Dating: Are You Who You Say You Are?

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WATCH OUT!!!!

Are you who you say you are?

When it comes to these dating websites, thus far, I have pretty much trusted that the person I am conversing with—whether through dating site texting, regular texting or phone calls—is actually the person in the pictures and is telling me the truth on such things as marital status, geography and other key points. 

That trust came crashing to a halt today. 

As I sat by the pool on a warm Sunday afternoon, I received a text from a woman named Donna from a Long Island area code. I live in New Jersey but I have occasionally dated people from the island, though I hate the idea of crossing two bridges ($30 in tolls; sometimes three hours roundtrip travel time) to go on a date. Also, I try to avoid women named Donna as that was my late wife’s name and I find it strange and a bit eerie to date anyone who has the same name as hers. 

I questioned the sender. How do we know each other? (dating site); Which one? (One of them); When did we last talk? (Recently). 

I decided to call the number and, lo and behold, a man answered and said, “Seth, you better stay away from my wife or I will find you and take care of you.” He then hung up. 

Moments later, he called back and we ended up having a decent conversation where he said that this was not the first time his wife had done this and he found my name and cell number, as well as two other men, on a piece of paper, My name had a big star next to it. On one hand, I am flattered…sounds like the wife likes me. Woo hoo! But, on the other hand, I don’t date married women and I am not in the mood to get pummeled by some angry husband. 

The way I see it, one of two things is happening. Either “Donna” is using an alias and is married to this guy and she is talking to me on some site using a made-up story or this guy is concocting a scam to reel me in. Not sure how he would do that, but anything is possible. 

So my word of advice today is be careful who you meet, whether online or in person and do your best job of vetting that person before and after you meet. It is a crazy world out there and, for me at least, it got a little crazier today. Just what I want….ugh.

Even for me, a guy who tends to throw caution to the wind, this was an interesting lesson.

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About Author

Seth Mendelson is the father of two sons, 24 and 21, and lives in Montville, N.J.  He is an award-winning journalist covering business, politics and sports and has been published in such publications as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in addition to his full-time job.

He lost his wife Donna to non-smoking lung cancer in October 2014.

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