Usually, I’m the upbeat fairytale believing, “Sex in the City Jewish Ms. Bradshaw.” BUT, I just read an article posted on Facebook® that has the hair on my arm standing up and I am shivering (and not in a good way). The news article highlighted an alleged rapist with known histories in both DC and NY…. The scary part is he approached me on the Upper West Side just a few months ago. The same young, charming, seemingly intelligent man stopped me on the streets (72nd street to be exact) and engaged me in conversation. He portrayed himself as a sophisticated international journalist who lived in both DC/NYC and traveled abroad often (think male version of Christiane Amanpour) and proceeded to ask for my contact information and asked if I would be interested in grabbing coffee. Not to sound totally self-absorbed, but this happens on occasion, and it is flattering but usually of no interest or consequence. I generally applaud men who make such overtures as it does take guts. Nonetheless, I routinely respond “I have an (imaginary) boyfriend.” However, because of this man’s international journalist experience I was intrigued and I gave him my “junk” email address. In our two email exchanges I found him aggressive and defensive, and I ended all communication and never saw him again. He put me on his international newsletter distribution list, which I was unable to unsubscribe from after 50 attempts.
I have no idea who he really is or whether he is innocent or guilty. Fortunately, I only exchanged two emails. But this obviously serves as a constant reminder that I wanted to share: be very careful and trust your gut. As my mom would say, “there are crazies out there.” Unfortunately, this also applies to online dating, not to the exclusion of JDate. Although most of our parents would celebrate us bringing home that nice Jewish boy/girl, this does not guarantee quality. Be smart, be careful, but most of all have fun!