Lynn ‘met’ Gordon on one of those matchmaking sites. After a
few back and forth remarks, they moved to email, then instant
Within a day, Lynn was ‘tied ‘ to her computer. Gordon, if he
didn’t receive an immediate answer, began to quarrel.
As they were thousands of miles apart, Lynn felt ‘guilty’
that her ten p.m. was his three a.m. and ‘obligated’ to be
on her computer at a time she was usually watching television
or talking with her friends.
Visitors got views of Lynn’s back, as Lynn ‘had to’ respond
to Gordon’s messages as they were received.
Who was he to have gained such power over her?
Was Lynn in love with this stranger?
And what did he want?
One of the biggest mistakes in communicating with strangers
is to prematurely advance to instant messaging.
Real time messages mean you are at your computer when the
response is made. It allows your correspondent too much
control over your movements.
In the example above; Gordon ‘had ‘ Lynn. For her to leave
the computer, she had to virtually ask permission. Of course,
this was ‘only polite’ just as if one were on the telephone.
Or was it?
How well did she really know Gordon to have to excuse
herself, and explain why she didn’t answer his message
ten seconds after it was made?
Had this relationship been via email, Lynn would have seen
the intensity of Gordon; i.e. “You did not respond to my
last email. Why?”
Which seems rather presumptive for someone you just met.
This is not the only thing to look out for. The ‘visit’
Many men will send photos of their lovely home in NICE
PLACE and invite you to spend a few days. You don’t
know this guy but are interested in going to NICE PLACE.
You share the circumstances of your living conditions.
If you are sharing a room in Backwater Blobville he
will cease to correspond. If you are living in a beach
house in Paradise, he invites himself to visit you.
Now you want to have an all expense paid vacation in
NICE PLACE. Which is exactly what your cyberfriend
assumes, which is why he’s sent a photo a lovely mansion
as if it is his home.
He’s been such a gentleman ever so polite and courteous.
You don’t know that he doesn’t own that place. He might
live in some falling to ruin rat hole he’s dying to get
What he wants, what the purpose of this dating site is to
him, is a way to get all expense paid lodgings in places
he would like to visit.
There are women in his own country. Why correspond with
someone around the world, ratching up what should be a
casual friendship into intensity?
This is not the ‘pen pal’ where after a year or so of
long letters and small gifts one wishes to meet. This
is Instant Messaging where within a few days one goes
from ‘Hello ‘ to ‘Which Bedroom is mine? ‘
Because the ‘relationship’ seems to be a man madly in love
with a woman, pining to visit her, the important fact, where
he intends to stay, becomes adjunct.
It is not the adjunct.
It is the centrepiece.
He wants to travel, he wants the safety and freeness that
being a house guest offers, hence he searches for women who
live in places he desires to visit under circumstances which
Most of us enjoy corresponding with people all over the
world. We gain new insights, information, have enjoyable
encounters, but it has to be at some sensible pace.
Dating sites, because you put yourself on the ‘auction block’
attract the kind of person who sees the opportunity.
(Here is a lonely woman I can dazzle
and get an all expense paid vacation
at her house. If she isn’t totally
revolting and is attracted to me, sex
is extra. If repugnant or finds me
repugnant, then friendship it is.)
Of course, this is almost a ‘best case’ scenario, as one
can let their imaginations fill in other possibilities.
What do you do?
Firstly, be a bit vague about everything. Yes, you want
people to communicate with you, but how much do they
need to know?
Secondly, slow down the relationship. If it has gone from
strangers on Monday to Instant Messaging on Wednesday, and
you feel a bit overwhelmed, take a break. Tell him you are
going to visit an old relative who doesn’t have broadband.
After a day you can send him an email message. Judge his
response to this message carefully.
Let me put it like this; if he can’t live without you after
a few days of Net chat, then he would have died the day
before you wrote him.
If he starts to demand you return homeand/or call him,
ignore that statement.
Think of it like this; here is a person you DON’T KNOW.
Even if you have a cam, you DON’T KNOW HIM. You have
never been with him. You don’t know how he smells, how
he behaves in public, anything more than WHAT HE WANTS
YOU TO KNOW.
Further, Cams should not be used at the start of an
encounter. You don’t know if this guy is an axe
murderer, a pervert, anything. You don’t even know
if he’s really a guy. So be cautious.
Go for the long chatty emails, not the two sentence
flippancy. If he can’t write a long chatty email
with interesting observations on various topics, if
his whole focus is meeting you in the flesh, without
a long correspondence, the question is Why?