LEARN HOW TO DATE ON LINE
TO DATE OR NOT TO DATE...WHAT A DILEMMA!
I divorced my husband after 19 years of marriage about 2 years ago. He decided that the pasture was greener in the other side, and he hooked up with some other woman. After 2 months of complete and useless drama, I just got tired of playing tug war, so I let go of my end of the rope, and he felt on his sorry behind... forever. It hasn't been a bed of roses ever since either, but to tell the truth, my marriage wasn't precisely heaven. My new freedom arrived to my life holding hands with the economical struggle, that comes from living out of one income only, and no child support. But that is another story. The reason for this blog now, is to write about how the dating we knew, so simple and spontaneous, has now become nothing by another merchant's strategy to make money. I'm talking about the on line dating. Like other hundred of thousands of single people, I would absolutely refuse to join one of those sites at first. Maybe, because it was like saying: "Helloooo! I feel lonely here! Do you want to share your days with me?" Pathetic! I have always thought that there is nothing wrong with being plain honest, and after admitting that I hated to be by myself in a rainy day, I decided to join a dating site. I was even kind of excited when I created my profile, who doesn't like to talk about themselves? Picking a good photo of myself, though, was kind of hard. Would they like me? My nose was too big, and my boobs weren't. I also was a little over weighted, and compared to the women they advertised, I was really in disadvantage. However, 30 minutes later I had my first hit. Wow! I felt beautiful and desired, and after 24 hours I already had 10 hits, 1 e-mail and 12 likes. I was thrilled! A week went by, and all the initial excitement just vanished! Talking to other women I find out that most of the hits were computerized by the website staff, and the real ones were probably the real men left were probably the ones not very good looking. Then after a month, I kind of feel weird. Advertising myself like that made me feel like a washer for sale in Craig list, and when the hits completely stopped for a week or two, I stupidly felt sad, abandoned, and disliked. My low self esteem kicked in again and I started thinking to completely withdraw from the on line dating sites.
Now, I'm not going to point any fingers at any specific site, but so far, after 6 months of being a member I got to tell you that, believe it or not, the ones that charge a monthly fee for the membership, are usually the ones containing more "strange characters" than the others. I have found individuals covered in traumas, defensive and ready to judge, and dump you before they even get to know you. They are judging as soon as you get out of your car to meet for coffee! One almost jump back on his car through the window, when he spotted me parking my vehicle. That was probably the most traumatizing experience I have ever had on the online sites, so far.
I also felt on one of those "faked profiles". Some dude with a strange accent, told me his sad story about his cheating wife. He also told me, that he was so interested in me, that he wanted me to quit the site and have an exclusive relationship with him. There was only one little problem: we had never met in person! We had a couple of conversations over the phone where he sounded like a different person every time, and from a non traceable phone. The conversations were brief and made no sense. I also noticed that he would avoid every single direct question about his present life, and he would end up the conversation, with a sudden statement like:"I miss you so much!"
Then I would say: "Wait a minute Michael, you didn't answer" and he would finish the conversation abruptly. We exchanged e-mails for two weeks, and then he said he got the contract, and that he had to leave to go to Malaysia?. He also said he didn't know when he would be back. Then the e-mails turned more passionate, and I got more and more suspicious about this guy. Finally, I decided to do a little research about him. It didn't take that long, in a couple of hours I found out, the Oil Company he said he got the contract from, was a very little local company in a different state, than the one he said it was. Of course they never sent anyone to Malaysia, and his name was completely strange to the company's manager.
Good enough! The next morning I received another e-mail from this guy. This time he sounded absolutely desperate. He said that someone has stolen his credit cards at the hotel in Malaysia and then, he just popped the question:"I didn't want to bother you, but is there a way you can send me 500.00 via Western Union? I'll pay you as soon as I get to the States". A CLICK on the other side, was the last thing I ever heard from him.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A FAKE PROFILE
After this incident I did my own investigation and here are the results:
-Fake profiles are "too good to be true", these men will tell you all the things you want to hear: "You are beautiful" "I have never find no one like you" "You can tell me anything, I'm here for you", and the list goes on and on, and usually this happens just after a few chats. Do not believe a word they're saying, and PLEASE! Do not volunteer any personal information. These are just scams to steal your identity, or to get you bank information, or even worse! Dating sites are full of serial killers and predators. Do not fall for these profiles, they are nothing but trouble.
-Usually after a couple of times chatting these men would tell you that they are "temporary" in the other side of the world "working" and will ask you for your YAHOO messenger or your phone number to text you. If you call them back you get a computerized voice mail advising to leave your number. I traced the phone numbers, and I find out they are computer generated by different servers, especially GOOGLE. The numbers usually have the area code in your area, or close by. When they call you back the always have an excuse about being working outside their office. They NEVER answer the phone. Also, when they call, you can hear like an echo in the background, and they usually speak with a very thick accent. Some of them, will tell you that they are European descendant. Translation: These men live out of the USA, and they obtain the local phone number through the computer. They also call you at unbelievable times, like 2 or 3 in the morning, and this is because for them, is day time from where they are calling you from! They prefer targeting women on their 50's and after studying your profile, they know exactly what to say to you when they call. DO NOT FALL FOR IT! Usually they are just after the US visa, or easy money from you transferred to them via Western Union. They are scam artists.
- Their phones number usually have an area code from out of State (I found out there some companies out there which issue phone number here in America even to people who live overseas). They insist to text via e-mail and if they give you their number they "prefer" to text because that way you won't detect their thick accent.
-Most of them will tell you that they work oversears "in a contract" and usually they tell you that their pone are work phones, so they cannot talk to you during the weekends. RED ALERT! these dudes are usually married or in a steady relationship, don't fall for it!
- There are also the ones that only see you in your house, they "don't like" to go out, or they are always tired, and they "prefer" to stay home with you and have some pizza and wine, and of course "that". They call you whenever they please, and usually to "visit" you at home. Cut them off! They don't want to be seen with you in public for a reason, either they are playing more than one woman at a time, or they are already involved with someone who they do take out for dinner. Don't be the hidden one, have some pride!
-Their stories are full of drama to inspire your sympathy. After they create the rapport they need, they will "sting" your good faith asking you for money "because someone broke into their hotel room and stole their credit cards, and they need to pay the hotel room, or they 'll be sleeping on the streets". After they get your attention, they will find the way to finally get into your bank account and the next thing you know, is that they emptied it out.
-They make you promise to wait for them, because: "they are so eager to meet you in person", they will keep you walking on the tip of your toes, anxious with anticipation, FORGET IT! You might be better of pulling a chair and sitting down! Because it WON'T happen. And if you get suspicious, and you start asking too many questions, then the next day when you look for them again to chat, their profiles on the site, will be gone forever. Of course, they will reopen it with a different name to continue scamming new victims, just like you! They even steal pictures from other real men!
-Also, there are the sex scam artists, the ones that have a hidden camera, and after a while they ask you to remove your clothes "just to keep you in her night fantasies when they got to bed sad and lonely" Watch for those! You might find yourself in you tube, or someone might just tell you that they saw you in some cheap porno movie. Be aware that they might recording a video with your volunteered sex scenes, and you don't even know about it!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND "THE ONE"
I always wondered whatever happened to the spontaneous date leading to know someone further than the first date? I had bumped against so many men just looking for a one night stand, or the habitual leaches looking for a "sugar momma"!
A friend of mine told me once: "Remember one thing: Not everything that seems right, is right". And it was true! I had been dating for a while, and I had found out that, contrary to everyone’s thoughts about the perfect match, there are a lot of dark corners in a relationship, that seems "too good to be true". As a matter of fact, from all the guys I met (not too many anyway), the ones who seemed nicer and truthful, were the ones who ended up disappearing one day, without previous notice. However, the ones who seemed against making a commitment, were usually real, difficult to caught..but good guys after all.
I DID MEET THE ONE
It is kind of funny, but everyone seems to agree that when they were about to quit the search for that special person...they just found he/she! And it didn't really start like a "spark".
Actually, the most meaningful relationship I ever had, started as a very troubled dating experience. I met him in one of those on line dating sites, and although our first date went good, he text me the next day to tell me that “there was something missing, and just to keep on searching for the real one”. Discouraged, and kind of offended by the way he ended our dating after talking on the phone for two months, I replied: “Sorry you feel that way, however, you would have left a better impression on me, if you would have told me this face to face instead of just text me”. To my surprise, this statement caused a favorable reaction on him, and he called me to apologize.
From that day we steady dated for a year. He was a traumatized guy whose wife of 25 years of marriage, dumped him overnight and went to live with another woman. She left him behind raising his two daughters by himself, and she just started a new life on her own. I never understood how someone would leave a man like him. Once I dogged into his soul, and he learned to trust me, we became inseparable. People who knew him from before, couldn't believe how much he had changed. It wasn't easy though, but after a year, he had a smile back on his face, he quit drinking, and he wasn't bitter anymore.
All my efforts were worth, and that text message was the start of the most beautiful relationship I ever had (and I was married twice) I had found the love of my life forever...Or so I thought. By the time he died in a terrible car accident (two years ago), at 52 years old, my baby was happy. I know his heart was full of love again, and I know we would have probably last together, for years to come.
My point? Don't just quit on someone you really like, explore a little bit your possibilities with that person, before you dispose of him for good. Now, I am not saying to let someone mistreat you or anything like that, but please consider the fact, that most people on those on line sites, have been hurt really bad before, just like you. Give them a chance, and don't fall for them right away. Observe, analyze and decide if he/she is a “keeper” or not. The problem with these sites, is that there is so many lonely people out there, that we don't even consider to last more than a few text messages or calls with a prospect. The truth is that you won't be able to realize when you find the “real one” because you are just too busy looking for Mr or Mrs Perfect. Forget it! There is no such a thing in this world. After 50's everyone has some kind of “boo-boo”, and baggage in their lives, and so do you.
Be picky, but in a smart way, recognize the potential of the other person, and the possibilities of that relationship. There is no time for games, and after a certain age, there is no room for mistakes either. This time, try to think with your head, and not only with your heart. My baby was the totally opposite of the kind of man I ever dated in my life, but he was the one. I'm glad I took the chance with him. Now, I have the best memories, anyone could have ever asked for, from the only year we were together. Take a chance too, isn't it what life is all about? Taking chances, and making the best choices. You will never find out if happiness is out there for you, if you don't grab the risk by the hair first. Life is too short, start living it today!
SOME ON LINE SITES WORTHTO VISIT DEPENDING ON WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:
-OK CUPID This date site has a very similar set up than Match.com but it's FREE! The quality of men is also much better. You might come across some faked profiles too, but the best part is that you can delete them right away and you won't hear from them again. You will also find these weird messages sent to you as if they were other members, when they really are just staff employees conducting kind of a "survey" asking you questions like: "And how long have you been on this site? Any luck so far?".
- POF (Plenty of fish) is a free site as well. An "ocean" very populated with all over the world members, you will find from sardines to sharks. I have met real losers here, but I have also made good friends. This is a "nothing serious" site, because most of these singles are just "fishing" and letting go. No keepers.
- HARMONY is a good site to find a real relationship, but that is, if you can afford to search for a while. It is probably the most expensive site of all. Also their free trial only allows you access to a very limited selection, and "they" pick what they think is good for you only. It is like a site own by your mother.
-MATCH.COM This is a site where you either will find that special person in your life, or you will have a lot of fun, even if you don't find a lasting relationship. It is not cheap, and it also has its doses of weirdos, and faked profiles,. However, I have talked to several couples who met on this site, and some of them even got married! To pay or not pay...what a dilemma!
-LOVE AGAIN I am not very familiar with it, but I know people who find their better halves on this site.
-ALL SENIORS SITES If you are over 50, and you want to find a companionship, be prepared to deal with pictures which do not match their owners. Some of the members are in really good shape, however there are others who are literally falling apart, and you won't know until you meet them. It is truth that the looks are not everything, but it would be nice too if that relationship can survive, at least, the first heart attack right?
-OUR TIME When I joined the site I was automatically redirected to their senior site, which makes me kind of depressed, so I just left the site.
Make the on line dating work for you, It is not worth to spend a lot of money. Start casually, make friends, go to dates, but hold your expectation and be realistic. There is no such a thing as Mr. or Mrs. Right, it is more like sorting your candidates and pick the one who you think will be able to share laughs, tears, and simple moments in life with you. Love comes unexpectedly, and will surprise you when you probably already lost hope.