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Don't Talk to Strangers

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Old 04-14-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Hi everyone! I need some advice from my favorite girls on the 'net.

Yesterday, an interesting situation occurred. I'm 22 years old and a college student, and I've always been awfully reserved.

However, I felt great yesterday. I decided to really go all out and dress myself up. I did my hair, put on a skirt, dolled myself up and felt absolutely fantastic. My confidence flared up.

While I was at school, a guy started chatting with me. He even asked if I wanted to hang out before I had to go to class. Okay, sure! He introduces me to his buddy, and both guys have to be around my age. It was nice meeting them I suppose.

They asked if I wanted to hop in their car with them while they ran to get some things at his buddy's house. I said sure. I got into the car with two male strangers and, honestly, I felt pretty uncomfortable because they are guys that I don't know. I assured myself that the likelihood of two college-aged guys kidnapping an adult woman from campus was unlikely.. but still made me nervous.

The guys decided to smoke pot (and they did ask me if I'd mind, so at least they weren't rude). I did end up sharing my phone number which I kind of wish I didn't now. (Though, I doubt I could avoid them. The campus is so small.)

Is it normal for an adult woman to feel uncomfortable in this situation? (Is it normal for an adult woman to get into the car?) Later, when my boyfriend came home from work, I told him about what happened, and he requested that I never again get into a car with strangers. Is he overly paranoid, or is that sound advice?

I'm a girl that's been raised by an underprotective father and no female role models, so I'm always confused as to which situations I should and shouldn't be hesitant about. I'm naturally weary of guys, and being 5'0" (and 127lbs ) I feel it'd be incredibly easy for someone to take advantage of me. I need some guidance!
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
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Yeah I'm going to have to say your bf isnt paranoid.

The SECOND you feel uncomfortable, your instincts are telling you something, never ignore that.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:13 PM   #3
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I definitely wouldn't have hopped in the car with people I didn't know. Never mind whether it's "normal," it's just not safe in my opinion (and I would describe myself as kind of a risk-taker).
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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I work in forensics and hun you are LUCKY you aren't dead or they didn't rape you.

I've seen so many cases of "well they seemed nice" and getting into the car led to getting raped...

Please don't ever get into a car with people you don't know! It's not a paranoid thing, it's a safety thing- and the fact they talked about how they wouldn't kidnap you and it was unlikely yada yada I would have just walked away.

Seriously what were you thinking getting into a car with two males you don't know?

Sorry I'm being harsh- I just see a lot of bad things in my line of work.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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if your bf is paranoid, then so am I, because to be honest, my eyes started bugging out of my head when I read you got in the car with them. I'm glad you're safe though
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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Right when I read you hopped in the car with not one but two men that you don't know my spidey senses were tingling.

Seriously, seriously seriously don't do that.

Until you get to know someone really well, meet in public places or with a group. We all do stuff we shouldn't when we're young.

When I was in college I did two stupid things. First, I went to a bar with friends and was having a good time so when they left I stayed and let a guy drive me home. Luckily nothing came of it.

Second, I lost my cell phone, called it and a guy had found it. I stupidly went alone to meet him to get it. That encounter didn't turn out so well.

I cannot stress it enough. Do not be alone with anyone you don't know!!!! It might be ok once, but you can only get lucky so many times.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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yeah, don't feel bad, we've all done stupid things. Hind sight is 20/20 right? That's why I've learned, no matter how stupid I may feel at the time, I always listen to my gut and play on the safe side
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #8
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The vast majority of people are good, kind, decent folks who wouldn't harm a soul. Unfortunately, there are those rare few who not only would harm another person, they'd take great glee in doing so. You can't tell them apart from other people by looking at them or talking to them. You can't know before you get into a stranger's car that this person isn't going to do something horrendous.

So never, ever, ever do it.

Also, if the driver was smoking weed, he fit the legal definition of "impaired." Drivers should be sober. Period. Even if everything else was on the up-and-up, do you really want to be in some stranger's car when he gets into an accident?

Yes, it's statistically unlikely that a woman would be kidnapped by two guys from a college campus--but it can happen. It does happen. (And from the perspective of a 41-year-old, a 22-year-old adult woman and a college-aged guy are pretty much the same age, so don't think your age difference will grant you some kind of invulnerability.)

Ted Bundy used universities as his favorite hunting grounds for years, and he looked as harmless and helpless as could be; it was part of his ruse. He even had a fake cast on his arm so women would feel moved to help him with his books as he got into his VW Beetle. They stopped to do a favor for someone whom they failed to perceive as a threat and it was the last act they ever took on this earth.

It's great to feel confident and to meet other people with a smile on your face. You absolutely should treat the world as a place full of good things and kind people, because most of the time you'll be right. But when the risks of being wrong are especially severe--such as getting into a stranger's car--you have to draw the line and say no.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #9
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I'm with everyone else...if your gut is telling you something is not quite right, then listen to it. I am 40, and I still get bad gut feelings from some people I do know, not just ones I don't know, so I definitely say go with your gut. As Nola said, most people are kind and not out to get you, but there are some who will hurt you and enjoy doing so. Nola also mentioned Ted Bundy, and I admit, reading your post, Ted Bundy came to my mind too. Statistically, you are unlikely to wind up in such a situation, but you never know. I live in a small town, and I know many people in small towns think they are safe and crime only happens in big cities. But my cousin's neighbour was murdered. It may be unlikely that you will find yourself in such a situation, but please, don't take chances. That said, I am glad you are safe.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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I was scared when you said you got into their car. I think next time it's better to be safe than sorry. I totally understand that it's a nice feeling now that people are noticing and complimenting you but it also means you are going to attract some dirtbags.

Personal example: I hung out with some girlfriends and some of their mutual friends were there. One guy was hitting on me and I said I have a boyfriend and he said it doesn't matter. ...EW

Not all attention is GOOD attention that's for sure. It is nice to be noticed though as long as you are smart about it!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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I'm so thankful for all your responses. I'm actually happy that the general consensus is NOT to get into the car with a stranger, because... I just didn't enjoy it. It was scary, even if I doubted anything bad could happen. Now I know the smart thing to do is to turn down the invitation, and now I can do that without feeling like a wimp.

It's hard not having a female role model sometimes, because... guys can just do anything without fear, but the world is so much different when you're a woman.

When would it be safe to be alone with a male friend though? Currently, I don't have many friends, though I'm trying to work on that. But, I tend to make male friends and not female ones, and now that I'm an adult and not a high school kid, I have to be more responsible with the males I choose to spend time with. I'm so used to just hanging out in a male friend's bedroom without it meaning anything, but now that I'm older and they're older, it's scary to even think about. Do you just know when it's safe to spend time in a private location with a male? This is so perplexing.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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Do not ever do that again. It is OK to be alone with your boyfriend in a car. I would draw the line right there. No it is not ok to get in a car alone with a boy unless he is your boyfriend, brother or cousin .
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #13
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Think about the situation the other way around.

Assuming YOU are a normal, nice girl who is smart, in college and lookin' good, would YOU ask a boy you just met to get into YOUR car and go somewhere the first day you met? Would YOU ask to hang out with a dude before class and randomly bring him over to your friend's house and do drugs along the way?


The answer is probably not, since that would be weird, to say the least.

Pretty sure you would call yourself a creep.

PLEASE don't do it again. Thank you for recognizing that this situation calls for reconsideration!! Stay safe!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Vulpix View Post

It's hard not having a female role model sometimes,I'm because... guys can just do anything without fear, but the world is so much different when you're a woman.

When would it be safe to be alone with a male friend though? Currently, I don't have many friends, though I'm trying to work on that. But, I tend to make male friends and not female ones, and now that I'm an adult and not a high school kid, I have to be more responsible with the males I choose to spend time with. I'm so used to just hanging out in a male friend's bedroom without it meaning anything, but now that I'm older and they're older, it's scary to even think about. Do you just know when it's safe to spend time in a private location with a male? This is so perplexing.
If you have a boyfriend, and you are making male friends, I think it would be safe to be alone with them when you feel comfortable that they are:

1. Friends with you for the right reasons, aka they don't want to date you

2. Know that you have a boyfriend and preferably know him personally and have hung out with him a few times to become friends with him too

3. If you doubt either of these two rules, keep your bf around when you hang out until you are sure!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:52 PM   #15
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Most people aren't rapists or murderers, but this situation is just odd. Since you felt uncomfortable I assume you won't be so trusting on a regular basis. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but giving up power by getting into a stranger's car is risky business. I've done stuff like that before and I am lucky nothing bad ever happened to me.

It does depend on where you are sometimes. In rural Japan, I'll be out running to work because I'm late and an old lady will offer me a ride, and I don't think twice about it. But this is the same place where if it's raining and I'm caught outside without an umbrella, total strangers will pull up in their cars, give me an umbrella, and drive off.

As for being alone with male friends, I think Txalupa's rules are spot on.
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