Dear Ladies,

Dating alternates between being tons of fun, and being stuck in Home Depot for hours.  Because the world can often be a scary and fucked up place, we’re not sure if the cute boy we met at the bar last weekend is our soulmate, or the Craigslist Killer. And while that uncertainty sucks, it’s important to put your safety first. Which is why I am offering my three motherly rules for keeping your ass safe, while still enjoying yourself.

1. YOUR PLACE OR PUBLIC. Last weekend, a guy wanted me to come back to his place at 11:45 to “hang out.” For God’s sake. I asked him to come meet me (and my friends, who would be quietly seated off to the side so they could pick him out of a lineup if necessary) for a drink. He said no, and got grumpy. Subsequently, he didn’t get any. No matter how much you want to hook up, put your safety first. Now personally, I prefer my place for romancin’. Because it’s my turf, and I know where all the sharp objects are, should I need them.

2. WATCH YOUR DRINK. Having a man buy you a drink is very flattering. And in these harsh economic times, rather convenient. However, if you decide to let a fella buy you a whiskey, keep your eyes on it. From the bottle to the bartender to your lips to God’s ear, make sure nobody puts any kind of weird shit in your drink. Because if it happens (and when it happened to me, thank God I was out in a large group and protected) you will go from “fun” to “fucked up” in a snap. So be careful. And him buying you a drink doesn’t mean you owe him anything except a polite “thank you.”

3. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. This is not meant to just be scary. Don’t forget, I said dating should be fun. Just have common sense. Don’t go into unfamiliar places with guys you don’t know, no matter how fun and sexy they are. Don’t be an idiot. And if you’re going on a proper date (lucky you!) make sure one of your girlfriends knows where you’re going, and give her the guy’s name and number, just in case. Maybe even have her call and check in on you. It seems paranoid and crazy, but really, at the end of the day, your safety should always be priority number one.

Have fun out there, kiss some frogs/princes, and take care. It’s a fun world, when you live in it with intelligence.