I know that I installed the word “VET” into my vocabulary as I found myself coaching more and more women on finding suitable mates. What if someone does all the right things, asks all the right questions and still ends up with a shyster? Well, Joy Richardson, a dear friend thought she married the man of her dreams and in just two weeks it started unraveling. I would venture to say that it started before that. We are blessed with a God given instinct and anything and I do mean ANYTHING that gives us reason to pause, or question a potential mate is sometimes the only sign or red flag you will get.

Some men (and women) are so good at game, they could probably fool the best of us. That is if we ignore that one little thing that just didn’t sit or feel quite right with you. In 99% of the cases, it is going to come back to revisit you. But this time, you may be several years in a relationship or marriage, with or without children, broke or even in jail. Oh the stories we could tell each other.

Just a few days ago, I spoke with a nice conservative black man about finding a mate. He told me what he wanted so I sent him my preliminary questions to begin. He did not get back to me, which made me raise an eyebrow. Finding that I was Facebook friends with a lady with the same last name as this man in the same town made me raise the other eyebrow. So I sent her an email to ask what this man was if anything to her. She replied with a simple question: “Why?” I told her that I was speaking to this man about possible matchmaking. I told them that I usually assist with swirling couples but was all to happy to help a nice brother out if he was available. What she sent me back made me fall over laughing. She told me that she and this man had been married for 21 years and had four beautiful children. That was not funny. What made me laugh was her next statement. The woman invited me to find somebody for him because he had just become available. I unfriended him right away and kept her. She was not mad at me, but I was mad for her. We all know many of the same people and it may make things a little awkward if others know what her husband was trying to do.

I know it is hard out there ladies, but you have got to be on your A game when vetting potential mates. Some you will know are playing games right away, some may take a little longer. You don’t have to hire a private investigator (unless you are so inclined and have the money), but there are clues and signs that you should always pay attention to in these matters. The main one is once again that funny feeling that you have that something is even just a tad bit off base. Family and societal pressures can influence us, the biological clock and heck, loneliness can help prevent us from going with our gut when we know deep down this man is not for you. You’ll only pay for it the end.

Watch the devastating story of my friend Joy Richardson who was featured on Monday’s episode of TvOne’s new show Deceived. Joy is a great woman doing well and is willing to share her story to help others avoid her mistake of not going with her first instinct about a man who turned her life upside down.