Dear Abby: I’m a single mother. My two sons are practically grown and out of the house. I haven’t dated much over the years, but there was one man I did bond with and cared very much for at one point.
He lived across the country, and the long-distance relationship was difficult. I was reluctant to move my kids across the country for someone I barely knew, so the relationship ended. Thank God, I followed my instinct on that one!
Feeling sentimental one evening, I went online and searched for his name. Up popped a mug shot of him posted on a Megan’s Law website, identifying him as a deviant offender. The police code indicated he was someone who had intercourse with a person under the age of 13. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Now I can’t stop thinking about what might have happened had I not followed my instincts. I’m afraid to date anyone for fear I’ll find another creep. Is there a way to “screen” prospective mates without them knowing — like a background check for daters, perhaps?
Still Shocked In Texas
Dear Still Shocked: The way to screen someone for a criminal conviction would be to go online and search in the state the person lives in or came from. That, however, is no guarantee you won’t meet another creep.
Finding Mr. Right is a process that involves trial and error. In many cases, a lot of error. That’s why it is better to meet men through personal introductions, volunteer groups or because you have mutual interests — and even then, take your time getting to know them.
Dear Abby: May I tell you about an incident that happened last Halloween? I took my daughters, ages 12 and 6, and a co-worker’s 4-year-old son trick-or-treating. My 12-year-old is becoming a young woman and appears older. When we came to one house, the homeowner promptly gave the smaller children candy and had a conversation with them, but completely ignored my older daughter. She was very hurt, and it cast a pall on the evening. I was stunned.