Dear Donna: Background checks becoming more common in dating

By: Donna Shugrue Special to The Gazette
August 19, 2013

Dear Donna,

I have been exclusively dating a lady for several months. She asked my permission to do a background check on me and she encouraged me to do a background check on her. She is suggesting we also should share our credit reports and last two years of tax returns. I am not opposed to her request. It has been years since I last dated. Is this the new norm?

Dear Norm,

It does seem to be going in that direction. Information on most of us can be accessed easily online. Many people do background checks and do not ask permission. I think your lady friend handled it perfectly - ask permission and offer to share the same information on yourself. If you are both in agreement, there probably will not be any surprises and it could be insightful. You might want to consult your attorney.

Dear Donna,

I am 32 years old, fit, attractive, successful, smart and confident. I constantly am surprised when men who are easily 20 to 30 years older than me expect me to take them seriously when they ask me out. I want to tell them they are old enough to be my father and it creeps me out. I try to be nice about it, but sometimes they just do not take the hint. What are they thinking? - Laura

Dear Laura,

They probably are thinking it doesn't hurt to ask. Next time you might say, "I'm not available," "no thank you" or "I have someone special in my life." If they persist, you should say what you are thinking. That should do it.


Donna Shugrue owns Perfectly Matched. Her column runs biweekly in Family. Email questions to or visit

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