I Google the guys I date. Not on the first or second date, but by the third or fourth date, I am typing his name into the search engine hoping I can find their social media accounts.
Yep, I am looking for his Facebook, Instagram, I’ll even Google his email address. Even as I type this I can’t believe that I do this, but I do, and I’ll probably will never stop. I need to know the person he is displaying to his friends, family and the rest of the world is the same person I am getting to know.
And yes, I need to know sooner, rather than later. Why? The last 3 guys I’ve dated have been liars, and I discovered the truth on social media.
Now before you call me crazy or nosy, let me tell you I don’t like doing it. However, I blame the last three guys I have dated because they all lied. Not small lies about their job, or age -- these assholes lied about fiancees and families. Let me tell the story of Nathan, Cameron, and James (yes, the names have been changed) aka, the lying bastards.
Nathan introduced himself to me online, by asking me what kind of pizza I wanted on our first date. My profile listed pizza and beer as my ideal first date, so I knew he took the time to read at least one part of my profile. We met at the mall, and decided to have dinner.
He was 6’6, and over dinner I learned he spoke 3 languages fluently, and was studying for his American citizenship. At 31 years old, Nathan had left his native country to start over in America. It was five years later and he had been to college and had a new career. Admirable, right?
He was very polite,and intelligent, and funny. Of course he had a wife, kids or at least a fiance back home. When I asked, it was No, No, No, across the board!
For three months, we hung out on weekends and days off at his place or my place. A cute martini bar would become “our spot,” and we exchanged gym selfies almost daily.
About six weeks into us dating, he began talking about an upcoming trip he was taking to Europe. He had family there and he and his cousin were taking the train from London to Paris. One day, about 2 weeks before his trip, I was on Facebook and noticed the “contact” tab that matches your phone contacts with Facebook profiles.
As the profiles came up, I saw a familiar name and face -- it was Nathan! Judge me if you must, but I don’t know anyone who could resist looking at the Facebook page of someone they are interested in. I scrolled down a few posts and was ready to click the “Request Friend” button until I saw this comment under a recent picture: “Looking good babe (heart emoji, heart emoji, smiley with heart eyes emoji)."
So I looked at more pics, and they all had similar comments from the same woman.
“Damn it,” I mumbled when I clicked on her page and it was private, but I could see she was in London, England. The same place Nathan would be in a couple of weeks.
I decided not to say anything and just wait for him to post the pictures. Just as I expected, he posted pictures, almost daily, while he was in London and the pictures were all with or of this woman. Sadly the comments under the pictures told me they had been together for years and were recently engaged.
Shortly after relocating to a new state, history would repeat itself. I met 37-year-old Cameron online and only after a few texts, he called me via Facetime. We talked and laughed like we had known each other for months!
He traveled about 70% of the time for work and would be in my city very soon, for about three weeks. We hung out almost every day. We went to dinner, the movies, I blogged while he completed his reports in the evenings. He told me all about his family and even sent me pictures from a family function he went to over the weekend.
Toward the end of the 2nd week, he confessed to me he had spent 5 years in prison. I simply asked “What were the charges?” He told me a long but interesting story of how he ended up being convicted of conspiracy, but added that there were new charges for racketeering and money laundering and that he was facing 15 years. I offered a few words of encouragement and headed home.
As soon I was home, I Googled his first and last name and his home state. The FIRST Google result lead to my me yelling “What THE fuck?” It was a wedding registry and the wedding date was only six months away.
Cameron had told me he never really got into social media once he got out of prison, so I Googled the bride to be. Her Instagram pictures with #weddingcountdown under them, confirmed he was not only engaged, but his wedding was being carefully planned by a bride that was truly in love.
About a year later, I would meet 35-year-old James. I can tell you now that James wasn’t engaged. He told me he had been married and his divorce was final last year. He was a military veteran, a proud father of a boy and a girl, and a bit of a mama’s boy.
He admitted in our exchanges online that his driver's license had been recently suspended due a DUI. He explained that he was ashamed of what happened but he was glad in a way that it happened because it made him change his ways before he hurt himself or someone else.
We had great conversation, and about two weeks later we met for dinner. As we walked into a restaurant near his house, the hostess said “Hey James!” He said hello back. Her next question and his response was a red flag I completely ignored.
She asked “How are the kids?”
He answered “They are good, getting big.”
We sat down, and I just assumed he had been in there a few times with his kids since it was close to his home. Over dinner we talked about religion, our bad dating stories, and he showed me two tattoos on his arm, one for each child, ages 8 & 12. For about six weeks we spent more time together, getting to know each other pretty well.
He asked me to go with him to visit his family for the next holiday, and even cooked for me and set up a surprise candlelight dinner. I was really beginning to like James and I wanted to be sure he was really divorced. Valid concern, right?
I turned to Google to find a record of the divorce. I found no information, so I turned to Facebook. It only took a couple of searches to find his page, and it turns out he was divorced. However, he was also the father of FIVE kids, not two. His own words under a very recent picture, in response to a friend “I have two boys, we tried for a girl and got the triplets, we are done!” The triplets were four years old.
And just like that social media had exposed yet another liar. I was done with him not because he had 5 kids, but simply because lied about his kids before we even met, and that type of man can’t be trusted.
I shared my stories with a couple of friends and the first response was “This is why I don’t do online dating!”
Despite having 3 bad experiences in a row, I don’t think I will ever quit online dating, just like I don’t think I will ever quit “social media stalking.”