The Real Story


Internet Honesty is Like Military Intelligence
I just checked out your website and I really wish I had done so much earlier. I'm a 30 year old male who is unfortunately located in a remote area. Being unattached and with little inspiration from the few locals around town, I resorted to an online matchmaking service to meet new people. After posting my personal ad, I started getting into the chatting area on a regular basis, which was where I met the woman I'll just call Pat. Pat was really nice, and she was lonely like I was, so we instantly hit it off and before long were talking online every day. The chat room gave way to ICQ chatting which quickly gave way to phone calls. We talked both on- and offline for almost 6 months before she flew in for a visit. As an aside, we couldn't meet earlier due to the distance factor (1200 miles), lack of funds for a ticket, and vacation constraints. Anyway, we had shared many things over that period -- I felt extrememly close to her and just knew in my heart she felt the same for me (at least that's what she said).

Then about a week before she showed up I realized some inconsistencies in information she gave me about her past history -- I should have realized that as a red flag event, but shrugged it off thinking I just didn't listen well enough. Then a few days before she showed up, one of my online friends caught her in a lie. A definite red flag event, but I was oblivious, my judgement clouded.

Moreover, when Pat showed up, she completely killed my expectations. She wouldn't get close to me at all, and in fact, stayed on my computer chatting all the time unless we we travelling somewhere. I took her to two really great cities and did my best to show her a good time in spite of the news I heard prior to her arrival. Anyway, we wound up with the Friends line coming into play, which I had expected since day #2 but still completely devastated me since I had fallen for her before ever meeting her.

Well, the real shocker came a few days after Pat left. She used ICQ on my system, but didn't erase any of her messages. As I was erasing her stuff off of my machine, I decided to see if she said anything about me. That was a mistake. I found out that Pat had one, possibly two other guys on the side, whom she was chatting with while visiting me no less! I don't know what hurt worse: the rejection after I fell for her, the other guys she was planning to see, or that she was using my computer and service provider to do it!

It turns out also that the shrugged-off red flag event shouldn't have been shrugged off, either. I just didn't want to admit a problem might exist, and I didn't want to offend her by trying to pin her down on the details. If I had read your web page on honesty, I would have realized that I needed to pay attention to items 1, 2, and especially 5. I know I won't make the same mistake again, but the period of getting over the emotional investment is agonizingly painful nevertheless. I learned many valuable lessons:

(1) extreme long-distance relationships are difficult at best and both people must be quite mature and sure of each other to enter into one;

(2) waiting a long time to meet is surely a formula for setting yourself up for disaster;

(3) don't put your heart into a relationship until you meet in person;

(4) truth is difficult enough to determine in person and almost impossible to divine over the Internet; and

(5) one should, if at all possible, enter into a relationship where the other person is accessible within the time of a comfortable driving trip. Lastly, in retrospect, I feel bad about looking at her old ICQ messages, but I was hurt, filled with questions, and they were there. It's not a justification, but I'm human just like the rest of us.

Wild's reply Indeed you are human - and you owe it to yourself to forgive yourself for not "seeing" then what must be so obvious now. We all make mistakes - I hope you didn't pay for her plane fare as well... Learn from this - as we all must - to trust your instincts, do many many double takes on red flags - and pin them for details on the "iffy" inconsistencies. I am so sorry this happened - I appreciate your sending in your story - so that others can read it and learn from your experience.

June 08, 1998 - I wish to God I would have come to your site 9 months ago! I started chatting in a chat room for my favorite musical group. I became a "regular" and subsequently met a man there. I wasn't looking for a relationship but we really hit it off. To make a long story short, I ended up spending a small fortune to fly to Australia to meet him. (I live in the eastern US).

I sent him packages because he claimed he was too poor to buy things for himself. It turns out everything this man had me believing was a total lie. He was at least 10 years older than his pictures, horribly overweight and the personality was totally opposite of his online presence. He was rude, selfish, inconsiderate and had the manners of a rattlesnake. I knew that he had two previous online romances, but didn't listen to my intuition.

I was so much in love with this man and I'm still hurting over the whole thing. After I arrived in Australia II found out that he had been having an affair with his best friends wife! I've come to realize that an affair or online relationship is the only type relationship he is capable of having. He is too selfish to invest the time and money on anything "real". That way he is able to come and go as he pleases and has no one to answer to. I've recently learned that he has yet another victim cornered.

Is there a site where you can post the names of these internet romeo's? I bet I wouldn't be the only person to post his name. Thanks for making people aware.

Wild's Reply - Icky, icky, icky! I'm so sorry this happened. As far as sites where you can list names, I'd suggest you go to the Essential Links Page, and look at the Internet Dogs site.


I first met Steve when I joined a computer dating service. In the beginning, we were only friends..we talked alot about our personal lives, our children, our parents. As time went on, Steve began pursuing me in earnest..and I, feeling flattered accepted his attentions. Our relationship, if you will, grew by leaps and bounds.

We chatted every day on my noon hour, and again every night. Emails flew from the state where he lives to the state where I live. Soon we were talking 4-5 times a week on the phone. Sharing intimate details about each other, professing our caring and trust in each other.

Steve wanted to meet, but I had been burned before by a net relationship and wanted to wait. I told him my reasons for waiting, and he was so understanding of them. I thought to myself, this man is a real honey, I can trust him! We continued to chat, telephone and email. After about 6 months we began discussing a future that included a permanent relationship between us - where we could blend our families.

We even discussed seriously having a child together. Of course by now, pictures had been exchanged, and we had both spoken with each others' children on numerous occasions.

Finally, we agreed to meet in an amusement park. I had vacation time coming, and was looking forward to spending this time with Steve. He and I were both very excited. Unfortunately, about a week and a half before I met him, I ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. He sent me flowers in the hospital, called me at my mother's after I was released, told me how much he cared for me, how much he missed me. By now, I had fallen very deeply in love with Steve. He personified many of the things I was searching for in a real life relationship. As planned, we met in Disneyworld. I was still recovering from surgery, and still had some bandages over my newly acquired scars. He treated me with tenderness, gentleness and love. I was hooked. We spent a day at Daytona Beach, walking the beach, talking. Both of us stated several times how enjoyable our time much it meant to us. Steve gave me no real indications that he wouldn't like to continue. Although he did say he considered us 'friends'. RED FLAG for sure.

When I left him to return home, I'd left a tiny castle purchased at the amusement park among his belongings, along with a note telling him I truly loved him.

Steve and I continued to talk and write. I had thought things were ok...until the day I found out I was pregnant by him. Although, I should NOT have been able to conceive during the time Steve and I were together, the surgery I had threw my body out of whack...and I ovulated during the time he and I were together (which I didn't know). And while we were cautious, and did use condoms- there was one time we waited a bit too long.

After realizing the pregnancy was a definite, I informed Steve. Since we had discussed having a child together, I didn't think this would present a problem. I wouldn't marry him because I was pregnant, but at the least I did expect his support.

While telling one of my girlfriend's on the net of my predicament, she informed me that Steve was planning to meet her. That they too had discussed a future of sorts. Through many phone calls back and forth, she and I were able to determine that there were several times we got the same messages, and the same emails (just our names were changed). 'Nan' concluded though on her own, that Steve did care far more for me than her. She stated that it was obvious, as he had been so much more open and forthcoming with me about his life than he had with her. It turned out too...that there were other women in his life as well. About a month after I told Steve of the pregnancy, I received a letter from him - basically saying good bye, have a good life. Shortly before this letter arrived, I had gotten an email from him stating that he loved me before we met, but that his feelings had changed. Go figure, I was still the same woman he loved before, nothing had changed. I hadn't lied to him about who I am, or what I looked like. Later, I learned Steve did go out to meet Nan (and she was expecting him to love her - she did tell me she loved him, and I had to respect her honesty). For her sake, I hoped things would go ok, but heard that he had hurt her feelings. Nan, after meeting him, would never speak to me again - which hurt, she was a good friend, and I cared about, and admired her. In retrospect, it's funny in a way - that Steve was so open with me, and yet at the same time - obviously making other plans. I trusted him totally, respected him, admired him, enjoyed his sense of humor, and his intelligence. After his email to me stating his feelings had changed, and knowing about Nan and him - I sent him an email stating I didn't like the idea of being the flavor of the month. Not nice, I know. To end this...the pregnancy did not go well from the start, and around the 4th month I miscarried. It was a very traumatic experience for me, physically, but more so emotionally. Because even though Steve was not going to be there for me like he said he would...I really wanted the child, no matter what.

My advice to all women now is...if you meet someone on the net....have a list of tough questions to ask him when you start chatting seriously. Find out where he works, and check it out. I'd even consider hiring a private detective if you have any doubts about his sincerity. I learned my lesson well.

Wild's Reply Excellent advice "Carole". What a tough way to have to learn such an important lesson... My heart goes out to you for all that you have been through. You are a strong, courageous woman, you have endured an agonizing situation. It is my hope that you found posting your story at least a bit cathartic, knowing that, hopefully, another woman won't meet "Steve" or someone like him, and if she does, she'll know what to do. Thank you so much for posting this heartbreaking story.. Wild

Copyright 1998 Wildxangel - All Rights Reserved