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When it comes to moving on as a mom, how much digging is enough? (LONG)

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Posting about a related/unrelated topic. Those of you who know me know how nasty my marriage, divorce, and custody battle has been. I'm still waiting on a ruling on my appeal to finalize custody (next round of opinions come out tomorrow but who knows if it'll be decided this year), but I'm confident - based on the oral arguments - in a positive outcome. Since that hearing, I have felt like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders somehow, and like there may be a chance at some finality after 3.5 years of chaos.

I have been focused so much on the legal battle and the problems that my son has been having that I haven't really had time to do a whole lot of "me." I have dated two people since my separation/divorce - and both were total disasters. The first was a wolf in sheep's clothing - seemed sweet at first, turned out to be completely insanely jealous and had a terrible mean streak, just like my ex. The second seemed a bit like a rom com - wealthy playboy type but total closet romantic, musician, who got involved very quickly and pushed to try to make things serious (huge red flag). Told me he was separated for several years, finalizing his divorce because as a business owner there was a lot of money and complications. Turns out - while I saw the divorce filings and receipts for payments to lawyers - the wife thought they were still happily married....even though she knew about the lawyers....even though he had moved was a level of crazy that I didn't have the bandwidth to try to wrap my head around and so, even though he was kind and sweet and romantic, I wrote it off as soon as I found out she wasn't clear on their relationship status.

So, because of those two disasters and my marriage, I kind of decided I'm done for awhile. A long time ago (like a year ago) a friend had come over one night my son was with his dad and she kind of half-joking made me an online dating profile. And I get spam from it all the time, but I never click on anything. Anyhow - about a week ago, I had a slow day at work, my son was at his dad's house, and I got one of the emails from them. Decided to click just out of curiosity. I got messages from the typical 3 groups of online dating guys - the creepy ones or really old ones, the muscle-bound meatheads who look like they live at the gym and are looking for random hookups, the divorcees or those going through divorces who are panicking about being alone or who want to get back at their exes. Then I got a message from someone who seemed normal, and I replied.

He's a year older than I am. He's a contractor who owns a company that operates out of two cities - one up North, where he's from, one down in the Keys, where he lives now. He's working with FEMA to help rebuild after Irma (which is near and dear to my heart, I love the Keys and they were absolutely devastated), and he's working with his brother and business partner to get volunteer labor and donated materials to the retirees down there who can't rebuild themselves and who can't afford the costs. He also runs a lot of the Habitat for Humanity projects in the area (so, do-gooder). He gave me his first name when he introduced himself and sent me a link to his website (I work in tech, so it took about 15 seconds to run a "Whois" search and get all of his information - full name, address, etc). I looked him up online and everything he has said checks out - I saw the fundraiser page for the building materials, I can verify all the places he says he's lived, his family members, etc. I feel like a stalker - to an extent - but I have never met someone online, and I've heard horror stories of people who get catfished and end up with crazy stalkers or worse.

He has been divorced 3 years, no kids but a bunch of nieces and nephews (he made a big point of telling me how he's the "cool uncle"), wife allegedly cheated on him and left him for one of his friends. He says he doesn't really drink (a HUGE no no for me). He says he's a homebody who focuses on work and family. He's smart - and he's funny - and we have a lot in common (music, movies, books, hobbies, etc). It seems silly, but my best friends and I have a running meme war going (for years now) - we group message each other randomly with whatever funny meme relates to our day, and we end up going back and forth (e.g., if it's a bad day at work it'll be work memes - someone starts and we all chime in). I've never met anyone else so, I don't know, into that kind of thing. I used to send some of the funny ones to the musician and he would say "You guys have too much time on your hands." This guy? He fires right back - or he'll send something so funny out of the blue that I'll burst out laughing during a conference call for work. He also loves Daily Odd Compliment (if you don't know what that is - Google image search it, but only if you have an hour to spare) - which is one of my favorite humor accounts. 

Now he wants to have dinner when my son goes to his dad's house after Christmas. Actually, he wanted to have lunch today but I said no because I have my son (he responded saying that he would be more than happy to treat us both, and I told him that as a responsible mom I had no intention of taking my child to meet someone I met on the internet, but he seemed to be just being nice, or not understanding the kid wall because he has no kids of his own). I did a background check (no criminal record that I could find), I looked up what I could find about him online, and he doesn't sound like he's a lunatic or homicidal maniac. But I still have this sort of feeling, like "If he's interested in me there must be SOMETHING wrong with him and I just haven't found it yet." Have any of you met someone through any of these sites? If so, what research/digging did you do before meeting the person face to face? My 2 best girlfriends are actually demanding that I go, and they don't like ANYONE I've ever brought around (including my ex-husband). 

by on Dec. 19, 2017 at 10:01 PM
Replies (31-31):
by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2017 at 7:13 AM

I feel like you are overthinking this, have a coffee or a drink with him, see if there's any sparks, that's the only way to tell. In my case, 9 times out of 10 I'm not interested or he's not. Take some normal precautions but remember that most people are decent humans and you may end up with a new friend, if not a lover.

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