I had an interesting dilemma. After many years of online dating- I finally hit the point where a few of the guys I met turned out to be married. So, this next time when I went out with a new guy “Jake”- I realized after a good first date, that I did not have his last name, business card, place he worked at, etc. Bottom line, I had no idea who he was. So, for the next date, (which was in public) he again didn’t volunteer much personal information. By the time we got to the third date he wanted me to come to his place for dinner. I of course, was not interested because I barely knew this guy, and for once we hadn’t ever played “six degrees of separation” and found someone in common.
So, I tell him I am not comfortable in having dinner at his place and ask to go out. He offers to pick me up at my place (which I live in a doorman building) and to go out for dinner. When we get to dinner I bring up to him that although I like him, I really don’t know him and offer my business card. In turn, he tells me he doesn’t carry his and doesn’t seem to understand why I would need to “question” or prove someone’s identity because “he’s a nice guy” (this guy by the way, is divorced and newer online dating). I do believe this guy is telling the truth, but once burned I realize I need to be more careful. Apparently, this guy didn’t seem to get my side of the coin as he immediately went to saying that he could have the same concerns I have.
So, what’s the best way to handle being in these situations without seeming like a private detective when you are dealing with someone who clearly doesn’t understand the safety (most guys don’t worry about being raped) and the idea that some people are hiding who they are (because of wives, etc.)
Any ideas of what to do and not seem paranoid? |Age: 36
I am not a fan of the whole Googling/Facebook Checking/Background Check thing. In fact, I think it’s just something people do to take some false sense of control. I also think it’s one of the many digital ways we have completely demolished the foundation of any relationship – intimacy. I’m a big believer in non-verbal cues and vibes. I trust my instincts implicitly. If something doesn’t feel right I simply disengage.
I guess what is alarming to me is how we’ve seemed to stray from simply listening to our gut and practicing common sense.
My friend M. went to a bar one night. He met a woman who worked, in some capacity, at a law firm. She admitted that she used her company resources to check the backgrounds of men she met online. You know, just to be sure. And then she went home with my friend and had sex with him. A stranger she met in a bar. But yet she uses work resources to go through people’s private info. Let’s just call that what it is – a violation of privacy. You want to look at someone’s Facebook page? Eh, it’s public domain. But to run a background check? Sorry, it’s just a huge violation of trust. Clearly she wasn’t terribly afraid for her physical safety since she went home with my friend that night. She wanted to be sure the guy wasn’t in debt. Guess what? Half the country is seriously in debt. The idea that you’re going to meet someone who is 100% financially stable is completely unrealistic.
Here’s another story:
A girlfriend went out with a man a few months ago who has a spotless background. He had several drinks. They went home, had sex and the next morning he didn’t remember anything from the night before. He didn’t know what she was doing in her bed. He threw her clothes in to the hall way and kicked her out.
No amount of recon work could have predicted this situation. Some people are unhealthy. That’s why you have to be as aware as possible. Too many drinks? Don’t go home with them.
Unless you have some psychic powers or some extra-ordinary ability to tell if someone is lying how can you possibly almost always know for a fact when someone is lying to you or bsing you immediately.??? – Bree
I pay attention. It’s that simple. I tune out all the noise and chatter and advice from friends and I simply pay attention, watch and listen. Unless they are a true sociopath, there’s always a tell. People with the wrong intentions ALWAYS screw up eventually. Ask the right questions, and you’ll get all the answers you need based on their response. You learn more about what someone doesn’t say than what they do say. I also do what I can to surround myself with good, honest, well intentioned, emotionally healthy people. That way, when someone strays from what we’ll call a “baseline” you’ll know.
The last point there is key. If you do what you can to maintain a healthy and strong support system comprised of people you trust, you’re more likely to be able to spot the people who are up to no good. Strictly because something that strays from the norm – a comment, a gesture, a tone- will make you think twice. If one of my triggers goes off, I ask questions. If the answers don’t jive with my internal lie detector, I abort. Did they contradict themselves? Did they seem nervous when I asked basic questions? Did they avoid certain questions all together? Did they say too much? Those are the things I look for.
As far as determining whether they are married or not, here’s yet another story:
Years ago, I met a man in a bar. We exchanged numbers. We set up a lunch date. I offered to meet him at his office building in the lobby. He, rather hurriedly, said he’d rather meet on the corner of the block. Ding! We meet up and sit down at the restaurant. His left hand is resting on his lap. He doesn’t bring it to the table. (He wasn’t wearing it the night we met. He said it interfered with his pool playing.) I look him in the eye and say, “Are you married?” Sure enough, he was. And!! Later that day,as I was reading the paper, I checked my horoscope and it read “An attractive new friend is married.” I shit you not.
I’m telling you…in many if not most cases, we know something is off. We know it. I wish I could offer something tangible, but I can’t. Truth is, there are a lot of posers on online. People looking for something other than love. Meet enough of them and you’ll build up a baseline to help spot those people, too.
All of my male and female friends have said that if a woman ever admitted to running a background check on them, they’d dump them in a heart beat. Nine times out of ten, you’re going to find something that trips a wire. You’re left with either having to admit what you did, or dismissing a man or woman before they ever have a chance to explain.
You could meet a man or woman with a clean record and digitial footprint and they could be a creep. Or married. Or in debt. That’s the risk we take when we date, not just date online. This is the main reason why I’m trying to encourage people to stop looking for relationships on these dating sites and start meeting people through friends, work, etc.
To me, a word of mouth recommendation means 100 times more than a Google search.