When I was 27 years old, I met a cute guy that lived across the hall from me in my apartment building. He was a lawyer working as an associate in a midtown law firm. One night over drinks I asked him where he went to law school. He quickly said Penn and changed the subject.
A few weeks later I picked up the mail from my mail box. My mail delivery was so predictable that I didn’t even bother to look at the front of the envelopes. So I was confused when I tore open one and inside was a receipt from a jeweler for $5,000 purchase. I flipped the envelope over and realized that it had been mistakenly dropped in my mail box. It wasn’t addressed to me.
It was addressed to my buddy across the hall.
I knocked on his door and got no answer. I slid the envelope under his door with a note explaining the mistake. I didn’t sign it. By chance we happened to be in the laundry room together one evening. I told him that I was the one who accidentally opened his mail and apologized. His indignant reaction only added fuel to my suspicion.
A year later I became friendly with the girl who took his apartment. She, too, was a lawyer. One day she was introduced to another woman. She told the new acquaintance where she lived and the woman looked shocked. She knew the guy who lived there before her. They went to law school together.
And it wasn’t Penn.
I learned from my new neighbor that the guy I had been hooking up with not only lied about where he went to Law School, but about having a girlfriend. He was currently engaged. And that receipt? You guessed it. It was for an engagement ring.
Times Have Changed
There was only one time that I felt compelled to do a little recon work on a man who had shown interest in me. We had met online. He replied to a profile I had posted to a then popular dating site. He was 25. I was 38.
What did he want with me?
That’s the question I believe compels most women to go down the Google rabbit hole.
Misguided Private Investigating?
A woman recently wrote me and was quite proud of herself for discovering the arrest record of a man she had met on Match.com. All he gave her was his first name and work phone number. She traced the number to his company’s website where she went through the employee directory and found the man’s last name. From there it was a quick tour of Google. She said that a little voice in her head encouraged her to learn more about this man before meeting him. Up until that point, in her words, she thought “Great Looking guy on Match….smooth, Hermes ties, great neighborhood, all the right credentials, very interested, bla, bla” I continued to press this woman for more details because, well, there’s always more to these stories. I learned that she was well into her sixties. And he, well, wasn’t. He was much younger than she was.
Another woman wrote in to share her story of how she met the charming (they’re always charming) wealthy entrepreneur.
I met a guy at the local bar in my neighborhood a week ago today. His name is Jeff. He came over to where me and a male friend were sitting and engaged in our conversation. After a short time my friend left and Jeff and I carried on…then he started to tell me how sexy I was and asked me if I knew how sexy I was. He also asked if I was a good kisser and that I had sexy lips. This made me uncomfortable and gave me a gut feeling he was a player. He walked me to my car and kissed me and we talked about going out on a date. He then gave his business card and asked me to text him so he would have my number. Every day after that he would text me and tell me how sexy I was and still I was uncomfortable but still interested because he is really drop dead gorgeous and a nice dresser which I love. And the sexy texts continued. Saturday I had plans to attend a fundraiser and he was going deep sea fishing with his buddies on his 40 ft yacht…later I looked up his company that had his business history on it and found out he had sold a former business for 175 million!!! I was like this guy is too good to be true.
The Devil is in the Bla Blas
What do they see in us?
What did these two men see in these women? Was it really their sexy lips and personalities?
Or do these guys tend to gravitate towards women below their weight class knowing they will be easier to bamboozle?
In both of these examples, the women knew something about these men was disingenuous. Yet they continued to engage these guys. The second woman ignored all the red flags. Even her own internal warning system couldn’t stop her from seeing this man who eventually led her to his boat, made mad passionate love to her, and then never saw her again.
In each case, the women involved (including me) knew that the men showering them with attention could probably do better. But we wanted to believe that these smooth, handsome, sophisticated guys saw something special in us. Oh, they did. They saw insecurity. Maybe even a desperation to feel beautiful and desired.
That younger guy that responded to my dating profile? He didn’t randomly find my profile on that dating site. I figured out well after our relationship ended that he knew who I was all along. He had read my blog, learned of the site where I had a profile and intentionally sought me out. I knew in my heart that his interest wasn’t genuine. But it felt so good to feel wanted. That was something I hadn’t felt in some time. My own loneliness and insecurity had left me vulnerable. The lesson I took from that experience was to embrace and accept my dating audience.
It’s important for women to understand that there are always going to be men out there who will punch below their weight class in exchange for a good ego stroke or relatively effortless sexual encounter. They’ll turn on their charm and amp up the mystery with the intention of getting us intrigued, maybe even intrigued enough to scour the internet looking for clues to who they really are.
I’m not suggesting that women should forego the now traditional trip through Google before meeting a date. I realize why people do it. I just wonder if some women truly understand why they do it for certain men. Unless you’re prepared to bid someone adieu, it’s pointless to analyze their digital footprint.
There’s no need to catch someone in the act. Your gut should be all the verification you need.