What was she thinking?

by Dating Goddess on January 12, 2011

A 25-year-old woman agreed to meet — for the first time — a man she’d connected with through a dating site at his house at 9 p.m. to go out to dinner. When she arrived at his door, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her inside. There, a gun-toting accomplice demanded her keys and the two men drove off in her car.

This is a tragic story.

But it is also a story of stupidity. She was 25 — old enough to know better. But she did not have enough sense to know it was stupid to meet a man for the first time at his house!

Yes, she is a victim.

But really, some people are victims because of their lack of good decision making.

What are the chances this could happen to you? I hope very low. Because you are older and, I trust, much wiser.

The reason this made the news is because it was an anomaly. But there are plenty of other tales of bad stuff that’s happened to women on a date that they are too embarrassed to report.

This underscores why you should never make an exception to meeting a man in a public place the first few times.
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For info on how to vet a man before going out, get your copy of Check Him Out Before Going Out: Head Off Dud Dates

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark January 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

I continue to be amazed at hearing how both women and men do such foolhardy things when it comes to dating even at a “mature” age (although 25-years-old is not “mature”). Aren’t we supposed to have some wisdom? Going to a stranger’s home for a first meeting is just sheer craziness. Even those “little” mistakes can mean a bad experience. I heard this from a woman Monday evening and from my best friend today. She had an awful experience meeting someone who did not share a picture; he’s going to meet someone who refuses to send him one as well. Refuses! The picture of the man for the woman would have exposed his lies … he lied about everything in his online profile. Everything. My buddy will meet this woman for coffee and we should take a poll on whether it goes well or not. I’ll predict it will not.

Most everyone wants to be coupled, have intimate human contact, and feel desired and/or loved, but throwing safety out the window because of the potential for this is ludicrous. I discuss this with every woman I have met, tell her I expect she’ll want to meet me wherever we go, go to a place that’s in a safe part of town with good lighting and/or valet parking, and that I’d expect she’ll have some “lifeline” person she’ll need/want to call during our date just to complete the “off site” safety support that many woman have developed.

Singles Travel January 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Tragic and shocking. The lack of common sense some people have is unbelievable. I’m surprised that anyone would even want to meet someone in private on the first meeting. Especially when the initial contact was made online!

Karen January 13, 2011 at 4:24 am

I think you’re a little hard on the girl in the story, DG.

The criminal could easily have done the exact same thing on the 4th or 10th date, after 3 or many dates in “public places”. Meeting someone in a public place first is not a magic formula that protects you from being exploited.

The fact is that when you’re dating, at some point you have to decide whether or not to let your guard down and put yourself in a vulnerable position (physically and emotionally). There is no way you can keep it safe forever.

Rather than emphasizing “rules” like meeting in a public space, which doesn’t take any thought to follow but which don’t really guarantee woman’s safety, I think it’s more important to think really hard about the guy you are getting to know. About for example if he has any red flags and whether the man is respecting your boundaries. Does he talk trash about others such as his ex? Is he honest or do you get the feeling that he’s hedging about some things? I personally think this is really hard to do, especially when I find the man really attractive–when the red flags come up, I keep making excuses for him.

At the same time, I think it is important to not blame the victim. In the story, or in a more normal dating relationship where things go wrong. Something I hear over and over is “that woman should have known better about that guy being trouble” or even “that woman probably drove him to it” but few people bother saying much bad about the guy who has done the actual hurtful thing.

For some reason, women are supposed to be able to tell if a man is a jerk before they get involved with him, and if she doesn’t, then it’s her fault for getting hurt. I’ve even had a man I dated say (via email) this to me, after I dumped him for cheating! He said “you knew what I was like, and I thought you were OK with it, so why are you complaining about it now?”

Anyway, bad behavior should be called out for what it is. Women shouldn’t be blamed if they can’t read a guy’s mind and tell what a jerk he is when he’s pretending to be something different.

Richard January 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I disagree with Karen. Yes, the guy could have robbed her on the 4th date. On the first date, you have Zero to go by in judging the person. By the 4th date, she will have had 3 opportunities to observe him to try to figure out if he is the robbing type. Yes, you have to eventually trust the other person, but the other person has to earn that trust. Or, at a minimum, give you no reason not to trust him. Unless you are being setup by a relative/friend (who has presumably pre-screened the person), you need to meet the person in a safe place so you can have some basis to decide if you want to trust him or not.

Bill Ray January 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Yes never meet anybody, unless it is in a public place, never give out your phone number until you have chatted with them for awhile, there are a lot of women that want you ring them on their mobiles as well. They too are playing with fire.

goodgirlsdo January 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

@ Karen:

You say bad behavior should be called out for what it is. Her behavior was shockingly bad. Seriously. The kind of bad that gets you permanently removed from the gene pool.

Most crimes, as any criminologist worth his salt will tell you, are crimes of opportunity. We lock cars not because we expect to deter the hardened criminal, but to deter the opportunists.

There is a difference between “blaming the victim” and expecting people to exercise common sense and not put themselves in stupid situations. I don’t walk in dark alleys in bad parts of town after midnight. Do I do this because I’m following the “rules”? No, I’m doing it because I’m not stupid, and I don’t engage in moronic behavior.

And if I did such a stupid thing, I would not only not be surprised if something bad happened, but you and I both know the cops are going to blame me (the victim) for walking down a dark alley in a bad part of town after midnight. I’m a grown adult woman, and I should know better. Me walking in a dark alley gives criminals an opportunity too good to pass up.

Going to a strange man’s house at 9:00 at night is, at least, moronic behavior. She’s Damn. Lucky. she didn’t get gang-raped and murdered. She lost her car. She could have lost a lot more. And all because she’s too damn STUPID (there’s no other word for it, she’s of an age that “stranger danger” has been in her vocabulary since kindergarten) to take sensible precautions.

Yes, it’s true that taking sensible precautions isn’t magic. And nothing will keep you safe forever. But you’re much more likely to make better decisions with at least SOME information. And like it or not, a couple of conversations over the phone (or internet) is NOT information. Every BIT of it could be (and frequently is) fabricated. Can he lie to you in person? Of course. But everyone’s bullshit detector is better-honed face-to-face; it’s an innate genetic survival trait. Furthermore, most criminals (not predators, they’re a different case) are too lazy to spend three or four dates lulling you into a false sense of security so they can steal your car.

Yes. People who do bad things are bad people. Everyone recognizes that. That’s why the article didn’t make a point of it. The point here is, lessen your chances of dealing (alone and isolated) with a bad person. Don’t be a moron. A young woman going–prearranged, no less!–to a strange man’s house at 9PM is a practical GUARANTEE of dealing with a bad person. Or several. Again, I say, she was Damn. Lucky. (as morons sometimes are).

Q Turner January 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

Karen, I agree with you! Bad behavior should always be called out independently of what circumstances allowed it to happen! There is such a thing as common sense, but I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t been crazy/careless about dating, love, or anything else heart-related at least once, whether they were 15, 25, or 55.

Anna January 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That girl was fortunate that they only took her car, it could have ended a lot more tragic. Not to be over dramatic but that’s how serial killers can lure victims. I was out on my own in London at age 20 and was more street wise. Its up to us more daters to teach the younger girls to be “street wise”

Julie January 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

the hole in his head fit the rocks in her head. she has boundary issues… … they found each other via the holes/rocks radar….

Mitsy January 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Although I have never experienced anything as tragic & unsettling as this, I also got a lot of heartache from nearly all of my online dating experiences. Bottom line, I just don’t trust most guys who are on the dating sites. I have not ventured back into that arena in several years now because I got so burned in the past. But at 25, she probably did not have the advantage of years of experience with people and there are a lot of predators online. I’ve seen enough stories on TV that I would be extremely cautious now about meeting anyone from a dating site.

Dave777 January 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Sounds generic. Where / when did it happen? What was the girl’s name?

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