Having backpacked alone for a number of years, thinking about my personal safety is something I do without thinking.
If I’m walking alone at night, I’ll have my car keys balled up in my fist. I park in well-lit, busy areas, and lock the doors as soon as I jump into the front seat. On the Tube I keep my handbag held close to me, and watch carefully for pick-pockets.
I try to always have my wits about me. And so I found it odd when I started the 30 Dates Challenge, and people recommended I ‘be careful’ and ‘be sensible’.
It’s interesting how, as adults, we put ourselves in risky situations all the time, and rarely think to warn others. But when it comes to blind dates, people’s backs are immediately raised. Are you sure you’re ok meeting up with a stranger?!
Well yes, I think I am – it’s exactly the same as sitting next to a stranger on the Tube. In fact, if the date has been arranged by a friend, and is in a busy public space, then it’s likely to be a whole lot safer than taking public transport with hundreds of different un-veted strangers. And yet we don’t think twice about doing the latter.
As my thirty blind dates progressed last year, one of the girls in my office began a tradition. ‘Stay Safe!‘ she would call after me as I left the office. ‘Don’t get murdered!‘. I would roll my eyes, and groan.
‘It’s worked every other time!’ she would rationalise, unapologetically.
Scare tactics, but they did work. I made sure someone knew where I was going, and with whom, and would always meet in a busy, public place. I never drank too much on a first date, and made sure I knew how to get home.
As a single woman, travelling around London, I often think as a taxi as the safest option. But in reality, you’re still getting into a car with a complete stranger. So why do we apply far less caution to jumping into a taxi, than we ever would to going on a first date?
Over the past ten months, I’ve spent more and more time in the Capital, and as I’ve come to realise, the Tube isn’t always the best option for getting around. Sometimes you just want to get home as quickly as possible, with as little effort as possible. And that’s where a taxi comes in. But how can you guarantee you’re getting into a safe taxi?
At Hallowe’en, Miss32 and I went to the Last Tuesday Society Ball. One of the event’s sponsors was a new Taxi app called Uber, and our tickets to the event included a free ride in an Uber Car. As we both had a special code, we managed to get a free car ride to the event, and then a free one back home again.
From then on, we were hooked.
The app is quick and easy to use, and shows you exactly where your taxi is, who is driving it, a photo of the driver, details of when he’ll arrive, and the make, model, and registration plate of your car. Before you book your car, it highlights how many are available in the area, and estimated arrival times, and rather than having to pay in cash, the company charges your credit card at the end of the journey.
Really simple. And more importantly, really safe.
I’ve got to the end of night out, drunk, and on my own, and known exactly who is going to pick me up, that he knows where to drop me, and that I have enough money to get home. And even in the most un-sober of states, the app is easy to use!
In celebration of safe London Dating, Uber have set up a code which any 30 Dates readers who have never used the app can use to benefit from £20 of free travel around London. There’s literally no catch – download the Uber app for free, and enter the code 30DATESBLOG into the Promotions screen. The code will give you £20 free credit with Uber, which you can use on a ride, or deduct from a more expensive ride.
Plus, you can feel like you’re dating in New York, as all the Exec cars are swanky new blacked out cars, which make you feel like a celeb, ordering ‘ a car’ to pick you up!
So thank you Uber for supporting safer dating in London 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx