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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Private Life

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Is Your Private Life Private?

I was recently put into a very awkward situation where I was set up on a “blind” date with a guy and his coworkers out to dinner.    Apparently, this guy was in this group of friends, but the only single one there—the rest were married.  One of the wives in the group thought I would be perfect to set up with him so invited me to come out and that way he wouldn’t feel awkward being the only one without a date there.  Well, I knew that I could be the one feeling very awkward but I decided, why not?  So I accepted the offer.  A couple days before the planned date, the woman called me and told that plans had changed, because the gentleman who I was supposed to be meeting had made other plans before this was all confirmed.


That was fine, I told her.  I understood and quite honestly, I really didn’t care.  It meant no awkward meetings and then spending an evening with a bunch of people I didn’t know, including a guy I was supposed to be getting to know.  But the next morning, I get an email from my "former - supposedly - future - blind - date"…aka Mr. B.  He wrote me to apologize about how things had turned out, saying that, yes he did have plans for a while to do something different that night and everyone was trying to get him to go to this dinner so that I could be fixed up with him.  (WHAT?!  They were scamming to fix me up?)  He said that the truth was he had been seeing someone for a while, but didn’t talk about his personal life at work, so no one really knew about it.  So when his friend’s wife asked if there was anyone single around my age, Mr. B was it and he became the target for the date.

I then understood even more so why he did not go out to get set up with me.  I doubt his lady would be very happy about our meet.  I first had to get over the fact that somehow in the midst of that I was the one being set up, when I thought I was going to meet this who was trying to meet new people.  You just never know, do you?

But this whole situation raised an interesting point—should you keep your private life, private?  This guy tried and look how it backfired.  There are pros and cons to doing so and a lot of time, when dating, it depends on your status whether you share it with your coworkers or whether you keep it to yourself.

For example, if you are trying online dating and you just set up an account and already people are contacting you.  The whole thing is new to you and as you have these requests for communication, you could go two ways:

1) Go it alone
Explore this method of dating on your own.  Get to know the personalities of the people you are interested in and if/when you’re ready, maybe set up a time to meet.  If all goes well, perhaps you end up dating them.  More than once.  It might take some time, but such is the nature of dating—no matter what medium you get set up by.  Then, after a while, you can introduce him into the rest of your life.

2) Get by with a little help from your friends
What fun would office work be without some fun time spent on the Internet?  If the whole thing is new to you and you want to rely on the advice of your friends/coworkers, they might be able to help you navigate the online dating scene, especially in the beginning when you don’t know what to do with all these people requesting communication.  They can help you really think about what you’re looking for in a person and also any warning signs that might pop up in a person’s profile.  While their advice can be helpful, it’s probably best not to let them get too attached, because then are going to log in with you to your account every day and check in to see your new matches, and who closed communication with you and who answered your questions and what did you say in your answers to someone and pretty soon, everyone is “online dating” that new guy “Jake” that you’ve been corresponding with.  It can be a little overwhelming if everyone gets involved.  If you really need help or want to talk about your experiences with someone, maybe grab a close friend or coworker.  Not the entire office.

Keeping your personal life personal depends on, yes, the person.  It’s different when you’re dating than when you’re married, because most people recognize easily if a person is married.  But a person can keep quiet if they are single, taking a break from dating, newly dating, or in a relationship.  Sharing with their coworkers can have positives—doing activities with other couples, keeping some creepy coworkers away, and negatives—people wanting to know about your dating life, or if you’re having a bad day, they might automatically assume it’s a relationship problem.  People are always into everyone else’s business and sometimes, there’s no escaping keeping your private matters private.  But if you want to, the best you can do is try…at least until someone goes and sets you up on a date, and then you have to come out and say you’re already dating someone.  Yikes !


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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