What Is the Best Way to Handle Guys Who Want Too Much Information Before Meeting You?

What Is the Best Way to Handle Guys Who Want Too Much Information Before Meeting You

I had a great chat with a guy on e-Harmony and we made it to exchanging phone numbers. I said I didn’t chat much (because I don’t, and because I would rather meet someone in person to see if there is chemistry in real life – before wasting time chatting). I said in my chat that I was looking forward to hearing from him. He didn’t call. He texted me questions twice about wanting to see my online social media profile like LinkedIn or published articles. But we hadn’t met yet, and I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my full name and my entire professional life and social media web presence with a total stranger. So I encouraged him via text to “give me a jingle.” Keep in mind he had not shared his last name or LinkedIn profile either, but he clearly expected me to share my info and was not going to talk to me until he had a chance to look me up online. That feels unsafe to me.

So here is my question. At what point in online dating is it appropriate to share last names? After meeting? Before meeting? In chatting? In a phone call? I asked him to share his, said I cared about safety issues, and he blocked me. So I feel like I wasted time on e-Harmony and would like a more efficient (and gracious) way to deflect premature questions. I’ve been out of the dating scene for 4 years and am just starting again. I’m totally comfortable taking a risk to meet in person, but I’m nervous about sharing a LinkedIn profile or a last name with a total stranger. Am I the one with a problem? How do I manage this kind of situation in the future without looking like a paranoid person, or a bitch? And how do I get a guy to call instead of text?

Thank you,

This is an interesting question, Haley, but perhaps not for the reason you think it is.

Before we get into that, let’s start with a moment of validation:

It’s weird for a guy to request your LinkedIn profile or published articles.

It’s unusual for a man to transparently insist on looking you up before a first date (frankly, that’s usually a woman’s move).

And it’s shitty for him to block you, which is pretty aggressive, given how little communication you had prior to this.

But weird, aggressive, shitty men are always going to exist on the Internet; all we can do is hope to out them before you’ve invested too much time. The real question I’d like to pose to you, Haley, is whether you’re the one with the problem.

But weird, aggressive, shitty men are always going to exist on the Internet; all we can do is hope to out them before you’ve invested too much time.

Again, I’m not excusing Mr. LinkedIn’s performance, which stands on its own as a “what not to do in online dating” example. But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, in my experience as a single man, the more a woman made a big deal about sharing information, the more I saw it as her own red flag.

Now mind you: I did most of my dating before social media and before Google and texting became ubiquitous. At the same time, we’re not talking about technology here; we’re talking about a feeling called trust.

If you’re a trustworthy person, it feels very uncomfortable to be mistrusted.

Imagine what it would feel like if you went into a grocery store and got frisked when you exited — just in case you stole something. Would you be excited about going back into that store? Would you feel comfortable and trusted? Probably not.

And that — to me — is the missing piece for those who are vigilant about cyberstalking their dates before they meet. Their intentions are pure — I don’t want to get burned by dating a liar, a player, a married guy, etc. — but they put up their walls so high that any reasonable, trustworthy person might well determine that they don’t want to scale them.

In this instance, your guy was the fearful guy — looking for some independent verification that you were who you said you were. It didn’t feel very good, did it? More often than not, women are the ones who do this to men, all out of fear of the worst-case scenario. I respect this choice. I also think it’s shortsighted and doesn’t account for what it feels like for the man. I’ve written about a similar scenario where I encouraged women to let men pick them up for first dates — before roundly being shouted down by a hundred women.

All I can say is that the times are changing and transparency is your friend. Lead with trust and confidence, you’ll find that more people respond to you. Lead with fear and mistrust, you’ll find that more people pull away. So to more directly answer your flurry of questions:

Lead with trust and confidence, you’ll find that more people respond to you. Lead with fear and mistrust, you’ll find that more people pull away.

I feel it’s perfectly appropriate to share your last name right away (presuming you have nothing to hide).

I feel that you can’t help people from feeling curious about you, so you might as well be open about it.

I feel that holding your last name back only raises more questions about your fear and control issues.

Finally, I feel like stating something that makes logical sense but tends to garner very little sympathy: if a guy is a creep/stalker, you’re not going to know it via email. You’ll probably not figure it out on the first date. You’ll only know AFTER you’ve let him know your name, gone on four dates with him, taken him home and then tried to cut him loose. In other words, you can’t protect yourself from a really bad egg, but you can drive off a lot of good ones by being stingy about sharing your full self with them.

I lead with trust. I encourage women to lead with trust. However, if you choose not to lead with trust, don’t be too surprised if trustworthy men bristle at being mistrusted.

P.S. How do you make a guy call instead of text you is a separate answer entirely.

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  1. 1

    And this right here is why i quit FB years ago (once i was out of school and in the real world) and keep my Linkedin profile restricted to my network only. Creepy people who will cyber stalk you. I also had an ex who was aggressively trying to hurt my career. During my conversations with the HR at that time, i learned that it was actually not a one-off for them. They said they had angry ex-es writing to the CEO, filing complaints, showing up at the office, doing all sorts of crazy things.. mine wasn’t even “that bad” they said. Of course nobody takes that seriously but it is unpleasant and to a degree damaging. So, now I practice the “need to know” basis disclosure. People we invite into our lives may and will hurt us. They need to be properly vetted before we fully let them in.

  2. 2

    First time I disagree with you Evan.   Safety and security above all, which is statistically a much worse problem for women then men in all areas of crime, abuse and stalking.

    I don’t even give my real first name and never let a man know my address until several dates and I feel comfortable.


    1. 2.1

      You must be a catch, “Rosie”. If a woman gives me a fake first name I’m not going to see her again after I find out. Like Evan said, perhaps this is YOUR problem and specifically a trust issue, not a safety problem of all women. Considering your extremely low levels of trust   you shouldn’t be dating strangers, plain and simple.

      1. 2.1.1

        Francis…Have you ever had an issue with someone stalking your work, your home, or your online profiles?   While I don’t agree with giving a fake first name assuming it is a woman’s problem to be safe in this VERY scary world is very naive! Until you have experienced stalking from a woman’s perspective…I wouldn’t place blame.

        1. Karl R


          Ultimately we each have to decide whether we will allow ourselves to be ruled by our fears, or whether we will choose to live our lives unafraid.

          In 1980 my grandparents were murdered at the front door of their apartment complex.   They were coming home from our house.   They lived in a nice complex, filled with retirees.

          Around 1993  I was mugged at gunpoint by three preteens while I was walking to meet some friends at a pastor’s house.   It happened in a fairly good residential neighborhood.

          Around 2002 a neighbor was mugged about 20 feet from my apartment door in broad daylight.

          In 2007 I was assaulted by four teenagers in broad daylight, along a busy street, with two eyewitnesses standing 20 yards away.   I thought the teens were just neighborhood kids minding their own business until one unexpectedly threw a left hook at my temple.   Ironically, I was on my way to yoga class.

          I’ve had a mentally ill man try to pick a fight with me at a bus stop.   I’ve been cased by muggers a few times.   I’ve had homophobes scream gay slurs at me in the same neighborhood where gay men have been bashed (to death).

          Four days ago my sister’s plane was diverted (at the last minute) to Orlando.   Had she and her family landed at their intended destination 30(ish) minutes  earlier, they could have been at the Fort Lauderdale baggage claim when Esteban Santiago went on his shooting spree.


          This can be a dangerous world.   But I can choose whether I will be too scared to leave my house, or I can choose to go out and live my life unafraid.

          It’s not always an easy choice.

          But if I had ever given in to fear, I would have cut myself off from other people.   I never would have gone to the places where I’ve met most of my friends.   I never would have gone to the places where I first met and socialized with my wife.

        2. Lynne

          Karl R – I was addressing Francis’ comment, however thank you for your very long and interesting response.   I will ask YOU now….have you every experienced stalking from a WOMAN’S perspective??   Doesn’t sound like it.   Therefore, I would not blame any WOMAN for being cautious giving out personal information immediately to someone online. We do not need to give into our fears, however to say it’s HER problem for being cautious is insane!! Again…my response was to Francis.

        3. Karl R


          Blame is useless.   But as Evan pointed out, if a woman is extremely cautious due to her fear of getting hurt, that caution is likely to have some costly consequences … like driving the best men away.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but being stalked (as a woman) is frightening to you because there is the ongoing threat of violent assault, up to and including murder.   Does that cover the broad picture fairly accurately?

          I fail to see why the threat of violent assault or murder would be more frightening than dealing with actual violent assault and murder (and the aftermath).   My past experience has demonstrated that this violence will happen randomly, repeatedly, and with no warning whatsoever.


          If I let it, my fear could have driven me to isolate myself from other people.   I can fully recognize that’s not a healthy way to respond to the fear -without- blaming people for being afraid.

          Some of my girlfriends were rape victims (mostly date rape).   Despite that experience, they were able to date -without- treating each new boyfriend like a potential rapist.   If any of them had treated me like a potential rapist, I probably would have broken up with them.

          I don’t need to subject myself to that kind of treatment from any woman.   And I can maintain that boundary -without- having to blame the woman for her past trauma.


          For someone like Rosie, the best security precautions would be unobtrusive ones (similar to Las Vegas casinos that have great security, but it’s really hard to spot).   A fake first name, on the other hand, will eventually become blatantly obvious.   Even worse, it requires her to lie to her dates.

          Francis’ response may have been inelegant, but I believe most men (including much nicer men) would refuse to accept that kind of blatant distrust and deception from Rosie.

  3. 3

    I identify as female and I mostly agree with Evan. One can’t live life fully in fear. Yes, don’t take careless risks, but at the same time I operate under the assumption that people are generally good. Most online dates don’t want to hurt me. And if he does, he’s going to find a way whether or not he has my last name.

    That said, it is also important to have empathy for what it is like to live under oppression. As a male who passes for white (although I know he’s Jewish), Evan has a lot of privilege. Some of it he’s aware of, some of it he takes for granted. As a white woman I have more privileges than someone of color, but less than a man. So when I try to explain the microaggressions I have experienced in the workplace or in dating, some men just don’t get it because it is something they have never encountered from the other side.

    I do appreciate how Evan validated the writer, and I think it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes women do not always feel safe in this world. Instead of blaming women and expecting them to be responsible for protecting themselves against the possible behaviors of others, as a society, how do we teach men to help women feel (and be) safe?

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Your last point is well taken, AMT. But who wrote the letter – a woman? Who am I a coach for? Women. So for a woman to write to me to ask how MEN can change is an exercise in futility. The answer is always about what SHE can do differently, not what MEN can do differently. This is not to forgive men for their role in things but rather to focus our energies on what you, as a woman, can control: yourself, not an entire gender.

    2. 3.2

      Ah privilege, that construct built to help us avoid responsibility for one’s failures and others’ success.

      1. 3.2.1

        Your comment was totally irrelevant, Francis. AMT’s use of the word “privilege” had nothing to do with you. She addressed the author directly, and if he was fine with it, why do you need to throw controversy into the mix of a settled issue? If you want to be rude and cause trouble, go to some political blog, please.

  4. 4

    Yes, I absolutely agree. My question was more of a systemic social issue challenge. Of course you are responding to your target audience within the scope of your practice.

  5. 5

    In general, I agree that transparency is usually the best option.   Also that perhaps OP is a bit on the paranoid side.   Unless you’re so famous that giving out your last name would negatively impact you in dating situations, there doesn’t seem to be too much harm in it.   Heck, cyberstalking might even provide the other party with some talking points and lead to a smoother date.

    What stuck out to me in this situation was the man’s strange persistence in asking for information he was not willing to provide in return.   He clearly had no qualms about announcing his desire to Google her.   So why not first give his name and then ask for hers?   Bizarre…

  6. 6

    This happened to a friend of mine recently. As soon as the number exchange took place, he called and started peppering her with questions. It put her on guard, creeped her out, and she hasn’t answered any more calls. So, like Evan said, start off open and unguarded. But if someone tries to extract your entire life history the first time you have a conversation, it seems it would be a natural response to be turned off.

    My take on the situation was that he was trying to find out if she was someone he would want to take out or not in an attempt to save time and money. Too bad he’s never going to make it to date 1 with anyone if he continues with all the questioning.

  7. 7

    Asking personal identifier questions up front make me uncomfortable also. I received a fb friend request from someone on match who I hadn’t even met yet or given my last name to. I think fb messenger suggested me as a friend to him because we were texting..?   I’ve since deleted fb messenger.


    Yesterday I met a different guy for the first time, for coffee. He wanted to know my hometown, and then he asked my birthdate.   When I told him the month and day,   he repeated it three times out loud to me. I figure he planned to hit spokeo after our date and was trying to commit it to memory. Like the LW, I don’t feel the need to know any of that up front. It creeped me out.

  8. 8

    As a guy, I totally endorse what Evan says above. It’s really not credible to be told that a woman will meet a guy in person and possibly risk a gun being pulled out on them but be unwilling to share online details about themselves. If not LinkedIn, a Facebook profile has way more privacy and security settings that can be shared with strangers limitedly.

    Also ‘chemistry’ can be sensed online as much as offline. Having said that I am not even a believer in the need for ‘chemistry’ for successful relationships. For determine physical attraction yes, but not chemistry.

    Evan is very correct to say that probably most good, nice guys who are trustworthy will be put off by defensive approaches than keep away the players who anyways can play whether you go offline or online. Ditto for women too.

  9. 9

    I think the best approach is to do what you feel. If his questions give you that off feeling, don’t continue the conversation. I had guys asked me for my Facebook page to see more pictures. I have 10 good recent pictures on my online profile and if they want to see more angles of me before we meet, I am not interested. I never give a guy my phone number before first date, I skip the phone call, I just think it’s weird to talk on a phone with someone you never met. If I don’t like him on a first date, I don’t have to worry that he has my number. I’ve met some guys who texted me for weeks after I told them I am not interested.

  10. 10

    In a day of identity theft, scammers, and stalker-y creepy weirdos, women should not feel apologetic about wisely protecting themselves. If someone has your actual first and last name, it takes less than five minutes to visit PeopleSearch, WhitePages, Spokeo, and other sites to get your current address, past addresses, phone number(s), age, and the names, ages, and relationships of relatives and people who live or have lived with you. With an inexpensive, paid account on one of these sites, they can get much more — and that’s before they hit up social media to see who your friends, children, and relatives are, where you live and work (have lived and have worked), where you went to high school and college, who’s in your business network, etc etc etc.

    And yet, in the name of “trust,” I’m expected to freely pass out the keys to all this personal info to somebody I’ve never even met? No, thanks.

    Use an alternate Gmail and a Google Voice number so you aren’t giving out your cell phone number. If he presses for specific information before meeting you, you can always say, “No, I like to meet people in person and get acquainted face-to-face.”

    1. 10.1

      And this is why it always amazes me when grown up people are compelled to voluntarily share all this info on sites like FB. Perhaps my desire for privacy is greater than that of an average American, I just can’t comprehend why you would put your family photos, photos of your kids, your entire family and social connections on somebody else’s site to use as they wish. Beats me. The best way to combat cyber stalking is to not put anything out there at all. I maintain a bare bone linked-in which is limited to my network only, no FB, no twitter and no any other stuff that came out afterwards 🙂 If you want to stalk me, gotta do some serious legwork.

  11. 11

    In a more general sense, the fundamental issue here is someone pushing you to do something you don’t want to do   – in this case, it happened to be “share personal information.” If a date (or potential date) wants you to do something and won’t accept a polite refusal, that says to me he is inflexible and not sensitive to his partner’s preferences. Even if the request was entirely reasonable, the fact she wasn’t comfortable with it is enough reason to back off. To me, all that has happened here is that 2 people who weren’t suited discovered this before even meeting   – this is positive as you are not then wasting time going on a date together.

  12. 12

    As the sole mixed race, female, Professor I this small town, I am easily “findable”. Ditto for where I live as it’s an unusual property. Yep, I’ve been cyber and real life stalked. I don’t   use social media so my friends, acquaintances, are not easily sussed out. How do I stay safe? I have no fear of confronting someone I feel is inappropriate, don’t date at all in my home town, and make it a point to pay attention first, attach later. When I was on line, I met dates half way, distance wise. If someone came off as weird, I had an easy out. I listened to my gut, if someone made me cringe, there generally was a reason for it. I am very aware of my surroundings. I disclosed that which can easily be found out anyway. Folk want to shortcut the weed out process and it just isn’t possible; they want no confrontation, no icky feelings to deal with; again not possible. Had I refused to use my last name, not disclose where I live, I never would’ve met my current partner a little over a year ago.

  13. 13

    Am I the only one seeing this as a function of impatience rather than intention to stalk? While I’d agree that it’s weird and creepy to request someone’s LinkedIn / FB / last name before a first date, I would also be wondering WHY the guy is doing it. I have seen guys do this as a preface for a request of a “sexy photo” (ew), but the older a guy is the less it seems to happen. So perhaps it is a millennial thing based on their comfort with being online 24/7.

    What I have experienced, is guys requesting personal information (where do you live, where do you work etc) in a way that seems pushy. I noticed it was not so much the question itself as the weird vibe that came with it – the persistence of multiple questions related to personal information, seemingly designed to figure out how and where to find you. It’s very easy to be creeped out by this.

    I’ve noticed some guys do this with very little information  other than a picture.  The intensity of their desire to  know everything! right away! is odd and might be characteristic of a general inability to delay gratification.  And before you think that I’m claiming to be some femme fatale (I’m not), I really doubt it’s about me as a person. I think  they see me as someone that fits what they are looking for, and that they are impatient to get their needs filled. It’s one of the reasons I’d prefer to  meet  someone in person.  It’s easier to project a fantasy onto a voice on a line versus a person standing right in front of you.  And it only takes a little stink-eye to nip Mr. Over-inquisitive in the bud.

  14. 14

    So first off I would like to think that anything put on Linkedin is relatively neutral and not so personal that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see it (since the whole world can see it anyways).

    Having said that though, I’m totally with the poster on not sharing Facebook details from day 1 as even though that should also not be incriminating in any way (you gotta watch your online presence these days…) it is far more personal.

    My Facebook profile is on lockdown to the outside world through the security settings and I only friend people on Facebook that I have met in person and am actually friends with. Since that’s consistent, I am confidently able to tell guys asking for those details online before a date “I don’t share my FB details with people I haven’t met in person as it’s quite personal, so I make sure that those people who I add on there as friends are really that – friends! It’s way more interesting getting to know a new person in real life though anyways, wouldn’t you agree? ”

    They can then make the decision on whether they want to take the next step to try and get to know me offline or float away somewhere else. I’ve never had any issues with this approach – I’m guessing most rational people would understand the logic behind that decision and if not – neeext please! 🙂

  15. 15

    Transparency is good, that is true… But I have been the victim of enough stalkers… And violent scary stalkers to acquiesce to giving out last names and home addresses. The reason why women try to verify if men are who they say they are is because (feminists are going to hate me for this) we are the weaker sex. Wears vulnerable to being physically attacked… And often times we are attacked. Oftentimes wears stalked to the point of restraining orders. When women are single and alone, sometimes the only protection we have is being cautious. It’s not necessarily a trust issue as much as it is a safety issue. Now, that being said, I haven’t heard of many guys doing what the OP described as this man doing. Men aren’t generally smaller than us or vulnerable to being raped by women. So it comes across as very untoward when a man does it. Sounds double standard, doesn’t it? Or how about saying that there is something about the woman that causes her to get stalked? As a physician and having friends that are rape counselors, so far it has been one in three women are either raped or have been assaulted or molested in some way. More than enough cause to be cautious.

    1. 15.1


      Yep, we women should be cautious; this means to be very aware of your surroundings and pay very, very, close attention to what your gut and what your date is saying/doing. I really wish all women could learn self defense too. I don’t think women invite stalking or sexual assault; some folk are incredibly naive and other folk are unaware of how they come off as inappropriate/damaged/creepy and simply cannot understand why or accept it when we reject them. They simply don’t get it. Often such folk are exactly who they say they are, come off as respectable folk on line and elsewhere. During my dating adventures post-divorce, I was stalked twice, cyberstalked once, and subjected to one attempted sexual assault. These were cases where I saw red flags right away, after 1-2 dates and cut contact. Different situation than with a rejected spouse/partner where the law must be involved. With the assault, I knocked the guy down. with the stalkers, I memorized   license numbers, learned schedules (one worked at the same uni as I), avoided them. I parked my vehicle elsewhere as it’s easily spotted so they’d not know where I lived. I have a large and very protective dog who understands folk do not belong on my land after dark. Though not a large person, I am physically strong and carry myself confidently as though I am no ones victim. There’s no guarantee of safety in life and yep, one has to be super aware. The dude in this case sounds as though he’d been catfished. As frauds assume the identity of actual folk on line, all the checking up of social media isn’t going to reveal anything.

  16. 16
    Mrs Happy

    Men who stalk and abuse, begin the interaction by pushing boundaries. That’s how they choose victims. The choice is made because she allows more and more limits to be pushed down, and he has more and more success intruding and overwhelming her. A woman who allows uncomfortable behaviours, shows such a man, that her limits are flexible and her values can be quashed.

    A woman who holds her ground early on, on an boundary or safety issue, will be someone a stalker type walks away from (sometimes in a huff of anger, like blocking).

    The good news is, the OP escaped a man who huffed off after a minor exchange that didn’t go his way.   Also good news is, the OP can stand her ground on safety issues that are important to her.

    I say, well done behaving in a way that meant you lost that one. His behaviour was odd from the start and probably would only have worsened. Can you imagine the ongoing pain of being with a partner that intrusive and petulant? Exhausting, depressing, scary.

  17. 17

    Instead of just jumping to a negative conclusion based off of the comments, instead I will ask:

    How do women balance treating every new man as guilty until he’s proven innocent, a crazed stalker, until he’s proven to be normal, a red level danger to all women, and society as a whole, until he is proven to be just a guy looking to find love

    with what Evan said on the Ghosting podcast as well as what he wrote in Why He Disappeared about one of the reasons “good” men leave women is because many women don’t make men feel desired and appreciated.

    …    …    …

    So I ask you out for a first date, and you in turn treat me as if I am a rapist, while simultaneously “expecting” me to impress you on a date? (O_o)

    1. 17.1

      Ok Adrian,

      I’ll bite.

      “How do women balance treating every new man as guilty until he’s proven innocent, a crazed stalker, until he’s proven to be normal, a red level danger to all women, and society as a whole, until he is proven to be just a guy looking to find love”

      I don’t believe women do this. I think most women who are open to dating or getting to know a specific man, go into it with an open mind. It’s only when the strange behaviors, such as asking too many personal questions, etc. make her radar go up. There is absolutely no way of knowing if a guy is a stalker or a creep after one uncomfortable interaction. He might just be socially awkward. Either way, he isn’t someone she’s going to want to get to know further.

      “with what Evan said on the  Ghosting  podcast as well as what he wrote in  Why He Disappeared  about one of the reasons “good” men leave women is because many women don’t make men feel desired and appreciated”.

      If a man makes you uncomfortable, even if he is a “good” man (which I have no way of knowing after one uncomfortable conversation), the onus is not on me to stick around, deny my discomfort, and give him multiple chances in order to make him feel desired or appreciated. I think most of us will just count him out immediately. Then, it’s on him to figure out why he isn’t having success with women.

      “So I ask you out for a first date, and you in turn treat me as if I am a rapist, while simultaneously “expecting” me to impress you on a date? (O_o)”

      Is this a serious question or are you being facetious? LOL.

      1. 17.1.1

        Hi KK,

        You said,  It’s only when the strange behaviors, such as asking too many personal questions, etc. make her radar go up.

        Let me STOP you there! I nor Evan are in NO way suggesting that any woman should indulge any man that does anything that makes them feel unsafe.

        My question was more so pertaining to just the normal guy asking you out and being treated with suspicion for doing so.

        …    …    …

        That being said, I will admit that I was focusing more on the post about picking women up from a first date than this one (that just really left a bad taste in my mouth, even years later). As a private person myself, I agree that someone wanting too much information can make you feel uncomfortable.


        Read many of the comments on here KK. Many of them are not even about guys asking too many questions, they are just starting out with statements about stalkers, abusive men, not trusting a guy with their number, not trusting a guy with their name, etc.

        That is why this post reminded me so much of the one about picking a woman up on a first date. To me many of those comments just ooze of mistrust.

        Of course a level of mistrust is healthy with any stranger, but “some” of these comments just come off as thinking every guy is guilty of wanting to do something bad to you until proven innocent.

        There was a study done last year (anyone can google it) stating how the crime rate in the US has not only gone down, but is at an all time low

        BUT because of the media, almost 70% of Americans feel that the country is not a safe place.

        Personally, I acknowledge the fears of women, I just don’t agree with their level of paranoia.

        …    …    …

        By the way, I am in the same boat as the original letter writer. I have had over seven dozen women do this to me, asking many personal questions during the first phone conversation or first date.

        With me it wasn’t the feeling of being asked that turned me off, it was the implied tone behind it. I felt like they didn’t trust what I was telling them about myself, so they wanted to investigate me more on their own.

        The biggest red flag I give off is when I say I don’t have a cell phone so I don’t text and I don’t use facebook, twitter, etc.

        This appears to send their “he is lying” into overdrive mode! I actually see the smoke coming out of their ears! (^_^)

        Add all that to the fact that I am single, good looking, in shape, and have a 6 figure job, then it goes back to the previous post of why are you not married.

        I get asked for my full name as well as my age, if they thought they could I am sure they would also ask for my full social to make the background check easier <(‘-‘<).

        1. KK


          You said, “Personally, I acknowledge the fears of women, I just don’t agree with their level of paranoia”.

          I think if you understood, you wouldn’t have asked the questions you did. I also think it’s unfair to say women are paranoid. Talk to your female friends. Ask them what bad experiences they’ve had with strange men. How many have been stalked, raped, assaulted… It happens. That doesn’t mean that all women will treat a new man with distrust or paranoia. It means that when women use OLD to meet men, it’s unlikely that they’ll be willing to give out too much personal information too soon, it’s unlikely they’ll be okay with you picking them up for your first date.

          And if you’re a “good guy”, you should be okay with that.

          Let’s say you have a 25 year old daughter that lives 5 hours away. She tells you she’s meeting men through OLD. What would your advice be? Would you tell her how important it is to make every stranger FEEL trusted???? Or would you tell her to be smart, meet in public until SHE FEELS comfortable?

    2. 17.2

      That’s not actually how it works though. You’ve gone quite extreme in your question, to the point where it’s a bit “So how often do you beat your wife?” kind of thing.

      Women are right to be wary. Men are right to be wary in their own ways too. The way we handle our own personal safety is like anything else, walking down a dark street, travelling on our own etc. We take precautions.

      So first of all we don’t go on a date in the first place with someone who doesn’t respect our personal boundaries (I would hope men would do likewise). Someone who insists that no you HAVE to come over to his house, or who gets angry that you want to meet in a public place for the first time etc, is pretty much a no go. Generally though most men are cool and respect such boundaries.

      Then we tell our friends where we’re going and when. Maybe we even tell them we will text them at a certain time and if they don’t hear from us to call us. Just to be on the safe side.

      Then we meet someone in public. And we start the process of getting to know them. There’s of course all the chemistry stuff and questions of compatibility, but then there are smaller things that could be red flags: how does he treat people in the service industry, is he generally respectful etc.

      None of this is crazy I don’t think, none of this is treating you like a rapist. It’s treating you like a stranger we don’t know. Just as, quite frankly, you ought to be wary about us too. There are definitely some scary ladies out there too.

      If you want to impress, the best thing to do is respect a woman’s boundaries. In fact just  be respectful in general. That will go a long way to both proving you aren’t dangerous and ALSO is a very sexy quality. Respect is hot. And then just be yourself. And hopefully she likes you for you, and you like her for her and a second date comes out of it. And the trust builds, slowly but surely. Like what happens with all new relationships: friendship, bosses, etc.

      1. 17.2.1

        Hi Callie,

        I would love to hear your thoughts on taking improv acting lessons to improve my humor when interacting with the opposite sex?

        Since you are our resident thespian, I value your insight.

        …    …    …

        Like my reply to KK, I agree that being safe and cautious is smart, I just don’t agree with the “tone” of many of the comments on this post.

        Only few focus on the too much information aspect, the rest focus on men being stalkers, men being abusive, men being to dangerous to give your name to, men being to dangerous to give your number to.

        But since you see my disagreement with these statements as being extreme, Callie how would YOU not feel like someone is viewing you as something bad when they talk about creating fake numbers through google voice just so you won’t have their real number?

        If you think I am that bad that you would go through all that, just don’t go out with me!


        I agree that if any man makes a women feel unsafe, she should avoid him. I agree that too many questions about personal information too soon is off putting. Of course I would respect a women’s boundaries.

        I’m here to learn not debate, so Callie how would YOU feel if a person gave you a fake first name because they thought you were too dangerous to know their real first name. Not full name just first name.

        Look at it like this:

        Me: Hey Callie, I can pick you up at 7 for dinner, then afterwards an event

        You: No I will just meet you there

        Me: It’ll be easier if we ride together to both places, so there’ll be no waiting

        You: No, I’ll take my own car

        Me: Ok see you there (thinking-wow what does she think I’ll do if I am alone in the car with her or know her address… I can’t wait for this date to be over)

        The tone is already set for “I don’t trust you… and this date had better be fun, and you are WRONG for feeling unhappy about my mistrust!”


        Evan doesn’t tell women NOT to distrust strangers, or NOT to act cautiously, he just teaches women to NOT let the guy know you think he may kidnap and rape you”

        By the way, the fake numbers, the fake names, I did not make any of that up, go back and read the comments, then tell me how I am being extreme!  

        How am “I” equating women thinking I’m bad to talking about beating my wife?

        Callie as always, I love your advice and comments, so there was no negative tone in my comment (though it can appear that way), but I do want to here how you would not take these comments as offensive.

        I would rather you not go out with me, than for you to go through all that just so I don’t find out who you are.

        Also, if you are starting out on a bad foundation, how can you expect to build something positive?



        1. Callie

          Hmm . ..   I’m not sure improv improves sense of humour. It can teach you how to relax and be with others and speak in front of groups and maybe learn to express the humour that you already have. It can also help to build confidence which is very attractive. I also think it never hurts to take a course in acting in general, there are just so many benefits. But I don’t know if it would do that specifically.


          And to answer your questions:

          “Callie how would YOU not feel like someone is viewing you as something bad when they talk about creating fake numbers through google voice just so you won’t have their real number?”

          – I would use logic. If this person doesn’t know me at all, it must just be a general precaution this person takes with all people. I don’t see how I could take offence when it isn’t personal.

          As to the dialogue you posted, you are assuming tone. Why couldn’t I just say instead, “Oh no, thanks but that’s cool, I’ll meet   you there.” And “No I’d prefer to just take my own car. Can’t wait to meet you though!”

          Why is the assumption that the only way to put up one’s boundaries is a cold way? Why can’t it be done in a warm tone?

          (also btw,  do you not see why a woman might not want to be alone in a car with you when she doesn’t know you? That’s a confined space and you could literally drive her anywhere. I’d suggest if you want to suggest driving her somewhere say this instead: “Hey so would you like me to pick you up and drive us to the restaurant or would it be better to just meet there?” Then she can decide how she wants to handle it. Also  when someone  says no to a  car ride, don’t insist after. Just say “Cool”. Even if you need to wait a little more, accept the  first no.)


          As to the extreme comment: you said this -“treat me like a rapist”. That’s not what women are doing  in the general (maybe there are specific women who are, but not overall). They are merely being cautious. Treating you like a stranger. To take it to this extreme that women are looking at you like you are a rapist is treating women like children who don’t understand nuance and can’t take precautions without knowing that the man likely isn’t dangerous.

          As to my comparison, it wasn’t accusing you of anything. It is a known rhetorical example. An example of when  someone asks something that already has a premise concluded in it. So the classic “How long have you been beating your wife?” – the answer to the question presupposes that the person is actually beating their wife in the first place. Your question was similar: “How do women balance treating every new man as guilty until he’s proven innocent, a crazed stalker, until he’s proven to be normal, a red level danger to all women, and society as a whole, until he is proven to be just a guy looking to find love”

          There was  an assumption that that is what women are treating men like. Most women aren’t treating men like a crazed stalker or some red level danger. They are merely being cautious. And that’s what I meant by extreme. The question in and of itself offers no room for a woman to answer it without agreeing with your premise that we all treat men like criminals.

          We don’t. We take care. We are cautious. YOU are the one jumping to the conclusion that we think you are BAD or EVIL. You are the one who concludes that caution equals someone not liking you as an individual. Is there literally no moment in your life when you are cautious but it isn’t personal?



          As for the rest, it isn’t a bad foundation. It’s a first date. It’s not knowing the other person and getting to know them. I’m not sure who gives out fake names, I think that’s a bit odd, but if at the end of the date the person said, “This is going to sound silly, but I’ve had bad experiences in the past. I gave you a fake name before meeting you because I was a little nervous. But I like you so much, and I feel safe with you, so this is my real name” would that not make it okay? At any rate, regardless of that, I know I wouldn’t give out my phone number until I knew you in person. I don’t think that’s that bad. There are other ways to communicate before then. I don’t give my number out to anyone I don’t know. Women or men. I just had a long conversation with someone applying for a grant who was using me as part of it and needed my number. I asked her why it was necessary. In the end, I agreed and shared it.

          In the end, as I said at the very beginning of this reply, it isn’t personal. Just as I don’t take it personally if a man wants to see if I’m just interested in his money by wanting to go dutch (I prefer that too) or something. How should he know I’m not that kind of person until he meets me and sees my behaviour?

          Now if this continues beyond the first date, then you are seeing someone who is seriously paranoid and might have had some serious trauma. And then it’s up to you if you want to continue a relationship with that person.

          But a first date, I don’t think it’s such a big deal. And further I don’t think a woman will speak in the tone you seem to think she will. I don’t think a woman thinks you’re a rapist.

          I think a woman is being cautious. As you too ought to be.   A stranger is a stranger.


  18. 18
    Kelly Jane Smith

    The guy wanted assurity and guarantees.   In life there are no guarantees.

    And in Online Dating…….

    If you are serious about wanting to meet someone, you make the call you connect and talk,see if you like talking to each other and then decide to meet. When you meet at that point you decide do l like this person, do l want to hang out, is there some common interests, yes, no, maybe and whilst we are talking l turn on the intuition and decide do l want to disclose my personal  and work  details or not. For if you do disclose and then decide there is nothing there to build on from when you meet, what is the point.

  19. 19

    I fully agree with Evan. I think you lose a lot of opportunities of meeting great people if you are paranoid and believe everyone is “creepy or a stalker.” Don’t put yourself out there, if you want to stay in a safety bubble. It’s natural to be curious about the other person you meet, so I don’t see anything wrong in checking out a LinkedIn or Facebook profile.

  20. 20

    So much talk of women being paranoid. This is not a case of cautious women wanting to feel safe. The very real fact  is that women are not safe in this society. Almost every woman you know will have experienced gender-based violence at some stage of her  life, whether it’s catcalls, being ogled by a stranger, being felt up on public transport, or full blown rape. We can’t wear certain types of clothes or walk alone at night or drink too much because then we’re ‘asking for it’. This is a society that teaches us from an early age that men have power over women and women have no right to object. And in the middle of this, you are suggesting women give out their address to men they have never met? Sure not every man is dangerous, but until we can identify the ones who are more readily, why would you risk your safety? Anyone who says otherwise is probably a man.

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