THE BLOG
04/30/2013 06:32 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2013

Private Eye aka Cupid's Assistant

It's important to thoroughly vet new suitors especially if in your guts you suspect something askew with your new Romeo's intentions. Is he or isn't he wearing a wedding ring is not enough third party verification of the most basic suitability. As I wrote in an earlier blog entitled, "Clarifying Questions," does someone else think he's unavailable? If he is truly available, are the personal and important facts he reveals reliable?

If you're not an amateur Nancy Drew and your technology savvy is only good enough for a rudimentary Google search of someone, that's where the services of a former journalist turned private investigator such as Fraidy Reiss can come in. All kidding aside, Fraidy's for-profit professional services, is her paid day job that makes her not-for-profit life possible.

Using her know-how to access public records under the Freedom of Information Act, Fraidy can rather quickly get to the bottom of the question whether or not a man is married or if he owns property with a woman, his full name, other aliases, credit worthiness and even his political party. Another friend who is an amateur super sleuth says she can also find out where an email address originates.

And why would you need to go to such lengths to evaluate the appropriateness of a potential new mate? Fraidy tells of a friend, a new widow who had come into a tidy sum of life insurance. She met a man who boasted of his substantial wealth. Huge, glaring red flag alert.

A truly confident man would not have to brag. Braggadocio aside, let's say he's so impressed by you he wants you to think he's impressive? He's merely leading innocently with his vulnerability? This could be attractive. A quick and simple probe might be the best insurance when you are tempted into being swept off your feet, unaware of being caught up in a foolish or regrettable rebound mode. Turns out Mr. Big in this case was deeply in debt, in the midst of a foreclosure on his house and going bankrupt in business.

So if you were lucky to leave your marriage with a nest egg, caveat emptor, buyer beware do not let your heart get your pocketbook in trouble. Better to be careful upfront. Does this ring true for any of you? I am very interested to hear your story. There is no shame in sharing if it will help the next person.