Dating in high school was really easy because there was no such thing as someone random that you couldn’t get dirt on. Even if he went to another school, you just called up your friend of a friend over at St. Christopher’s and she’d be like, “Oh, Peter? He got in trouble for hovering near Rachel’s locker all the time, and he sniffs glue on the weekends and whispers his mom’s name when he thinks no one’s paying attention.” Enough said. He’s a weirdo. Then, once we got out of high school, we used the same investigative tricks in college. Ooh, college… good times. College was crazy, right?! Fine, I never went to college. Moving on…
Then you would meet someone you liked at work, and so you’d ask Jen over in marketing what the deal was with him. She’d be like, “Oh, Ben? Well, his fiancé just broke up with him and so he’s been trying to make her jealous with another girl, but most of the girls here are friends with her so they won’t go out with him, and his fiancé thinks he’s just been acting so desperate that she won’t talk to him anymore.” Okay, Ben’s a no go. Thanks for the useful tip. Close call. Dodged that bullet.
But then one day you’re innocently standing at a juice bar, ready to drink all the vegetables that smell bad in their solid form and this guy hits on you. He sees the whole healthy person connection and goes for it. He seems normal. He seems nice. He’s tall – which is great for baby making – and most importantly, he is holding a container of raw kale. I don’t even know what that means, but I feel like it means he’s got his s**t together. He seems to be amazing, he seems perfect; if you knew his last name, you would say it after your first name and see if they sound good together. Yeah, dudes, we really do that. The only thing you don’t know about him is THE TRUTH. He’s not telling you about what he types into the search bar of his favorite porn site. He’s not telling you that he plans on naming his first son “Warrior”, that he has a girl in his phone listed as “Wife This Bitch” or that AIM username is DeesNuts69. Unless you know someone who knows him, or his Facebook page is incredibly public and filled with hourly updates, you won’t know these things until it’s too late. Not too late like you marry him, but too late like you’re seen in public with him on a date where you’re actually taking him seriously.
Any guy you are considering going on a date with needs to come with a referral. We just can’t trust ourselves to make the call. Our instincts are so messy when a guy is being all smooth and offering to pay for stuff. If they aren’t on any of the obvious social networks, then Google can be helpful. Start with the sites that identify sexual predators and work your way from there. If you can’t find anything concrete, then remember the rule: “Always assume the worst.” Just kidding, that’s my secret motto, not my public one.