Trust But Verify, Cyberstalking Pt I

This is a great post from a young lady from down under who asks the question, “Is stalking wrong?”. The question she should be asking is “When is stalking stalking”? What she is calling stalking is what I call prudent due diligence.

I don’t meet anybody without Goggling them first. I don’t expect anyone else to meet me without doing the same. Why would you not take the time to do that? That is what Google is for!

TRUST BUT VERIFY

When you meet someone online, there is a significant chance he is a Loser, a Cheater, A Con-artist, Crazy, or, worst of all, a bonafide axe-murderer.  There are no full disclosure regulations in the world of dating. Before you meet someone you do not first receive a prospectus outlining all potential risks and conflicts of interests. I mean, it would be great if every person you talked to had an FDA approved disclaimer at the bottom of their profile, clearly stating all potential side-effects, and clearly emphasizing that individual results will vary.

Unfortunately, there is no government overseer watching your back with online dating. Online dating is a caveat emptor world. You need to watch out for your own ass, your own heart, your own sanity, and your own pocketbook.

Don’t use that as an excuse to quit–for every dishonest guy out there there is an honest one waiting to be found. Please don’t take the attitude of “trust no-one”. Just take the attitude that you are going to do your due diligence, like every adult should, before you make yourself vulnerable. Trust but verify.

PRE MEETING CHECKLIST

Here is a due diligence checklist of things you should do before you meet a guy after 5:00 PM.

  • Know his full name.
  • Verify that he told you the truth about his name.
  • Look him up on Facebook.
  • Ask mutual friends how they know him.
  • Find out where he works and what he does
  • Verify he told you the truth about his job.
  • Look him up on Linked In.
  • Google Search Him.

Put on your detective hat and go for it.

DON’T BE EMBARRASSED

Don’t be embarrassed that you looked them up. There is no reason to hide the fact you are a resourceful and prudent person looking up public information. In my opinion, the fact that you’ve done your homework shows that you are not a sucker to be taken advantage of.

Here is an actual conversation I had:

  • ME: So Shannon, I looked you up on the internet and noticed that you used to work at Verizon.
  • SHANNON: You looked me up on the internet?
  • ME: Yes. You mean you didn’t look me up?
  • SHANNON: (Awkward Pause)
  • ME: (Smiles) Do you want to tell me what kind of work you did at Verizon? Or would you rather talk about our mutual friend Charlotte?
  • SHANNON: (Smiles…awkward moment passed).

EXAMPLES

Just a few weeks ago I had this exact conversation with a newly divorced, early 40s friend as she created a Plenty of Fish account. I told her I wanted to share with her big brotherly advice, and gave her the exact checklist above. She promised me she wouldn’t go out with anyone that wasn’t trustworthy.

She lands a date. The guy is a handsome and charming real estate developer. He treats her like a queen. On the first date they wind up at his place, where she give him a sloppy BJ. Swallows even. She is on Cloud 9 as she gets in the car to drive home…

…as she drives home she asks herself, why does that guy live in an apartment if he is a successful real estate developer?

At least at this point she had the good sense to wisen up and check out his story. One search on the county records website and she learns the guy doesn’t own squat.  Surprise, surprise…it was all a ploy. She got used.

Personally, I don’t see where it would have been wrong of her check out public records about the guy, confirming his story, BEFORE she sucked cock. The Chelsie Handler like woman behind the Of Go her Panties blog might not have cared if he was lying or not, so long as the sex was good. But for my friend, it was a rough reentry into the world of dating.

Chelsea Handler

Yea, I know. It is a stretch to include Chelsea Handler in the this post. But I’m a pig and I wanted an excuse to include some eye candy.

There are much worse stories than her’s. I know a woman in Atlanta whose boyfriend, 8 short weeks into a relationship, flew her to Hawaii to propose marriage. The only problem was that he already had a wife. Not just any wife, but a wife who was was still under the impression everything was fine at home. Ask Lisa Arends if strange stuff like this really does happen.

Just yesterday I read a post where a guy pretended he was a porn star in his younger life!

What can I say? Men are pigs. Women are bitches. We all need to be careful. We all need to do our homework. It isn’t stalking. It is called being a prudent adult and taking care of yourself.

Thank goodness when I started this blog I gave myself a 750 word limit, which I have now exceeded by 24 words. Sometime soon I will write a Part II to this covering when stalking is really stalking…

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5 thoughts on “Trust But Verify, Cyberstalking Pt I

  1. The last time I was “out there” the Internet was just coming of age, so I’ve never been faced this dilemma. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with googling someone before a date; but I would probably keep any information I find to myself. In the case of the conversation you had, you could have just started some small-talk about work to see how honest she was. Use that as a litmus test if you -if you will, but don’t show all of your cars at least not that early.
    You mentioned “putting on your detective hat”. i think it’s equally important to make sure – if I can extend the metaphor – that you don’t blow you cover.

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