Suspicious about an Internet Lover
Dear Patrick: I have been in love with a kind-hearted young guy for more than two years. He is smart, beautiful, and so understanding, I feel like I have met my soul mate. To prove I am loyal to him and I take this relationship seriously, I have stopped dating anybody else. I have finished school and am at the point where I can make some decisions about the next phase of my life. I want to move so I can be closer to him and have a real connection. I want to know how to convince him to meet me in person.
We talk every day on the phone, and we text each other pretty much constantly. So I am wondering why he would make excuses when I offer to fly to his city and eventually move so we can really be together. I have offered to meet him in a public place so he knows he is safe, but I would think that after all the conversations we have had, by now he should know I am not the kind of person who would endanger him at all. By the way, he also refuses to videotext me. I have asked him to send me pictures of himself so I can pretend that he is with me, but I have only a couple of snapshots of him. He won’t send me anything else.
I am in my twenties, and I think my social skills are pretty fair, so how can I calm this boy down and get him to make space for me in his life? I can’t believe he would say things to me like, “I will always be there for you,” or “There’s nothing you could tell me that would make me reject you,” then get sketchy when I offer to serve him breakfast in bed. I am beginning to regret the topless photos I sent him last time I felt very lonely and horny
Dear Getting Suspicious: I think after two years of this runaround crap, you have a right to be more than “getting” suspicious. The Internet is a pestilential plague ship crewed by identity pirates, with a cargohold full of catfish. The problem is not that you don’t know how to “persuade” this guy to meet you. The real problem may be that he isn’t a guy at all, but a lonely bi-woman seeking out sexy talk with another woman. Or he may be an ex-lover keeping tabs on you, or a sociopath who has a stable of unwitting women sending him photos of their partially-clad bodies.
Give this loser a deadline to come to you and show himself. For real. If he doesn’t make an appearance, end it. I am sure there is a good heart behind all the supportive and loving texts, but the photos “he” sent you were probably stolen from somebody else’s Facebook page or another social media site. The real face of your correspondent is a mystery and may always be hidden from you.
Please, everybody, be cautious about how much you reveal to an articulate stranger with a quick pair of thumbs for texting. You never know who is really chatting you up on-line. Don’t send people erotic pictures of yourself unless you want these images to wind up plastered across the Internet or traded in a boy’s club of jackoff material. Above all else, don’t waste years of your life assuming you have found a soul mate if that person won’t meet you, hold your hand, have dinner with you, and speak to you IN PERSON.
As far as I am concerned, even meeting them in person is not enough to tell you to let down your guard. Run a credit check and find out who this sucker really is. Don’t run off with people you don’t know. Always tell your friends or family where you are going to be. Make sure you are safe and in control of your surroundings. Sadly, the really crazy people who intend to hurt you are also very good at pretending to be normal. And they love to exploit the loneliness and gullibility of Internet traffic.