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Jewish Journal

Dating 101: Mug Shots & Convicted Felons

by Ilana Angel

September 13, 2013 | 7:13 am

I received an email this week from a man online that I am pretty sure was using a mug shot as his profile picture.  The Internet is an amazing place and while the odds of finding love online are not good, it would appear that the chances of meeting a felon are great.  For a woman who is afraid of doing anything against the law, I seem to attract men with criminal pasts.

I have dated two men I met on JDate who were both convicted felons.  One for drugs, although he was 4 years sober when I met him, and one who went to prison for some kind of white collar trading thing.  Both lovely men, both with an edge, both tattooed Jews. Jews are my thing, but finding Harley riding tattooed Jewish men who are not convicted felons is hard.

Maybe it is because opposites attract, or perhaps because I love the color orange, but felons dig me.  Bless them.  Here’s the thing, while I appreciate the interest, know it takes courage to ask out a stranger, and I will date a man who has a past, I am never going to date a man who uses a mug shot to meet women. Any woman who does, needs to stop.  Draw a line.

Dating is hard and meeting someone online, if we are going to be honest, is dangerous.  I don’t think about it because if I did I would never do it. You are sharing information about yourself, pictures, and you have no idea who is looking at it, but apparently it includes men in prison. Surely this man could have gotten a pre-incarceration snapshot from a friend.

Writing this is making me rethink how I date.  I am a woman who takes precautions in all decisions I make, am a very protective mother, safe driver, and law abiding citizen who really does not take that many risks, yet I date online, which is a huge risk.  I tell myself it is how dating works in this age of technology, but the truth is it scares the hell out of me.

I only date Jewish men, and I write 2 columns for a major online Jewish publication.  How is it that I am dating freaks online when I have an entire Jewish community literally at my fingertips? I get set up a lot by people who read my blogs and get in touch so maybe that will be my focus moving forward.  Time to step away from the mug shots.

I might need to change how I date, but I won’t stop dating. Some people say that when you stop looking for love it will find you, but I don’t believe that. You don’t need to be actively searching for love, but you do need to put yourself out there that you are open to it. I will meet my Beshert and perhaps he won’t have a mug shot.  I’m keeping the faith.

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