Who’s Who On the Internet?

by Yvonne Chase on January 25, 2013

Dumped After Eight Days
I just read a bizarre story about a woman suing a top Internet dating site.  The headline read, woman suing Match.com for $10 million after a man she met on the site tried to kill her with a butcher knife and stomped on her head when she dumped him after eight days. According to the story, “Mary Kay Beckman, 50, met Wade Ridley on the site in 2010 but when she ended their courtship after eight days; Mr. Ridley stabbed her with a butcher knife ten times and stomped on her head.”  What’s bizarre about this to me is using the word courtship and eight days in the same sentence.  Why are you in a courtship with someone after eight days? You don’t know him and he doesn’t know you.  There’s no courtship after eight days!

False Sense of Security
Mary Kay says the basis of the lawsuit is the advertising that is utilized by Match.com, lulling women and men into a false sense of security.  She says the dating site misled her into thinking that she would end up in ‘a stable and loving relationship with another member.’  Instead, she ended up with a man ‘whose intentions are not to find a mate, but to find victims to kill or rape.’  She’s lucky to be alive!  Look at her…

Brutalized: Since the attack, Beckman had to undergo three head surgeries to repair her jaw, preserve her eyesight and remove a part of her skull

Strange Fruit
While this story is beyond horrific, and I’m sorry this happened, it confirmed what I’ve always known; people don’t know how to date.  Clearly, you do not know how to date if you’re in a courtship after eight days! With the explosion of the TV show Catfish, online daters need to be more careful than ever.

Ax Murderer
Every week, Catfish shows us you can be anything/anyone you want to be on the Internet; an unemployed, grossly overweight person who never leaves the house and desperately needs someone to talk to or in this case an ax murderer.  Less than a month after beating Mary to a pulp, Wade went on to kill Anne-Marie Simpson, another woman he met on Match.com.  He stabbed her to death with a machete and a butcher knife before getting away with her car, jewelry, and electronics.

Rules of Engagement
While I’ve always been a huge fan of online dating and did quite a bit of it circa Catfish with no bad experiences to report, I realize we have to be a lot more careful today. Thankfully SKYPE, Google Hangout, and other technology make it a lot easier to do so.  Below are my fool proof rules of engagement for a successful Internet dating experience every time…

  • Look at pictures closely and read profiles carefully.  Pay attention to inconsistencies.  While some people engage profiles with no picture, I don’t recommend it.   This is the 21st century.  Everyone has the ability to snap a quick picture and add it to their profile.
  • Once you’ve carefully read the profile, looked at the picture/s and exchanged a few emails, talk on the phone.  Listen carefully to what’s being said and not said.  You can tell a lot from a good phone conversation if you pay attention and listen.  I can’t begin to tell you how many face-to-face meetings were instantly aborted after a phone conversation.
  • I always make the first phone call and block my number just in case.  I don’t want him calling me back.  There was a time when I went as far as setting up a Google voice number just to be on the safe side.  I highly recommend doing this plus it’s free.  You can never be too careful.
  • If you like what you hear and nothing sounds off, have a SKYPE video chat to make sure the picture matches the person.
  • If email, phone, and SKYPE are consistent, meet in person immediately.   Don’t wait two years like those crazy people on Catfish.  If the person doesn’t want to meet and has a laundry list of excuses, that’s a big red flag and your cue to exit stage left.
  • Meet in public away from anything connected to you.   Don’t meet in the neighborhood of where you live, work or hang out and be sure to meet in the daytime or early evening.
  • Keep the meeting short and sweet.  No first date dinners or happy hours imbibing alcohol.  Coffee at Starbucks or something a step up is enough.  Your goal here is to make sure all the dots connect not romance.
  • If all goes well and you feel a good vibe, continue to meet in public.  Don’t let him come to your home or place of business and don’t give him your work address or phone number.  If he’s a nutball, those two pieces of information are all he needs to stalk you.
  • Take it slow and always pay attention to your gut.  The minute you feel something just ain’t right, it probably isn’t.  Your gut is always 100% correct.  Listen to it.  While you can meet your match online, you can also meet your maker.

Something to think about…

What say you? Do you think she should get $10 million? How do you feel about Internet dating? Would you do it? Have you done it? Is it something you recommend? How do you think the show Catfish will affect Internet dating?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Share this post if you like it

2. Leave a comment below

P.S. If you’ve never seen Catfish, you can watch the latest episode here then go here to read all the details of this horrific mismatch.

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