Meredith Golden is a psychotherapist turned digital wing woman: Singles hire her to take over their dating apps, Cyrano de Bergerac-style, to impersonate them and find the best matches. But along the way, she’s come across plenty of creeps.
“There are so many singles in New York, and the beauty of dating apps is the opportunity of meeting so many different people,” Golden, 43, told The Post. “But, unfortunately, the way someone presents themselves [online] isn’t necessarily the same person who shows up for the date.”
So she’s compiled a list of the worst local men she’s come across — about 60, so far. Golden, of course, avoids these guys for her clients, and she even spreads the word among other matchmakers.
“I started it to protect people,” said Golden, who is married and also the founder of the dating site SpoonMeetSpoon. “I love dating and being able to meet so many people through my clients. It’s my job to protect them from bad dates.”
Offenses include men who lie about their jobs or ages, or who don’t look like their dating profile photos. But there are also people who’ve expressed racist tendencies, harassed women — and worse. Like the guy who went on a date with one of Golden’s clients and revealed, within the first 10 minutes, that he’d fantasized about stabbing his mother in the eyes with a fork.
Another time, a guy went out for drinks with one of her clients and shared his troublesome views on dating younger women: “As long as someone has gone through puberty it’s fair game.”
“I see him on the apps all the time,” Golden said. “He’s squeaky clean, perfect on paper.”
Sometimes, she’s able to weed out the worst even before her clients go out with them.
“There was this guy on [dating app] Hinge — really handsome, over 6 feet tall and works in finance,” said Golden, who conducts Google and LinkedIn searches on clients’ potential matches. “We chatted a few times. But eventually he said he had a shoe fetish . . . and he just likes to see people in stilletos naked. I blocked him.”
Golden automatically blocks dudes who send nude pictures of themselves, or jump right into sex talk online.
“It’s weird to say something sexual to a complete stranger,” she said. “I just abort the conversation.”
Any time men are verbally abusive on a dating app, she reports them to the apps.
As she’s gathered names for her whisper network, Golden’s seen a surprising type of cad emerge.
“I was really surprised — they’re all professional, white collar jobs,” she said. “They went to top-20 schools and they look clean-cut. . . . It’s weird and unbelievable. I wonder [how they act] in their professional lives.”
Thankfully, of the thousands of men she interacts with online on a regular basis, most of them aren’t creeps.
“Ninety-five percent of them are good guys,” she said. “It’s the small 5 percent that make my head spin.”
Her advice for daters going it alone? Trust your instincts.
“When someone shows who they are [and it freaks you out], you run for the exit.”
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