There are plenty of success stories out there that boast couples meeting online and falling in love. Some have gotten married; others are simply enjoying a long-term relationship with someone they wouldn’t have ordinarily met. The opportunities to meet the right person by dating online are bountiful.
Unfortunately, there is always a downside to something so good. Online daters need to be cautious when meeting people online. Sometimes people are not who they say they are. One example is of a friend of mine who had her heart broken when she met the man of her dreams online. It turns out that he wasn’t who she thought he was.
She met him through a personal ad on a dating website. For two weeks they communicated solely through email and cell phone. Eventually, they met and the chemistry she felt with this man was like nothing she had ever experienced before. They started seeing each other on a regular basis and within a month he told her he was in love with her. At the time, she thought it seemed too fast for either one of them to be declaring their love, but it was hard to deny the feelings between them. Now we all know that infatuation does strange things to our body chemistry. And she realized, on one level, that she was getting swept away; on the other hand, he was wining and dining her and she found his courting hard to resist. Before she knew it, she was telling everyone she knew that she was in love too.
Everything between the two of them seemed perfect. They had compatible personalities as well as a strong physical attraction. He brought her gifts and flowers, took her away for weekend get-aways and out to nice restaurants. She said it felt like a fairy tale. Until the other shoe dropped. Just before Valentine’s day, he told her he was a married man and his wife had found out that he was having an affair.
I will not go into the details of the devastation and emotional toll that my friend went through. By the time she found out he was married, she was in too deep and very emotionally connected to this guy. Here is a married man, who went searching for a woman to date online when he obviously wasn’t available. My friend had a very difficult time detaching herself from his grasp because she had fallen in love with him. He led her to believe he was going to leave his wife and marry her. It’s the same old story that we’ve heard a million times, but apparently it’s a scenario that happens very often.
So, here’s a word of caution. Online dating is a wonderful way to meet new people. But the bottom line is that some people will not be forthcoming with the truth about their lives. How do you guard against it? You need to simply trust your instincts. The signs were there for my friend; she just didn’t want to believe this guy, who she thought was her perfect match, was already attached. Look for red flags. Don’t be overly suspicious, but don’t be too trusting too early into the relationship. Guard your heart until you know your online date is someone you can trust with it.