Online Dating Madness

I was fairly new in town and wanted to meet someone. However, I didn't feel that it was a good idea to meet single men at work. A friend of mine had met a special guy online and encouraged me to do the same. So, I decided to try one of the many online dating sites. I submitted my essay and my story. I met some very nice men. However, I was not interested in any of them. I had not been in a relationship for five years, so I was very vulnerable. My last boyfriend had passed away tragically, so I was still in the healing process. I was about to give up on online dating when I got an email from one guy in particular. I liked his profile, so we chatted for a month or two. I was already falling for him, but I was nervous because he told me that he was possibly moving out of state to grad school. Thinking that it would be nothing but a one-time date, I agreed to meet him. As dumb as it sounds, the moment we met I thought, "Oh my God, he's the one!" We began dating and after a month or two, I was really starting to fall in love with him. He told me that his decision to go to grad school in another state had become final. He also told me that he had to go out of the country for a few weeks to help take care of his grandpa. He promised to email me and chat with me online while he was gone. For a small gift, I waited an hour and a half in line to get him the newest Harry Potter book. I also got him a Starbucks' gift card. I was working night shift, so every morning when I got home we would chat online. A few weeks later I came home after work to an online instant message that said, "Honey, you there? We need to talk." I asked him if everything was okay. He told me that he had found someone new. When I asked him where he met her, he said that he met her at Starbucks in Taiwan. And that's not all!! He then said that she was a better match because she was trilingual, and that his parents would like that about her. He said that his parents didn't really approve of him dating someone white. Just two days prior, I had started to prepare for his homecoming. I had the dinner planned, and had also planned a night of adventure with chocolate syrup and honey. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. I felt like I should be an adult about it, so I agreed to be friends with him. A couple of weeks after he broke up with me, he sent me an instant message to tell me that his girl had dumped him. Since I felt like I was falling in love with him, I decided that I wanted to make it work. When he returned to the States, I called him. I asked him if he wanted to go to a movie or something. He made excuses, and then said that he had to pack for grad school. He gave me his new cell phone number, but told me that he didn't have a home phone. We talked online frequently, and I called him a few times. He sounded like he wanted to make things work long-distance. So, I was like, "Okay. Cool." Almost everyone I know had told me that he was a liar and a cheat, but I refused to believe them. In an effort to prove myself to my friends, I set up a fake, slutty profile with no picture attached, and I sent him a "tease" through this site. He responded the next day. And not only did he respond, but he also gave me, the fake profile, his home address, home phone number, and cell phone number! I was mortified! Most of all, I felt stupid for falling for someone like that. I told my friends about how he had contacted the fake profile. I then wrote to him and told him that it was me he had written to, and that I had set him up. Upset because I still had feelings for him, I called him and starting crying. He called me a "crazy phycho bitch," and said that he was going to call the police on me if I ever called him again. Because I was still feeling traumatized from not getting to say goodbye to my ex-boyfriend that died, I tried to call him and email him to talk things over. I wanted to make peace with him. He just screamed and called me horrible names. I was upset because I still felt like I was in love with him. A few months after it was all over, I woke up one morning crying because I missed him. I typed his name into a search engine and found his new screen name. He was online, but I was afraid to contact him. That night before I went to bed, I sent him an instant message. At first he was rude, but after a while he was nicer and added me to both of his new screen names. When I read his profiles, one said his real age, twenty-four, and the other said twenty-five. I still feel like I love him, but I don't understand why. One thing I do know is that I will never, ever, get involved in a relationship with someone online without knowing them very, very well first.

— Trish, 24

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