always be available during your meet-up. Going solo also gives you time to separate yourself from your partner.
This is a great way to give yourself time to process your feelings. It also gives you time to make sure you’re not viewing the relationship through rose-colored glasses.
Planning your own things can also help you get out of an uncomfortable situation if your date and you aren’t vibing as well as you would’ve hoped.
Drink to Enjoy, Not to Get Wasted
I never know if this is a good or bad thing, but your girl can handle her liquor and drink most men under the table.
Even though I am proud of my tolerance, I really didn’t feel comfortable getting drunk with Tuomas until after our first Meet-Up.
Alcohol is a good way to build up your confidence but it also lowers your ability to really understand and get to know a person.
You will also avoid making any regrettable decisions because let’s face it, we’ve all been there before 🤷♀️
Your first Meet-Up is a time to really get to know your partner and learn how y’all work as a couple.
Getting drunk is only going to make things more confusing and it decreases your awareness of what is around you.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Which brings me to my next point, pay attention to your surroundings at all times. From the time you enter the airport until the time you leave to go back home.
I am not saying you should be on edge, just be aware of what is around you. When I first met Tuomas I was traveling to a country I had never been to before.
Where people were speaking a different language than me.
That’s why I felt the need to be aware of my surroundings 👀
Paying attention to your surroundings also gives you time to slow down so you can be more present and in the moment with your partner.
Take your time to enjoy every moment during your Meet-Up while also being alert to the world around you.
Should I Stay With my Partner or in a Hotel?
This is hard to answer because it’s a “your life your rules” kind of answer.
If you are having doubts about the relationship or would just feel safer having your own place to go back to then get a hotel or Air BnB.
All that matters is your safety, so if that means being extra cautious then do it.
If anything just be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times. Most of the time things will work out, and all these precautions you took will feel extra.
My life experiences have taught me to always be prepared for the unexpected. That way when shit goes down, you already have a back-up plan.