It was an online dating profile that sounded too good to be true. Tall, dark, rugged, loves fishing and the outdoors. Needs his time in the cave but loves spending time with his honey, too. “The man sounded like a dream”, said Andrea Finley, recent divorcee, and mother of two. Finley had recently signed up for the popular dating site “GoDater.com” to find a soul mate. When she came across a sparsely completed profile with one blurry photo of a riverbank as an avatar, she thought she’d found the perfect match. “He sent me a few messages. He was a man of few words, but I found that attractive. He seemed mysterious.” Mysterious is one thing, but what Andrea found when she finally met her date at the Seafarer’s Fish Grill in Santa Monica would shock even the most experienced online dater. “I walked in and I noticed a grizzly bear sitting in the corner. ‘Please don’t be him. Please don’t be him,’ I kept saying to myself. But then he got up and came over to me and wrestled me into a chair.” Andrea was on a date with a 1600 lb Alaskan grizzly bear.
“He, of course, ordered the salmon,” she said. The date went about as good as a date with a bear could go. The creature destroyed the table, broke a window and killed a waiter when it walked past without offering to refill water. “He was really rude to the service staff. That says a lot about a person,” Finley recollected. At one point in the evening, she feared for her life. “After dessert, he started looking at me like I was just a piece of meat. It made me really uncomfortable.” Moments later a fish truck pulled up to unload more salmon and other seafood into the restaurant. “The bear tore through the dining room, overturning tables and running down patrons to get to that truck. He tore the back door completely off and just started eating salmon like a diabetic in need of insulin,” the traumatized love-seeker said.
Andrea Finley got off lucky. This isn’t the first time an online date has “gotten hairy”. Last April a man named Clarence Mathers went on a date that turned out to be with a mother bear. When he expressed to her that he didn’t want to raise three cubs she got extremely defensive and mauled him to death. “You never want to mess with a mother bear’s cubs,” bear expert Rudolph Gregory told BNN.
So, is online dating even safe anymore? We talked to Gregory and dating expert Sally Smith about what to watch out for when perusing profiles.
Five Clues an Online Dating Profile Might Be a Bear
- Misleading photo: Bears will often take photos from angles that are much more flattering. If the camera is angled downward, in the right light, it can shed a lot of weight. Others use images that should be dead giveaways such as freshly caught salmon. Some bears go so far as to steal the profile pictures of human men after killing them. These are the hardest to discern and the most dangerous.
- Doesn’t ever want to meet at his place: This should be an instant red flag. Bears live in caves and in the shrubbery along riverbanks, often moving to where the salmon is easiest to catch. Since they never have one permanent address, telling you they can’t meet at their place is a sure sign they are a bear.
- Only wants to eat at a place with good salmon: Want to meet at that cute new coffee shop in Silver Lake? Good luck. Bears can’t stand to go anywhere salmon isn’t served. It may sound like a fancy night out, but be careful. It could be an ur-sign of things to come.
- Constant misspellings in texts and emails: Because of their long claws, Bears have a very hard time with touchscreens and keyboards. If your potential man sends you a lot of misspelled words, chances are he’s no man at all.
- Uses the word “honey” too much. Bears are obsessive when it comes to honey. If your potential partner is constantly referring to a desire for honey, there’s a good chance you are chatting with a bruin.