Dating in Columbus: A Series: Episode 2: Smooth Criminal

(Michael Jackson – taken from Google)

Never judge a book by its cover.

When someone looks like Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford, Paul Rudd, or JFK Jr. – admire the beauty and keep walking….

I will admit I wasn’t sure how the dating game was gonna go. I joined Bumble and there are lots of options. Many profiles are exciting and the pictures make you smile or laugh or sometimes … cringe.

When a person shows multiple aspects of their life – like professional, travel, sports, friends, daily, or gym pics…. Smiles.. with teeth.. at least you know they have them and the more aspects, the better.

I swiped right because this guy had personality, energy, and a great smile. This combined with friends, pictures on vacation – figured we would have something to talk about.

The profile mentioned relationship and friendship so this seemed like a decent bet. I swiped and he had already liked my profile so I sent the typical – hi text and he responded back with a dissertation of fun things about himself and really had that elevator speech down.

I think it is good if you are a guy to share a bit about yourself, ask a few questions in it and basically have a conversation right off the bat. Your writing, word usage, and the balance of what makes you great and your interest in the other person matters.

When I say hi and a person just replies with “hi” – it’s like a wasted opportunity and to be honest with 950 people waiting within 3 hours who have expressed interest – you just lost out to your competition.

Conversations with strangers can be remotely entertaining and can also share real people’s feelings, emotions, and can give you a real picture into what they want.

So after Ken, the guy I swiped on was a Gatsby dream – just easy on the eyes and JFK Jr looks with a kind face. Again, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Over the next few days, messages talking of childhood, adulthood, personality type, religion and politics. This guy was smooth and talked with ease.

After lots of conversation on the app, suggests we meet. Based on a conversation of religion, asked if I would be up for meeting at mass and walking to dinner close by. It was unique but why not?

So he sent a pin drop of the closest parking lot and planned to meet about 15 mins before mass! Perfect.

About an hour later, I had a gut wrenching feeling that something was off… nothing was said, nothing was done but just felt completely off and that something was wrong. I texted to get his last name and then ….

There it was ….

Smooth Criminal

I Google thinking it will be maybe a surprise wedding he didn’t mention or a sports picture or something but didn’t plan on what I found.

So – I will be completely honest – in the dating world, just be honest. I am divorced 2 times and it is what it is. I do want kids and I have a few speeding tickets. That’s it.. I mean I have had relationships, amazing travels, and traits that are – what they are.

It’s Me, Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me.

I will not apologize for who I am. I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I sleep at night just fine. I also know that dating is hard and harder now than it’s ever been.

So .. you want to know what I found out…

Websites you should know: LinkedIn, Criminal and Civil Courts for the County you live in, Spokeo, Google, PeekYou. You get the hint.

And if they moved here recently – look it up in the home state and the places they have lived – this is critical to safety and knowledge.

This attractive, professional with a Graduate Degree has convictions of assault and battery against women in another state and his family had gang affiliation with crime where many members went to prison. (Crimes were all felonies) again – out of state. (Bank robbery, arson, missing body, wire taps, drugs)

So how does this person work at a reputable company with this record? I don’t know.

No one can help the family they were born into however if there is a lot within a Google search you should probably mention it.

I don’t know why he wanted to go to church maybe to confess his sins before harming me or to gain trust and credibility – either way, trust your gut. Thank your angels and know you need to pay attention out there.

So, you might ask – what did I do… I blocked him on my phone, deleted the app, deleted him from access and moved on.

It’s important to do your homework and if you are reading this and made a mistake in life – just own it. The truth will come out and any explanation would have been better than this pile of surprises.

I don’t typically ghost anyone but this deserved a disappearing act.

Stay tuned .. next episode Hot Tub Hottie

Wrapping up this episode with the song Smooth Criminal in mind.


A travel, home, & lifestyle blog written by Heidi Stevenson. Follow along for affordable ways to travel, sophisticated and savvy style, expensive looks for less for the home, and everyday style



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  1. 1.18.23
    Leslie said:

    I met my husband on I felt safe meeting him because he was a teacher- background checked already! 🥰

    • 1.18.23
      trendywithapassport said:

      Love that! Definitely need to consider more educators…thanks for the advice