Is Online Dating Safe?

If I told you that 464 Americans died doing something in 2013, you'd be alarmed. You know, intellectually, that 464 is a drop in the bucket in a country of 350 million people, but still, we're talking life and death here. Something that is hurting so many innocent people must be stopped.

However, if I told you that the culprit for the mass carnage was none other than people slipping in the bathtub, you may have a different take. Ban bathtubs? Sue bathtub makers? Get government regulation to mandate suction cup mats in every tub?

464 deaths is tragic, but such solutions are preposterous. If millions of people take baths, they have to take care not to fall. It's no guarantee - even the heartiest person has slipped in a tub - but there's little one can do to legislate for better bathtub safety to prevent all 464 tragic incidents.

Is online dating unsafe? Or is life unsafe - while online dating is just a small subset of it?

It is through that lens that I want you to read this article about online dating safety, published in QuartzIt's not that I'm callous about it; truly, nothing is more important than your personal safety when dating. But pieces like this bring out the skeptic in me.

Is online dating unsafe? Or is life unsafe - while online dating is just a small subset of it?

The article implies it's online dating itself.

The Pew Research Center found that between 2008 and 2013 the proportion of American adults using dating services tripled. In Britain, attacks related to online dating increased almost six-fold over roughly the same period. 

Here’s another data fragment: A 2016 study of 666 students in Hong Kong found that about half used dating apps, and those who did were twice as likely as non-users to suffer “sexual abuse” of some kind (defined on a scale that included, for example, being coerced into unprotected sex, and rape). The study didn’t prove that apps led to abuse, the authors wrote, but they found the association “alarming.” They hypothesized that app users might expose themselves more to people who are sexually coercive. The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.

True, but somewhat misleading. Let's look at it this way:

Learning that 40,000 Americans died in auto accidents in 2016 is harrowing. We can lament the evils of drunk driving, distracted driving, and poor public transportation options. But what if you learned Americans take 1.1 BILLION trips a day? That's 4,015,000,000,000 per year. That's one death for every HUNDRED MILLION car trips.

That doesn't mean that each of those 40,000 deaths isn't tragic. That doesn't mean we should fail to tighten texting while driving laws. But it does mean that if you have a 99.99999999% chance of making a car trip safely, driving is relatively safe.

Online dating isn't the problem. It's just the medium that allows for relatively frictionless meeting.

According to this Tinder statistics link, Tinder has 10 million daily active users and has made 10 billion matches. Doesn't it stand to reason, logically, that if that many strangers are meeting, more of EVERYTHING is happening? More texting. More flaking. More hooking up. More dates. More marriage. And yes, more sexual assault.

Online dating isn't the problem. It's just the medium that allows for relatively frictionless meeting. Tinder, with its GPS and right swiping, only take that to a new level. But the answers are not so much technological as much as they are practical. The answer to fewer car deaths is not to do background checks on hundreds of millions of drivers; it's to prevent and penalize drunken and distracted driving. Similarly, we can blame IAC - owners of Match, OkCupid and Tinder for failing to police its 10 million daily active users, or we could use as much common sense to avoid being put in precarious situations.

It's not an either/or and the suggestions in the Quartz article are thoughtful and important. I just think it's important to frame the discussion with actual numbers that prove that, all things considered, online dating is as safe as meeting a stranger at a party. The only difference is that you meet a lot more people on Tinder than you do at parties.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

Join our conversation (130 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Stacy2

    Personally I never felt unsafe doing OLD. But I am blessed to be living in NYC where you’re ALWAYS surrounded by a lot of people, CCTV cameras, where there’s never a need to be in the car with your date. I would probably feel much less safe in some other locale, and I would never under any circumstance get in a car with a stranger. Still, I vet people very carefully before they’re given any personal information about me (address, last name, place of work, etc.) or are invited to my home (or I go to theirs).

  2. 2
    KK

    Is it Tinder or a different app that allows others to see your location? I don’t think that’s too smart IMO.

    1. 2.1
      Luka

      It just tells your matches (and you) how far away you are, and very roughly, so ‘Mr****** is 9 miles away’ – doesn’t provide an address or anything. And as soon as you unmatch somebody they have no info about you.

  3. 3
    Morris

    I’m sure you’d get an even bigger increase in these kinds of incidents if we had, and looked at, data pre/post the bar/club scenes as a places to meet people. If you increase the frequency of interaction, you get an increase of both the good and bad outcomes associated with the interaction.

     

    Having said that. I is a relatively new form on interaction. There will always be a learning curve. Just be smart out there people.

    1. 3.1
      Luka

      Honestly, I think most people meet in a coffee shop or a pub. In the daytime is best. better to just get a quick coffee for a first meeting anyway, rather than commit an entire evening to a stranger.

      Having said that I know of more than one male friend (and I’ve had similar opporrtunities that I haven’t taken up) who has started talking to a woman on tinder at say, 11pm, and gone straight to her flat (apartment) at 12. Presumably this ins’t the first or last time these women have done this. Seems like incredibly risky behaviour.

      1. 3.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Luka

        I absolutely loathe coffee dates.   I “next” any woman on insists on a hurry-up-and-meet coffee date.  Coffee dates are lame and a complete waste of time.  I do not want to expend the time necessary to meet a woman to see if I want to take her out on a date.  That is sign that I did not do due diligence before agreeing to meet.

        I use my own version of Evan’s 2/2/2 rule at which I arrived before I knew that Evan had such a rule.  I never meet a woman until I vet her via messaging and a phone call or two.  By then, I have enough information to Google and case search her (my state has court records on-line).   It usually takes me less than a hour to thoroughly vet a woman given only her first name, age, a location or two where she has lived, and what she does for a living; however, than again, I hold a masters degree in computer science and have been a software/hardware design engineer for well over thirty years; therefore, I know how search algorithms work in gory detail.   I also use search strategies to obtain a woman’s last name.  It is nowhere near as difficult as one would think.  Nothing is sacred on the Internet.  Case searching has saved me from meeting a few problem children.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          *who insists

        2. Stacy2

          It doesn’t take masters degree in CS to search online court system. But just as an FYI, a lot of cases are still filed on paper and only the caption is added to the ecourts (or whatever they call it in your state). Also, women change their last names when they get married and it would be very hard to find her maiden name (unless you actually hire a PA and order a full background check). That, of course, pertains to someone who values their privacy and is not on any social networks. If they’re on Facebook then you’re right, it takes about 10 minutes to find more information on them than I could care to ever know LOL. For example, i once found that the mother of one of my dates directed/participated in same-sex adult movies. Can you say mommy issues? Ha.

        3. Stacy2

          With all that said, I personally never research a person before the first date. This is too much work/effort. Most creeps, troublemakers and wierdos will reveal themselves as such in a conversation very quickly anyway and I want to let people make their own first impression, not come in with a preconceived notion about something of which I may only know one side. Also, anybody who reveals to me on the first date that they googled me is “nexted” in a second. Stalkery behavior is troublesome in and of itself. However, I will research them more if we’re starting to date seriously – to make sure that their story checks out the way they’re telling it.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy

          You are conducting what I refer to as a low-hanging fruit search.  Anyone can search on a person given his/her first and surnames.   I can usually find every name a woman has used given only her first name, age, occupation, and two places where she has lived sans her having a Facebook account.  That information is not difficult to obtain from a woman in a message exchange.  To give you an example, the woman with whom I had serious chemistry was astonished to discover that I knew her middle name, married surname,  maiden name, six places where she had previously lived, and had reviewed her divorce case before we met (I steer clear of women who had drawn out divorce cases).    She only provided me with her first name and where she lived previously to moving to my state before we met. Her age and occupation were listed on the dating site.  I am very good at finding people on the Internet, even people with common first names. I usually have a woman’s married surname and maiden name within the first 15 minutes of searching.   I usually also know if a woman has been married more than one time.  The moral of the story here is that withholding one’s surname is not a very good security measure.  A determined person will find you.

        5. Yet Another Guy

          Stacy2

          Also, anybody who reveals to me on the first date that they googled me is “nexted” in a second. Stalkery behavior is troublesome in and of itself.

          It is due diligence that any parent with school-age children should perform.   In fact, any woman with school-age children who does not at least “Google” a man before deciding to meet him is a fool.

        6. Stacy2

          YAG:

          To give you an example, the woman with whom I had serious chemistry was astonished to discover that I knew her middle name, married surname,  maiden name, six places where she had previously lived, and had reviewed her divorce case before we met

          This is outright creepy. Sorry it is. Once upon a time a guy I was going on a date from told me as we were in a cab about some info that he found about me online (nothing sinister – a place I had just moved from and some people I was friends with). I was so creeped out that I asked the driver to stop the cab, got out and never saw that guy again. That was before facebook and google. He later texted me and informed me that meeting me was such a pleasure that it saved him from committing suicide that day. True story. The moral of the story? Crazy behavior is never contained to just one area of life. Ever. I prefer to steer clear of the crazy.

          It is due diligence that any parent with school-age children should perform

          Not before the fist date they don’t. Don’t justify your craziness through kids. A person who you’re meeting for drinks at a bar has no bearing on your kids whatsoever, no more than any other stranger you routinely communicate with in your life.

          P.S. and no, you can not find that info that you said by just the first name. You would need more info. If you claim otherwise by all means go ahead and find me. You know my first name and you know I live in New York (btw divorce records in NYS are sealed so you should probably not bother with those).

           

        7. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          P.S. and no, you can not find that info that you said by just the first name. You would need more info. If you claim otherwise by all means go ahead and find me. You know my first name and you know I live in New York (btw divorce records in NYS are sealed so you should probably not bother with those).

          Please go back and read what I wrote.  I wrote “her first name, age, a location or two where she has lived, and what she does for a living.”  You would be surprised at how quickly just a first name and an age narrows the field in most areas of the country (New York City is an outlier in terms of population).   Add in two places where a person has lived, and the field narrows significantly, especially if the person has lived in two different states.   It is not rocket science.   It is amazingly scary how much information has been published on the Internet by data harvesters who are looking to extort money out of people to have it removed.  If you Google yourself, you will be surprised by how much of the information is accurate.  Sure, there will be junk, but that can be eliminated by someone who is investigating you by cross referencing many sites.  I had to turn my attorney lose on a data harvester who refused to remove information that was not available through public sources.

          As far as when to search, well, you are merely playing with semantics.  Doing due diligence upfront saves me from having to meet someone who I do not need to meet.  For example, one woman was a convicted felon.  I can assure you that women routinely case search men in my state before agreeing to meet.  It is almost a reflexive response, which is why I do not provide my surname until we meet.   I have a fairly common first name, but my surname is fairly unique.   People can still find me given the search parameters that I outlined,  but most people are not resourceful or persistent enough to turn a first name into a full name.

          By the way, I helped my county attorney put a case together against someone who was running an illegal operation.  They could not find him on the Internet.  I found him under all of his pseudonyms.  The information I harvested led to this person losing several court cases.  The sources that I identified became critical intelligence.   Data mining is a skill.   Some can do it, and some have to pay the people who can do it to do it.

        8. Stacy2

          YAG:

          You could save yourself a lot of googling time by being more discerning in who you contact to begin with. I can assure you that if you limit yourself to women making six figures in white collar occupations, you chances of running into a convicted felon will be close to nil (because most professional licenses would be lost upon felony convictions and employers in non-licensed occupations do much better background checks than you ever could. But yeah, I forgot, men don’t care how much women make or what they do, only about how they make them feel. That’s right. As long as they’re not convicted felons.

          And no, I am not splitting the semantics. I think extensive/invasive research of someone you’ve never met prior to a meeting for a drink is indicative of deep-rooted psychological issues that go beyond regular precautions.

          Like I said, I only check them out if I consider dating them seriously. If I think the person will be invited to my home. In that case I do, but I have never been compelled to read somebody’s divorce papers or what not. All I want to know is that they didn’t lie about their name, where they live and what they do. That’s as far as I am concerned all I need to know. My instincts would guide me much better than any data mining.

        9. KK

          “To give you an example, the woman with whom I had serious chemistry was astonished to discover that I knew her middle name, married surname,  maiden name, six places where she had previously lived, and had reviewed her divorce case before we met (I steer clear of women who had drawn out divorce cases).”

          YAG,

          Sorry to be so blunt, but this is not only creepy but stupid. You’re essentially saying, “My neurotic desire to know more about you than you’re willing to tell me trumps your (very reasonable) desire to get to know you on your terms”.

          If you feel comfortable hunting for stranger’s information on the internet, how much more entitled are you with a girlfriend / wife? Spyware on her PC, tracking device on her car?

        10. Callie

          YAG – I could understand possibly wanting to know someone’s criminal record. I could even understand wanting to know the details of their divorce. Generally wanting to know things that speak to a person’s moral character, I get that. Sort of.

          But I don’t understand why you need to know previous addresses. That’s just verging on throwing your weight around, demonstrating to a woman that you can know all the things, you know where she lives, where her parents live. And honestly that is just creepy and a power play to my estimation. And also a massive lack of respect of someone’s personal space and privacy. Not sure what kind of woman would want to be in a relationship with someone who has absolutely no respect for her having a modicum of privacy.

        11. Stacy2

          @KK:

          If you feel comfortable hunting for stranger’s information on the internet, how much more entitled are you with a girlfriend / wife?

          I knew a guy who hired a detective to follow his ex-es new husband. He justified it by saying that the guy will be living in the same house as his child (ex had custody). In the process, he allegedly uncovered that the new hubby was cheating on his ex, but he kept that entire story to himself (and clearly overshared with me lol). There’s all sorts of crazies out there.

           

        12. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          You could save yourself a lot of googling time by being more discerning in who you contact to begin with. I can assure you that if you limit yourself to women making six figures in white collar occupations, you chances of running into a convicted felon will be close to nil (because most professional licenses would be lost upon felony convictions and employers in non-licensed occupations do much better background checks than you ever could.

          Very few six-figure white-collar professions where I live are licensed.   I earn six figures in a a non-licensed white-collar profession.  Almost the entire hi-tech industry is non-licensed.

          With that said, the logical fallacy here is that you assume that what someone writes on their profile is the truth.  I can assure you that a lot of people flat out lie on their profiles, especially after age 40.   People are held to a different standard of success at age 50 than at age 30.  For example, a large percentage of the men over the age of 40 inflate their income and job title on dating sites.  A lot of men fabricate academic credentials as well.  For example, a quick sample of the men in any given part of the country on Match will return a disproportionate number of college graduates just as a search of height will show more men claiming 5’11” than 5’9″ and more men claiming 6’0″ than 5’11”; however, that is impossible because the male height distribution apex in the U.S. is at 5’9″.  We could argue that only taller men use Match, but we know that that is not true.

        13. Yet Another Guy

          @Callie

          But I don’t understand why you need to know previous addresses.

          I do not search for addresses.  They a part of collection of data from one of my sources.   I use addresses to ensure that I have the correct person.  A lot of the data that is public on the Internet is incorrect.  I usually have to cross reference several sources to weed out erroneous data.   For example, some surnames are common enough that is possible to find two people the same age with the same first, middle, and surnames in the same city.  The only way to determine who is who is to use prior address data.

           

        14. Yet Another Guy

          @KK

          If you feel comfortable hunting for stranger’s information on the internet, how much more entitled are you with a girlfriend / wife? Spyware on her PC, tracking device on her car?

          You are comparing apples to oranges.  One is public information that is available to anyone who wants to search for it.   The other is private information.  If you do not feel the need to verify that people are who claim to be, then good for you.  However, I would rather not invest a minute of time in liar.  It is called doing due diligence.  Would you not want to know that man who is asking you out has a history of domestic violence?  Well, that is easy to discover in my state.  All one has to do is case search him.  Almost every woman I have met from online has or has attempted to case search me.  It is a common practice.  You can be assured that I will be case searching my daughter’s boyfriends when they go off to college.

        15. Stacy2

          I earn six figures in a a non-licensed white-collar profession.  Almost the entire hi-tech industry is non-licensed

          Absolute majority of white collar occupations require licenses: medical, legal, most of finance, and real estate all require it. The only one that doesn’t is pretty much tech and education. But like i said, those employers do serious background checks – more than anything you could ever conduct. So, this argument simply doesn’t fly.

          It is a common practice. 

          No, it’s not. But yes, for some reason tech industry attracts a disproportionate amount of creeps who’d do it and assume it’s normal.

          You can be assured that I will be case searching my daughter’s boyfriends when they go off to college.

          And you can rest assured that after the first attempt to do so, you daughters will never again share the names of their b/fs with you.

          Again – this isn’t normal. This is not normal to such a degree that there’re comedies made about behaviors like that (see: “meet the parents”)

           

        16. KK

          Stacy2,

          “There’s all sorts of crazies out there”.

          Yep. Lots of ’em too!

        17. KK

          YAG,

          “You are comparing apples to oranges.  One is public information that is available to anyone who wants to search for it.   The other is private information.  If you do not feel the need to verify that people are who claim to be, then good for you”.

          “Would you not want to know that man who is asking you out has a history of domestic violence”?

          Of course I’d want to know. But at what cost? Every time you leave your house, I can guarantee you that you are surrounded by a certain percentage of unsavory individuals, including ex cons. It doesn’t matter where you live.

          Do you really think if I were to meet a stranger from OLD who has a history of domestic abuse that I would be in danger at a restaurant or bar? Look, I don’t think anyone wants to get involved with criminals or crazies, but there’s a time and place for everything.

          I’m not a good liar. If I researched someone and found absolutely nothing significant and then proceeded to go on a date, I’d feel a little guilty. What if he mentions his 72 year old Aunt Ellen and the first thought that pops in my mind is… oh yeah, she’ll be 73 soon and all of your cousins live in Georgia. Lol! Sorry, it’s just too much.

          “You can be assured that I will be case searching my daughter’s boyfriends when they go off to college”.

          I can assure you that’s the best way to alienate your daughters and destroy your relationship with them. Have conversations with them about what qualities to look for in a man and what red flags to watch out for. If you’re caught playing detective, I can promise you they will not be happy about it and will not tell you anything else about their private lives.

           

           

        18. ScottH

          I also search to find out more about the person if it seems that we’re about to meet.  It’s incredibly easy, as you say, to find out more about them.  First name, city, occupation and voila, you have the gateway to “supplement” the information that they provide on their profile.  And this is all public information.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with doing this.  And it’s not just the felons I want to avoid.  It’s the crazies I want to avoid.   Having said all that, I would never tell them about my searching.  I just use the information to know what questions to ask and let them provide the information.  I’ve never found anything alarming either though.  And my real name isn’t Scott if anybody here is trying to search me out.  I will reveal that I live in the motor city, and damn proud of it.

        19. KK

          Scott,

          “It’s the crazies I want to avoid”.

          Don’t we all? But how exactly are you going to find that out? Unless you come across a public social media account that clearly shows kooky behavior. Medical, psychological, psychiatric records are private and cannot be accessed. Furthermore, personality disorders are a much better indicator of “crazy” behavior. The problem is that people with personality disorders rarely go for treatment. They just make everyone else miserable.

        20. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          like i said, those employers do serious background checks – more than anything you could ever conduct. So, this argument simply doesn’t fly.

          You know absolutely nothing about my industry.  There are a lot of employers who do not do background checks.  Most of the startups do not do background checks or the smaller players.  The only that matters are demonstrable skills.  It is field where it takes serious talent to be player, and not everyone is cut out to be  a software or hardware design engineer.

          Additionally, you only know your little microcosm.  The are thousands of non-securities-related financial positions that do not require licensure.  Investment banking is not a big thing where I live.  I can assure you that most of the people I know are white-collar professionals.  The only people who are licensed are medical professionals.  My ex earns more than a lot of medical specialists, and she is not licensed.   Plus, anything that occurs after a person is hired by a company that does background checks flies under the radar.

          Finally, you appear to be the typical New York elitist who knows jack squat about the real world.  You live in a bubble.  True life-long technical professionals are normal people who live very normal lives.  They just happen to be smarter than 99% Americans, a lot smarter.  They are driven to do what they do because they love solving problems.  Without us, everything that you take for granted would not exist.  Most principal-level and good percentage of the senior-level engineering positions pay significantly more than a general practitioner earns without having to earn a doctorate.  These positions often equity positions.  I have been in the field a long time.  There are very few people who have what it takes to survive.  The average career lasts less than ten years.  That is why senior and principal-level engineers earn what they earn.

        21. Luka

          Coffee meets are the best. You could be text buddies with someone for a million years, the problem is texting is fundamentally not a good way to get to know a person. Have coffee, have a chit-chat for an hour. No need to waste an evening on a potential yawn. Yeh you can ‘pre-screen’ but come on, dating is always a bit of a numbers game.

        22. Evan Marc Katz

          You go have coffee dates, Luka.

          My clients will go on dates on Saturday night, get dressed up, go to a cool hotel bar, have drinks and apps until 1am and make out at the end of the night.

        23. Stacy2

          YAG:

          Additionally, you only know your little microcosm.  The are thousands of non-securities-related financial positions that do not require licensure….

          It must be very frustrating for you to communicate with someone without secretly data mining the shit out of them first? I know more about your industry than you can possibly imagine. Not only do i myself hold an MS in CS, but I actually worked in your industry for a number of years. Moreover, I was an early investor in two startups that were later sold to a top holding in QQQ for a seven figure consideration, if you know what i mean. And no, tech professionals en mass are absolutely not smarter than the rest of white collar guys, please don’t flatter yourself. Most of them are simple coders and only a few have real talent and can innovate, and I am fortunate to know some of them to know the difference. But the pervasive lack of social skills among engineers is pretty obvious to any observer – and you here are illustrating this point better than I ever could.

        24. Emily, the original

          Stacy2,

          But the pervasive lack of social skills among engineers is pretty obvious to any observer – and you here are illustrating this point better than I ever could.

          I work with a lot of engineers. With a few exceptions, most are painfully awkward socially and yet possess an arrogance to always let you know they are the smartest guys in the room.

        25. Morris

          @Eva regarding “You go have coffee dates, Luka.”

           

          I really enjoy visiting this forum and I agree with a lot of the advice you give. But it baffles me every time you look down on coffee dates. I think you’ve been out of the market too long and don’t understand how things have changed.

           

          I don’t know many people who would insist on a date date for a first meeting. Especially busy people with a life and job. We have friends and families we want to spend time with when we’re not working. The idea of planning and going out on a ‘real’ date with people we’ve never met a couple times a week makes no sense.(Assuming we’re going on a couple first dates a week.)

           

          Honestly the market has changed so much in the last few years I think if men read on a profile that the woman won’t accept a coffee date and expect to be taken out(wine and dine) on a first date it would be a red flag. You should consider modifying that piece of advice. For a second date? Absolutely the guy should step up. First date/meeting? Quick lunch, happy hour for a drink or coffee are just fine.

           

          The only outliner I can see is for the older generation. Late 40’s+. I can see it being too different from what they grew up with. I can’t say I know any decent, successful guy who feels he needs to wine and dine. There isn’t a shortage of women to date for them. Just like they won’t date the girl who isn’t going to have sex until marriage. That use to be a valid strategy. But times change.

        26. Evan Marc Katz

          I posted my answer to Luka, Morris. I would rather go on one good prescreened date on a Saturday night with someone I’m a bit excited about than to meet 3 total strangers for coffee. The only thing that’s changed since I’ve left the market is texting and Tinder – both of which are good for instant gratification, and really bad for building trust, rapport, and excitement before a first date. Finally, in defense of my position: I’ve NEVER heard someone who was really happy with “Swipe right/text/coffee date” way of dating. Never. Most people concur that it is highly impersonal, leads to a lot of flakiness, and causes great burnout. My answer: take a little more time to meet and have higher quality meetings. Not sure why that’s controversial, but if you’re happy with coffee dates, I don’t begrudge you. Most of my dates ended up with some fooling around, so perhaps I’m biased towards that – a possibility that is simply not present at Starbucks.

        27. DeeGee

          @ Evan said:

          I would rather go on one good prescreened date on a Saturday night with someone I’m a bit excited about than to meet 3 total strangers for coffee.

          I would as well, but for most of the women that I have dated from online dating in the past 5 years, they preferred or wanted coffee or lunch dates sooner.
          An example of one of the women that I was able to talk into a Saturday night date.  We had talked a while first so I thought I was prepared for the meeting.  We were supposed to go dutch.  But then when the bill came I got the usual “I forgot my wallet” speech from her.  :/
          The majority of the women simply did not want the Saturday date, or as time went on with chatting and texting in order to get to that point, they lost more interest over time, so would an earlier coffee or lunch and meeting have sparked more interest from them?  This is an honest question from me.
          My personal findings have been that it is simply a crapshoot, that women vary so much in their preferences, that there is no one size fits all.

        28. Stacy2

          @DeGee:

          that I have dated from online dating in the past 5 years, they preferred or wanted coffee or lunch dates sooner

          I admit I have very little insight into the thinking of 55+ years women, but perhaps you don’t have to do what they say they want? 🙂 You’re a guy, you’re supposed to lead. So do that. Tell them,  “coffee shop is a little impersonal, I would love to take you to this romantic wine bar on XX, they have excellent Nebbiolos, what do you think?”.

          Personally I would never accept a coffee date. I don’t audition for strangers, I like to dress up, have my hair done etc. and I am simply not doing that for meet and greet in a starbucks full of millennials with their laptops and homeless people bathing in the bathroom. No thanks… I wouldn’t do lunch either – who has the time?? I am not able to switch off my “business” mode for about an hour after I leave work, and that is not my most romantic mode to say the least. So most of my first dates tend to be for cocktails/wine after 8:30pm.

        29. Morris

          I understand you were replying to Luka. It wasn’t the first time I’ve read something along those lines for a coffee date though. But when you explain it like that it makes a little more sense. I felt like you were looking down on coffee dates. Not preferring more thought out dates.

           

          Maybe I took it personal. I was in the dating scene for a few weeks a few months ago.(After being in a relationship over a year.) Went on a lot of dates. Dating has gotten even more casual from the last time I was in the market. Some regular dates. Some quick dates. I’m busy so I date when I can. If I have a free evening and I want to try a new restaurant. That’s what I’ll suggest. When I’m busy I suggest lunch/coffee or a quick drink at a bar/lounge.

           

          And during that time. After exchanging messages. Having a few phone conversations. If the woman said she doesn’t do coffee dates after I suggested such. I would have dropped her and felt like I dodged a bullet.(None did by the way.) The woman I’m with now happens to have been a coffee date. She’s smart, funny and attractive.

           

          I feel you might be missing out on really great people if coffee dates are a deal breaker. That’s all.

           

           

        30. DeeGee

          @ Stacy2 said:
          You’re a guy, you’re supposed to lead. So do that.

          Thanks for your comment, I appreciate your personal insight.  🙂
          If there is some interest there I usually do try to go for getting off of the dating site chat system and forward on to emailing and eventually a phone call or Skype, and I usually do try for something more than just a quick meet up like a coffee, with at least a weekend brunch or dinner.
          The vast majority of women that I meet online simply do not want that.  If I suggest moving forward to other means of contact and a real date meet up, they will usually come back with something along the lines that it is too fast for them or whatever.  Now whether that is an indication of caution or fear on their end or just “I’m not that into you”, I can’t say for certain.  I have not had the best luck reading women even though I am 55 years old and divorced.  Perhaps the women in my area are just not seeing something that they really want to go for, so they don’t put in the effort level that matches mine.
          To be honest I live in a small city, of the six dating sites I was/am on, there is typically only between 5 and 20 women right in the same city, so I end up having to rely on outlying cities for some dates which then opens the issue of long travel times.

        31. Nissa

          YAG, I’m curious to know exactly what info you need to vet a woman. The facts you mentioned seem devoid of personality data that would make any difference.

          I’m one of those women who prefers to meet right away. And it has nothing to do with having hidden issues like secretly being married, having six children, a felon, unemployed, bad credit or whatnot. There are no court records to find, unless you count divorce, which I freely disclose. Texting is a disaster in miscommunication, and speaking over the phone is not much better.

          It’s because 93% of communication is nonverbal. 93%!! When I googled I found:  7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc).

          In addition, people often say things in text or over the phone that, once you meet them, are clearly not true. A man can tell me he’s confident, spiritual and passionate, but one minute in his presence tells me more about that than an hour of his words. And to be blunt, a lot of men are, er, exaggerating when it comes to their qualities that they think you want to know about. I’ve had men ask me, ‘what are you looking for?’ then process to detail how he is all of those things in a way that is clearly bluster.

          I’m not interested in a man telling me who he is. I’m interested in a man SHOWING me who he is, and most of that (other than keeping his word in when and how he will call or text) requires him to show up in person.

          This doesn’t mean he needs to plan an expensive date. Heck, a free date is fine. Just show up. Be the real you. Know yourself well enough to know if I’m a fit for you, or not. Either way, we are both better off being clear about that right away. After all, I don’t want to waste his time either.

        32. Yet Another Guy

          @Nissa

          I’m one of those women who prefers to meet right away.

          Yes, men lie on dating sites, and so do women.  It is the reason  ScottH gave from not wanting to spend much money on a first date.  Meeting a person requires me to set aside time from my busy schedule ( I workout and cycle Monday through Saturday, so my weekday evenings and Saturday morning are usually scheduled).  Call me old-fashioned, but one only gets one opportunity to make a first impression.  I know what works for me.  The fact that I  came about a process that I use to get to know a woman before deciding to meet her that strangely resembles Evan’s 2/2/2 rule tells me that it is what happens to a lot of guys when the light finally comes on.

          One thing I know for certain is that the probability that I will have a good date is directly proportional to the amount of time that I spend getting to know a woman before deciding to meet her (it is usually a two week process from initial contact to meeting in person, and I usually weed 90% of the women with whom I exchange messages during the two weeks, usually after the telephone conversation).  A date requires me to set aside time from my day to meet in real-time.  That means time spent preparing for the date (not preparing for a date is planning to fail on the date), driving to the location where we agreed to meet, and sitting through the date.   There has to be reasonable probability that we are at least compatible for me to allocate that much prime time to a woman because there are many other things that I would rather do than go on yet another first date.  Agreeing to meet after a couple of message exchanges is ludicrous in my book.  It is for people who have way too much time on their hands.

           

        33. Yet Another Guy

          @Evan

          Most of my dates ended up with some fooling around, so perhaps I’m biased towards that – a possibility that is simply not present at Starbucks.

          Herein lies the reason why I do not do coffee dates.  I do not want my first date with a woman to be a question and answer session, so that she can decide if she wants to go on a real date with me.  That is a horrible use of my time.  It is a sign that I did not do due diligence before deciding to meet.  What I want to know on the first date is if there is mutual desire to break the touch barrier.  I am not meeting her to be her platonic friend.  I want to fill the position of romantic lover.  The time spent upfront moves me and my date to this point.   It builds rapport and increases desire.  A solid mental connection can lead to a solid physical connection between two mature adults.  Desire starts in the brain, and with a man, it is critical for a woman to make this connection before meeting because he will rule her out within 30 seconds of seeing her if all he is working with at the start is an image.  Men have 25% more neurons in the visual cortex.

          http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249844.php

           

      2. 3.1.2
        Luka

        Looking back at my own comment (2nd paragraph): if this is happening a lot, and we rarely hear of people being murdered on tinder dates, perhaps it isn’t that risky a behaviour…

        1. Luka

          @Evan Marc Katz

          That’s good as well (though perhaps a bit RomCom idealistic for a first date) – I’m making the case for meeting/getting to know a person…in person, rather than via texts/calls. Take a chance, if you meet in the afternoon for a scheduled 30 mins-1 hour, its not even much of a chance. @YAG the chances of a woman murdering you on a first date in a public space are extremely slim. Conversely, the chances of meeting a nice person from a Tinder date who perhaps doesn’t fit the template of your ideal, is quite high. I have a couple of friends I socialise with semi-regularly who I met on TInder dates that, while not quite a romantic success, were nice enough social events. Go out and meet people, have fun.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          My philosophy, Luka, is to get to know someone by email/phone for a week BEFORE the date to minimize bad coffee dates with strangers from Tinder. I’d rather go on one good Saturday night date than to do what you suggest doing. To each his own.

        3. JB

          “My clients will go on dates on Saturday night, get dressed up, go to a cool hotel bar, have drinks and apps until 1am and make out at the end of the night.”

          Evan is right. In 20 years of online dating I think I’ve went on 2 coffee dates and they were horrible. Meeting in a noisy Starbucks was unbearable. I don’t drink coffee at night.

          My meet & greets are usually in a quieter restaurant bar or something similar and always at night that way I can go out when it’s over unless we really hit it off etc…. I don’t do “lunch meet & greets” either ugghhh! Grow up ladies, have coffee with your parents.

        4. Yet Another Guy

          @Luka

          I am with Evan on this one.  I use a process much like Evan’s 2/2/2 rule to get to know and weed bad dates from the pool.  I would rather go to the gym, ride my bicycle, or play guitar than  go on a quick-and-dirty coffee date.   Life is too short to blindly throw darts at a dartboard.  One good date every other Saturday beats several quick-and-dirty dates every week.  My process has led to much better use of my time and resources.  I have not had one really bad date since adopting my process.  That is more than I can say about the dates that I had before adopting my current process.

  4. 4
    John

    We all must be saved from the evils of OLD. I think we should all wear helmets and knee pads so we won’t get hurt. Better yet we should just stay home and eat ice cream, get fat and look as ugly as possible. Oh wait. Someone might bully me and hurt my feelings. I’m just so scared of OLD, I’m going to stay in bed with the covers over my head.

     

    The only way I could get hurt dating online is to die of boredom.

  5. 5
    Noquay

    As I live in a small town that is the only affordable place for low income/min wage/unemployed to live for a huge radius, I am less safe meeting IRL than on line. I am very prominent in the community, live in a very distinctive home, folk know where I live, and am easy to track down. Yep, there’s lots of ghosts, scammers, attention seekers on line but I also can meet far more compatible men. Wish I could meet more compatible men IRL, but that’s not going to happen until I can relocate which won’t be for another year. Evan is spot on; ones safety is a lot about not being naive, having common sense, and generally paying attention.

    1. 5.1
      DeeGee

      I live in a small city.  Population is about 25000.  A good percentage of the people know who I am since most of my work is for large corporations in the public sector.
      A number of the women that I have texted through online dating sites knew who I was already, or knew someone who I am friends with.
      I have relatively little luck both online and in real life, simply because there are not a lot of available compatible women in my age group of ~55 in this area.
      I have been on six dating sites.  The biggest issue I always run into is so many women with little in common.  For example, a lot of what I do is creative and artistic (photography, filmmaking, etc.), and I am into daily pilates, yoga, body building, and organic foods and meals.  Most of the women here are into hunting and quad’ing and fishing, don’t exercise, and “have a few extra pounds” according to their dating site profile personal status information.  🙂
      I have never been worried about my safety on dates though.  And because I am well known here, I don’t feel that any women I have dated were concerned about that either.

      1. 5.1.1
        Noquay

        DeeGee

        We should meet 😀. The 55+ men here in this town of 2300, and really, for a huge radius are overall on the heavy side, dropouts, into all things Redneck including off road vehicles and serious firearms, whereas I am artistic and creative, read voraciously, highly educated, stay very fit. It’s not a matter of not being approached, it’s who is doing the approaching. Wish dating sites had a zip code exclusion function for folk in our situation. Other than myself and one or two others, the folk that are climbing the 14k peaks, running in the race series, cycling, are all from waaay out of area. Actually going to quit the high end job, get the house ready to sell because finding a compatible mate within a hundred mile radius is nearly impossible regardless of method. The last rship, 150 miles away, cheated. Hard to suss that out from a distance . For me, the safety part is because our problem children often have issues w/drug use, unemployment, untreated mental illness and subsequently have poor boundaries and don’t react well to rejection. One on line dude who was supposed to meet me at a local restaurant showed up at my home because the waitperson, knowing me well, told him where I lived and saw no issue with divulging that info. The hillside, foothills of a mountain range, that constitutes most of my land is readily visible from downtown, just look up and follow. We need to get your women and our men here together so we at least have a bit of peace, eh? 😂

         

        1. DeeGee

          @ Noquay
          I am always up for meeting new people.  🙂
          I am located in NorthEast BC Canada though, I’m not sure how close that is to you.  On the dating sites I see many women in the lower mainland that seem to have more in common with me, but it is tough to pick up and move when I am making a six figure income working three days a week, and spending the rest of the time working on my creative outlets as president of my own media company.
          It seems that we have a lot in common with trying to find someone.  I have a university education, studied for my Bachelors in Electronics Engineering, GPA/QPA of 4.0 (100%).  I am a published author, a professional composer, a software developer and reseller, photographer and filmmaker, with multiple YouTube channels.
          I typically pass over 90% of the women in my area on the dating sites because I almost never have anything in common with them.  Where I live is mostly oil and agriculture, so it is very redneck as well.  We do have a small arts community where I live, so I do know some women who are into the arts, but they are usually already taken.  I have had 50+ chats, Skypes, and dates over the past 5 years, but none of them worked out into anything long term, mainly because of differences with little in common.  They are never into the arts and personal improvement like exercise and diet, and instead always into hunting, camping, fishing, quading, etc.  I don’t mind those things, I did them a lot as a kid growing up, but they are not my main go to for use of time.
          For me, the only way I see finding anyone is either a fluke occurrence here, or when I retire and possibly move down to Vancouver Island.

        2. H.

          @DeeGee

          Ha – it sounds like I am your dream woman… I am an art historian (award-winning), literary freelancer AND a composer myself (not professional), fun and kind to a fault, super high IQ, and not exceedingly bad-looking either.

          I am also in Europe: an ocean + a continent and a half away, and extremely unlikely to move.

          Don’t you hate it when that happens? 🙂

          I do.

           

           

           

           

      2. 5.1.2
        Nissa

        I so get where you are coming from. I eat a ketogenic diet (low carb, moderate protein, high fat) and do intermittent fasting. I haven’t dated in a while, and I still don’t know how to fit my “I don’t drink and half the time I don’t eat either, and I’m in bed by 9pm” into Evan’s paradigm. I’m not disparaging his method, but it’s a far sight from my daily life. I can’t imagine a way to explain that, that doesn’t come across as being difficult.

        1. DeeGee

          @ Nissa

          I understand what you mean.
          I feel that there are people who are outliers with regards to various aspects of our typical society.  Those who don’t fit in with the “norm” in their area.  Making it more difficult to match them up with like-minded and like-lifestyle people.
          I always thought that this was supposed to be one of the main purposes of the dating sites, matching through compatibilities, but my personal experience has been exactly the opposite.
          It often makes me wonder how honest people are about their online profiles, are they presenting who they really are, or presenting themselves to obtain the widest attraction and catch for what they think their dating region has available.  For example, 90%+ of the women on the dating sites here, going by their profile information, they are looking for tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, likes to travel, has a jacked up 4×4 pickup truck, dirt bikes, skidoos, quads, and likes hunting and fishing and camping = rich redneck.  I find it difficult to believe that such a large percentage of the women here are looking for that same guy.  Maybe I’m wrong…

        2. Nissa

          Dee Gee, you just never know. I’m so white my POC friends call me “transparent” and I have an Asian coworker who just married a guy who embodies the word ‘redneck’ – the truck, the flannel, the nascar plates on the wall, and gaitor baiting – it’s all there. She loves this stuff, and I wouldn’t touch it with a 20 foot pole.

          I’m with you on the ‘just be yourself’ part of online dating. Then again my dream date is a cross between Warren Buffet and Anderson Cooper.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @DeeGee

          they are looking for tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, likes to travel

          That is not a local problem.  It is endemic on the dating sites.

  6. 6
    sara

    Dang, Yet Another Guy.  I hope I never meet you.  Sorry, but telling a woman you know all that about her makes you look like a stalker.  I’d get up and leave immediately.

    1. 6.1
      Stacy2

      Yes, classic stalker behavior. Especially actually telling her  – that is textbook stalking behavior. Stalkers are getting off on letting you know that they know stuff. Somebody who is simply doing due diligence (ehm) for the sake of kids (ehm) will simply keep that to him/herself

      1. 6.1.1
        JB

        You guys are right. I do everything he does and much more but I’m certainly not stupid enough to EVER tell a woman anything about it….lol Knowledge about someone you’re dealing with is power, but intelligence and common sense are just as important. Keep it to yourself.

        By the way, I Google myself often just to see what anyone who does would see and I think everyone should as well. I have nothing terrible in my past save for the fact that I was in a band 30 years ago and I’m not exactly proud of the album we put out when I was 22 or the 2 or 3 photo’s that are on the internet from that time.  I really didn’t think about how it would play in my 50’s if I was trying to meet women…..lol some actually think it’s kind of cool when I show them my pics from the 80’s!

      2. 6.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Stacy2

        It is not like I confronted her with the information on the first date.  I told her after we had been dating for a few weeks.

        By the way, I asked several of the women I met over the last year or so if they “case searched” me before we met as a sanity check after posting to this thread.    I was not surprised to the discover that every one of these women ran the check.   Like I said, Googling and case searching is a standard operating procedure where I live because very little is as it appears on dating sites.

        I have a reason for case searching a woman’s divorce history.  While the gory details are not included in the online record, all of the motions that are filed by the parties are entered.  Drama-free divorces are completed within a couple of months of filing.   If a divorce takes more than three months from filing to the issuance of the decree, it is usually because the parties are fighting over assets and/or custody.   Men generally want joint physical custody whereas women want sole physical custody with visitation.  Seeking joint physical custody allows a man to get out of paying child support in my state.   A long drawn-out divorce usually equates to a pissed off ex-husband.  I do not want to be involved with a woman who has a pissed off ex-husband.   Experience has proven that that can be harmful to the health of the man who is dating her.

        1. Stacy2

          It is not like I confronted her with the information on the first date.  I told her after we had been dating for a few weeks

          In other words, you waited until after you slept with her? And, I am guessing, that relationship for some miraculous reason did not work out? Hm… why would that be?

          Here’s the thing: If somebody I dated for a few weeks, making a genuine effort to get to know them and telling them about myself, told me that they knew all of my background info all along including reading my divorce records (which is a strict hypothetical to me as I do a good job protecting my privacy) – I would ran from them all the same. It would piss me off even more so. It’s like, “that’s why you’re single”.

  7. 7
    Stacy

    @Stacy2

    As usual, I agree with everything you said. I mean, c’mon,  googling people before a simple first date? Are you kidding me? What did we all do before all of this technology existed? Hmm…somehow, we’re all okay.  Generations upon generations did not even have the internet. It is JUST a date. Doesn’t mean we are DAT-ing. Doesn’t mean anything. Stop being so overly paranoid people. And my kids will NEVER meet a man I am casually getting to know anyway nor will he ever step foot in my home if it’s casual so the kids argument is irrelevant. If I am developing keen interest in the guy, that’s a little different. And I will NEVER meet a man if there is any vibe that is off nor would I ever meet a guy where there is a possibility of doing me harm (always clearly in public). So I don’t get why all of the extra homework before a first date. And yes, I think trying to know everything about someone beforehand is extra creepy and weird.

     

    1. 7.1
      Marika

      I’m completely freaked out by this entire discussion!! Have you ever heard of privacy? Clearly the laws are different, but I’m sure here it’s at least bordering on illegal to use your professional data mining skills to track down details of people’s lives for no reason than your own curiosity / fear.

      Obviously I live in a country considered to be very safe (until you go in the ocean or outback, hehe!), but still…what percentage of people are criminals? What’s the worst they could do to you at drinks in a bar? Skip out on the bill (check)? Honestly, is it worth your time, effort and the woman thinking you’re a stalker (I certainly would) just to find out she had a messy divorce in 2010 and is originally from Dallas.

      This is scary, scary stuff.

      1. 7.1.1
        Stacy2

        Hey Marika, in actuality unless he is accessing databases in an unauthorized manner (like if a cop accessed a police database to look up a date’s record), he is not doing anything illegal per se. The amount of data that is in the public domain in the U.S. is truly astonishing – from gun permits to property and court records. In the past you would have to drive to some clerk office and sift through papers, now these records are increasingly getting digitized, so any creep with an Internet connection, determination and free time on his hands can cyber-stalk anybody. I predict that the next wave of start-ups will be around helping people shield their identities offline and remove their info from open access where possible. First we create the problem, then we create the solution  🙂 and making money on both ends, of course.

    2. 7.2
      John

      Hi Stacy

      Your comments are right on the money.

      The last woman I dated I met IRL. Her friends asked her if she got my last name to Google me before our first date. She said she got a very good vibe from me and wasn’t worried about it. Her friends were  terrified for her . They called her during the date and asked if she was doing OK.  I had a lot of respect for my date not Googling me. It says a lot about her character. It also said a lot about her friends.

  8. 8
    Stacy2

    Btw, ladies, it is ironic but YAG here is exhibit #1 why background checks are relatively useless when vetting a date: it is impossible to preemptively screen for stalking/creepy/controlling tendencies such as these. A guy like this would come up absolutely clean … but so what?

    1. 8.1
      Noquay

      Very true, I was cyber-stalked years ago by someone who looked perfectly OK on Google. I’ve had many potential dates admit to extensively researching me. The privacy protections our students have on a campus  do not extend to faculty and staff. Most higher ed and business professionals are readily searchable. However, many problem children, male and female, come out squeaky clean or have no on line presence at all. No profile at a job website, pot is legal here so like alcohol, it’s use won’t register unless there’s a huge problem, and things like unemployment/ mental illness, being unemployable, do not show up. Retirees, most of my dates, won’t show. I’ve Googled on line and IRL guys but only when it appears that they may be scammers or there’s something incongruous about them.

    2. 8.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Stacy2

      You are just pissed that there are guys like me who have the skills and the wherewithal to verify what people say or claim is the truth.   I do not see what I am doing as stalking.  Intent defines what is and what is not stalking.  Stalking requires a person to have the intent to cause emotional or physical harm or otherwise come in contact with the victim.  What I am doing is covering my bases.  I am doing the opposite of stalking.  I am using the information that I find to avoid coming into contact with women who are liars and/or have serious problems in their lives.  What I do is not paranoia.  It is grounded in life experience.   I dated a woman in my thirties who claimed to be divorced.   It turned out that she was the estranged wife of a criminal who was under FBI investigation for being a key player in an illegal gambling racket.   I do not spook easily, but that guy was dangerous with a capital “D.”  He came to my place of work.  On the other hand, she looked like an everyday dental hygienist.   Quite a few of the dating sites are heavily populated with married people.  One dates at one’s own risk.

      1. 8.2.1
        Marika

        My ex cheated and was abusive. Should I assume all men are that way and take the necessary precautions? Maybe have my prospective dates followed by a PI?

        I remember Evan told us that his wife was cheated on by several exes, but still came from a place of trust with him. That to me, is what true courage looks like.

        Dating in an atmosphere of fear is obvious. And unfair to the other person. And a turn off for emotionally healthy, honest, trustworthy women.

        1. Stacy

          @Marika

          You spoke the truth with every single word here.

        2. Nissa

          Nailed it!!

  9. 9
    Shaukat

    YAG, ROFL, This time I’m the one siding with the ladies. The only time I’ve ever looked someone up before a date is when I wanted to see better quality pics if the ones they posted were inadequate. But leaving that aside, it’s one thing to extensively research someone before a date, it’s another to actually tell them that you have that info. The former can be maybe dismissed as a little neurotic, the latter sounds like something Hannibal Lecter would do before eating someone.

    1. 9.1
      Marika

      Hehe! Honestly, what’s next? DNA samples..fingerprinting before date 2…

  10. 10
    Sara

    Honestly, it’s paranoia that would drive someone to those levels.  Such utter mistrust.   If a person feels the need to resort to such levels and then purposely make the person who took time out of their life to meet them, feel uncomfortable, they have serious psychological issues.

  11. 11
    Stacy2

    This discussion is making me realize that my borderline paranoid focus on privacy is well-founded 🙂 As they say “it is not paranoia if they’re really after you”. Something other women should note too, never give potential cyber stalkers anything to go on. No last names, no addresses, no employer names or school names, nothing at all. Generic descriptions such as “i work in finance” or “i am an artist” and “i work for a large bank” or a “small financial firm” should be perfectly fine. And of course it goes without saying that all social media profiles (if you must have them at all) should be hidden, and also don’t use the same photos you use on other social media for online dating because those are searchable. The creeps are out there.

    1. 11.1
      ScottH

      Stacy2- I remember not too long ago you made a comment about how you were going to act sweet to get a guy and his sperm and once you had his kid you were going to turn nasty.  (I don’t remember your exact words but it was something to that effect.)  You also recently made a nasty comment about your current beau, indicating that your intentions were far from pure, at least as far as he knows.  You might not be an ax murderer (or maybe you are) but this is the kind of online situation that I need protection from.

      Doing a quick google search about a prospective date in this day and age of OLD profile lying is totally innocent compared to what you’re doing.  We’re not really “after” someone when we do a search.  Speaking for myself, I’m out to find the truth since there’s so little of it out there.

      1. 11.1.1
        Marika

        The Stacy2 intentions issue aside, do we really want to live in a world of mistrust where everyone is Googling everyone and running informal ‘background searches’? You know what Evan says about giving trust freely until there’s reason to take it away,  isn’t that the only way to make a connection and form a lasting relationship built on good intentions & trust? Not from a place of fear. Sure, you don’t give out your address and workplace to every person who messages you online, but this paranoia around safety, assumption that you have to check up on people, as well as lack of concern for people’s privacy is a worry to me. More of a worry than the less than 1% chance my date is a violent criminal.

        1. ScottH

          I think it’s a matter of degree.  I google search someone because I’m interested, even somewhat excited, in them and want to see more pictures and find out more about who they are.  Sure, you could argue that I should learn more about them from them and do it slowly and organically but I see no harm in finding out what is readily and publicly available and I think it’s even prudent to do so.  Yes there is a line that can be crossed.   Hacking into someone’s financial information is waaay over the line, maybe even reading about their divorce history is too.  Putting their name into google and seeing what comes up I think is well within bounds for OLD.  This reminds me of the interview with Johnathon Aslay and Evan and their differing viewpoints on asking questions and gathering information about intentions.  There are a lot of nuances in dating etiquette and simple sentences and blanket statements are not sufficient.  not much is black or white.

      2. 11.1.2
        Shaukat

        ScottH,

        You’re absolutely right. In fact, I think Stacy2 is quite similar to Tron Swanson. Both resent the type of traits the opposite sex look for in a mate; they simply deal with their anger and frustration in a different fashion. Tron was upset that women generally strive for masculine, confident men, which led him to withdraw from the dating scene altogether. Stacy is apparently resentful that men value the ‘cool girl,’ i.e, femininity and empathy over ambition and career accomplishments. The only difference is that Stacy has stated that she is willing to remain in the dating game and play a specific role until, in her words, she “gets a baby.” Tron and Stacy are two sides of the same coin, and the irony is that Stacy is correct, online data mining cannot reveal such character flaws.

    2. 11.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Stacy2

      You need to become more well versed in the law.  Investigating is not stalking.  Stalking requires intent.  However, seeing that you are a New York elitist who lives in a bubble of denial, I doubt that that difference will register with you.

      1. 11.2.1
        KK

        YAG,

        Investigating does not equal stalking but you can be charged with stalking regardless of intent. If someone can prove you’re stalking them, it doesn’t matter what your intent is.

  12. 12
    John

    It is tempting to overreact in an age of information overload. Most people I know are terrified of things that are statistically improbable. If they have an ache in their stomach, they believe they may have cancer. If there is a 2% chance of dating an actual maniac, they think it is the person they just met. It may help to stop watching these show on cable TV and Netflix that are about ultra-violent criminals. I don’t watch these shows. My friends tell me the acting is great.  It screws with my brain, so I don’t torture myself with it.

  13. 13
    Lyra

    Hi Evan!

    I don’t comment here often (maybe 2nd or 3rd time, I forgot!) but I want to appreciate the great and free contents you put in your blog. I always learned something new; not necessarily pleasing T.T all the time but always something of substance! 🙂

    I think online dating is superb. It works great for me who is a transplant from across the globe with no friends or family in a new city and with little time to go hit the bars. And with me being a little averse to alcohol; dating apps work great. No bars unless needed haha.

    I always google the prospective date, talk on the phone, meet in public place for 1st date and bring my pepper spray. I never really gotten a bad vibe; but I do feel concerned knowing that there is a high rate of sexual assaults related to online dating; but I don’t think it should ever discourage someone.

  14. 14
    Nissa

    It appears that I may be the only person who has never Googled a prosepective date. How odd. Doesn’t that seem like a huge investment of time and energy into someone who may just be pleasant evening’s diversion? After all, that’s what first dates are for, to get an impression of that person and a sense of whether or not you’d enjoy spending more time with that person. I’m never afraid to date online. I actually get more information than I would if I had just bumped into that person in daily life.

    1. 14.1
      Stacy2

      Doesn’t that seem like a huge investment of time and energy into someone who may just be pleasant evening’s diversion

      Come’on, Nissa, don;t you know, you may have to skip a workout (gasp) to meet them – no need full background check, tax returns and medical records to make sure the time is not wasted. LOL

      1. 14.1.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Stacy2

        How long do you think that you would have to date a convicted felon before he tells you that he is a convicted felon?  People are really good at hiding things that they do not want other people to know.  I met someone with whom I became good friends who was convicted of a felony in the seventies.  I would have never known this information had I not attempted to get him a job several years after meeting him.   What if you had children and the guy you were dating had been convicted of pedaphilia?  It is beyond stupidity to not do due diligence when meeting someone who is completely outside of one’s circle.  Searching may not reveal anything, but not not searching is guaranteed to not reveal anything.

        1. Stacy2

          I am very confident that I would never date a felon or a pedophile and I don’t need a background check to make sure of that. That’s because I have standards and only date people with certain social standing, which simply wouldn’t be attainable to any criminal. The society does a good job of marginalizing such people and rejecting them out, so as long as I stay in my as you described it “bubble”, I am good. I like it in my bubble and have no desire to live in your version of the “real world” with convicted felons and such. Lol.

          And I “qualify” my dates by asking a lot of seemingly innocent questions over the course of weeks and that way I weed out creeps and other undesirable personality traits and make sure their story checks out. That’s the best approach. As they get comfortable, the truth always comes out. Also, More often than not, we end up knowing some people in common, or I end up knowing them through professional, alumni networks, social clubs, and the like, so it’s easy to know what I am dealing with.

        2. Nissa

          Here’s the problem: it eliminates context. Just like Evan’s wife who had crappy credit and large debt due to helping out a friend, I could easily see myself having a police record of some kind that might be misconstrued.

          What if I was arrested during a peaceful protest, passionately defending a cause? Or marked under ‘domestic violence participant’ because I got scared when my then husband started punching holes in the wall while yelling at me? While both are easily possible, neither is ‘on record’. So you wouldn’t know that by searching the records anyway. But if you did, it wouldn’t help you see the kind of person I am – passionate but pacifist, loving but battle scarred.

          Similarly, most of the abusive people I have known, including pedophiles, had squeaky clean records, even attended church regularly. Most of them are very good at keeping these things under wraps, much abuse is never reported. The concept of ‘safety’ is an illusion. We are never safe, and we are always safe. You can’t protect yourself from harm, you can only deal with it as it comes. Living in the fear of what can happen is no life at all. The best trust of all is trust in ourselves, that we can deal with things as they come up.

          If a guy turns out to be not-so-good, stop dating him. End of problem. Yes it hurts; no, it’s not unfixable. I would not even consider searching a person until I was ready to either marry him or introduce him to my children. Maybe not even then, because I know my radar is good. Because I trust me to never knowingly let myself down, and how to forgive myself if it is not 100%.

        3. KK

          I agree with you, Nissa. 100%. There is no way to know someone’s true character just because they’re in your bubble. It’s naíve to think you could suss out a pedophile or a psychopath. Likewise, it would be unproductive to think that everyone is a potential predator.

    2. 14.2
      JB

      Well Nissa some of us don’t have the time to go on a meet &  greet with someone who by looking at their Facebook page timeline  is using pics from 2007 on their Match profile.    Yes, folks I saw this yesterday. I’m way too busy. Men love variety but when I look on a profile AND a Facebook page and see 10 different versions a woman spanning a decade. I tap out….lol So many times I’ve tapped out after seeing a FB page it’s saved me a alot of time and money. No thanks. Everyone gets Googled!

      1. 14.2.1
        Nissa

        JB,  Well, luckily? 🙂 the number of men who ask me out that I think I might be able to accept is so small as to render that a non issue, even though I have two jobs and pets.

        Even if I don’t feel chemistry for my ‘meet-n-greet’ or date, I consider it good dating practice. After all, Evan learned how to do what he does by DOING it. I know I can always use practice in small talk, as that’s my downfall. Plus, you never know what life can bring. If that person doesn’t match, they may well have a sister/cousin/neighbor that is. That’s time well spent!!

    3. 14.3
      Marika

      You’re not alone, Nissa!!

  15. 15
    Yet Another Guy

    @Stacy2

    You would be surprised to discover who has a record.  We are talking about people who are allegedly upstanding citizens.  One thing I learned while working on “black projects” is that there is not a person alive who has not done something he/she is ashamed of doing.   That is why access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI) requires a polygraph and an extensive background investigation with periodic investigations.  No one is squeaky clean, no one.

    As far as giving someone the benefit of the doubt, if you are willing to waste time with a liar to determine if he is a liar, good for you.  I prefer to know up front that I am dealing with a liar.   A lot of women lie on the dating sites.  A huge percentage of the women over age 50 lie about something as trivial as their age.  I have lost track of the number of women with whom I have communicated who lied about their age.  A few of these women confessed up front.  Others, well, you know how I determined that they were lying.  If a woman is willing to lie about something as trivial as her age, she will lie about things that she believes are more important.  Trust is not implicit with me.   It is earned.  I have seen way too much ugliness in my lifetime.  I worked on intelligence collection systems when I was young.  Like I said, you live in a bubble.

    1. 15.1
      Callie

      Just FYI age isn’t that trivial. You’d think you’d know that considering how many dudes show up here talking about shelf lives and how women have wasted their chances by 35 and are now desperately seeking someone not alpha before it’s too late etc. It would seem that age IS a big deal: to men. And while I personally don’t lie about my age, I can understand why some women do it. Example: a guy I met doing a show would go on and on about how he only wanted to date women 30 and under. But at the same time kept telling me if I was single he’d totally ask me out. When I told him I was 35 he had no idea what to do with himself, it completely went against his assumptions of what a 35 looked like/was like. So I can see why women might lie about their age because often guys get so rigid in the number without actually knowing the myriad of ways it manifests (like some gentlemen here . . . who I might directly be writing a response to right this moment . . . )

      Anyway, considering what a big deal age it to YOU, you’d think you wouldn’t think it a trivial thing that women lie about. It’s still a lie, and I agree that it does raise the question of what else she might be lying about. But trivial? Hardly.

      Also . . . you keep ignoring people pointing out that some of the biggest villains out there have the cleanest of records. How do you reconcile that with your theory? How do you cover those bases?

      1. 15.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Age is to men what height is to women.

        1. ScottH

          This guy prefers women his own age who have taken care of themselves physically and emotionally.  They are hot! and in the same place in life as I am.  Interestingly, I just turned 53 and women 45-46 have been winking at me.   Must be because of my height but I’d really like someone who is 49+ but tomorrow I’m meeting someone who is 46 (I couldn’t find much about her on google :(.  I won’t reveal the details of the meeting out of fear of sparking a side debate (not a coffee date though).

        2. Emily, the original

          ScottH,

          This guy prefers women his own age who have taken care of themselves physically and emotionally.

          Bless your heart!  🙂

          Have a great date!

      2. 15.1.2
        Yet Another Guy

        @Callie

        One cannot cover all bases, but one should at least cover the ones that can be covered.  There are people who are going to fly under the radar, and then there are people like me who purposely avoid posting things under my real name and have yet to post a photo that has my real name assigned to it.   I have been using the Internet since the eighties when it was still referred to as the ARPANET and everything went through IMPs, which were early network routers.  I was not as careful back then as I am today, but the Internet was a significantly more closed place.

        1. Callie

          There’s something extra unsettling knowing that you have carefully covered YOUR tracks so that no woman may research you the way you research her. In general, it all comes across as needing as much control and power as you can in the situation. It also makes me wonder what you have to hide exactly. Because after all if it’s so common and natural that we all have things online easily researchable, what does it say when we don’t?

          Oh follow up question then. What if in your research you met a woman as capable of hiding things online as you are? Would that make you more or less inclined to meet with her?

      3. 15.1.3
        Nissa

        Exactly right, Callie. While I in general don’t condone lying, I consider lying about age and/or height in online dating a ‘white lie’ in that 1) it is extremely common and 2) based more on the algorithm than the person. If they don’t like your picture or height, they are still under no obligation to date you, but they are offered the chance to date you. If someone asked me during a date my age, I’d tell them the truth, and if they decided I was too old for them, then of course one accepts that gracefully.

        It’s an interesting question, because as Evan says, most people are misjudging who and what attracts them vs who they date in real life. I think there are a lot of men who would date a woman his own age or a few years older if he didn’t realize her age. I think there are a lot of women who would be interested in men who are their same height or a few inches taller if they met in real life. If a man discovered that his date was five years older than she said, but she’s still hot, he is not likely to care. That’s why for me this is a white lie, versus a lie about a potential dealbreaker. Lying about being married, being willing to have kids or get married, criminal activity – definitely non-white lies.

      4. 15.1.4
        CaliforniaGirl

        Most men over 45 lie about their age as well. If I see someone who wrote to me and he is 41, I can be 99% sure he is 46-47 in reality. I just had two dates with such a guy, on a first date he had baseball hat and it was a dark bar, so I had my suspicion but didn’t say anything. We had a quick happy hour after work, so I decided to have a second date to know him better.  On a second date we met when it was still light outside and I could see right away he was not 41. He also wore the baseball hat, I mean common! He was 46 (he told me after I asked him multiple times) and after I said I am not interested in seeing him anymore, he texted me about 100 times (not exaggerating), insulting me, saying that all women over 35 are damaged and ugly and I have to be happy he even looked at me. I texted him that I am going to police if I receive one more message from him. He never replied. I felt harassed and angry I cannot do anything about this guy.

        1. ScottH

          Guys like that make it easier for those of us who tell the truth.  Isn’t it refreshing when someone is honest?

          I thought you were with someone?  Did that end?

        2. CaliforniaGirl

          Yes, it did.. The guy was emotionally unavailable and still talking to women on Match after 5 months, so I ended it. He also, at 47, was far from a stud, so I was sexually unsatisfied and bored.

          Well, I am going back to date younger guys 🙂

    2. 15.2
      Stacy2

      You are twisting the subject. It is one thing to be a pedophile and another to have “a record” and another to do “something you are ashamed of”. Registered sex offenders have severe restrictions on where they can live and work, and I will repeat that with my set of “check boxes” I will simply never run into one. Same goes for having a serious “record”. As far as doing something you’re ashamed of, so what? You are demonstrating the need to know the person’s secrets before event meeting them; while you like your own privacy. To me you are frankly showing all signs of a control freak. You have serious, crippling trust issues. This is why you’re single. No normal, well adjusted woman would want to deal with such personality. This will come out very quickly. You may be better off investing some of that time in therapy, before your tendencies ruin your relationship with your almost grown daughters leave you a lonely, miserable old man at the end.

      1. 15.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Stacy2

        I do not have trust issues.  Experience has taught me that trust needs to be earned.  Many people are in a hurry to meet someone based on what they read in a profile.  At my age, a lot of profiles are works of fiction.  You would be surprised at how much information the average person over the age of 50 withholds from a potential partner.  One cannot make it to that age without accumulating a significant amount of history.  An informed decision is a better made decision. You can continue to limit your options to those who run in your circle; however, the moment you decide to step of out your bubble, you are will have deal with the real world where nothing is what it appears to be on the surface.

        As far as to dying a miserable old man, well, that is my burden to bear.  However, I am willing to bet that there is a greater probability that you will end up a miserable, childless, over the hill woman who blames every man on the planet for not being good enough for her while failing to recognize her own faults before I end up a miserable old man.  You have repeatedly demonstrated that you are haughty beyond belief.   That is a very unattractive quality in a woman.  Your requirements for a man as so far over the top that no one will ever be good enough.  I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall reading that you have divorced more than one time.  If that is true, it is unbelievable for an educated woman your age.  Before you start throwing stones, you need to be absolutely certain that you are not living in a glass house.

         

         

         

         

        1. Stacy2

          I do not have trust issues.  Experience has taught me that trust needs to be earned.

          That literally is an example of an oxymoron. Yes, if you believe that trust needs to be “earned”, you do have trust issues. By definition.

          Further, nobody owes you to “earn” your trust, and no quality well-adjusted woman will be sticking around “earning” a trust of a person too damaged by his prior life experiences to meet for drinks without a background check. Who needs that? Do you think quality women need to take that? No, they don’t. Trust should be given until lost, not “earned”. If you approach your dating life like this, no wonder it is not working out for you. Literally, you’re doing all you can to scare away the very same women who you’d presumably like to date. Do what you wish with this information.

          And, I may well end up alone, but far from miserable. My self worth has no connection to what men think of me (though I have never had a shortage of suitors so there’s that). However, there’s nothing sadder than alienating your own children by your neurotic drive to control their lives, and this is exactly what you’d said you’d do. If you want them to visit you in the that nursing home, i wouldn’t investigate their boyfriends. Just saying. But it is your life so… good luck with all that

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          Do you think quality women need to take that?

          They absolutely have to take it if they want to meet me.  There are no exceptions.   If you think that I am the only guy who searches for information on his dates, you are sadly mistaken.  It is a very common practice.  I am willing to bet that you have met men who have at leas attempted to do the same thing to you.

          The reality is that if I want to meet a woman badly enough, I will give her my surname, and ask her to case search me.   I have nothing to hide.  Only people who have something to hide get their panties in bunch when they discover that someone did their homework before asking them out.

          As far as checking up on my daughter’s boyfriends, well, if you think that I am the only father who is conducting these kinds of searches, you need to come out of your cave.  Every father that I know keeps tabs of his daughter’s activity on the Internet and who they date.  It is a father’s responsibility to keep his daughters safe.  I have been a guy my entire life.  I know what kind of stunts guys pull, and if you believe that teenage girl is any kind of match for twentysomething guy, you are delusional.   She will not know what hit her until it is over.

          I do not need a woman to make me happy.  I have the luxury of not having to have another relationship as long as I live because I have my family.   My daughters know that I am protective father.  They also know that I am the one man they can trust to be there unconditionally when they need him.   That is the beauty of being an older father.

          This whole discussion comes down to the fact that you hate the idea that a guy would do a little homework before asking a woman out.  As I mentioned above, I can assure you that I am not the only man who performs a background search before agreeing to meet a woman.   It is so common that articles are written about it.   There does to be a double standard when it comes to Googling.  It is okay for women to do it, but not men. 🙂

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/31/googling-dates_n_3684909.html

           

           

        3. Callie

          YAG: “I have nothing to hide.”

          Except literally everything. You don’t even post pictures of yourself to Facebook. You leave nothing online to be found. “Here’s my last name, go ahead and search” but you have put such effort to make sure you are invisible online that such a task will end up coming up empty. And you know it. So you set them up for a task you know they will fail as if you are offering a quid pro quo “Of course you can search for me as I searched for you, that’s only fair, here let me give you my last name” – As if it proves you trustworthy but you know they won’t find anything so it’s actually you just playing a game. Having yet more power of them. Again.

          You literally hide everything. If you actually had nothing to hide you wouldn’t care if you left bread crumbs all over the internet. Because when people found them they wouldn’t lead to anything bad. They’d just find out maybe that you had some kids, you went on vacation last year, and where you worked. Nothing to hide means there are things to be found that aren’t a big deal. Not that you’ve hidden everything so well they can’t find stuff.

        4. Stacy2

          @YAG:

          They absolutely have to take it if they want to meet me.  There are no exceptions. 

          Apparently, you don’t even realize that there’s only a handful of men out there who can say this with a straight face. The likes of Price Harry and Elon Musk come to mind.  Reality check: you are an over 50 yo guy with tons of baggage and deep emotional issues. This isn’t a knock on you, simply stating the fact. Why would any quality woman want to jump through your hoops and earn your trust? I understand that that’s what you want, but why would they want to do it? The ability to look at issues from other people’s perspective is helpful sometimes. The only ones who’d do it, are the women who have no other options. Those would not be the ones you’d want to date. So there you have yourself boxed in. But by all means stay there, have the last word.

          If you think that I am the only guy who searches for information on his dates, you are sadly mistaken. 

          I am not sure why you think I think that. I don’t. Just because there’re other people like that, doesn’t mean that it isn’t crazy, controlling, or indicative of issues. People with issues outnumber the ones without. Its weeding these kinds out what dating is about. Cheers.

  16. 16
    ScottH

    I just saw on NBC News tonight that college admissions officers google applicants.  Who’s going to be the first to say that it’s not the same thing?

    1. 16.1
      Marika

      Enjoy your date. Let us know how it goes!!

      1. 16.1.1
        ScottH

        It went pretty well.  She wasn’t very warm and flirty and came across as very businesslike but is interested in getting together again and I’ll see her just to see if anything grows out of it.  I did meet someone at a meetup a few days ago and we really hit it off.  She was very cute and flirty, her body language made her interest crystal clear, we had really great conversation, and I can’t stop thinking about her but she lives 2 hrs away and is a retired snowbird.  I’m tempted to contact her.

        That’s quite an exchange between YAG and Stacy2.  I’m running out of popcorn here…

        1. Marika

          Give her another chance for sure, Scott. You met on a Monday night, right? It’s hard sometimes for women to do the 180 from professional lady to feminine dating goddess. But contact the other chick too – why not!

          Hehe! I’m team Stacy2 the whole way here. Her choice of wording is bit harsh for me, but Mr background checks needs to get a serious grip on what’s reasonable behaviour!!

        2. Emily, the original

          Marika,

          but Mr background checks needs to get a serious grip on what’s reasonable behaviour!!

          I’d be fairly certain that mistrusting energy bleeds through in his  interactions with his date.

    2. 16.2
      Stacy2

      The last 2 companies I worked for had explicit policy prohibiting hiring managers from “googling” job candidates. All background checks were done by companies specializing in such research, with explicit consent from candidates and that included “social media check” whatever the hell that was.

      Perhaps think about why large employers have these policies now. They don’t want hiring managers making biased decisions based on information that could be wrong, outdated, one sided or plainly irrelevant.

  17. 17
    Marika

    Good point, Callie. Also, YAG, if you have so little respect for privacy and value personal safety and security as paramount, where do you draw the line? If a woman says she agrees with your stance on researching a person but doesn’t have your data mining skills (or feels there’s an imbalance as you’ve hidden your online info), so instead she’d like you to provide a few character references before drinks & appetizers, is that okay? Is it okay if she follows you home to double check you didn’t lie about your address? Or to work to check you weren’t lying about that? Or call the tax office to check on your pay and whether you lied on your last tax return? Maybe call your ex to ask how amicable the divorce was?

    If you think that sounds ridiculous or intrusive, guess what, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    1. 17.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      Let’s start with the idea of privacy.  Privacy is limited to private information.  I am working with publicly available information.  Anyone who believes that he/she is entitled to privacy on the Internet is a fool.  I learned a long time ago that I was not entitled to privacy on the Internet; therefore, I took steps to limit my presence.  I cannot stop the information brokers from posting publicly available information about me, but I can make it difficult for someone to tie the pieces together, and everyone on this blog can do the same.

      I believe the big point of contention here is that some people believe that they are entitled to privacy on the Internet as well as the fact that some people have an advantage.  My suggestion to those who have a problem with people gleaning information about you is to stop using the Internet or stop posting under your real name.  For Pete’s sake, get the heck off of Facebook and all other forms of social media where photos can be tied to a name.   I have a Facebook account, but my face appears nowhere on my page, and my account is locked down to the general public  (so are the accounts that my daughter’s hold).   Information security starts with the person wishing to keep his/her information private.

      As far as to a lot of what you suggested a woman who does not have data mining skills do, well, she is free to ask for references.  It is my decision to give her references.  I do not have to date her.  If she follows me home without my consent, she is risking being arrested.   If she can do it surreptitiously, she may even earn my respect.  If care about seeing a woman, I will tell her everything, and I do mean everything.  I am talking about to the point of TMI.  I do so because I want her to be able to make an informed decision up front.   I do not want any show stoppers appearing a few weeks into dating her.   I may guard my information in public, but you will find very few men who are as open as me behind closed doors.  It is very difficult for me to lie, so I do not do it.   The problem is that most people are not open up front, so I do what I need to do to improve the decisions that I make.

       

      1. 17.1.1
        Stacy2

        I believe the big point of contention here is that some people believe that they are entitled to privacy on the Internet as well as the fact that some people have an advantage

        No, this isn’t the point. Public data is public data, obtaining it is legal, period, and nobody disputes that. Further, nobody has an “advantage”. Everybody can type a name in google and a bunch of court/address etc. and cross check relationships that come up. Absolutely everybody with a computer and a functioning internet connection is on the level playing field. You want to make it sound like it is some sort of special skill, it is not. It doesn’t make you “smarter” than anybody else, just more neurotic.

        The point of contention is whether it is healthy to be engaging in such behavior prior to meeting someone for a drink, and what personality traits it is indicative of.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy2

          A lot of people can Google someone given his/her first and surname, but things get much more complicated when one is starting with only a person’s alleged first name, age, and where they live.   Concretely identifying a person’s surname can be difficult when one does not know how search algorithms work as well as being familiar with data mining techniques.  Sure, some people get lucky, but the ability to consistently turn those three attributes into a known person can be an art form.   My ex used to be astonished at how I could find people on the Internet in less than an hour that she had be searching for for months.  These were people with very common first plus surname combinations (e.g., John Smith, good luck with that one).

      2. 17.1.2
        Marika

        How about this, YAG. Next time, tell the woman what you’re doing before you do it. It’s only fair. “Hey Lucy. Looking forward to meeting you, but before we do I always perform thorough background checks. It will all be publicly available information, but I’m quite skilled at finding out extensive information about people, including, but not limited to current and previous addresses, details of your divorce and settlement, etc, etc (fill in the blanks). I do this all the time and never meet anyone before doing so. Is that okay with you? You can try Googling me, and here’s my last name, but I’ve been very careful online and you won’t find much.”

        If she’s fine with it, go for your life.

        1. Callie

          This sounds like a solid plan, I like it. I don’t see why YAG would have any issue with doing that, in fact if she says no then it spares him from having to do all that work because he wouldn’t want to be with someone who would have a problem with that. Also it gives the woman an opportunity to decide if she likes and trusts him enough to have him have all that information and she can decide if she too wants to go forward with everything.

        2. Nissa

          That sounds fair. Here’s hoping that YAG will notice that the bulk of women here find it off-putting, and re-evaluate this as a dating tool, at least for dates you’ve been seeing less than a month.

           

  18. 18
    Nissa

    Also, no one else is fooling around in the parking lot at Starbucks? I really am an outlier. :-).

    Seriously, though, there are only rules if we MAKE rules. I see people saying, you can’t have intimacy at Starbucks. Not me. I can have intimacy in a private place or in a crowd. For me, intimacy is about intention to share one’s self, whether it’s verbally, physically or emotionally. If we want to display a behavior, location or circumstance doesn’t matter. That seems awfully self limiting. Of course, one wants to be courteous to others, but to claim it’s not possible seems not accurate.

    1. 18.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Nissa,

       

      You make out in a Starbucks parking long?  Now, that is a first. 🙂

    2. 18.2
      ScottH

      I’ve had a couple of very hot makeout sessions in parking lots.  Not at Starbucks and not out in the open but between 2 cars and with a wall in front blocking that view.  Someone would have had to be directly behind us to see anything and I sure didn’t care.  Neither did she.  That was really good stuff and on a first (and only) date too.   The other time it was kind of in the open but at night.  What’s wrong with that?  It was the same parking lot too.  No wonder I like that restaurant.

      1. 18.2.1
        Emily, the original

        “I’ve had a couple of very hot makeout sessions in parking lots.”

        You’d be surprised what you can get away with at work, too.

        1. ScottH

          You have to be careful getting your meat where you get your bread from.  It took me 3 times to figure that out.  I’m a slow learner  😉

        2. Emily, the original

          ScottH,

          You have to be careful getting your meat where you get your bread from.

          True. I have one like that at my current job and I HATE running into him. It’s probably best to wait until you’re about 3 weeks away from leaving and changing jobs. If things go badly, you never have to see the person again!  🙂

      2. 18.2.2
        Nissa

        Why is there no like button on these?  :-). I remember being really sad when I figured out that my then-husband didn’t want to have sex anywhere but the bedroom after we had been together a while. For me, that should be the best part of being in a long term couple – you don’t have to be careful, you can be your authentic self in all ways, including intimacy. I missed make outs in random places, kissing in dark corners and caresses over a romantic dinner.

        Of course, that is not the best way to make friends with your in laws. My future mother in law was mad for years about the events that occurred after my ex’s father’s funeral. I don’t know why she didn’t understand that my ex felt a lot better after that, he needed some cheering up.

  19. 19
    french7suzi

    As usual, Stacey2 is handing their ass who people who deserve it. Well played:). I am also a tech professional who makes 6 figures. I am not licensed. I always google people before I meet them just to see if there are any glaring lies on their profile. With all the data aggregators out there, it is incredibly easy to do in less than 2 minutes.

    However, I’d NEVER admit this to anyone I met.

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