photo-188May we be so bold as to suggest Tyler Perry use the real life of one of his favorite actresses — Tasha Smith — as the inspiration for his next movie because that’s exactly what the circumstances of the Jersey funny girl’s recently annulled marriage sound like.

When Tasha filed for divorce from her husband after four years of marriage last year, we assumed this was a typical Hollywood split (until she filed for a restraining order) and when the divorce was finalized in March of this year we wished her good luck. Little did we know, the drama was far from over. Just a few days ago, Tasha got her marriage to her manager, whom she married after dating him for one year, annulled on the basis of fraud. Turns out Keith, aka Rory, Davis was nothing close to what he said he was.

While Tasha thought she married a reputable man of God, her former man was actually a five-time divorcée, much to her surprise. And Keith was full of surprises, like the fact that he hadn’t paid taxes in nearly 10 years and also had a criminal past. But the icing on the fraudulent cake was lying about how many kids he actually had. Oh, and he was cheating too. See why a judge ruled in favor of an annulment?

And while we’re happy Tasha is free to carry on as though this marriage never happened, in the eyes of the law at least, we’re sad it took four years for her find these things out. On one hand you could argue getting married after being together for one year was too soon and Tasha would’ve known who she was about to jump the broom with had she waited a little longer. I’d like to argue for thorough background checks before becoming anyone’s Mrs. Yes, that is my takeaway from her tale.

More time in the dating phase may have revealed Keith’s philandering ways, and possibly even a kid or two if the baby mamas popped up, but when you’re caught up with a con artist — or an extremely dishonest man — no amount of conversation is going to reveal his disastrous financial issues (until you file that first joint tax return) or a criminal past. But you know what will? A background check — and I mean an official one, not just a quick Google search, though that’s a good place to start before a date.

Let the Internet tell it, if you feel the need to do a background check on someone you’re planning to marry you probably shouldn’t be marrying them — at least not until you get your trust issues under control — and I’m inclined to agree. That’s why background checks should be done earlier in the relationship, perhaps somewhere between “I like this guy” and “I can see myself marrying him one day”?

Getting to know a potential romantic mate is emotionally exhilarating, but if we look at this from a logical perspective, the fact is employers and landlords tend to know more about the people we’re dating than we do. There’s certainly something to be said for good old conversation and asking tough questions but there’s also no better peace of mind than comes with having data to back up what someone tells you — or refute it. (That’s why we ask men for their actual STD test results rather than take their word for it.)

This may sound like a crazy proposition, but women’s intuition — as strong as it is — will only get us so far in this dating game. I, personally, would rather know about a man’s hidden past before I’m his girlfriend so by the time we’re talking about me becoming his wife, both my head and my heart (and my wallet) know what I’m getting into. Now as for whether I would tell my significant other I ran a background check on him if things checked out…I need to think on that a little more.

Do you run background checks on potential mates or do you think it’s dishonest?

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