Online Dating

This article is one that I am writing not because I have a good opinion on the subject, but more as a PSA. Online Dating is something I am not against, but I do think that people need to protect themselves.

For about 5 years I did not chat online with anyone I did not know personally. Blogs made me relax those rules to the point that there are people that I call friends that I have not me IRL (In Real Life). However when it comes to dating I still believe that you should meet the person face to face ASAP. Two reasons. One is just protection against fraud… which is the reason for this article, the second one is because over the net people can present a facade that is so hard to bring down it would be a disappointment when the people meet.

As humans we tend to want to present our best traits when we first meet people. Eventually in a relationship we start to learn the other person’s quirks and “negative” traits. In an online relationship some things might not come up, not saying that they are consciously hidden to deceive the other person, but it is almost inevitable that you are not going to type (I am letting one out right now that would clear any room.)

A couple of people I met online through a local Yahoo chatroom ended up as more than friends. The first thing we did was go to lunch and met them face to face. That was very important to me because I think face to face is a better way to get to know someone. It is sad that not everyone is as lucky as we are to have met someone worth knowing the rest of their lives online.

A close friend of mine became trap of fraud via online dating. As I retell this story many people might say, how stupid can one be… but you have to remember that when you become involved with someone even face to face you chose to see what you want to see.

My friend developed a relationship with this woman purely online because of geographical distance. They talked on the phone and became good friends over a 3 month period. Then eventually an elaborate story developed… what it boils down to was that money needed to be sent ASAP and the girl had no way to get the cash, so my friend fronted the money. Three thousand dollars later my friend was left high and dry and this person disappeared from the face of the earth.

My point is. Protect yourselves from people online. Try to make sure that you share situations and relationships with those around you. Something you might not see as suspicious can be spotted a mile away by a friend not intoxicated by feelings.

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8 Responses to Online Dating

  1. Good advice! Such a shame though that your friend got suckered out of $3000.

  2. After a little more investigation into this fraud, it was cound that he was one of the lucky ones… other people lost close to 30K on similar scams. It was elaborate, the sick thing is that it is people taking advantage of good hearted people…

    One thing is to try to scam money via a phishing e-mail, but taking the time to build a relationship over time… well that is just so much more damaging in so many levels.

  3. I’ve often come across people online that I would chat back and forth with but never to a point where I’ve dated them. Heck, I’ve never even met them before. It’s funny that you mention this because just last night I was watching a Dateline Special on Online Predators.

  4. Slate just had an article on the subject, too.

    As for your comments, I very much agree. There’s nothing wrong with meeting someone online, but it should be moved offline as soon as possible — preferrably before you are seriously contemplating a romantic course. Even discounting the possibility of malfeasance, I’ve noticed that the potential of two people – two goodhearted, objectively compatible people – goes further down the longer one talks online. Hopes and expectations increase upward… and when you do finally meet, there is usually a sort of pressure between the two of you that makes it difficult to be comfortable. The best relationships do not form when its participants are not comfortable.

    I met my wife in real life (though through a friend I met on the net), but my previous serious ex-girlfriend and I really made each other’s acquaintance online. When we finally met (less than a couple weeks after trading a lot of emails) everything got derailed, despite the potent chemistry we always shared. After two years things or so ultimately ended, but had we waited just another week to meet face-to-face I don’t think that they would have gotten started — and I wouldn’t be the person that I am!

    Meeting online is fine, but you get to know people in person.

  5. I never tried online dating before, but after hearing these stories I think I will stick to meeting women the old school way.

    Dave Vaccaro http://www.creditrepairfree.org

  6. ONE THING I LIKE ABOUT THE SITE THAT IM USING IS THAT THERE IS NOT MANY PROBLEMS. I HAVENT HAD A PROBLEM WILTH SCAMERS OR SPAMERS. I HAVENT EVEN HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE PEOPLE ON THE SITE. ITS SO COOL TO FINALY HAVE A SITE THAT DOES NOT BRING ANY TROUBLE. I HIGHLY RECOMEND TO VISIT THE SITE. THE SITE IS CALLED WEBDATE.COM. IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A SITE THAT YOU CAN JUST SIT BACK AND RELAX, THIS IS YOUR SITE. HIT ME UP WHEN YOU GET THERE. CHECK IT OUT. =O)
    JULIOU

  7. I think people should try to combine more reality with online dating. Currently lots of people are in love with avatars and emoticons. It’s time to connect to real life. I have started work on such a project at http://www.amigomo.de and hopefully this summer is going to be ready. Remember No RISK NO FUN!

  8. thanks for the advice… I happen to have met someone online at webdatedotcom. a friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for it. so far all’s well. i’m pretty much enjoying the fact that i’ve been meeting up new people, gaining new friends, and at the same time hoping that i’m lucky enough to find the right guy for me… i hope that you too, despite of that bad experience that you had, get to find luck too on online dating sites:)

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