“One out of five relationships now begins online.” That’s the claim of one online dating service. Do you believe it? I do.
And I also think some of these online meet-and-greet services are a hot bed for scam artists on both sides of the gender fence and for people just looking to get laid. Now there is nothing wrong with simply wanting sex. But—if you’re looking for love on one of these sites, you need to keep in mind all of the pitfalls. One being that the person you “meet” might be only after sex. Like I said—that’s fine. Nothing wrong with that—as long as both parties know that up front, that is.
Basically, meeting someone online is no different than in real life. You’re still going to run into jerks and freaks and kiss a whole lot of frogs. LOL And then you have the extra added worry of…”is that really a pic of him?” OR “is he really a millionaire?” LOL For the purpose of this post, I’ll be considering the female POV mostly. So boys? Don’t get your tightie whities in a wad if a little man-bashing happens to go on. I still LOVE men. Lol
Personally, I haven’t tried one of these dating sites, but I know a whole lot of women who have. Sometimes their stories make my hair stand on end, too. One lady “met” this man and was talking to him right much through instant messaging and thoroughly enjoying herself. He was handsome, smart, complimented her to the point of just making her melt---and then after a couple of weeks? He lowered the boom!
He needed investors to get his new business off the ground. Uh huh. So my friend comes to me with this story and tells me that on the one hand it sounded like a good investment for her---but on the other hand---what if he’s lying and out to scam her?
HUH? WTF? “RUN!” I screamed. “Get the hell out of Dodge now. He is a liar, a con man. Please don’t give him any money.” Her reply? “You know he could just be a really nice guy and trying to cut me in on a good deal, too!”
Okay. I’d like to tell you that she finally saw the light and did actually quit talking to this dude, but I can’t. Our conversation sort of went downhill from there. lol She finally decided I was jealous of all the wonderful things that were happening to her and we have not talked since. That’s been about a year ago now. Well, I survived. I prefer my friends have a little common sense anyway. HA!
I also had a friend who became involved with a major jerk. She met him through MYSPACE. He led her to believe he had money. All he ended up being was some middle-aged guy who was still swilling down a case of beer every day, smoking pot, and living off of some woman---a woman he forgot to tell my friend about. So a word to the wise where this whole money issue is concerned. If a man talks to you about how much money he has? Well, he probably doesn’t have any. But sometimes you just get hold of a bragging asshole, too! Been there, done that. Either way, that kind of man—the one who has money and brags about it or does not have money and brags about it is NOT someone you want in your life. Period.
Besides, if YOU are the real deal--not looking to take advantage of a man--but simply looking for Mr. Right. Someone to share your mind, body, and soul with--then you don't care about the money aspect of it, do you? Well, at least not in such a way that money is the focus. Of course, you don't want to end up with someone YOU'D have to take care of, but happiness isn't about the bucks, is it?
I could tell you story after story about online romances gone bad. There’s the one about the dude who sent the gal a pic and it was of his nephew. LOL Damn. Didn’t he know that when they met she’d wonder why he’d lost all those muscles and all of his HAIR?!!! Plus!!! He’d shrunk about half a foot, too. LOL And then there is the one about the woman who left her kids for a man she’d met on MySpace. Yep, she did. Left her hubby and kids and moved all the way across the country for a J-E-R-K. He turned out to be an alcoholic and very abusive.
I seem to be the go-to person when these online relationships heat up, and then blow up. LOL Like I know what to tell them other than RUN! And you know what? It doesn’t make any difference what I’ve said to any of them. In every single instance, all of my “friends” chose to continue in the bad relationship/situation.
Trust comes hard to me. It really does. I’ve had guys pop up on Facebook and MySpace—even email me directly. But as soon as I find out they are NOT contacting me for the purpose of what I write—as in they like reading it—I hit delete. Oh now there was this one dude whose head I played with for about half an hour before hitting delete. Meh…I was bored. LOL I guess I’m just old-fashioned. But that has nothing to do with “meeting” someone online. Real life meet ups are too fast for me. LOL
What happened to taking it slow? Savoring the little things? Does everyone really have to lay all their cards on the table about their finances and reveal all the skeletons in their closet on a first date? AND…get naked, too? Okay okay. I write erotic romance. Yeah, I know. I should be the poster girl for SEX! Well, I’m not. LOL I write fantasy. I’ve often said: I WRITE IT. I DON’T LIVE IT.
If the miracle of love hasn’t happened to me at this point, it’s pretty much a done deal that it’s not going to happen. Know what I mean? So I don’t have any faith in dating sites. Don’t have any faith in the real life version either. Now where does that leave me?
The only way I think I could “date” again—online or off—is if I was introduced to someone first by someone I trusted. And the person who makes the introductions should really KNOW the man they are introducing me to as well. It couldn’t be just a casual acquaintance for sure. Yeah, I know. I’m picky. But shouldn’t we be picky when choosing an individual to share ourselves with?
My advice to those who are trying the online thing is this:
1. Lead with your head, not your heart.
2. Never disclose financial information.
3. Read between the lines.
4. If anything sounds off? Well, it probably is off.
5. Ask lots of questions.
6. Take your time. Don’t agree to meet someone two weeks after you “meet”. Patience is indeed a virtue and the right guy will wait until you are completely comfortable with him.
So how long do you wait before the actual physical meeting? Beats me. LOL But I think it would be in the four to six month range, really. It’s my understanding that online you graduate from email or messaging on social networking sites to Instant messaging/chatting. Later on you talk on the phone. But I would think it would be a gradual process for those who feel the need to play it safe, and well, keep their sanity, too! LOL
I do hope there are some commenters today who have gone through the whole online dating process and can share some good advice for those who want to try it. And hells bells, if you’ve got a great story, I’d love to hear it!
Today’s featured book trailer was created by Tina at Topaz Promos http://topazpromos.com She made this for Elenna Taylor for her book Win By Default from XOXO Publishing.