Man furious when woman he met on a dating app visits his neighbor in secret to investigate him before their first date

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a man who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

How far should a woman go to vet someone she met on the internet? One woman showed up unannounced and uninvited to the home of her online love interest's neighbor, and it ruined any chance they had of romance.

According to eHarmony: "Online dating statistics show that 20% of those in current, committed relationships began online." One might think an online dating app would be a solid place to meet a potential mate. That's exactly what an acquaintance of mine thought. So he was hopeful when he started chatting with a young woman online because he thought it just might lead to a satisfying relationship in real life.

They met on an online dating app. He was twenty-nine years old, and she was nineteen. They chatted for a few weeks before exchanging phone numbers and began texting each other every day. They made plans to meet in person, but she always had an excuse not to meet up with him. He was patient, though, and he thought she was worth the wait.

She wasn't sure if she should give him a chance. Ten years can seem like a massive age gap when you're that young. Nonetheless, she agreed to go on a date with him.

Unbeknownst to him, the young lady found his address on the Internet, drove to his street, knocked on his neighbor's door, and peppered the neighbor with questions about him. She asked the neighbor whether it was a good idea for her to date an older man, specifically the man who lived next door.

What do you think of the young woman's actions? Do you think she was being cautious or intrusive?

While one can't fault a woman for being cautious, why she chose to interrogate a stranger about a stranger is baffling. As luck would have it, the two men barely knew each other. They didn't even exchange glances or greetings when they passed each other on the street.

What did the neighbor tell the teenage girl who showed up on his doorstep to ask whether it was a good idea for her to date the man next door? He had two words of advice: "Be careful."

After completing her due diligence, she told her potential date about what she'd done and learned. He was furious and horrified. He told her she was crossing a line and that he never wanted to see her again.

They had one date in the real world, but that date was mostly consumed with discussing her discussion with the neighbor. It didn't go well. In the end, they decided not to follow through with their budding online romance.

The man felt she had made him look bad, predatory even, in front of the neighbor. He may have been correct. It was a strange situation.

He was disinterested in a young woman who would appear on his neighbor's doorstep without warning and pepper him with questions. She felt taken aback by the neighbor's single comment: "Be careful."

Did they ever stand a chance at developing a relationship? Either way, they'll never know. What started out as a potential love story ended with two potential partners never speaking to each other again.

Have you ever Googled someone you were interested in dating? If so, what did you find out? Would you consider doing a background check on someone before going out with them? Is that the same or different from showing up on your potential date's neighbor's doorstep with a list of questions?

What would you have done if you were in the neighbor's shoes? Would you have been as forthcoming with advice as he was, or would you have shut the door in the young lady's face? Let me know in the comments.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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