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Long-Distance Romance Shocker

I recently read a “Dear Abby” column that contained a letter from a single mother who developed a connection with a man who lived across the country. He seemed to want her to move to be with him but she hesitated to relocate her kids for someone she didn’t know very well. (Smart thinking!)

She ultimately was relieved she listened to her gut because she later found out that he was a registered sex offender. She asked Abby if there was a way to screen prospective dates without them finding out. There are, in fact, background check services for daters, but usually a simple Internet search can tell you what you want to know about criminal convictions. Of course, that only reveals part of the picture — it does NOT tell you anything about the substance of the person’s character!

Abby advised her that dating is a process of trial-and-error (I agree) and that it’s better to meet men through personal introductions, volunteer groups, or in mutual interest activities. Again, sound advice. Take your time getting to know someone. And if you’re not sure HOW to make those personal introductions happen, WHERE to volunteer, or if you’re new to your area and not sure what special interest activities are available, a dating coach/strategist can likely help.

We can also help you formulate some good, probing (but not offensive) questions you can weave into the conversation as you’re getting to know someone so you can find out if they’re a quality person — a person of integrity — or are hiding something from their past, like the guy in the story above. The idea is to strike a balance between asking thoughtful, personal questions without sounding like you’re interrogating your date. If you’d like to work with me to develop some strategies for how to do this, let me know: Don’t waste your time and your heart on creeps!

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