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Dear Abby: I have been single for five years. I recently reconnected with a man I lost contact with 13 years ago. We went out a few times and it was wonderful.

Out of curiosity, I began checking him out online, starting with his mother, who he had mentioned was a surgeon. When I could find no information on her, I started looking up other things. Abby, I could find nothing about him or his family. His mother does not have a medical license, and there are no property records or any record of a marriage license to his second wife.

When I confronted him, he was furious and accused me of not trusting him. I feel guilty for not trusting him, even though I know he hasn’t been honest with me. Is it wrong to do background checks on people you date?

– Dating A Man Who Doesn’t Exist

Dear Dating: It isn’t wrong to do some checking. In fact, these days it’s very common. But I wonder, having known this man years ago, what made you curious enough to double-check? Also, how good are you at research? And when you “confronted” him, were you hostile, which would have made him react defensively?

Please do not waste another minute feeling guilty about this. If he isn’t the person he portrayed himself to be, you may have dodged a bullet.

Mom’s boyfriend comes first

Dear Abby: I’m an 11-year-old girl, and my mom has a boyfriend who lives with us. Mom said that he comes first in her life. When she told me that, I felt like she didn’t love me anymore. He tries to be my father, acts like he owns the house and gets me in deep trouble. I have considered moving in with my dad. What should I do?

– Preteen in Florida

Dear Preteen: Now that your mother has made her priorities clear, I think it is time you discussed this with your father. If he is willing and able to take care of you, you might be better off living with him.