Avoid cyber-romance at all costs, for your own good

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If you're going to gamble, bet it all on black-- in Vegas!

If you want to know (in detail) why I'm writing this hub, click here. I'm still dealing with the swollen eyes and overall feeling of "bumminess" now that my heart has (once again) been driven through a meat grinder.

What I don't understand, is that I recognize that I'm a love addict, and making attempts to recover (and failing), and yet, once again, dastardly deed love tragedy hits me again. If being on a man diet wasn't enough, I avoided going out to social settings and said "no" to any men who were even trying to share time with me in effort to right what was wrong in my romantic life. I've been reading self-help books til I'm blue in the face, and going without for months like a conformed nun in a convent. It hasn't been fun, but shoot, it sure beats heartbreak hotel.

Which brings me back to where I am now.

Before I go more into details, I would like to clarify what love addiction really is. I used to think it was my greatest handicap, a weakness, a "flaw" that needed fixing. But I was wrong. If you aren't a love addict, well, then, I want nothing to do with you. At least, romantically speaking. It is a special gift to have the ability to love, but the amount of love that us "addicts" have is like love on drugs (ha, get it, addict? Oh, well). It is tenfold the passion, intensity and intimacy rolled into one. We wear our hearts on our sleeve and hold back nothing! If that's a flaw, so be it, but from now on, I want the same kind of flawed creature in a male version. More tell-tale signs of love addiction:

  • jumping to your phone when you get a message alert, and becoming a giddy fool when you see the name of your love interest on your "inbox."
  • dropping out of other interests in life as soon as the new love interest shows up. That includes delaying important deadlines for work, talking to your relatives about plans for holidays, or being a fully functioning independent person, basically.
  • finding yourself fantasizing about your new love interest any time of day. All times of day. Even while you dream. Seeing him or her in your mind as soon as you wake up. Reaching out and touching a pillow or the sheet where your love interest should be, and whispering their name.
  • feeling anxious and impatient when you haven't heard from your love interest, like a father-to-be in the waiting room. On drugs. And 40 cups of coffee.

Now, back to why it's so important to avoid falling for cyber-romance. First off, it's no different if you've never met the person or locked eyes in person, you still can get emotionally "ahead of yourself" by email, chat and phone calls. See above for the warning signs. Second, the internet is full of lunatics, but you knew that, right? Well, so did I, and my IQ is in the triple digits, so how did I become a statistic? Well, the whole concept of internet or "cyber" dating/relationships is anonymity. Do you really know who you're talking to? They might sound genuinely sincere, and can back up all that they say, but still.... they are complete strangers! Don't forget that even psychologist use eye contact to see if someone is lying or hiding something when they talk. Can you do that with Mr. or Ms. internet lover? No.

Next: I made the fatal flaw of ignoring my own set of "commandments" when it comes to dating men. To see the full list, click here. You see, if a person says they "plan to" leave their significant other, it means you are number "three" in a couple. That's more than two, so you are the odd man (or woman) out. Wait until a person is completely separated and over their ex before you waste your time with anyone. These individuals are called "emotionally unavailable" for a reason, and it's the emotional baggage that they bring with them into your relationship that makes it a deal-breaker. If you also get baby-mama-drama, then run for the hills. My favorite saying when dating: "if you have emotional baggage, keep it in the upper compartment, and out of your relationship." It's not over if the other person is still included in any form of communication with your new person.

Internet coo-koos are all over. Some people are looking for someone to bring pizazz into their boring marriage. They use lines like, "I've been in a love-less marriage for years. I want to have intimacy and closeness that I've never felt before. I'm living with my husband/wife like roommates and want to find the one true love that was intended to happen in life." Bah! I got divorced (or at least it was pending) before I dipped my toe into dating waters. Make sure your love interest is doing at least as much. There really is so much "me work" to do after separation, and the let down of having them "reconcile" once you've vested yourself into loving them is like a vision of Hell. Don't waste any time with committed individuals. Not even "freshly" broken up people. Move on. It's called "rebound" relationship for a reason. Their emotions keep going back to where they first aimed.

Don't take your chances with cyber-romance. If you love risks, leave your top down on the convertible when they predict rain overnight. But please, PLEASE don't trust complete strangers to be the knight in shining armour they claim to be. When you're online, you can make up any fantasy about who you are, what you want, what you plan to do with someone, and have ZERO accountability. That's not a good track record. If I had the time (and I got paid for writing these hubs), I would post the statistic of failed relationships that started with cyber-love. It's not real. Have the guy fix your toilet before you decide you "love him." Have a woman make you a "sammich" before you throw your heart into the grinder of blind faith. Geez, they should give courses on this in high school. Maybe I will start a new class: "how to avoid getting your heart broken by a complete stranger."

Anyone want to sign up for the class? I have a few tips I've learned in the "school of hard knocks." Heartbreak sucks, so protect it from cyber-vampires. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on my hub, and I'll graciously answer them. My best wishes to everyone in their romantic endeavors. Up and at `em. And without the mouse click in the background.

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Comments 28 comments

Frank 5 years ago

I am so sorry to read this. Jerks are jerks. It is true that "on-line" romances give people a feeling of autonomy to make up any fantasy they want. I have become a cynic in these matters. A cynic is a frustrated romantic. I don't recommend it. I can completely understand a Love Addict. I myself got giddy when the object of my love was in proximity, either in person or electronically. But, the older I get, the thicker the armor I put on. Have a better day.

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks for the comment Frank, and my days are looking up. I have to forgive myself, first and foremost. We all slip up and make mistakes time to time. The objective is to LEARN from it. I wonder if I'll be more cynical from this? Well, at least I've gained a perspective I never thought I would be in, but at least I can judge more fairly because of it. Thanks again!

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago

wonderful1, You have an excellent writing style!

I do however think you’re being a little too hard on yourself. Truth be told the world would be a much better place when it comes to relationships if (true romantics) were able get together. Unfortunately for us everyone “acts” like a “romantic” upon first meeting.

It’s fairly easy to believe we have met someone who is “just like us” during the infatuation phase of a relationship. Down the road we learn they saw those early dates as nothing more then the “normal way to impress” someone you’re attracted to. They revert back to their “real selves” and we feel like a victim of “bait and switch” Getting involved with someone who is married always has a risk that they aren’t willing to go through the “legal channel” to end a marriage. (In fact it’s women who file for 66% of divorces in America). Most unhappily married men would rather cheat than run down to the courthouse to file for a divorce because their wife won’t have sex with them or neglects them….etc Friends of mistresses always warns them… “The husband never leaves….”

Having said that I believe the same people you meet online are the same ones in the grocery stores, at the mall, parks, beaches, movie theatres, on the job, or even in church.

It’s not where you meet but who you meet that counts. I’ve personally been involved in some long-term relationships (up to 7 years) which began online. According to statistics 1 in 5 marriages in recent times are the result of online meetings. That number is expected to rise significantly over the next 10-20 years.

Your statement “I made the fatal flaw of ignoring my own set of "commandments" when it comes to dating men.” pretty much says it all. If I go to the grocery store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead…whose fault is that? (Trust me I’ve been guilty of this also). We have to assume responsibility for anyone we “choose” to love or befriend. Overtime we learn to (listen to that inner voice) as well as stick to our “shopping list.” :-)

The first step is always to forgive you and then learn from the mistake. Awhile back I also wrote a hub regarding online dating which you might find interesting.


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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you so much for that, dashingscorpio. I'll try to "stick to my grocery list" from now on (I love that!). I've spent my day reading other hubs on the subjects relating to what I'm going through now, and it's funny, it never interested me until I found myself in the middle of the storm. I suppose I should be grateful that things didn't escalate further. This was one of those tests that becomes a life lesson. I learned. I'm sort of jaded when it comes to online romance now. The only other guy I met on a dating site was a total disaster. The difference with the guy I just wrote about is that we both weren't "looking" for anything. It started out innocently enough, a lost soul seeking help from another in an anonymous medium. I got swept away too quickly. Hence, my flaw as a love addict. I wish I could shut it off like a valve, but it sucks that others would take advantage of that quality in me. Ah, life's lesson, indeed. My best wishes to you, and I'll be looking for your new entries. I'll go read what you posted, and thanks again.

Caramel.toffee1994@live.com 5 years ago

well ,i just broke off with a *internet vampire* & as you describe i found out that am a definite Love-addict.

worst past he made me love him so bad that i can't go a moment without thinking of him.. even knowing the fact that he cheated on me ? with like 3 women.. I seriously need therapy for this..

But your hub helped me in a way ..

Thank you and i hope you forget that Looser soon..

i am never ever going to even consider online dating anymore..

Bloody hell ..

Caramel.toffee1994@live.com 5 years ago

well ,i just broke off with a *internet vampire* & as you describe i found out that am a definite Love-addict.

worst past he made me love him so bad that i can't go a moment without thinking of him.. even knowing the fact that he cheated on me ? with like 3 women.. I seriously need therapy for this..

But your hub helped me in a way ..

Thank you and i hope you forget that Looser soon..

i am never ever going to even consider online dating anymore..

Bloody hell ..

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lightpeak 5 years ago

All people are not of the same type on the internet.

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MCSkwAyrD93 5 years ago

LOL absolutely true and I've been through this myself and know a lot of people going through the same thing...cool hub xD

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tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

I agree with your comments and I hope you won't give up on love. People lie.. especially online. It can be such a nightmare. You write like a real professional and I hope you will keep publishing hubs. Excellent!!

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tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

Oh.. and I hope you will write more ghost stories to. :)

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yellowribbon 5 years ago

Amazing list you made! :) , why is it mr nice guy always gets pushed aside for player?

sorry about your relationship heart break :( , but I think its so much funner being a love addict than not having any feelings in a relationship.

Best thing i like to do when a relationship goes bad read a tons of romance comedy books funny ,cheesy and romantic .

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

I agree yellowribbon.... or have a cute guy buy you drinks in a bar and make out passionately. Life is short to hold back feelings!

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Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi W1, thanks for another thoughtful article. While I have not engaged in online dating, I am intrigued by the women I meet in HP because they 1)are writers, 2)they have depth--ok not all, but many 3)you can learn a lot about a person from their choices of topics and the way they respond to comments. The HP community helps you flush out the trolls.

That being said, it would be nice to have a writer's retreat in Santa Barbara or some beautiful place and get to know the HP people you follow in person. Between us we have over 600, it could be quite a nice event. ha ha You have to admit it has to beat happenstance in a bar.

I'm thinking of starting a writer's group in So Cal for support and challenge in our writing. I can fall in love with a beautiful mind as easily as a beautiful face and you can guess which endures. =:)

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Well said, Winsome! I've thought about the idea myself: what better way to meet awesome people (like the writers here on HP) than to have an annual get together? I'm all in. You said it better than I could: "I can fall in love with a beautiful mind as easily as a beautiful face and you can guess which endures." YEAH!!! If anyone could appreciate the mind of a writer, it would be another writer. All smiles just thinking about it. Give me your thoughts and we can get the ball rolling on this. SoCal is the perfect place to hold our "meeting." ;)

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epigramman 5 years ago

..well this is the next hub subject of yours that I would like to post to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - maybe with the way you write you could re-invent Cosmopolitan magazine ....lake erie time ontario canada 5:54am

thebluestar 5 years ago

Wow, a girl from my side of my head. Been there, done it, wore the t.shirt and cried buckets of salty self pitying tears. Brilliant hub that I can all to easily relate too, and not just once lol Thank you for telling me that I am normal, the rest I know. I now have fool firmly tattooed on my forehead. But, you know the most interesting thing of all, is that I got hurt because of my own foolish pride. My own ability to take a chance. Hey, thou remember please that many people writing on Hub Pages live in Europe too. Maybe, a more central get together would work. Please.lol Net:)

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poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

This is very good advice for all of us who spend too much time here in the box. Us older folks should know better, often don't, but the young ones really, really need to read this.

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HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Well although you have many good points i would have to disagree some what. I've met countless relationships that have succeeded online and they got married and very happy, while like you said there are creeps out there, and if you don't have your issues and emotional baggage cleaned up of course you will draw the attention of the men you don't want in your life or get involved with. Whether you are online or offline with love and romance you will get the same result if you haven't dealt with your issues and baggage. I read all those self help books myself, but understand at this point in time there is one thing you have to learn to do is detach yourself emotionally from all materialistic objects, expectations of other people, become independent and rely on yourself. You have to have a healthy relationship with yourself before you can ever have one with another person. It's a lot of hard work learning your life lessons, but the hardest is learning to let go of everyone in your life and everything never looking to others to fulfil you emotionally or spiritually. Love is not a negative vibration, nor a negative emotion. It is not meant to be a negative experience. We relate it with negativity from past experiences with parents, friends, and lovers. When you seek pure and unconditional love and learn truly what it is, you understand its an illusion what you used to believe. Fear blinds most people of what true love is by living in the past and not the present moment. Even Fear you must learn to let go of, and learn to stay in the present moment letting go of the past leaving it behind. This is not a simple lesson to master. It really has nothing to do with men online or offline. It has to do with yourself and looking within for that unconditional love instead of externally from someone else.

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Prophecy Image 5 years ago from Chicago

Wether we meet someone online or in a physical place, we all need to keep our emotions in check. More so online. Keep your "dating commandments" close to your heart and don't break them for anyone.

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RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hi Wonderful1 - I have been married maybe longer than social networking has been a "thing." lol Sounds like I should be glad...but I once was a love addict! Lots worse things to be addicted to:)

I do not understand why so many people lie online or create fake personas...so weird! I enjoyed your writing! I will have to thank Epi for sharing this with me!

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SilverGenes 5 years ago

Wonderful1, I'm so sorry you had your heart broken. Whether online or in person, it feels devastating no matter what our age or gender. I've been there, too. Online relationships are fairly new in the overall scheme of things but they do follow the same patterns as in-person relationships. We just have to learn to recognize them. The Internet is like the largest city in the world, open 24/7, with equal opportunities for everyone with a connection so we can 'meet' more people than we can in our 'real world'. A lot of these people are pretty great and really do enrich our lives. The others... well, they are missing out on what the Internet is all about and that's too bad.

When it comes to romance and that feeling of 'falling in love', the Internet takes us back to earlier times when courting included love letters, flowers, and poetry. Call me crazy, but that's a lot more interesting and considerably less complicated than what we have now in the real world. You are quite right that people will put their best self forward but we generally do that anyway. Taking time to notice little things online is a learned skill that most of are still trying to learn. There really are great people out there - it's just that the trolls get most of the attention. Hope you are feeling better soon :-)

p.s. Epi is responsible for me finding you - so glad he led me here!

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

I'm taken aback by the outpouring-- thank you to each of you whom commented. I agree that some of us are lucky to find a connection online and it blossoms in person. For me, the online experience was educational, and I'm even more hesitant to believe what I read or hear from others. My biggest challenge is to SLOW down the ability to fall in love (which according to my personality is impossible). Thank you once again for the kind words, and my hope is to share some light with others who have been through the same (and like thebluestar said), or warn others from making the same mistake. It's good to know we aren't alone with these experiences.

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Poetic Fool 5 years ago

Wonderful1, this is good advice. Difficult to follow but still good. I think you've found your experience is not unique. There are many that have gone through similar experiences and "love addicts" seem to be even more prone. Being in love with being in love is no fun. Like they say, hope dies last. Thanks for sharing your story.

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epigramman 5 years ago

....actually you are so 'wonderful' and affecting so many people/fans/friends on my Facebook page (my name is Colin Stewart there with the same profile picture) I will go and post another one of your hubs - your fans are waiting ....lake erie time ontario canada 2:23pm just woke up after night shift sleep

Lone Ranger 5 years ago


This may or may not be pertinent to your cause, but I cut and pasted a response I had rendered to Mistyhorizon2003 about 3 weeks ago:


One needs to consider that love is a fickle emotion; one that can cease to exist, grow in strength, or change direction as easily as the wind. Therefore, one must nurture love on a consistent and continual basis for it to grow into maturity, in grace and in beauty.

I believe many people place too much stock in the temporary chemical release of Dopamine into the blood stream when they think they are "in love". Most people don't even know about its existence, but it's there.

Research has shown that Dopamine, which is also known as the "love drug", is present for up to four years in any given relationship, but can subside even sooner depending upon circumstances. This chemical makes one's heart beat faster, causes one's pupils to dilate, and makes one feel like they are walking on sunshine whenever the object of affection is near.

Now, it's important to note that at some point Dopamine will cease to be delivered into the blood stream which is commonplace between 2-4 years after a relationship begins. It is, however, no coincidence that many relationships end at about the same time the chemical release runs its course.

It is also at this juncture in a relationship where married couples often claim that the "honeymoon is over". Unfortunately, when Dopamine ceases to be released, many people think that something is wrong with their relationship because they no longer feel the high of being in love, hence they tend to think that changing partners is the solution.

I believe it is fair to say that relationships will not make one happy. No, let me rephrase that: Relationships will give one a temporary boost in "hapiness", but anywhere from 2-4 years later, that chemical kick usually disappears completely and the individual is back where they started before the relationship began in terms of psychological and emotional aptitude.

This is to say that if one is a happy person before they get married, then most likely one will remain that way even after the Dopamine has subsided. Conversely, if a person is not a relatively happy individual by nature, they will typically return to a psychological and emotional base-line in short order after experiencing a temporary spike in "happiness" while the drug persisted.

What this means is that people who marry for love had better know themselves even better than the person they intend to marry. And, what people need to realize is whatever baggage they take into a relationship will still remain with them and it's not right to think that just because one doesn't feel the high of being in love any longer, that something is wrong with them, their spouse, or their marriage.

It's also true that some people mistake the effects of Dopamine for being in love and when it wears off they cannot believe what they were thinking. So, one had better marry a good person because after the love drug has worn off...you still have something to work with and something to be thankful for.

So, it is of utmost importance to be quite selective in the marriage game and not let the effects of Dopamine lead you astray. Emotions come and go, but good judgment must always have a place of honor at one's table.

My take on this issue is that The Almighty gave us Dopamine to help us bond quicker with our prospective spouse and to help facilitate the transition from oneness into the warmth and security of togetherness.

I believe it was also His intent that after a sufficient amount of time, the married couple will have been able to find a deep and abiding love for one another without the need of a chemical crutch.

In a way, Dopamine acts like the training wheels on an infant's bike, but after a little practice and with subsequent maturity, the stability of those training wheels should no longer be needed and the married couple should be able to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

Having said that, there are those who are Dopamine addicts and they tend to be "in love" with being in love. They are in love with the emotional "highs" and even crave the "lows". Sex is never better for the Dopamine "junky" than during the initial stages of a relationship, but it is rare that they will ever see a relationship into maturity as they become easily bored and lose heart after the chemical crutch has abated.

Hope this helps and best wishes to you and yours - L.R.

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks for that, Lone Ranger. Fascinating information, and makes a lot of sense with couples I've seen. For me, this chemical seems to be in over-abundance, because even 15 years into my marriage, I would still tell people "I'm in IN LOVE with my husband." I could magically find some quality in him that made me light up when I talked about him, and put him on a pedestal (even though he spent less and less time with me).

I wasn't the one who "fell out of love"-- my ex did. I was happy during our marriage, and continue to be so on my own. I do believe it's true that your happiness comes from within, and no one can "make you happy." Thanks for your explanation, and I'll keep that idea in mind. I sure will be more critical about who I choose as a mate from now on.

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womanatthewell 5 years ago


I do so love your hubs! As I was reading along, I could definitely recall severel times, when I was fed each of those lines and swallowed it hook line and sinker!

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wonderful1 5 years ago from Southern California Author

I know right, WATW? They are good at saying whatever it is you want to hear-- after all, it has to be worth taking the risk of getting your heart broken. My final word to these players:

Get your sh*t together BEFORE you look elsewhere.

Thanks for commenting, and appreciate the kind words!

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