Ladies, be wise: Don’t fall In love with a fake Romeo

love-online

by Suzette Hinton

love-onlineOnline dating is on the rise.  Whereas historically it was viewed as only for the lewd, the freaky or the desperate, it is now the preference of many successful men and women of different ages and stages in life.  In fact, I have friends who has found lasting love and wedded bliss with someone they met online.  I myself have found an absolutely fantastic guy and we’re growing more and more in love with every year, this being our second year together.  Nevertheless, online dating is its own culture.  It’s not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly.  You have to be clear of your intentions for being on the site to have ultimate dating success.

Though there are some genderless truths in this post, I am talking primarily to my female friends out there.  I don’t want to make a generalization of the feminine spirit, but I do know this.  Many of us tend to fall in love with what we hear.  “Sweet nothings,” my parents use to call it when men would say what we wanted them to say but have no intention of following through.  And we, as if mesmerized by a snake charmer or the Pied Piper, lay down our common sense and feed into the empty promises as if they are gospel.

There is a series on MTV called Catfish that deals with that very thing.   I had the chance to see an episode not too long ago.  An attractive young woman had been chatting online with a guy and the hosts told her they had found him.  Nervously, she accompanied them to his address only to discover that the house was in a neighborhood she couldn’t imagine him living in and he was a she:  a teenager who had been bullied and used an alter-ego to have romantic conversations with women.   Shocked and livid, the deceived woman accused the teenager of being a freak among other not-so-flattering things.

Though the show admittedly has some fake components to it, the message is very much true.  You cannot get caught up in what a person says and a picture.  It can all be faked.  Just because a person tells you he is male or she is female, it could be anybody, any age.  From country club moms to hormonal teenagers, the web is fair game for liars and deceivers.  I’ve watched television shows with women who have emptied their life savings to “help” the love of their lives only to find out it was nothing more than a con.  I’ve listened with absolute disbelief as female friends of mine have talked about meeting the man they’ve been talking to for months , even years, only to find out that this person is nothing like what they said they were.  One of my friends actually got raped by someone she thought was a lawyer and trusted him enough to drive her to his home.  Although this happened many years ago, I’ve never forgotten it.

I have sage wisdom that I adopted and I live by.  First and foremost, it ain’t real until I meet you face-to-face.  Email chatting or talking over the telephone is an introduction.  Nothing more, nothing less.   I get enough information to see if there is an interest and I immediately ask the gent to meet me at a well-lit, public coffee shop, bookstore or restaurant.  It’s not a date.  It’s simply to see if there is an attraction.  This, I am clear with him about before we meet.

I don’t ride in his car for the first few dates.  I meet him and park in an obscure place.  I don’t care if he looks like Richie Cunningham from Happy Days or Tyrese Gibson from you-are-so-darn-fine, I have a friend on speed dial and I drive my own car.  Initially, I won’t allow him to walk me out lest he should take a picture of my license plate and find out where I live.  Please don’t be concerned about offending him.  If he’s a good man, he’ll be okay with your taking the proper precautions.  It lets him know without your having to say a word that you aren’t anyone to be toyed with and he will have to step it up to impress you.

Those who don’t have pictures on their profile are asked to provide one.  A few men tried to avoid it and wanted to concentrate on my assets, but I told them up front, “You know what I look like.  Before this goes any further, I have to see a picture of you.”  If they try to redirect me with charm or criticism or tell me they don’t have a current picture, wisdom has taught me to thank them for their time and decline any further conversation.  If he’s interested, he’ll snap one on the spot and find a way to send it.

There is more I could add and maybe in another posting I will, but I will conclude with what I said before.  Be clear of your intent.  Be clear about what you want and don’t settle for less.  Don’t let bedroom eyes or a killer body override your resolve.  Just because he’s cute doesn’t make him a keeper.  Take… your… time.

There are countless hundreds and thousands of people online.   Ladies, please don’t get hung up on one guy and focus all your attention on him just because you find his voice or picture appealing or he asks you to.  Trust me, 9 times out of 10, he is keeping his options open.   And that’s not a criticism.  It’s just the truth and I’m not mad at him for it.   Who, in their right mind, would stop hunting until they are certain that what they have caught is enough to feed them?   Wisdom to live by.

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