Question: Dear Luise: I know of people who have found their mates Online but all I have found is grief. I thought the guy was perfect and he felt the same way about me. We shared our thoughts and opinions on just about everything over a long period of time and it seemed like we were a matched set. Pictures were exchanged and phone calls were initiated. Then we met, and bang, just like that, I wasn’t beautiful enough. (I look exactly like the picture I sent to him). This whole thing, both the high and the crash, has cost me dearly. I don’t feel like I can ever try again. What’s your take on this? I know there was no such thing when you were younger but surely you are aware of how it works. I feel totally trashed. Maureen G.
Answer: Dear Maureen: I wish your sad story could be the first one I’d heard but it’s not. People have lost their lives playing Romance Roulette on the Web. I personally know someone who had a story-tale romance Online and the guy turned out to be an ex-con and a stalker. To be fair, I also know several couples what have struck gold on the Internet dating scene. I recently published a question on my site from a woman who found her soul mate in Bermuda and she lives in the Mid-west, USA, and that seems to be progressing nicely. May I add that her parents are totally terrified?
What you got was Mr. Fantasy. How fortunate that you immediately found out, in the real world, what he’s made of. The guy he pretended to be, (the one he made up), would never have been so shallow or so rude. He wove you a dream and you bought it. Each day the tension mounted as the dream got closer. All smoke and mirrors. Any psychopath who writes well can do it. Many candidates aren’t dangerous, in fact let’s be generous and say that most of them probably aren’t. Do you still want to play the odds? Have you begun to see that you lucked out? Mr. Fantasy was disappointing but not evil, as far as we know. Without personal recommendations from mutual friends, contacts at work or some proving ground, how do you know if the person is even single…much less mentally stable or AIDS-free? I think if I were in your shoes, I’d thank my lucky stars and get off the Fantasy Merry-go-round. Blessings, Luise