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It’s even possible to ballpark a potential partner’s income level, Ms. Coder said, provided they live in New York City.

First, use the neighborhood they live in to figure out their ZIP code. Next, input that number into a website that supplies corresponding rent levels.

Finally, divide the rent figure by the suitor’s number of roommates, then multiply that figure by 40 — in New York, renters are supposed to have an annual income 40 times their monthly rent.

“I started thinking, ‘How do you know that you won’t become some unemployed guy’s meal ticket?’” Ms. Coder said. “Look, I know the economy is tough and that New York is expensive. I’d rather date a guy who has nothing and works his way to what he has. If you’re out there flipping burgers because you lost your job, I respect that. I would go out with that guy in a second.

“But no one wants a mooch. I knew someone who was dating a guy that was on his way to being evicted, and she had no idea.”

Romantic Self-Defense

Jen had no idea. Just a hunch. She found it odd that the man she was dating had a sparsely furnished Manhattan apartment, yet offhandedly mentioned owning a house on Long Island.

After taking Ms. Coder’s course, Jen was able through online searching to ascertain that the man actually lived on Long Island — and then discover that a listed a female associate of his who shared the same last name was actually his wife.

“I dumped him on the spot,” Jen said. “It was hilarious because he used to make jokes about me trying to trap him into a marriage someday.

Jen faithfully follows two of Ms. Coder’s precepts. First, she keeps what Ms. Coder calls a “date-a-base,” a separate email account used exclusively for dating that allows Jen to cross-reference potential suitors and see if they have contacted her before.

“If six months ago he was a doctor, and today he’s a lawyer, he’s probably a pizza boy,” Jen said with a laugh. “The number of people in the world who are doctors and lawyers could fit in my closet.”

Second, Jen gave the account’s login and password information to a handful of trusted friends — in case something goes terribly wrong during a date, or she ends up like the unfortunate young women who disappear during Caribbean vacations and reappear on cable television newscasts.

“I think what [Ms. Coder] teaches gives you more peace of mind than anything else,” she said. “I have somewhat of a safety net.

“If you think back, people didn’t really date. [Couples] were arranged by families and communities. Women didn’t even live on their own. Now, people are dating on their own and single much later in life. So there’s a need to protect yourself. It’s all up to you. You have to be smart on your own, be your own community.”

That need for romantic self-defense — with its attendant anxieties — is what led Ms. Coder to create her courses and website in the first place. A former crime reporter, she realized her investigative journalism skills could help her more safely navigate a confusing, oft-disappointing, potentially dangerous dating landscape.

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