Love Letters: The First Move and Background Checks

Welcome back to Love Letters, where the wifey and I help the opposite sex with matters of the heart. The response has been great and we already have lots of questions that will be answered in the coming weeks. So be patient – if you e-mailed us you’ll read a response soon.

Remember, ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials.

Here’s our question for today:

I’m not a stalker or anything, but I’ve noticed that a coworker recently broke up with his on again, off again girlfriend…for the third time in a few months. We talk casually and hang out at an occasional happy hour, but nothing serious. How should I let him know I’m interested? (Note: I don’t consider being coworkers an issue, …we are not subordinates or even work in the same division–just the same building.) t.e.

As many of y’all know, I met Javacia at work, and just like t.e.’s case, we we did not work in the same department. I think dating coworkers is OK. Most of us spend most of our time at work so it’s totally natural to be drawn to someone there. As long as you’re not trying to creep with your boss (word to Monica Lewinsky), it’s all good.

Ladies, unlike what your momma probably told you, it’s OK to initiate dating guy. My grandma always said a lady should NEVER make the first move. That might have worked in the sharecropping days but sometimes, if you wait for guys to make the first move, you’ll be waiting forever, like Dr. Dre’s Detox. Men like to know when a woman is interested, just like y’all like to know when a dude is feeling you. The trick is not to be TOO forward (which is likely what my grandma was alluding to). No one wants a bug-a-boo.

The next time you speak with the guy, invite him out for coffee or perhaps lunch together during work hours. Something very informal. And toss out the suggestion in the midst of a conversation, to make it look like a spur-of-the-moment idea. Don’t run up on the guy out of the blue and invite him to Christmas dinner. The less pressure the guy feels, the more likely he’ll be down for the idea.

I do have one concern – this guy has broken up with his ex three times in a couple months? Be careful – he’s obviously still hung up on her. Don’t wind up being his rebound.

And cuz I’m in such a good mood, here’s a bonus question:

Is it OK to run a background check on a potential boo? d.w.

Ladies, let me flip this one on you.

You went out with a guy, and the date went OK. On the second date, dude says “I checked your credit score – you got good credit, girl!” Would you be annoyed?

Of course you would. You know your credit is good, why do you need him to tell you?

Invading somebody’s privacy is straight-up pointless. And I know your response will be “if he has nothing to hide, he shouldn’t care.” Yes he should! As a mere “dater,” it’s not your obligation to know someone’s intimate business right away. If things progress to something more serious, then yes, you have a right to know. But it’s the person’s choice to divulge that information. If you find out they’re keeping secrets (secrets ALWAYS come out, eventually) then deal with them then – and take him to task for hiding stuff. That’s why you date someone, get to know him and his family, THEN marry him, have kids, build a life, etc. When you start skipping or rushing these steps, you don’t learn as much about a guy as you should.

Despite what Tyler Perry taught you, men don’t just wake up one day and suddenly become abusive, money-grubbing murderers on the DL. The signs are there without stealing his Social Security number.

Here’s the bottom line – if you suspect something is fishy, why are you dating the dude in the first place?


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