It’s not always easy being a woman. It’s almost never easy being a woman who is trying out the dating scene. There’s a lot that can go wrong – your date could stand you up – you could be catfished* – you could be a pro at awkward first dates – or your life could literally be in danger. As someone who experienced my fair share of dating horror stories, I had luckily never been in a situation where I felt that I was in actual physical danger by the person I was on a date with (though, there were a few times where I was bold enough to just walk out after being able to catch on to what the date would look like if I stuck around for another hour or so). I do have friends that did feel as if they were in danger. And texting them frantically while asking for locations as they were trying to get out of a dangerously uncomfortable date is a nerve-racking and uneasy feeling as a friend.
As the era of online dating seems to be going nowhere and more and more people are being encouraged to download the next Tinder-type app, meeting up with a stranger you met online doesn’t always end up in a happily ever after marriage as something like Match.com would have you believe. The “first-date routine” can also become increasingly scary when even just a tiny bit of alcohol is involved. Someone else must have also realized how horrible of a feeling it is to be afraid or afraid for someone on a date that they created the “angel shot.”
The angel shot – much like it’s name – allows for anyone who feels like they are in danger on a date or unsafe around someone in a restaurant/bar to receive the necessary help from an “angel” in the venue. The concept is simple, but it can literally save your life. All you need to do is order an “angel shot” at the bar and your bartender will know that you need help. There are apparently 3 different variations of the “shot” that you can order – and from what I’ve heard, so long as you say the words “angel shot,” help will be on its way. The 3 specific types are below:
- Angel Shot Neat ? a bartender will immediately escort you to your car.
- Angel Shot with Ice ? a bartender will immediately call you a taxi or order you an Uber.
- Angel Shot with Lime ? the bar/restaurant staff will immediately call the police.
The idea stems from a sign seen in a bar bathroom in the U.K. that encouraged women to “ask for Angela” at the front desk or at the bar if they were feeling weird or uncomfortable on their date – but, of course, in the U.S. our saving grace comes in the form of a shot. Either way – it’s the perfect “code” (though, it’s picked up lots of publicity) for keeping yourself safe and getting out of anxious situations.
No one should ever feel forced to remain in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation. If you feel trapped, there is a way out.
Some tips about online dating that I felt were useful at one point for me:
- FaceTime or ask for the person to send a snap of themselves before meeting up. This is not a vanity thing. This is to make sure that the person you’re supposed to be meeting is actually who they say they are. The one time I caught someone trying to catfish me, I just didn’t show up to the date. Don’t ask for other photos – ask (force) them to provide you with something in real time so that you’re 100% sure of who they are.
- Always give someone your location before going on the date. I usually always told my mother where I would be meeting up with someone and how long I expected to be there. If it wasn’t my mom – it was a friend. Either way – someone always knew where I was. If I felt the date was going well (which was rare), I’d shoot over a quick text to my mom/friend to let them know I’d be out a little later with this person.
- Send a photo/dating profile & FULL name of the person you’re going to meet up with to someone. In addition to a location and time, I’d also send the full name of who I was meeting up with to my mom/friend (“buddy”) so that God forbid I went missing – they’d know what name to give to the police. 9 out of 10 times (I went on a lot of dates), my mom would use that name to Google and Facebook search who I was going out with and I’d receive texts and screen shots of Google images from her periodically throughout the date with things like: “Waste of time, you won’t like this guy – see you in a bit.“ or just a very odd photo of that person that she knew would weird me out. Which leads me to my last and most important point…
- RESEARCH THE PERSON BEFORE MEETING UP WITH THEM. People are liars. And I don’t mean to say that in a cynical trust no one way, but it’s a fact that people lie. They lie to make themselves look better. They lie to get what they want. They lie because – in terms of dating – sometimes they think it’s funny. The term I keep using – catfish – was the basis of an entire MTV series about people lying to each other online. That person thinks you’re weird for asking for their full name? Who cares. Don’t go out with them until you get it and until you’ve done some online searches. There have been plenty of times where, when I asked a guy for his full name and/or what school he went to or where he works (sometimes you need just a bit more info in order to fall down the rabbit hole), he’s responded with “Why? Are you going to stalk me lol.” To which I’d proudly answer, “Yes I am.” Usually, I’d then get the information I was looking for. The few times they refused – we never met up. Find out who they are before you meet up with them. Full name, job, where they went to school, birthday too if you want it. And then send ALL of that information to your “buddy.”
Make fun of me all you want – but I survived my few short years of online dating. And it’s because I played it extra safe. Who cares if they think “You’re crazy?” In order to be crazy, you have to first be alive. So, your first responsibility is to do just that – stay alive. Get to know the person a little before meeting up with them and, if, after you meet up, you feel unsafe – order an “angel shot.” I promise, this one isn’t haram.