Phil the Philanthropist: My Latest Fail in the Crazy World of Online Dating
I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, or not so innocent! I have a habit of saving guys names in my phone with their first name (since I sometimes don’t know their last name) and some fact about them. This helps me keep them straight if I’m talking to more than one person, which let’s be honest, isn’t usually a problem. When I first started doing this I met several guys whose name and job started with the same letter (Carl the Coach, Adam the Audiologist) so I’ve just kept the alliteration trend going!
I met Phil online, and after talking for a couple days he asked to meet up for dinner.
We met at a new bar not far from my house. Dinner went pretty well. The conversation flowed easily. There were a couple awkward moments, but nothing out of the ordinary for a first date.
After dinner it seemed like he wanted to talk more but we couldn’t think of a place where we could go to get dessert. He suggested that we drive across the street to the grocery store, get ice cream and just sit and eat in his truck.
I had a pretty good feeling about him and felt pretty sure he wouldn’t murder me so I agreed. He also was really short so I didn’t think I could beat him up, but I felt confident I could put up a good fight if he turned out to be a serial killer. I inconspicuously checked my purse to make sure I had mace and jumped in his truck!
While we were eating ice cream he opened up a bit more and said a few things that made me pause for a minute a wonder if he really was the person he claimed to be online. He seemed controlling, insincere and didn’t seem to have the morals I would expect of someone who said they were a committed Christian. Several of his statements honestly just shocked me and made me wonder if I’d need to use my mace.
I decided I would have to do a little more research on him when I got home.
When I meet a guy online, I usually try to look them up online, just to confirm that they are who they say they are.
There’s a fine line to this though. If you look up too much information your first date can be awkward since you’re constantly trying not to reference things that he didn’t tell you and you found out online. Knowing all kinds of information can also make it hard for you to be engaged on a first date. I mean how interested are you going to be in hearing about his backpacking trip to Europe when you looked at 300 pictures of it on his Facebook last night.
I would recommend looking people up though at least to make sure the basic points of their story ring true. LinkedIn is a great way to do this! You can confirm his name and that he works where he says he does, without being tempted to look through all the pictures of his ex. I’ve heard you can use LinkedIn to network for work as well, but I really only use it for fact checking before first dates!
Anyway, moving on with the Phil story.
He said his last name really quickly so I couldn’t really understand what he said. He was kind of mumbling as well so I didn’t even have a guess as to what letter his last name even started with.
Did I let that deter my search? Absolutely not!
I’ll tell you what, when I am on a mission to find out more information I will stop at nothing! I once met a guy on a cruise and found his Facebook using only the information that his name was Dave and he lived in Tampa Bay. Do you know how many guys named Dave live in Tampa Bay? A lot.
Anyway, once I’m on a mission, I’m tough to stop. During our date he had told me he was on the board of a charitable foundation, but he didn’t tell me which one. I decided I would just Google his first name and the words board member. It took a little digging, but I was able to find him and figure out his last name.
Once I had a name I typed it straight into Google. The results were surprising to say the least!
He apparently had really upset some woman in his past. When I searched for his name, I got results of several websites where this woman was recounting his horrible behavior toward her and how he could not be trusted.
I wanted to give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt. What if he had just gone out with one legitimately crazy chick and she posted all kinds of nonsense about him after they broke up?
Naturally, I went to Facebook to see if there was any more information there. He didn’t have a Facebook page so the first result that came up was his ex-wife, and wouldn’t you know his ex-wife writes a blog.
I literally couldn’t contain my curiosity! His ex had recounted the entire story of their divorce on her blog. The lies, the cheating, the emotional abuse. She didn’t recount the details in a vengeful tone, like she was seeking payback. Instead her words were those of a broken wife who had done everything possible to save her marriage, but to no avail.
My heart instantly broke for her, for what he had put her through.
Since I already had mounting concerns about him, her story was pretty much enough to make me decide that Phil and I would not work out as a couple.
If I had real feelings for Phil, or saw a desire in him to grow in Christ, I would’ve continued to talk to him. I would’ve proceeded with caution, but I wouldn’t have written him off.
That’s the downside to looking up people online before you meet them. Sometimes you get an inaccurate view of them, and that can be tough to overcome.
I think as women we just always want to know as much as possible. It’s our selfish desire to be all knowing like God is. I routinely have to check myself, and pump the breaks a bit when I find myself desperate for more information.
I would encourage anyone using online dating to find out enough about any dates to make sure you’re safe, but to leave some mystery. That’s half the fun of first dates is getting to know someone new!