February 20, 2016 • By Dennis Beaver

Today’s story will be of special interest to anyone who is or who knows someone in a dating relationship which began online and led to personally meeting. We begin with “Three of the most important questions which must be credibly answered,” according to Santa Maria-based private detective, Riley Parker:

(1) Who am I dating?

(2) Beyond what they say, who are they, really?

(3) How can I find out?

“I Need You to Grill My Boyfriend”

At a New Year’s Eve party this past December, Jill — 36, a longtime family friend, very attractive and a highly successful architect from a wealthy family — had a request:

“I need you to grill my boyfriend. You have a way of getting people to open up about their entire lives. His name is Glen. We met online a few months ago. He lives in a different state, and we have been Skyping. When work brings him here, we spend time together, but it’s only been three times in six months, a few days each visit.

“Glen is 44, never married, and made it clear that he is seriously interested in me and wants to be married. I had two very close relationships which did not work out, and admit, at my age of 36, I’m am very worried about being alone. I really like him. He’s a lot of fun to be around, always happy and says that he will move here, but I just don’t know what to do. So, Dennis, I need your insight.”

In my lengthy conversation with Glen, at once three things became clear:

(1) He is 44, yet never had a truly positive, close relationship, “jilted by women who took advantage” of him. However, “With Jill it’s different.” Anytime we began getting close to meaningful views on life, he elegantly changed subjects, never revealing anything of a personal nature except that he felt Jill was “the one.”

(2) Glen was always smiling — to everyone — even when the topic was serious. He was the very definition of permagrin.

(3) In response to “So, how did you two meet?” his answer perpetuated the same lie that Jill had told her parents: “Through friends here in town.”

Jill explained that not telling mom and dad about meeting on line was, “Because they are from a different generation and would not understand.” As both are highly educated, work in finance and are in their late 50s, there is no way they could not have heard about online dating.

“Let’s see,” Parker commented, “He’s 44 and never had a close emotional relationship? How can that possibly be? And now, Jill is the one? Does the fact that she is highly successful and her family wealthy have anything to do with it? Moving this fast in a relationship where they have spent such a short amount of time together has all the alarms flashing Caution! You Do Not Know Who This Guy Is!

“Dennis, you have described someone who could very well be a con artist, believing that he can fool anyone. Your conversation was the time for him to be completely open and honest, because he had to assume that you would report your findings to Jill. If anything, he

“He was complicit in a lie to her parents, so what else will he lie about? He could have explained Jill’s reason to lie to her parents about how they met — but he never suspected that you knew the truth. If she hasn’t been drawn in too deeply yet, that one piece of evidence should be enough to scare her.

“She needs to realize that if he is willing to lie about a little thing — how they met — then he will lie about anything,” Parker notes, adding, “As they met online, this is the place for her to begin finding out as much as she can about Glen. Anyone in her position has something to lose, therefore Jill needs to determine:

(1) What is the true motive? Isn’t this moving too fast?

(2) What role did he play in his prior, failed relationships where he was “jilted?” For con men, it is always the other person’s fault, so ask, ‘What part did you play in them failing?’ Con artists find women who provide them a lifestyle, drain them dry and then move on to the next victim.

(3) Life is not all smiles or fun. A permagrin has lots to hide. What, if anything, is Glen hiding?

They met online, and that’s the place where Jill can begin her research. Next time, Parker tells us how to begin, where to look, and when to consider hiring a private investigator. 

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.