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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Dating Diligence

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Due Diligence in Dating

I’m a big fan of courtroom TV. I suppose that it emanates from my former desire to be a paralegal, and also my sense of justice and compassion for the underdog.  And each week, from the ring-side seat in my bedroom, I witness some of the same cases come before a judge for resolution.

Whether I watch Judge Mathis, Christina’s Court, Divorce Court, Judge Judy, Or Judge Alex, it never fails.  Some female is found trying to recover her dignity and lost ass-ets, seized by some sweet talking, skilled lover, who left her high and dry.


Usually it’s the result of not doing her homework, or what I like to call due diligence in dating.

It’s not that I’m unsympathetic.  In a “perfect world” men would hold their own, have honor, and be above lying and swindling.
But, this is PLANET EARTH and this is 2008!

As such, I’m often amazed that women of different races, religions, backgrounds, education, ages, affiliations, and influence are being taken to the “cleaners” because of gullibility.   

Don’t they watch TV, read the news, heed the headlines?

Though I agree that love is sometimes blind (been there done that), it should never be deaf and dumb too!

Horror stories abound of women losing thousands of dollars, businesses, their credit, homes, and other valuables. I don’t quite get it.

Admittedly, I too have been a fool in love.  But, I’ve never been taken for a dime.  Not ever.  The reason?  If a man becomes “financially needy”, I see it as a red flag and potential deficiency in other areas of his life, and I don’t stick around long, if at all! 

Now, don’t get me wrong, if he’s recently lost his job, or is overcoming devastation due to a divorce, that’s a little different.

Upon documented proof, I’ll try to help out in other ways.  Like making home cooked meals to help him with the cost of dating, or perhaps showing him how to budget better.

But no assistance goes out to the “chronically unemployed”, Don Juans, or guys who are at home with mom while they try to “find themselves”. Not a cent.

This sistah gurl ain’t paying a grown man’s rent, car note, child support, or entertainment tab. And personal loans can be obtained from a bank.
Can they not? 

(Of course, small sums of money, and those obtained with promissory notes, are sometimes doable without detriment.)

But here’s my take on this topic… Love is truly risky enough without having to pay attention to your pocket book. Get where I’m coming from?

Not to mention, as hard as I work for my “cheddar”, if I lost it to a lover who turned to be out a louse, y’all would see me on the evening news, and it wouldn’t be pretty… and we wouldn’t want that…now would we? :-) 


6 Savvy ways to do your own under cover work!

  1. Keep your eyes and ears open for inconsistencies in what he says, whether it’s how long he’s been divorced, his job, or his history.  Often little lies lead to big ones.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask a guy with whom you’ve had no previous contact or knowledge to see some I.D. ( a driver’s license and a business card for starters).  It’s better that he be “offended” than for you to come up M.I.A.!
  1. Check public records.  Many things can be checked out at your local court house---divorces, bankruptcies, property ownership, etc.
  1. Google him from the privacy of your own home.  Google is a great tool for uncovering websites, profiles on My Space or Facebook, professional affiliations, comments on bulletin boards, class mates, complaints, etc.
  1. Check out some of the reputation management websites--- like Don't Date Him Girl.  But don’t use this info as gospel.  Some of it may not be accurate.
  1. Pray for divine discernment.  Nobody’s judgment is perfect 100% of the time, so here’s where a little help can make all the difference. 

And always keep in mind the words of a famous president…
”Trust, but verify!”


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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