You love to go out with your friends -- who doesn't? -- and now that it's finally summer, it's the perfect time to grab a few cocktails on a patio somewhere and catch up on life. Unfortunately, going out is never quite as simple as that. When you're a woman, you have to be super aware of your surroundings and make sure that you get home safely. It's not exactly fair and guys don't spend time worrying and wondering about this stuff, but this is just the way that it goes. Here are 12 ways to ensure that you have a safe night out. Better safe than sorry, after all.
12 Don't Leave Your Drink Alone
This may be super old, classic advice but it's advice for a reason. When you're at a party, event or even just your local pub that's five minutes away from your apartment, you absolutely should never leave your drink alone. Yeah, you might trust the people that you're with but you don't know exactly who's around or what could happen. Don't leave your glass somewhere, go to the bathroom then come back and drink your wine or beer again -- just don't do it. It's a much smarter idea to just get a new drink. What's the bigger deal, making that small effort or being sorry that you didn't?
11 Have One Sober Friend
This is especially important if you guys drove to a party... but you already knew that, right? If you want to be the sober person in the group, that might be an even better idea and would definitely give you peace of mind since you would know for sure that someone was super sober. If you want to enjoy yourself because it's your own birthday party or you're celebrating or you just want to let loose because, hey, it's the weekend, then make sure your sober friend is someone that you really trust.
10 Call A Cab
It's a good idea to have a cut-off time for taking the subway, the bus or other form of public transportation. Only you know exactly how safe you feel at different times of the night, so make sure that you listen to yourself. Maybe you feel you don't want to take the subway past 10:30 at night so you'll promise yourself to always call a cab past that time.
9 Have A Back-Up Plan
So your best friend swears that this new guy she's dating is throwing an awesome party this weekend and you're all heading there. Sure, that will probably be fun, but since you don't know this person and you don't know his circle of friends, why not have a back-up plan? Figure out an alternative location that you and your friends can head to if you're not super comfortable with the scene at the party. There's nothing wrong with admitting that it's not for you and you don't like the kind of people there.
8 Eat Something
It can be French Fries. That's totally okay. But make sure you're not drinking on a completely empty stomach, because if you do that, you already know what happens because it probably has happened before -- you get way drunk, way faster. Not tons of fun, right? It's just safer to make sure you don't get too wasted so you can be aware of what's going on around you.
7 Pay Attention
It's not like you have to feel super neurotic all the time -- that's not the point. You still want to enjoy your night out and have fun, because that's what life is all about. But it's a good idea to pay attention to where you are and whatever's going on. You just don't know what creepy are around. You really don't.
6 Be Cautious But Not Over-Cautious
Look, you know that not every part of your city or town is super safe, but you also know that you don't need to be so obsessed with staying safe that you don't enjoy the moment. Don't go crazy but do be careful and cautious. That's really the best way to look at it. Tell your friends beforehand that you have a game plan if things get weird or uncomfortable, and discuss alternative forms of transportation if someone drove you guys there.
5 Protect Your Details
If you meet a stranger on your night out -- whether they're your best friend's boyfriend's co-worker or whoever (so technically not a super stranger but definitely a new person in your world) -- be careful to protect any personal details about yourself. Don't share your cell cumber or home address, especially if you're getting a creepy vibe from this person. You might think you're being rude or unfriendly but you're not, you're just protecting yourself and there's nothing wrong with that.
If you feel weird or someone is seriously getting on your last nerve, go ahead and tell someone. You can definitely tell the guy who's hitting on you off if you feel that's appropriate, but you can also just politely excuse yourself and go talk to your best friends and tell them what's going on. Don't isolate yourself and act like this is normal or like you shouldn't get upset. It's totally okay to express yourself and say you're not happy being here.
3 Don't Walk Alone Post-Midnight
Hey, this may be super obvious, but it's definitely worth saying. You shouldn't really be walking anywhere in your city after midnight by yourself. A lot of people do this because they figure nothing will happen because you always think that nothing will happen to you. And yeah, maybe nothing will. But what if it does? You don't want to get yourself into a bad situation, so take a friend or just don't walk by yourself.
2 Stick To Two Drinks
It might be a good idea to have a two drink max for your night out. Yeah, if you're celebrating something big you might want to indulge a bit more, but it's not the best idea to lose your inhibitions. You will never, ever be sorry that you had two glasses of wine or two margaritas or whatever your drink of choice is. If anything, you won't have such a killer hangover the next morning, which is always a plus.
1 Listen To Your Gut
This is the absolutely most important step: always, always listen to your gut. It doesn't matter what your best friend says, or your boyfriend, or anyone else. If you're out somewhere and don't feel safe and want to go to another bar or just go home, that's totally okay. You deserve to feel safe and comfortable and no one can tell you otherwise. It doesn't matter if you logically know that nothing bad would actually happen, because guess what? You don't really know that. Anything can happen... and unfortunately does. So follow your gut and you'll never regret it.