Every human relationship should be built on the foundation
of trust. When it comes to Internet romances, there is a tendency
to overlook what is obvious. Certain contradictions seem to take
place regarding pieces of information that the other person shares with
us. Don't ignore any red flags.
Do give the other person the benefit of the doubt but only after you have
asked for a clarification of some point that seems to be out of whack with
Just as you would not lie or exaggerate, expect
the same from your online friend. Keep in mind that the goal is to
actually meet and perhaps even fall in love. Otherwise, if you tell
the other person that you are a tall, slender 120 pound female who looks
like a Barbie doll and actually weigh another 80 pounds and are only 5'2",
then you are going to have a lot of explaining to do should a meeting take
place. It would be better to be totally honest about everything you
share together while still in the early stages of the relationship (e.g.
e-mail, phone calls, first meeting).
Furthermore, be sure to exchange photos as soon as possible.
The old "Well, as soon as I get a scanner, I will send a photo to you"
excuse just doesn't hold water anymore. Those who are seriously making
use of the Internet to seek their soulmates
have either been to a photo studio to purchase a digital likeness of themselves
or gotten a friend to take some snapshots of them on a digital camera.
You will find that most people who are not forthecoming in supplying a
photo up front are nothing like the verbal description they give to you.
Likewise, you should be able to supply a photo as well. If you don't
have a scanner, bring some photos of yourself into a photo copy shop or
send them out at drug store to be copied onto a 3.5 disk. Anyone
can do this and you shouldn't go searching the net for a romance
unless you are willing to send out a photo of yourself to anyone with whom
you have begun to correspond. Being rejected at a first meeting hurts
a lot more than the first few e-mails when you attached a photo of yourself.
Refuse to Put
Up with a Player...
The anonymous feature of the Internet provides protection
but it can also be used by unscrupulous people who may be participating
in multiple Internet romances.
This type of person is simply playing the odds and using the law of averages
to trap someone into either a disasterous meeting or a relationship that
is doomed from the start. You wouldn't tolerate this kind of behaviour
in real time nor should you tolerate it even though it is still confined
to virtual space on the net.
By obtaining his/her home phone number, you will be able
to at least determine that they don't have a married mate who might pick
up the phone.
If you sense that the e-mail responses you are getting
happen to be too generalized, try to determine if you are simply getting
a copy of what several others might be getting as well.
Be a good reader and listener. If the other person
refers a lot to other relationships and shares numerous Internet romance
experiences with you, be careful. It could be a major another red
the Written Word...
E-mail has become the main method of communication for
everyone and anyone who has Internet access. It's a wonderful tool
because it is short, fast, and easy.
However, when it comes to Internet romances, it can be
both a blessing and a curse.
Virtual predators can develop a persona that is not even
close to reality. They can deceive, beguile, and lie about who and
what they are. Be sure not to allow your feelings to go crazy over
someone who writes a good e-mail note even though you have not yet met.
Until you have been able to actually meet
the other person and verify that the realities of their lives agree with
all that they have writtento you, hold your feelings at bay. You'll
be glad that you did.
On the other hand, corresponding with someone over an
extended period of time can also be a very positive experience. Should
you be convinced that the other person is being honest and forthecoming
with you, their views on life, love, relationships, past experiences, etc.,
can provide you with insights that will be very helpful. It's a beautiful
thing when two people share in this way. In fact, e-mail courting
is fast replacing traditional flirting as it provides us with a way to
get to know a person before we even meet them for the first time.
Furthermore, you will find that online singles
search websites use e-mail as their means of assisting you in getting
in touch with others. They use a masked e-mail nickname to send your
inquiries and responses to those you wish to contact. Until the two
of you decide to share your actual e-mail addresses, this method provides
you with a reasonable amount of security.
Before you consider a phone call, perhaps you might try
communicating with each other using an online chatroom. There are
many free rooms available throughout the Internet. They are easy
to find using one of the many search engines.
Although people do meet this way, it is usually
not recommended. More times than not, the other person may live hours
away if not days. However, if you can really see yourself purchasing
a plane ticket to go to the other side of the world to meet someone for
the first time, go for it.
The better use for a chatroom is to provide two people
who have already been in contact with each other via the net a way to take
the next step without committing to a meeting. You can simply "private"
each other or use one of the several instant message features provided
by most Internet services. It's still making use of the written word
but it is much more interactive.
Make The First
Phone Call Yourself
A phone conversation gives you the
ability to hear the other person's voice, be able to really ascertain much
of his/her personality, and listen to those nuances of voice inflections
that can tell you so much about what is behind the words being spoken.
After gaining enough confidence that there is a serious potential for a
first meeting, a few phone conversations would be the next step.
Again, give out as little
personal information as possible. Giving out your home phone number
is quite a step in itself. Be sure to use this as an opportunity
to ask questions. Some people avoid turning a first meeting into
an interview by getting all of their main questions answered via e-mail,
chat, and phone conversations.
Be Willing to
Back Out if Necessary...
Finally, have the courage to back
out if you determine that this is not the right person for you. Be
honest. Don't be personally demeaning or insulting. This is
not necessarily a case of the other person having something terribly wrong
with them. If that is indeed the case, then you will have to make
a determination as to whether you should address the issue or not. It may
be nothing more than you just aren't attracted to the person after getting
to know them well enough via all of these venues.
Simply state that you've enjoyed
the communications and appreciate their sharing with you, but you have
decided not to pursue a relationship. If asked why, make it clear
that there is no attraction to them on your part. Be kind and be
gentle. If they have been honest and genuine with you, they deserve
to be afforded a little tenderness and caring. If not, they deserve
to be dumped. You decide.
The point is, don't go any further if it doesn't seem right.