Having a Fake Dating Profile Online

Dear Veronica,

Please help me. I met this guy online. We exchange messages, chat (no webcam), photos. He doesn't know im a gay. He thinks he's talking to a girl. I used other girl face. He liked what he seen, that's why he used to help me everything what i need. He sends me money. I feel bad with no way out now. My lies are too big. The only thing that is not a lie is my feelings. I really do love him. What would i do?

I'm not at peace, I'm always afraid. What's my consequences?

R.A.

Why Lie Online?

You would not even believe how many emails like this one I have received. I've compiled alot of the experiences and information into my hub Online Dating Tips: How To Tell if He's For Real. I do think online dating is a great idea. But I really hope people are careful and smart about it.

R.A. is not alone. He created a fake profile, a fantasy persona online. By fake, I mean a proifle where you claim you're a different gender, a hundred pounds lighter, ten years younger, single when you aren't, or anything else that makes you something completely different from what you are.

Why would someone put a completely false persona out there? Obviously it can't end in a real life connection. It can't go anywhere. So why would someone spend time and thought creating and maintaining a lie online?

The reasons vary, from curiosity and boredom to some very deep seeded problems. Sometimes there's just this uncontrollable need for attention. The movie The Night Listener was based on a true story regarding a woman's sickness with this.

But typically, the profile reflects the fantasy: it's the person the creator wishes they could be. Sometimes the desire to be single when someone is married, or the desire to be male when they are female, or beautiful and attractive when they aren't, is just so overwhelming it gets away from them. Even if they can only have the connection for a little while, and only online, it's worth it.

Occasionally the reason is something different. A woman wrote to me whose husband had cheated on her. She created profiles online of good looking men. The profiles would always say the man was married but not happy. She was targeting women who'd be willing to get involved with a married man. She was seeking revenge for what happened in her marriage. She said she'd woo the responders to her profiles for weeks, having long sexy loving conversations, then set up a meeting in a restaurant. Of course instead of the fantasy man showing up, she would. She'd make a big scene to embarrass the woman, screaming and calling her whore. To finish the trap she would often send the emails and chat records to the woman's boss or if they were married too, to their husbands.

Another reason people make fake profiles is money. Like R.A. said, the man who has fallen for his profile sends him money and/or gifts. It's not hard to open a Mailboxes Etc  address, or a paypal account, or to have money wired fairly anonymously. These people are predators. In their case the crime is clearer. But what of the person that steals hearts?

Dear R. A.,

You lived out your fantasy online with this man. Now you realize that your fantasy was not just to be a woman and have a connection with a man as a girlfriend. The real fantasy became the love. You claim you love this man, and it seems he has real feelings for the woman he believes you to be. The real fantastical thing here is that you felt love, and you gave love. You created more than a persona: you created a relationship. It was the relationship that was the goal. Now you face the fact that your lie will really hurt someone. Someone who doesn't deserve to be hurt. This man has been completely deceived.

You were terribly wrong to accept gifts from him. Terribly wrong. That crosses a line, that makes this worse. The first thing you need to do is to return the gifts, or mail/wire him money for them. The same for the monetary gifts - you must pay it all back. I don't care if you have to hock things or work a second job. Don't tell him you're doing this. Just DO it.

And then, that's it. You have to end this. The way I see it, there are three ways to end it, you have to decide which one is best.

You could come clean. I lean towards this as the way you should go. Just tell the truth. Since the relationship is all on line you can do this in an email. Tell him you're sorry, you lied. Everything was a lie. You are a man not a woman. You didn't expect to feel the way you did about him, and you are very sorry for what you've done.

You should not be hopeful that he will understand or forgive you. He may want to tell you off, he may choose to never speak again. You should delete that lie of a profile immediately and shut down anything connected to it like a fake mailing addy or email addys.

You mentioned you're afraid of the consequences. Part of me wants to say well you get what's coming to you, but part of me really wants all damage to be as minimal as possible, especially his. I don't like the idea of his being so upset and wounded and angered that he lashes out. He could suffer even further if he reacts badly and does something stupid. This brings me to your second option for ending this.

Your second option is to end your lie with another lie. You could write to him and say you've met someone else, you're sorry, and then disappear. You still have to return all the money and gifts. You have to do that no matter what. But you can not perpetuate the lie. You have to end it with this final communication, closing all avenues of connection he has.

While it feels wrong in my gut to even mention this way to end your lie, I am trying to think of what's best for this man you tricked. Please be honest about this, not selfish. Do you in all honesty think that if he finds out he fell in love with another man that it will hurt him even worse? I think the bottom line is, you don't get to hurt him any more than you've already done. Telling the truth to clear your soul might actually be too selfish. You get to walk away feeling cleared, but what will he feel. If finding out he can't trust himself, he can't trust his instincts, that you were a man, and that he is horribly gullible will be harmful to his well being and sense of self respect, then you really might want to tell this lie to end your big lie. Don't get me wrong, this will hurt him. Hearing you chose another will hurt him. But if you think it will hurt him less than the truth, than you owe it to him to consider this option.

The third option is to disappear. I think this is cowardly. But if the only other option is to continue lying, if this is the only way you can bring yourself to end it, then at least do this. Realize that if you end it this way, he may never heal. He will always question what happened and never find closure. He may seek you out. He may never give up. Please don't consider this as a smart decision.

R. A., you may not realize how much you took from this man. It wasn't just some money and gifts, and a big block of his time. It was his trust. Not just his trust of others but also his ability to trust himself. You took something intangible and personal. Something that may never heal. You violated him. I truly hope you've learned from this and that you'll never repeat it.

As far as what your consequence is, that's really not for me to speculate. You really fucked up, but I believe it's never too late to fix yourself. End this. End this in the way you think is best for this man. Return every penny. Maybe you could reflect on what you did by spending some time giving back to the cosmos. Energy is tangible, and you are responsible for some pretty bad energy. Go out there now and offer the world some good energy. Volunteer, deliver meals on wheels on Valentine's Day. Give time to a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. Donate some possessions that are important to you to the Salvation Army. Pick up the garbage along the side of the road. Do something selfless and spend some time reflecting on how you can be the best person you can be.

Namaste.

This hub

was written by Veronica for Hubpages. If you are reading it elsewhere it has been stolen. All text is original content by Veronica, all photos are used with permission, all videos are courtesy of Youtube.com

Do you have a relationship question? Email me. 

More by this Author


17 comments

rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

WOW! You've got a new follower. That was amazing. You went straight to the gut and I love your heart wrenching honesty in what is not right about his situation. I look forward to reading many more of your hubs. As I read it, I thought, what would I want to know if I were the man he deceived. I think I would want to know the truth and yeah, it would suck, but again, another lesson about online predators and how they work. Bravo, this really is a must read! Rated up.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Wow, thanks rebekahELLE. It was a big one to tackle, I spent alot of time thinking this out. I'm really glad you read it all and appreciated it. You made my night xoxo


philip carey 61 6 years ago

An older relative used various pictures of me to represent himself to a woman for some ten years in an online relationship. When that person died, I found out (long story). The woman was hurt, angry, and confused. I felt really bad for her.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

phillip carey 61,

Ten years? Wow. I'd be curious to hear that story. I feel bad for her too, and curious how it went on for 10 years. I wonder why he did it.


philip carey 61 6 years ago

Vanity, mostly, I suspect. Or maybe it was a hunger for something he could no longer have, due to his age. She apparently tried to visit him (she was from a different part of the world than he), but he was conveniently out of town on emergency business. I suppose I could have let the whole thing go, and let her think he just went away. Maybe that was the humane thing to do, I don't know. I'm sure there are many thousands of similar stories involving internet relationships.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

I'm sure there are many similar stories. Still, it always amazes me when I hear about an extreme one. 10 years is such a long time. I can certainly understand letting it go to be humane for her sake, but I think I would have come clean too had I been in your shoes. Especially not knowing what was said and all. I don't think I could let it go, I think I'd have to be honest with her. Wow, that must have been just crazy for you, finding out about this, and then telling her. It's so sad in so many ways. Loneliness is a powerful thing and tends to override rational thought. It's certainly a major lesson for people out there that date and meet people online.

If you wind up writing out this experience for hubpages I hope you'll come back and leave a link to it here in comments. I think a lot of people would be interested to read it, especially being that it's from a third person's point of experience. Thanks for sharing this much so far.


Iðunn 6 years ago

I'm so glad I was reminded to come back here and comment directly. :)

Yes, I think we are seeing more and more of this on the internet. I think it's possible some of it can be entirely innocent-ish the whole time, some can start innocent and become malignant (like in this case, given the benefit of the doubt), and some few case are true malignancies all along.

I think in future being able to tell the difference is going to be very important as cyberstalking now claims over 500,000 victims a year and growing. It's an important subject and one this Hub touches to tangently. I actually stumbled into it on Google I think when researching my set (so you have good Google ranking on this one!).

This is truly an excellent Hub. I upthumbed it when I read it and I'll do so again, but I don't think it counts twice for the same IP, lol. If it does, I can say your Hub more than deserves the double thumb up. :D


Iðunn 6 years ago

I was re-reading this and I wanted to note this. You said this:

"R. A., you may not realize how much you took from this man. It wasn't just some money and gifts, and a big block of his time. It was his trust. Not just his trust of others but also his ability to trust himself. You took something intangible and personal. Something that may never heal. You violated him. I truly hope you've learned from this and that you'll never repeat it."

You speak so well for the victims. Listening to you say that to this man is validating for me too and for the experiences I have gone through. The extent of damage is grossly underestimated by others unless/until they have gone through it. I may have trouble trusting online others forever. Violated is exactly the word for it.

The problem is that you are speaking to the choir. Anyone who understands what you're talking about (integrity) already did understand that and would never have done what this man did. And the people who choose these kinds of actions are never going to hear you; they are sociopaths who are too ill or have such horrible character that it's like water off a duck's back.

But I want to say, as a member of the listening choir, keep preaching. As but one victim of many, thank you. Thank you so much for being wise, kind, sane, brave and REAL.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Iðunn,

Wow. Your comment really blew me away.

Thank you so much for this.

Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts and feelings and history here. I believe there are many like you who've been hurt immeasurably. And many potential victims that may heed the warning. And, hopefully some potential sociopaths who could decide not to start something stupid. One can hope.


Iðunn 6 years ago

Hope is a scary thing, my friend. But even burned over and over on it, I still wish it for us. Without hope, there is nothing. ((Veronica))


Iðunn 6 years ago

A piece of my story and I want to tell it here, because you are safe enough to tell it to you, because you won't let that creature comment in here to rip me to shreds after.

I went through therapy from 16 until my mid-forties off and on because I came out of an extremely abusive childhood with a permanent and disabling dissociative condition. I didn't work clubs because I was "showing off". I worked clubs because they were the only place I could manage to take care of my three children.

Clubs are very forgiving. All the women there are walking wounded. If you mess up, if you have a bad period of time, well at least you make enough when you're weller to cover for that, and clubs are oddly empowering too. I might Hub to it someday, my thoughts on clubs are complicated and personal.

Clubs have plusses and minuses but I will love them forever because they saved my life. The Club is my home. The only home I had then, until I made one with myself, my children and my closest friends.

The woman who stalks me isn't a stranger. She was one of my best friends from 2 until 18. We never had a major row and we parted friends (or so I thought). She always knew about my childhood because she was there too. She knows I have a dissociative condition, DID and you'll see her in multiple aliases making fun of it on Hubs and the forum and making it come off as 'evil' as possible to reading others when in fact, it's nothing like that.

In my life, I have the most wonderful supportive real life friends for decades. All my children love and respect me. I am satisfied with that and in the time of crisis both before and including being stalked now, I have always had that.

After twenty years of therapy, the last ten years with a wonderful woman who saw me pro-bono, I was finally (mostly) happy and self-assured posting to pol on my little debate board as one of a group. Belonging to a healthy group was such an important thing to me - to be just like everybody else, after a lifetime of being a scared sad loner.

This woman arrived out of nowhere, I had no idea she had stalked me TO the internet. I just thought it was cool that she showed up (an old friend!) until I realized what she was doing to me behind the scenes and it took me two years to even notice that because I came and went there anyway.

This woman attacked me through people I knew and liked and trusted at that time. She didn't attack me beause I had a good life and I certainly have never had money or healthy m/f relationships or any kind of stability until that period that she found me. Basically, my life really sucked for decades because of damage from child abuse and she knew that even then.

She attacked me because I was the most vulnerable person she could find. Still fragmented, barely safe from being suicidal, just in process of building self-esteem. She stole 20 years of therapy from me, created a need for me to take anxiety meds although I managed twenty years of dissociation without them. I still have panic attacks. She ruined my board friendships, took my safe online place, took all safety on the net from me. And she's still stalking me. It will never end.

But, yes, I hope. I still hope.

Delete if you need to. I haven't said anything I'm afraid to be seen. Truth isn't relative. Maybe this is my time to share some of my personal emotional demons. I think I'm getting better again.

Thanks for listening.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Iðunn,

I'm very honored you shared this here.

It's disturbing that this can happen, I have no idea what to say, other than that I have so much respect for you. And that I truly hope you find and keep the peace you deserve.

xoxo

Veronica


Iðunn 6 years ago

Thank you, V. Usually I'm not around at all when I'm sad or odd.

If you want to know about dissociatives, this is the main thing. We go in tangents. We don't make alter egos for our "personalities". We just come and go. I'm usually only online at all when I'm in a certain mode.

There may be some shift, but it's what you see under my own name, different moods... love, politics, fun fads, it's all me in moods, there's the dissociation.

Sometimes I have to read myself or others over and over because I can't remember what I or another Hubber has said. Yet you will see an amazing consistency to my underlying principles. My therapist told me that, that she saw me a whole and not just a whole, a really good and compassionate person. I so love her. I miss her now that she doesn't pracice anymore.

Time is a funny thing. Dissociatives have particular trouble trusting themselves. All my work in therapy was about trusting myself, in one way or another. Being stalked made me doubt myself again for several years because of the betrayals and trust issues. I'm just now finally improving.

Dissociatives would never hurt anyone on purpose because we know what it feels like. We might react to being attacked and I've sure done that on whatever rare occasion, but basically I'm going to credit myself for having remarkable grace over the entire situation and I deserve that credit. Go me!

I trust myself again and maybe eventually others nomatter how hard I have to work at it. What is, is. I can't do anything about her stalking me, I live on less than half of poverty line so I can't get any legal help. But I can get back to where I was when she arrived in my life, I believe, and get even better and I'm willing to work on it.

Thanks again, more than you can know.


iskra1916 profile image

iskra1916 6 years ago from Belfast, Ireland.

Excellent hub Veronica ! Really really first class article!

I also think Idunn is very brave to have shared her experience, strength & hope with us.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Thanks iskra1916 !


Midnyte 6 years ago

This was a great article, from the explanation of the issue and examples to the solutions.

Very objective but complete. Well done.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Thank you Midnyte. I still think about this guy often. I'm glad you feel I was able to tackle this one well. It's scary, and important.

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.
Click to Rate This Article
working