Dear Dr. Darcy, 

Ever since I started my own PR business a few years ago I’ve had men reaching out to me through my website or on Instagram, asking me to meet up to discuss “business” and insisting to meet in person over drinks or dinner instead of Zoom/phone. I can tell by the types of places they choose and how the conversations go that they really just used a business meeting to meet me in person / take me on a date. 

Is there a way for me to avoid these situations?

Yes. But before I tell you how, let me show you that you already know the answer: 

Has a female ever reached out to you under the guise of becoming a new client and insisted on meeting in person? Of course not. 

So here’s your litmus test:

You have a policy that the consultation happens virtually — end of story. 

If they won’t agree to a Zoom meeting, it’s bullshit. Especially after the last two years where even the most resistant have had to learn to be flexible and lean into video calls to survive.

Even if this test periodically fails and the person was actually interested in working with you, do you really want a client who’s so painfully rigid right out of the gate? What happens when you get him press and he’s faced with a question he doesn’t want to answer, or he’s given a deadline he thinks he’s too special to respect?

Aside from safeguarding you from wasting time in faux-meetings, this policy will help you attract clients you’re more likely to work well with — and bypass those who’ll set you up to fail, making you miserable in the process.


Writer’s Demographics
Gender: Female
Sexual Orientation: Straight