​You've heard the stories of guys and girls getting into all sorts of trouble during dates. Those stories of robbery, abuse and worse, date rape do happen.

You know of people who've had pretty bad experiences with dates.

This doesn't mean you should allow it to happen to you. Dates should be fun. If you know how to date safely, you can enjoy the company of someone you like very much without feeling paranoid.

Here are some ways you can approach the dating scene without the risk.

​Watch out for imposters

These people are basically not the persons they claim to be. If it's someone you've not met before, or if it's a first date with someone you don't know well, go with a friend. You can always have privacy when the relationship has reached a deeper level of trust.

Start out in a group

It's not that you're boring or shy. You're smart and you know better than to be overly trusting. Right now, it's better to see how that potential girlfriend or boyfriend reacts to you in a crowd. As we said, you can have privacy when there's more trust.

Don't go to isolated spot

Really. Don't. This is just the smart thing to do. Don't allow yourself to be taken to a place without you first knowing where it is. Stick to crowded spots where there are people around.

Keep someone posted

It's easier these days to let someone know where you are. Let your parents or friends or a close sibling know where you are periodically, so that they know that everything is alright.

Keep your wits about you

Don't let your date mix your drinks for you, and don't leave your drinks unattended. Try to stick to stuff that comes in a sealed bottle. Also, don't get totally drunk on the first date. These are little slips that can lead to a very bad mistake.

Don't like it? Say it

If you're not comfortable with anything, say so. If your date starts to get pushy, you have the choice to end the date a lot earlier.

The important thing is, don't rush to get cozy and don't give trust to someone who hasn't earned it. Feelings and relationships should stand the test of time (but don't worry, it won't take that long) so go slow and watch how things go.