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It’s Worst-Case Wednesday again, so prepare for more useful advice, just in case. Last week, we covered weddings in anticipation of all the ceremonies that will be taking place this month. This week, it’s time to approach the other end of the romantic spectrum, with an excerpt from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide: Dating and Sex.

Dates can be just as terrifying as weddings, maybe more so, as they happen to us far more often. From minor disasters, like a wine stain, to more serious dilemmas, like a terrible kisser, dating is dangerous. So, we’ll start out with the worst-case scenario for any date.

How to Determine if Your Date is an Axe Murderer

1. Watch For the Following:

• A Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties

• Obsession with fire or matches

• Cruelty to animals

• History of bed-wetting

• Sexually abused as a child

• Middle-class background combined with loner behavior

• Difficulty maintaining relationships

An individual who exhibits more than three of these traits may be dangerous.

2. Trust Your Intuition: Your instinct is a powerful weapon. If something feels wrong, it probably is.

3. Check Him Out Officially: Obtain his social security number and investigate him. Call the Federal Prison Locator Service (202-307-3126) to determine if he was ever incarcerated. Many online companies can aid in financial reports or tracking down previous addresses. You may also want to enlist the services of a private detective.

4. If You Discover Grounds for Suspicion, Break Off the Relationship Immediately: Be clear and definite about your decision. Return all of his belongings and gifts. Do not make promises to keep in touch. Be straightforward and kind, and talk only about yourself and why the relationship no longer works for you. Do not blame him. Try not to make him angry.

5. Take Steps to Maintain Your Safety:

• Carry a cell phone.

• Install a home security system.

• Change your phone numbers.

• Stay near populated, well-lit areas.

• Apprise a friend or relative of your concerns.

• Document any strange or unusual happenings.

• Take a personal safety/self-defense class.

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For more on the Worst-Case Scenario Handbook: Dating & Sex, visit its official bookpage!