Alarming Incident, Catholic Match


#1

A close female friend of mine was involved in an alarming incident last night with a 25 year old man she met on Catholic Match. She has known this guy for three weeks and made the foolish mistake telling him where she lives and allowing him to come over. This guy was exhibiting creepy, narcissistic, bullying behavior for approximately a week. The few friends that she told about this guy/ situation (including me) told her to stay away from him but she didn't listen. He claimed to be a devout Catholic, told her her wanted to only be friends until they began to court each other etc., I guess he had her fooled. Last night he came to her apartment and began to act inappropriately. She demanded that he leave and he refused, he then became forceful. She left her apartment and went to stay with a friend. He called her 6 times and sent her a barrage of text messages. He is clearly a creeper, stalker and mentally unbalanced person.

I just wanted to share this as a sort of warning. I used Catholic Match for 6 months and was always amazed by how willing young women were to meet me in person almost immediately, even in non-public places. I met my current girlfriend on Ave Maria Singles and she told me about meeting a guy at his apartment the very first time they met! Very poor decision making. I'm sure desperation can play a part in that, I have been there.

Anyway, just pass this along to people you know that are using Catholic Dating sites. There are definitely unstable people there, even people who claim to love our Lord and practice the faith. I guess I will state the obvious, stick to public places, drive separately, meet during the day, let people know where you're going, who you will be with and how they can contact you. Etc.

Peace and blessings.


#2

URGENT!! (I put this so people will notice even more this needed information - bless you kib for posting it.) :thumbsup:

I would add this - remember that the people you meet in any kind of Internet matchmaking site for Catholics are going to have access to many profiles. Including those from gals wanting a pure, trustworthy guy, and from sincere guys who really are trustworthy and pure.

From this, an absolute creep can easily pick up the lingo and false credentials to sound like something he most definitely is not.

Follow all crime prevention tips which you can find online and from your local police force. I'm wondering if fake names might not even be a bad idea until you know someone really well; then the person can't stalk you if you meet in a public place.

And be careful for a little bit longer even after you think you can trust someone. Some con artists can maintain the facade for an amazingly long time. Be on the alert for "red flags," for things that strike you as odd, and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Better to lose out on one opportunity than end up molested and murdered with your body dumped out in the boondocks.

I recommend a book too that really gave me good advice - The Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker. In it, he tells how to tune in to our internal warning system - not to become paranoid but to use what we have been taught to suppress in the name of politeness and so on - sometimes to our detriment. He has worked for law enforcement and on some high profile cases and he knows his stuff.


#3

I met DH on Ave Maria Singles but prior to meeting him, I was friendly with lots of guys. Online dating is just like any other kind of dating. Use common sense. With online dating you have to catch the red flags through the profile, the messages, etc. And always meet in a public place. And always have friends and family know who you're meeting and where.

Beyond that, it's not something to get freaked out over. Just don't let your guard down because you're on a Catholic site.

KG


#4

Amen.


#5

[quote="kevinsgirl, post:3, topic:226162"]
Online dating is just like any other kind of dating. Use common sense.

[/quote]

Not really. Online dating is just like any other kind dating done with total strangers.

Dating people who are unknown to people you know makes it far easier for a person to perpetrate a crime against you and disappear. Dating total strangers also makes it far easier for either party to lie about his or her history and background. I could go on, but we all get the point.

This is not to say that dating total strangers is far too dangerous to be considered as dating material or that a person cannot manage to be a total creep as a date without his friends realizing it. Having said that, because of the time you can spend communicating without ever meeting, the internet sometimes creates a false sense of intimacy that other means of dating total strangers is unlikely to do. That is something to be very aware of. Take what you learn via e-mail or other electronic writing with a big grain of salt. If you're using a keyboard, you don't even have to keep a straight face to pass on a lie.

As far as being a Catholic site, remember that sociopaths consider their ability to solicit sympathy to be carte blanche to do what they want to do without repercussions. Catholics can be attractive targets because so many can be manipulated into a false forgiveness for bad behavior and a foolish desire to reform someone who has no intention of being reformed but who is very willing to lie about that in order to get what he (or she!) wants. On the other end of our sometimes overly-forgiving nature, consider that there are people with control issues who can very easily become enamored with a falsely strict and rigid form of Catholicism, as well. There is no truth so true that someone cannot twist it into a falsehood.

Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. Matt. 10:16


#6

Yes this is important to get this information out. Back when I was on CM, I actually came across the profile of a Catholic man whom I knew was very mentally unstable from in-person interactions with him. He wasn't a student but like some mentally ill people tended to become attracted to the religion as a way to cure him of his mental illness so that he could rationalize not taking his medication. In my time of knowing this man, he tried to replace his therapist with a spiritual director and was starting to tell me some pretty crazy stories like how he woke up with the Virgin Mary floating over his head telling him he was to marry a friend of mine. Often any time he'd experience attraction toward a woman he'd come across, he thought that he was being called to specifically marry that woman then and there.

Unforunately when I met him, I was niave in my charity and ended up in a situation where he was trying to make sexual advances to me regardless of my protests. I got out of the situation, but when I got back to the dorm, he called me up to cuss me out and then called me up again a half hour later just to tell me that he got a high from hurting people and hadn't meant what he had said.

Anyway, I emailed CM staff when I noticed his profile, and since no legal action had been taken against him, they could not remove his profile.

Its important to be wise when interacting with any stranger whether from the internet or someone you meet in person in a public place. Unless you have friends who have known the person a long time and can vouch for them, you really do not know who you are encountering.


#7

This part I disagree with. While it is true that there are limitations to communicating with someone strictly over the internet, if you communicate regularly you can actually develop a true friendship with that person. Honestly, I think some people rush too quickly to going on blind dates with people from the internet because of this notion of building a false sense of intimacy and security, and I think that is actually far more dangerous behavior than developing a somewhat annoymous pen-pal relationship with someone online for a good period of time before meeting them. When you have a friendship with someone online for awhile, its a lot easier to notice whether they’re lying or not. Its when you have only a brief encounter with them online, that you’re more likely going to miss their deception.

However the uniqueness of the internet is that you’re socializing with someone that you probably would have never come into contact with in person. It opens doors like that which is nice, but it also means that you only have your own judgment to go on. You don’t have any friends who can vouch for them. If they get to know your friends or your family, it’ll be strictly through your introduction. As such, even if you do have a good friendship with someone from the internet, its still wise to intially meet in public and to at least have friends who know where you are. But in my experience, even though I met in public with people always knowing where I was (and often bringing someone else along), it typically felt like overkill. I still believe it should be done, but I’ve always found that getting to know someone online for awhile before meeting them tended to lead me to much better and positive encounters at the first meeting than the few times I tried out the notion that I needed to rush out to meet them for fear of the internet giving me a false sense of security.


#8

[quote="twoangels, post:7, topic:226162"]
This part I disagree with. While it is true that there are limitations to communicating with someone strictly over the internet, if you communicate regularly you can actually develop a true friendship with that person. Honestly, I think some people rush too quickly to going on blind dates with people from the internet because of this notion of building a false sense of intimacy and security, and I think that is actually far more dangerous behavior than developing a somewhat annoymous pen-pal relationship with someone online for a good period of time before meeting them. When you have a friendship with someone online for awhile, its a lot easier to notice whether they're lying or not. Its when you have only a brief encounter with them online, that you're more likely going to miss their deception.

However the uniqueness of the internet is that you're socializing with someone that you probably would have never come into contact with in person. It opens doors like that which is nice, but it also means that you only have your own judgment to go on. You don't have any friends who can vouch for them. If they get to know your friends or your family, it'll be strictly through your introduction. As such, even if you do have a good friendship with someone from the internet, its still wise to intially meet in public and to at least have friends who know where you are. But in my experience, even though I met in public with people always knowing where I was (and often bringing someone else along), it typically felt like overkill. I still believe it should be done, but I've always found that getting to know someone online for awhile before meeting them tended to lead me to much better and positive encounters at the first meeting than the few times I tried out the notion that I needed to rush out to meet them for fear of the internet giving me a false sense of security.

[/quote]

I think it feels like overkill because you had developed a sense that you knew the person....which you didn't, or at least, if you did, you couldn't know that you did. Why do I think so? Because a month ago I listened to a Multnomah County police deputy who told an audience of 6th through 8th graders that he was an expert in passing himself off as a 14 year-old girl.

The internet is full of honest people and honest connection, but it is a playground for liars.


#9

As online dating becomes more popular and as more niche dating sites open up it’s become much easier to make connections and meet new people. While the ability to meet new people is great, as other posters have noted it’s important to be safe no matter what dating site you’re using. Thought this would be a good time to pass along some tips that have helped me navigate the net safely.

Choose your screen name carefully. Make sure your screen name doesn’t reveal your real name or location. Also it’s a good idea to create separate screen names for dating sites and for social forums – this way you control the information potential matches are getting rather than having them learn about you from googling all your forum postings.

Never give out any personal information at the beginning. Being overly cautious might feel silly but respecting your personal safety is important – both for you and for any potential partners. Don’t let others bully, blackmail, or manipulate information out of you.

Use a separate email and IM accounts for dating sites. Not only does this help keep you safe, it makes it really easy to close an email account if you encounter any kind of harassment.

Remember to meet in public places and always tell other people where you will be and when to expect you back. Remember to be careful when you plan your public meeting – don’t give away personal information during the planning. Don’t inadvertently give away your location by saying you want to meet at a bar because it’s two blocks from your house.

One final tip – take the time to Google yourself regularly. It’s not just about stroking your own ego; googling your name, email, and screen names will give you a better feel for what information about you is available to the public. It also gives you a chance to control that info.


#10

[quote="twoangels, post:6, topic:226162"]
Yes this is important to get this information out. Back when I was on CM, I actually came across the profile of a Catholic man whom I knew was very mentally unstable from in-person interactions with him. He wasn't a student but like some mentally ill people tended to become attracted to the religion as a way to cure him of his mental illness so that he could rationalize not taking his medication. In my time of knowing this man, he tried to replace his therapist with a spiritual director and was starting to tell me some pretty crazy stories like how he woke up with the Virgin Mary floating over his head telling him he was to marry a friend of mine. Often any time he'd experience attraction toward a woman he'd come across, he thought that he was being called to specifically marry that woman then and there.

Unforunately when I met him, I was niave in my charity and ended up in a situation where he was trying to make sexual advances to me regardless of my protests. I got out of the situation, but when I got back to the dorm, he called me up to cuss me out and then called me up again a half hour later just to tell me that he got a high from hurting people and hadn't meant what he had said.

Anyway, I emailed CM staff when I noticed his profile, and since no legal action had been taken against him, they could not remove his profile.

[/quote]

They must have changed their regulations because I live in a smallish town and I was watching the news one night and noticed that a person that had come up on my match list had just been arrested -- not convicted -- for possession of child pornography. Since on CM I only had his first name (which was somewhat unusual), I e-mailed the link to the sheriff's department's website with the full name of the person. I never heard back from CM BUT his profile was removed.

I agree with all the other posters that you have to still use your common sense when online dating. You can learn a lot from communicating with e-mail, et cetera; but you can also be fooled.


#11

Just a couple of thoughts....

I think some people are being unduly harsh on Catholic Match. I think the issues here are present on any other online dating site - religious or secular - all one has to have is a credit or debit card.

Secondly, I would advocate meeting in a public place the first few times you are meeting someone new. This is just common sense and is good no matter where you meet someone - real life or online.

Lastly, in spite of some of this, I would still not shy away from meeting people relatively quick. Anything else is just stringing them along.


#12

[quote="EasterJoy, post:8, topic:226162"]
I think it feels like overkill because you had developed a sense that you knew the person....which you didn't, or at least, if you did, you couldn't know that you did. Why do I think so? Because a month ago I listened to a Multnomah County police deputy who told an audience of 6th through 8th graders that he was an expert in passing himself off as a 14 year-old girl.

The internet is full of honest people and honest connection, but it is a playground for liars.

[/quote]

The world is full of honest people and honest connection, but it too is also a playground of liars. There are common sense rules to interacting in person just as there are to the internet. Teens tend to be niave about both.

I didn't say at all that it was indeed overkill, but the reason it tends to feel to me like overkill is because I've had so many positive encounters with meeting friends I've developed from the internet. If you've known them awhile, there is sort of this backwards going back to first impressions at your initial meeting in person, but its not like meeting an absolute stranger. You're not starting from absolute scratch.

To me, its like the difference between meeting a stranger at a bar or coffeeshop and giving them your phone number after a brief conversation (relying solely on first impressions) or getting involved in some public event like a book club or a parenting group where you continually have conversations with the same people over and over in a public space. The internet is a bit more limited than the group so that you should at your initial meeting meet in public, but it is false to say that once you've met in public that you're absolute strangers.


#13

I will say that my experience with Catholic Match and Ave Maria Singles has been wonderful. I met many holy, well adjusted women that love the Lord. I'm sure there are a lot of great men on the sites too. I will say, however, that the women I have meet on these sites have told me that they have been contacted by a lot of creepy men. I would guess that the most probable explanation is that these guys are socially awkward and don't know how to pursue a woman in a comfortable way. Having said all of that, I think the moral of this story is simple: these sites are great, just use common sense and caution when meeting someone.


#14

;)

[quote="kib, post:13, topic:226162"]
I will say that my experience with Catholic Match and Ave Maria Singles has been wonderful. I met many holy, well adjusted women that love the Lord. I'm sure there are a lot of great men on the sites too. I will say, however, that the women I have meet on these sites have told me that they have been contacted by a lot of creepy men. I would guess that the most probable explanation is that these guys are socially awkward and don't know how to pursue a woman in a comfortable way. Having said all of that, I think the moral of this story is simple: these sites are great, just use common sense and caution when meeting someone.

[/quote]

Define "creepy."

Are they just not attracted to them, then file them under "creepy?" Or are there genuine issues with their character?

In my time doing online dating, I've met some creepy women as well


#15

I've been on Catholic Match for several weeks, but I've found all the ladies so far are very hard to get to know, even to the point of being snobbish..I'll stay on for a little while longer, and then I'll just give up..It's only a trial membership, but to pay for a full membership, you have to use a credit card (which I won't) or pay pal, which I have no account..Anything else won't work, so they say..I'm a 71 year old widower, and they must think I have one foot in the grave... They all want someone younger, even the ones my age..Things sure have changed in the last thirty years for sure...But I'm done with dating sights for good...God Bless the ones that keep on looking..


#16

[quote="ComputerGeek25, post:11, topic:226162"]
Just a couple of thoughts....

I think some people are being unduly harsh on Catholic Match. I think the issues here are present on any other online dating site - religious or secular - all one has to have is a credit or debit card.

Secondly, I would advocate meeting in a public place the first few times you are meeting someone new. This is just common sense and is good no matter where you meet someone - real life or online.

Lastly, in spite of some of this, I would still not shy away from meeting people relatively quick. Anything else is just stringing them along.

[/quote]

This is where AMS is great. Atleast by the site you're encouraged to know and contact a parish if you have any questions.

But they also still recommend public places. HOW STUPID was this girl to have someone come to her Apt. Even if I saw a guy every day for Daily Mass I still wouldn't invite him to my Apt first thing. That's just so ridiculously stupid it's unbelievable.:eek:


#17

[quote="ComputerGeek25, post:14, topic:226162"]
;)

Define "creepy."

Are they just not attracted to them, then file them under "creepy?" Or are there genuine issues with their character?

In my time doing online dating, I've met some creepy women as well

[/quote]

I've honestly never met any creepy women on these dating sites. One girl said that she thought I was "the one" when I turned her down to pursue a relationship with another woman. That was the creepiest thing I experienced, especially since we never met.

I'm not these women so I can't define creepy for them. A specific example that my current girlfriend experienced in the past was a guy that constantly messaged her and told her how beautiful she was. If she wouldn't reply immediately (within two hours or so) he would make accusations of her being cold-hearted etc.


#18

[quote="davy39, post:15, topic:226162"]
I've been on Catholic Match for several weeks, but I've found all the ladies so far are very hard to get to know, even to the point of being snobbish..I'll stay on for a little while longer, and then I'll just give up..It's only a trial membership, but to pay for a full membership, you have to use a credit card (which I won't) or pay pal, which I have no account..Anything else won't work, so they say..I'm a 71 year old widower, and they must think I have one foot in the grave... They all want someone younger, even the ones my age..Things sure have changed in the last thirty years for sure...But I'm done with dating sights for good...God Bless the ones that keep on looking..

[/quote]

I am sorry things haven't worked out for you....:(


#19

[quote="SeaShoreGirl, post:16, topic:226162"]
This is where AMS is great. Atleast by the site you're encouraged to know and contact a parish if you have any questions.

But they also still recommend public places. HOW STUPID was this girl to have someone come to her Apt. Even if I saw a guy every day for Daily Mass I still wouldn't invite him to my Apt first thing. That's just so ridiculously stupid it's unbelievable.:eek:

[/quote]

Never have tried AMS - never had the chance - yet anyways.


#20

[quote="kib, post:17, topic:226162"]
I've honestly never met any creepy women on these dating sites. One girl said that she thought I was "the one" when I turned her down to pursue a relationship with another woman. That was the creepiest thing I experienced, especially since we never met.

I'm not these women so I can't define creepy for them. A specific example that my current girlfriend experienced in the past was a guy that constantly messaged her and told her how beautiful she was. If she wouldn't reply immediately (within two hours or so) he would make accusations of her being cold-hearted etc.

[/quote]

Well, there are women out there, like the men you mention. I have met a few of them in my time.......


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