Dear Nadia, I Have a Dating Dilemma

Blog pix dating dilemma

Decisions, decisions. Dating is fraught with judgment calls, gut calls, and dilemmas. How do you check out a guy you met in real life? When should you let a guy pick you up at your place or drop by to see you? When do you have sex?

It’s good to talk about these issues with friends and sometimes friends ask me for advice. So, sit back and try some goat cheese and arugula pasta salad while I share a recent exchange with a gal pal. Identifying details have been altered for privacy.

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Dear Nadia, 

As I mentioned, I met this guy, Max, last Saturday while on a Meetup bike ride. We hung out after the ride over lunch – and had a really nice time. I gave him my e-mail and phone number and he emailed me this week. 

Max lives in Baltimore but will be driving through my area this Friday to leave his dog with his sister since he’s going out of town. He suggested swinging by my place on his way. I told him that I live in Kensington. Max works for the Department of Homeland Security and has a high security clearance – so he probably knows my address, favorite color, and everything else about me!

Do you have any good background checking tools? I know his full name, age, and address, which check out, but don’t know anything else. DHS doesn’t have a detailed staff directory online. It seems a bit preliminary to have him come to my house, although maybe he’s trying to make it easy for me. I could meet him at a restaurant or park since he’ll have his dog with him (a yellow lab, I believe).

Aargh…when did dating get so hard?!

Lily

Dear Lily,

Yes, dating IS hard…but in fact you met Max the old fashioned way, which makes it a bit simpler.  For instance, you have some good basic info that has checked out!  To add to the information you have, you could use some of the same tactics I use with an online match when I have very little to go on.

Checking out a guy you met in real life

You could run his Meetup picture through Google image search and see what pops up.  If you haven’t already done so, I suggest separate web searches of his name, phone number, and email address.

Another tactic is checking out Max’s public Facebook page. I think FB collects info on someone’s page visitors so at some point Max might see you in his “People You May Know” alerts but that could happen in other ways too. You could also temporarily change your privacy settings on LinkedIn and anonymously check out his profile.

The purpose of all of this investigation is not to find out every last detail about him but to make sure there are no red flags. Once I have enough information to know that a guy is who he says he is, and there are no concerns, I stop sleuthing.   Too much probing can spoil the all important fun and discovery phase of a relationship. It really is best to learn about a person organically in a face-to-face encounter.

I have used Intelius and Spokeo to run preliminary background checks on matches.  Neither one of these search engines is perfect in terms of accuracy and depth of information but they have proven useful on occasion. I let my subscriptions to these services lapse because I found I could gather most information on my own for free.  I also realized that my gut is fairly accurate!

If marital status is a concern, you could search for evidence of his divorce. Most states have free, public divorce records.

Some additional resources that are likely not necessary in your case:

*Scam digger picture search

*You can check his email address on this romance scam site

When should you let a guy pick you up for a date?

Since you asked for advice, I’ll put on my Jewish mother hat to say that on a few occasions I have been okay with a guy picking me up for a second date at my house but I usually wait until the third date. Sometimes the second date is a deal-breaker and I want to be able to leave if it’s not going well.

I make the “pick me up” decision on a case-by-case basis. This decision is based on how much I know/have found out about a man and my gut impression of the guy.

So, if you feel comfortable, you could certainly say okay to him dropping by. Or you could just offer to meet him at the park or for a drink.

However, at this point, I feel he should ask you out – not just drop by on his way to somewhere else. It feels like he’s doing what’s convenient  – not making a concerted effort to see you and take you out!

Dating computer experts and guys with security clearances

The other issue is dating someone who has a high security clearance or is a computer expert and could do a better background check on you than you could on him! I have gone out with some guys who fall into that category. I never had evidence that they out-sleuthed me but it’s entirely possible. I tell myself that, like me, they want to know whom they’re dealing with…and then I forget about their possible channeling of Sherlock Holmes.

For future reference, here are links to some of my blog posts on security in online dating:

A brief encounter with a catfisher

Catfishing and lessons from a millennial

A bad bagel on Coffee Meets Bagel

Tips for safe online dating

Dating tips and tricks

Dating safety, security, and truth-in-advertising

Keep me posted on Max, Lily!

Hugs,

Nadia

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Dear readers, send me your dating dilemmas and I’ll try to respond in a future blog post!

Until next week, happy dating or not dating!

XXXOOO

Nadia

 

Last 2016 Rant about Dating

blog-pix-angry-geese

I’m feeling the holiday blues this week. It’s manageable and I’ll shake it off soon enough…but in the meantime (oops, at first I wrote mantime), it might be therapeutic to do a little ranting.

It’s always good to eat comfort food when you’re ranting. Try this lighter version of macaroni and cheese.

Top Complaints of 2016:

Men who cancel a first date within hours of the designated day/time and only when prompted by an email or text.

The backstory: This happened recently. I hadn’t heard from Mr. D in 3 days so I texted him to confirm our date. Mr. D replied by email to say he needed to cancel because of his work schedule and maybe we could try again after the holidays. Feeling fed up, I decided not to respond and blocked his number. Of course, he was on OurTime at the moment our date was supposed to happen. For whatever reason, he changed his mind about wanting to meet me.

Today I was scrolling through profiles on another site and one of the guys had the same profile word for word as Mr. D. One or both of them is a liar.

Men who swipe Yes on a “swiping app” such as Tinder or Bumble but then delete me right after we match.  

The backstory: I’m pretty sure these are the guys who respond solely to a woman’s photo. My theory is that once we match, they take a closer look, see my age, and unmatch me.

Men who view me daily but never contact me. 

The backstory: What IS this backstory? You tell me. Are they just playing? It’s annoying because you think someone likes you. Really, it’s just teasing. 

Men who view me daily, finally contact me, send an email or two and THEN disappear. Sometimes they start viewing me again months later. 

The backstory: Teasing, just like the guys who never email. These men don’t really want to meet anyone. Perhaps they have been castrated. 

Men whose main photo shows them posing with a gun: 

The backstory: WTF! WTF! I guess they hope to attract female NRA members. 

Men whose main profile pix is with Mom…or the main profile pix is just Mom.    

The backstory: I’m not sure of the message when it’s coming from a 60 year old man. Is he trying to show he has strong family bonds, that he has good genes, that he’s a Mama’s boy? 

Men whose main profile photo is with their children….or the photo is just the kids. 

The backstory: First of all, it’s a bad idea to put photos of your children on a dating site. These men may want to show that you get a “package deal” but you can put that info in a profile. 

Men who excel in the digital tease 

The backstory:

As Jessica Bennett reports in the New York Times, if you date in the digital age you may have encountered a breadcrumber: “They communicate via sporadic noncommittal, but repeated messages — or breadcrumbs — that are just enough to keep you wondering but not enough to seal the deal (whatever that deal may be).”

I went out with a guy like this. One date followed by sporadic emails every 3 weeks, including one to wish me “Happy Thanksgiving, dear.” He’ll probably contact me on Christmas day. I think my reply will be to send him a link to the Times article.

Men with poor hygiene (oral and full body). 

The backstory:

I’ve been ranting about this all year. Nothing new to add but I wanted to note it for the record.

Not knowing whether your gut is right.  

The backstory:

Remember Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice? At first her gut told her to reject Mr. Darcy…. but then she gets new information about him and realizes her gut was wrong and that she loves him.

Sometimes, like Elizabeth, my gut is wrong. However, I believe the old saying that the body doesn’t lie. If you feel something is wrong, it usually is.

Until next week, happy ranting, dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia