Spending the week at a huge industry conference in Chicago, I have gathered anecdotal evidence to support the importance of good behavior and the detrimental karma brought on by bad behavior. My professional experience and observations this week in a field where everyone eventually knows everyone else remind me of how small the world is. Well Recessionistas, it is time to use that fact to your advantage in the dating world. Here are a few tips to avoid bad dates and less-than-you-deserve relationships by putting to use the interconnected nature of our planet.
1. Have Your Date Vetted: Now, I am not suggesting that you ask your date for references. However, given your mix of friends in various industries, it does not hurt to ask the question - "Do you know Mr./Ms. X?" to someone in their professional field. Reputations - good or bad- pervade industries and you probably don't want to be involving yourself with "the girl who cries in meetings" or "the guy who reads Playboy in airports."
2. Do Your Homework: I am not suggesting that you Google your date or stalk them on Facebook, but reading up on other information you may have available may help provide a clearer picture of who you are involving yourself with. For instance, in his article in New York magazine, Michael Osinski discusses some less than classy (well, in fact, vulgar) competitions among Lehman employees. Maybe your date is not a participant in such activities, but work environments can influence people greatly, so be sure you are careful.
3. Be a Student: Watching a person's interactions with the "extras" on the set of your date can offer insight into their personality. Pay attention to how he/she talks to the waitress and how they tip staff. I have found that the best men I have dated and the best friends I have consistently treat individuals serving them with a tremendous amount of kindness and respect, traits that have continued into their personal relationships.
4. Safety First: Many states offer the ability to access public criminal records online. Especially with the popularity of Internet dating, it is important to check for signs of danger. I know, I know - it kills the romance a bit. However, it is better to be skeptical and safe than to be romantic and blind.
At my conference, two women from different companies who had never met before discovered they were dating the same man and that he was sending them the same texts and messages. I have many male friends who have shared stories about the seemingly normal chic who turned out to be a "psycho." Sadly, I think most people have their own "I thought he/she was a totally different person" examples. Your time is valuable, Recessionista, so don't let the undeserving waste it.