First dates can be pretty scary. What should you wear? Where should the date be? What should you talk about?

Wardrobe woes and awkward silences aside, a first date can also quite literally be a scary experience. Especially in today’s modern dating world, it’s so important that a woman take the necessary measures to protect herself and be alert and aware of any possible dating red flags.

And this is even more crucial when it comes to online dating or meeting a man from a dating app like Tinder, which is a common way for snagging a date these days.

So what are some of the biggest mistakes women tend to make when going on a first date?

While a first date will, of course, never be perfect, here are some of the biggest mistakes that a woman can make, and some dating tips for avoiding them.

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1. Leaving yourself defenceless

In this day and age, it’s safety above allelse, ladies. This is especially true when you’re meeting a guy from a dating app or online.

We cannot stress this enough – you must always, always be prepared to protect yourself.

Taking a self-defence class is one great thing you can do so that you’re able to rely on and defend yourself in case a situation arises when you’re alone with your date. And besides the incredible safety factor, self-defence classes are also extremely empowering and can give you a great sense of strength.

An easier option is to carry something with you at all times that you can use to protect yourself, such as a personal alarm, like this one from SafeSound (get 50% off.) You won’t need any training to use it, it’ll fit in your purse, and best of all, it will give you peace of mind when you’re meeting up with that random dude from Tinder.

2. Not having anything to talk about

The whole reason you’re even going on a date is to find out more information about this person and decide if you’d like to see them again, right?

So if you’re going to go on a date and sit in silence the whole time, then you may as well have just stayed home and continued your Netflix binge.

Now, we’re not saying that you should sit down and divulge your entire life story, but you must come prepared with conversation topics or there’s really no use going at all.

And while it’s good to know the standard things, such as what he does for a living and what the name of his cat is, it’s also important to dig just a little bit deeper so that you can find out more about the kind of man he is.

3. Talking way too much

Have you ever been to a restaurant and overheard an awkward date? You know the one – the girl (or the guy) won’t stop rambling on, and the other person never gets in a word. They sit there twirling their straw, staring off into space, leaving you to wonder why they don’t just excuse themselves to the bathroom and never come back.

Trust us, you do not want to be this person – especially on a first date.

He doesn’t need to know everything about you, your childhood pet, and about your dear Aunt Judy on the first date. You need to leave a little bit of mystery, you know!

Besides, it’s very important that he does the talking, too. That’s where those conversation topics come into play.

It’s important to have fun with dating, but it’s even more important to look out for yourself and protect yourself when venturing out into the modern dating world

4. Forgetting to share your date details with friends or family

So, you met someone and you’ve arranged a date with them. Exciting, right?

However, this is where so many women make a huge mistake.

Before you even start celebrating, find your contacts. Now pick someone you absolutely trust and tell them where you’re going, when you’re going, and with whom you’re going on the date.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your mom, your dad, your best friend, or better yet, all of them. It’s critical that you let someone know that you’re going to be on this date. This is especially true if the person you’re meeting is from the internet.

And hey, do you have friends who are active on the dating scene? Maybe you can be that trustworthy friend for them. Better yet, you can ask them to share their location with you via their phone, or buy them a personal alarm to keep in their purse.

5. Using a cell phone

We don’t know about you, but one of the most uncomfortable, depressing things is seeing two people who are out on a date and they’re both sitting there looking down at their phones.

These days, it’s hard for people to become disconnected from the online world. We feel like we need to be physically attached to our phones 24/7 as if our very lives depend on it.

You know how you’re always complaining to your friends about how you wish you could go back to the good old days and have an old-school type of romance? Well, guess what they didn’t have in those good old days? That’s right! A phone. Yes, you actually had to make eye contact and speak with another person.

Think about it like this: what if it was the other way around and the person you were on a date with took out his phone and started ignoring you? Would you consider going out with him again? We didn’t think so.

Put down the phone. Your followers can wait.

6. Not meeting in a public place

A first date should always, always be in a public place.

Don’t ever meet someone in a setting where you are alone with them.

Always pick somewhere that you know will be a place with a lot of people.

However, you should still always be prepared and look out for yourself by taking all of the other necessary safety precautions as mentioned, carrying something with you for protection, and informing your friends and family where you are.

Dating can cause a lot of mixed emotions. And it’s completely normal to feel all of these things at the prospect of a first date!

It’s important to have fun with dating, but it’s even more important to look out for yourself and protect yourself when venturing out into the modern dating world.

Sloane is a writer who focuses on love, relationships, and dating. For more of her dating content, visit her author profile at YourTango