meeting someone online

Why Meeting Someone Online Promotes Casual Intimacy (And How To Protect Yourself)

Lisa McKay Advice, Communication & Conflict, Sex & Infidelity 81 Comments

Here’s a true truth: Meeting someone online is a total buzz.

Now here’s another true truth: Meeting someone online is a risky game to play, and you can quickly find yourself in over your head.

Have you ever met someone online only to find yourself, shortly afterwards, discussing something you might not talk about with your friends? Have you ever found yourself emailing or online chatting about significant worries or heartache with a virtual stranger? Have you posted something on Facebook you wouldn’t say in “real life”?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have experienced something called the online disinhibition effect.

meeting someone online going really fast

Meeting someone online lowers your inhibitions

When you meet someone online, you generally feel less inhibited than you would if you met him or her in person. This is because you feel safer and more anonymous. There is less at stake. You are distanced from the impact of your words. As a result, you might say or write things to a new cyber-acquaintance that you would not say to someone face to face.

This dynamic is particularly obvious in relationships that start across distance. When you meet someone online who lives far away, you feel all the exciting potential of a new relationship and face fewer reality checks.

During that first exhilarating rush of connection it is easy to abandon all caution and restraint and pour out your heart and your secrets. After all, everything seems to be going so well!

He fascinates you, and you seem equally interesting to him. You talk for hours at a time. You wake up happy every morning and smile just thinking about him. You feel a growing certainty that this one is the one. It’s only been a couple of weeks since you met, but it feels right to share your deepest secrets, fears, and feelings. It feels reasonable to discuss moving so that you can be together, or to make other serious commitments.

This is the dangerous side to the online disinhibition effect. That same brave sense of freedom and possibility that allows us to forge a meaningful emotional connection with someone we’ve never met in person, can also get us into trouble. There are fewer real-time consequences when we’re building a new relationship online, and fewer restraints on our imaginations and our words. This makes it easy to become too intimate, too fast.

That same brave sense of freedom and possibility that allows us to forge a meaningful emotional connection with someone we’ve never met in person, can also get us into trouble.Lisa McKay
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of online dating. I met my own husband via email when he lived on the other side of the world. Long distance relationships and romances that begin online can absolutely end in “happily ever after”.

However, jumping in too fast during the early stages of meeting someone online and getting to know them is dangerous.

It doesn’t give your new and fragile connection the best possible chance of growing into something solid and real. It doesn’t help you set healthy and sustainable communication patterns.

Rule number 1 of meeting someone online: Start off slow

During the early stages of a new relationship, it is always wise to set some boundaries around your imagination and your communication. Here are some tips on how to avoid moving too fast when you are meeting someone online or across distance

meeting someone online race flags1. In the early stages of getting to know someone, don’t talk, text, or email every single day. Talking every day will speed things up fast, and the communication patterns you establish early on can be difficult to change later.

2. Don’t say things over the phone you wouldn’t be willing to say over the dinner table.

3. Don’t make too many commitments too early. For example, if you meet someone online in July, don’t make plans in August to spend Christmas together.

4. Do not seriously discuss marriage or long-term partnership before you ever meet someone face to face. This will sound completely obvious to some of you, but trust me, it happens.

5. In a similar vein, do not start naming your children, or spend hours imagining sitting on the front porch of your dream house in rocking chairs together when you are both old and gray. Keep your imagination in check. You may think that daydreaming is a harmless pleasure, but our thoughts are what inform our expectations, our words, and our actions.

Questions to answer

  1. What does “moving too fast” in a relationship look like to you?
  2. How do you “pace yourself” when you meet a new potential partner online?
  3. Have you ever struggled to set healthy boundaries in your relationship? If so, did you struggle more to “say no” and keep that person at a safe distance, or “say yes” and let that person get close and see the real you?
  4. How do your natural tendencies when it comes to boundary setting typically influence your behavior online?

How do you avoid moving too fast in a new relationship or when you are meeting someone online?

 

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Comments 81

  1. Pingback: LDR Survival in the Technology Age | Modern Love Long Distance

  2. CM

    Hi, I’ve started talking to a girl from the Philippines a few months ago, we met on Facebook after she added me as her friend. We just spoke to each other one day, and started getting to know each other more. And since then, our connection has grown.

    The emotions are strong between us, and so is our connection, we’ve tried to break up a few times, even after some fights and arguments, but it just made our relationship stronger. Neither of us could go through with it, since neither of us genuinely want to break up. And when we tried it didn’t last any longer than a day. We feel a real connection, and feel very strongly for each other. It’s been 4 months now, I’m just thinking when is the right time to meet her in person? I live in Australia, she lives in Philippines, so it’s like 5 hours distance.

    I am getting fed up and frustrated with people telling me it’s not going to work, that I’m being stupid etc. We were friends on Facebook, we started one day, found there was a real connection, we talked about anything and everything, about our lives etc, and since then we’ve started liking each other a lot. We’ve even spoken by phone (even though her spoken English isn’t too good). I feel like I’m wasting time by not meeting her, but at the same time I don’t want to rush into it.

    But I’m also cautious because what if I meet her and she doesn’t love me anymore or doesn’t want me there, or she has someone else by now, or she just isn’t ready to meet me for whatever reason. She says she prefers it if she has her own money before we meet. I just really love her and don’t want to lose her. And she loves me and says the same. We talk and message daily. I want to go meet or visit her, but I feel as though I can’t really open up to people in my life, since all they do is put me down, call me an idiot, desperate, and nobody really understands this. They keep asking me why I dont find someone closer. Because I don’t love anyone closer! I love her and as much as I want to meet her, I’m facing opposition from people who don’t understand me or how I feel. Even though some of them have been supportive and encouraging.

    She is a wonderful girl, a really beautiful person and she has never asked me for money or anything.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hi CM… I’d suggest you meet as soon as possible. If you do meet and you don’t have that connection then you’ll know one way or another. So ask her more about this “I need my own money” thing… Meeting is not the same as getting engaged, or married, or moving. It’s just meeting. And if you go and visit her then she shouldn’t need money to host you. All the best, Lisa

      1. CM

        Hi Lisa, now she’s saying that she is in no hurry to meet me, because she has “too many problems” in her life right now already. And I’m afraid she’s losing interest in me. Because I said I wanted to meet MONTHS ago, and we have been talking for months now. And it hasn’t happened. My biggest fear is showing up, and for her not to be there because she stopped caring, or for her to dump me, or even to finding out she has someone else now. I really love her, and it just hurts so much. I’ll be asking myself the question “what if” for the rest of my life.

        I feel like the romance is fading, and I know it’s because of the distance and not meeting in person. She says our conversations are getting boring and repetitive. I wanted to Skype with her, but she always has an excuse. She will only talk through chat, or sms or the occasional phone call. She says she’s ashamed of the way she looks, and I told her I really don’t care how she looks. But it is so frustrating. With text things can be really limited.

        Plus, I have had real trouble getting family and friends to accept this. They are just so unsupportive of this. They refuse to even acknowledge that I’ve been talking to her. Calling me an idiot, stupid, “put the phone down” etc. I’ve been put down, called a lot of names, been treated badly over this. By people who I thought would want me to be happy. They even tell me I’m being scammed or that it’s a joke. But I know her better than anyone, and I know for a fact she’s genuine, and she has never asked me for anything. But they don’t believe me. Never have. It’s hard because I’ll probably have to go and see her on my own, without the support from anyone in my life. And I’ve never been to the Philippines before, don’t know much about it or even know anyone else who has. They keep telling me I’ll never meet her, that I’m being ridiculous and that long distance relationships don’t work.

        This is breaking my heart. Why do things have to be so hard, Lisa?

        1. Post
          Author
          Lisa McKay

          CM, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t sound like this relationship is going anywhere. I’m NOT saying that because it’s long distance and you haven’t met yet. I’m saying it because it’s clear to me that she’s not really interested in meeting you and doesn’t have the courage to say that to you. She’s making excuses not to meet. She’s outright told you that the talks the two of you are having are getting boring. I know it hurts. Really, I do. But my advice to you is to move on. To borrow a book title from a couple of years ago… She’s just not that into you.

          1. CM

            Maybe she had gone cold for a period, Lisa. But she says her family may not be accepting of me. She seems to be warming up again lately. I’ve been giving her more space and it’s been helping. I know she was dealing with depression for a while too. We’ve been messaging for hours this morning and last night, had cybersex and she tells me “I love you” and “I cant get enough of you”. Does that sound like something she would do if she wasn’t into me? And I know for a fact the feelings are still there. I went away to do other things, and she was still messaging me. And she does message straight away not like before. This is since I’ve been acting less needy and responding less.

            Seems that because I left it so long, we’ve both become comfortable in our relationship, and no hurry to really meet. I’m thinking the later you leave it the harder it is. I’ve told her my family wouldn’t allow me to travel there, and she asked me if maybe I could convince them.

            And I’ve heard it’s a common problem for conversations to become boring and tedious in LDRs after a while.

            I’m not going to give up on us, we are still talking everyday. And often it’s her that messages me. I just hope I’m not in some friendzone. She does say that she loves me and often asks what I’m doing.

  3. Bimpy

    Hi Liza? there is a guy I met online we have been chatting online then later exchanged the phone number the problem is that we are very far from each other by air is 3and half hour we talk on phone every night and when we woke up in the morning we are having a very strong feelings for each other and he is planning for my trip to meet in person by October. I am a little bit scared to make the journey have once asked him to come to me but he later explain the kind and situation of his work to me which I might be a little bit free than him, pls what should I do and do I lodge in a hotel or I go to his place as he said? kindly advise me on what to do thanks.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hey there, I know it’s a hassle but I’d strongly advise you to book a hotel room. This will give you the space to figure out what you really think of him (not to mention being a much safer option). Don’t forget to read up on staying safe before you head off to this meeting (there’s a good chapter on that in my From Stranger To Lover book).

      1. Bimpy

        Thanks so much Lisa for getting back to me,I will try to book my hotel room and do one or two things to secure myself by informing some of my family, he actually told me that he will like to talk to my sisters b4 I come that he wanted to let them know that he is not hiding anything and I have made the arrangement for him to talk with my sister on phone.

        1. Post
          Author
          Lisa McKay

          Good. Glad to hear. I know it’s a hassle, and hopefully you’ll just end up feeling like “why did I bother to book a hotel room” but remember that that is the best case scenario. You actually WANT to feel like that. So, be smart, stay safe, and I hope all goes well.

  4. CM

    Liza, a little update. I’m still chatting with my long distance “girlfriend”. It’s been 6 months now. She did say she’d like to meet me. Even asked me when. She doesn’t have the money to fly to me. I can’t get my family to agree to anything. But you were right about other things. You see, here’s what’s happening – her family are trying to force her to settle down and have a family at her age (32) and I’m 29. They want her to be with her rich ex-boyfriend. He’s also long distance and living in Dubai. I’m not even sure they know about me. She says she doesn’t have feelings for him, but tells me she loves me. She lied about all of this. And I feel that she’s still lying now. And I may have to finally walk away. I still feel that during the moments she doesn’t talk to me, she does, in fact, talk to him. She still lies and says she wasn’t and that she rarely talks to him. The way I found out, one day I logged into Facebook and saw photos of her with flowers and other gifts. I was crushed and confused. I tried to call her phone to find out what was going on, but she wouldn’t answer. I blocked her on Facebook and later unblocked her that night. She reached out to me and told me the truth. She apologized for everything and said she doesn’t want to say goodbye. Saying she still loves me etc. I really love this girl, but I don’t think we can’t be together, and I don’t think this is worth all the pain and heartache I’m going through now. She asked me what we can do. She said she doesn’t want to marry him and asked me if I am ready to settle down and have a family. I don’t know what to do. But I’m thinking I should walk away, but I really love her and she says she regrets everything with her ex and loves me. But if we lose each other, we have no way of finding each other again. She told me not to change my phone number, and tell her if I change my address. Really heartbreaking.

    1. CM

      Today she told me not to tell my family or friends about anything we’re going through, because she doesn’t want them to think badly of her. I’m really confused. I think I’m being played.

      1. Post
        Author
        Lisa McKay

        I’m sorry it’s all so confusing and hurtful. To be honest, it doesn’t sound like a healthy situation for you at all. I would advise you to cut your losses and walk away. There’s a small chance you walking away will cause her to realize that she really does want to be with you and she’ll get serious about meeting, etc. There’s a much higher chance she will disappear from your life and you will heal and go on to find someone who is better for you. All the best.

        1. CM

          Thank you Lisa. I can’t believe I wasted 6 months of my life on someone who kept telling me they loved me, and then got in touch with their long distance ex again and still wanted to be with him. I think she started moving on with him half way through our relationship. Explains all the excuses etc. We just know each other so well. She told me not to change my phone number, address etc, for if she ever wants to get in touch with me again. She also told me to let her know if I’m seeing someone else. I don’t think I’ll ever get to know someone on this deep personal, and emotional level ever again. And I’m not even sure it’s worth it. God this pain, Lisa. I know it’s love. And I wish I could get another shot at our relationship. But I know I will never have the chance.

        2. CM

          My last relationship ended long distance too, when we worked together and she moved back to her home country – Taiwan. Eventually, she cut off communication with me, and disappeared from my life completely. I had wondered what happened to her and it took almost a year to get over it. After a while, I had totally forgotten about her. About 5 years later, I got a friend request on Facebook and it was her. We were both still single then. And I still thought she was pretty. Part of me wanted her again. But I didn’t do anything about it. She has a husband and baby girl now, she still likes my photos on Facebook. Funny how things come back sometimes. And years later.

        3. CM

          Thanks for being so kind and empathetic, Lisa. Last time I felt you were a little harsh (but brutally honest) with your answer. I really love her, and want her in my life. She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met, and she’s a wonderful person too. But now it looks like she’s with him. He’s a lucky guy. I’ll never meet anyone like her again. So the only thing I can do is to move on. I know that if I say goodbye, she would come running back. I should probably ignore it. I know she misses me. Which confuses me because why is there another guy in the picture? She’s playing us both, only she is more serious about him. And I can’t make her choose. So the only thing I can do is to walk away. Or hope that she’ll eventually choose me over him. Or come back to me someday (I know, I’m dreaming right?).

          1. Post
            Author
            Lisa McKay

            I think some dreaming at this stage is totally understandable. But I want you to focus on doing what’s best for you, and what’s best for you is not letting her have all her cake and eat it too… and keep the two of you on a string to play whichever of you she feels like playing on any given day. I know it hurts, but I’m so glad to hear you’re in the process of walking away. I, too, got emeshed with someone like this long distance, and it took a long time and a lot of distance to put it in perspective. I think a year from now you’ll feel differently, and feel better. I sincerely hope so. All the best.

          2. CM

            Thank you, Lisa. Her excuse is that I wanted this by not being clear about our relationship from the start. That was the first week we started talking, I barely even knew her! Plus she did not mention her ex back then either. She also says that I don’t have my life together, don’t have a job and she wants a commitment, kids etc. But the fact is, even if I got my life together, she’d still be with him and saying how much she loves me at the same time. Due to the situation, she hasn’t made things any easier for me right now either. She just says “I’m sorry for everything”. But I really don’t think she is. I have only thought about walking away, I haven’t done it just yet. Maybe she thinks I’m a pushover or weak. Or she still loves me enough not to let me go. Last night, we talked all night, and sent each other kisses and hearts. And today she was online and wouldn’t answer me. I really don’t understand what’s going through her head right now. She doesn’t make any sense. She’s stopped saying good morning, and we’ve been talking less. She’s most probably been talking to him when she doesn’t talk to me, and when he’s not available, it’s my turn. I think she may be slowly cutting me out of her life. I love her so much. This is the most intense love experience of my life, and now I think I may have to just give up and let it go. All I want to do is cry. I have genuine and strong feelings for this girl and I know she has them back, so I’m not sure what the deal is with this other guy. He’s rich, I suppose. How did you handle your experience? And I’m sorry you went through the same thing. Must’ve been as painful for you as it is for me right now. Thank you so much for your kind words of support, Lisa. I need all the support I can get right now.

          3. Post
            Author
            Lisa McKay

            I have to tell you that I played more of your girl-friend’s role in this scenario. I was the one initially who kept blowing hot and cold, and it was because I wanted the guy I was seeing to love me and want me, even though I suspected deep down I didn’t feel the same way about him. For his part, he was needy enough to keep coming back and wanting to stay in contact, etc, even though I wasn’t treating him necessarily as I should have been. I know, I know, that’s messed up. It WAS messed up, and when I figured that out I stopped being so greedy with his affection and conflict avoidant and cut contact–for his benefit, and for mine. My strong advice to you is to cut your losses and walk away. Immediately. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but from all the behavior you’ve described it’s clear to me that she’s not seriously interested in you. She’s just using you to get her emotional fixes.

          4. CM

            Scratch that, we still talk quite a lot. We’re actually very close. But I’m starting to realize it’s even more so when he’s not available. But when he’s online too, she will take longer to reply or disappear and always have an excuse. But she still flirts with me or whatever. Yeah, I’m starting to realize it’s hopeless. And it f!@# hurts what she’s doing.

          5. CM

            You’re not that bad a person. I have to tell you I’ve played a bit of that role in this relationship too. I wasn’t that serious about meeting her. And I made a lot of excuses (probably out of fear or uncertainty). And I didn’t act like a man and take charge. I have probably done and said some needy things that may have turned her off. Initially, I know this is a girl who had a very high attraction and interest in me in the beginning. She would message me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And I wasn’t too bothered. But I have to say I wasn’t that into her in the beginning. She would even beg me to visit her country and ask me when I was coming. I never gave a clear answer. My family were very suspicious and I couldn’t open up to them about this. But as I became more interested in her, and gradually fell in love with her, she started to become less interested. Even though she does say that she still loves me. She did mention in the beginning about a guy who was trying to come back into her life. And I did indeed find that out to be true, from photos on her Facebook. And I know for a fact there’s moments where she’s talking to him. Maybe I had acted needy or didn’t take enough initiative, or wasn’t serious enough. Whatever it did probably drove her further into his arms. It is very interesting what you mentioned. If this other man had acted in a way where he stood up for himself and said “I can’t let you do this to me anymore” and walked away and stayed away for a while. I’m thinking, you may have reached out to him in future. Thing is, I broke things off with her a few weeks ago saying I can’t believe she lied to me about another guy in her life. And she was the one who reached out to me later that night.

          6. CM

            She says my answer to everything is to break up. But how else do you handle a situation like this where you are stringing each other along, no one wants to make the first move, and there is another guy in the picture who is an ex-boyfriend. Truthfully, we did break up one night. She said she would really miss me and doesn’t know what else to do. I asked if we could meet up, she said “how?”, she asked me “would you come here?”. Truth is, we don’t exactly know, we spent hours online one night trying to figure out what the best way to do that would be. Where are places to meet between Australia and Philippines, low cost, easy access, and short flight distance where it would be easy to meet? From here (Perth) to there (Manila), it’s roughly 11 to 12 hours (or longer), I know it’s ridiculous! because of long stopover times in Singapore or Hong Kong. Singapore is expensive (more expensive than here), and Bali has almost no flights from the Philippines. I was very surprised to find that out. She doesn’t have the money, so I would have to pay double the amount. It’s a difficult situation. We both know that. She told me she wants to work to have the money to meet with me and would feel bad if I had to pay for everything. I’m thinking the only way for us to meet is if I go to Philippines (where it’s cheaper for me), or I pay for her to come here to meet me. The longer you put off meeting, the easier it is to drift apart. And I think if there’s any loss of feelings, it may be due to distance. There’s only so much you can do by voice or text or video to keep someone interested in you. It is very difficult NOT to become needy in a long distance relationship. If you don’t talk, don’t make the effort to connect, then things can easily drift apart.

          7. CM

            Another thing she (Grace) told me. She said that she really loves me, and if she had the time again, she would’ve said no to him in the beginning. But because he has always made the commitment to her, she can’t deny him. She has been with him the whole time of our relationship. And I only found out about it one day after she confessed it to me. Every night before we sleep, we say “I love you” to each other. She taught me how to say “I love you so much” in her language too “mahal kita, sobra”. I saw the photos of the gifts he sent her on Facebook. I said that whatever gifts he’s been buying her, she deserves bigger and better. She told me “you don’t have to buy me anything, Clay”. “Whatever happens, I will always love you”. I don’t know is she really is using me for emotional fixes or cyber sex. Lisa, if she was never serious about me, why would she give me her mobile number, her address etc. I’m not sure if I’m using her for the same things, or if she thinks I am. Some of the time, our conversation can be dry and lifeless and we’ve argued. Why would she put herself through that, unless she felt like she had to? I’ve tried not reaching at all, and she usually msgs me then.

            Lisa, here’s another thing. I have recently started talking to another lady from her country – her name is Jen. I’m not as attracted to her, but she’s a very nice person and I really like her personality. I only casually mentioned one another to each other.

  5. C.M

    Lisa, you can congratulate if you want. Today, I worked up the courage to say goodbye. And it’s starting to hurt already. But I have to stick to it. I told her I’m not interested in being second option or being friends. And that my needs are being neglected in our relationship. And that there is another guy in her life, and I am only hurting and disrespecting myself by staying. And that she can get in contact with me if things don’t work out with him, or she ever changes her mind. I’ve blocked her on Facebook. How do I stick to this decision now, and not try my hardest to contact her. And what do I do if she reaches out to me saying she misses me, as she usually does. Do I ignore it? She told me the other night she really does love me. But what do I do with that if she already has someone else she lied to me about who she’s already committed to with and refuses to take things further with me?

    1. C.M

      We both love each other, Lisa. But she also loves this other guy. And I can’t force her to choose because I know how that will end for me. That’s the thing and it’s going to be painful for her as well. She has gifts from him on her Facebook, which she now hides from me. She told me she wants a commitment. I don’t know if she is lying about this guy trying to make me jealous enough to make a commitment or what. She ALWAYS reaches out to me though, everyday, and she never lets me down. She always tells me how much she loves me. So it’s confusing that she has someone else in her life. My mistake is that I wasn’t clear with her from the very beginning about what I wanted. Because I wasn’t sure how things would work out with the distance, we live 5,000 (or so) km away from each other. I ALSO knew how my family would react. And my family ALSO gave me a very, very hard time over this and were just generally dismissive, untrusting and negative about my relationship with her. No matter what I said or did they just wouldn’t approve of it. And I had to hide my relationship with her from other people, and that made things very difficult to also take things further. And then these other plans came up as well, which cemented my uncertainty and prevented any efforts to try and take the lead in this relationship. It seemed like everything went wrong for me at a crucial time in the beginning, and she placed me as second option to someone else and didn’t bother telling me about him, until I had already strong feelings for her. But when she did, I should’ve walked away there and then. Only problem is, I stayed, thinking I was the one she still wanted. I said goodbye, and to get in contact with me if she changes her mind. I know I have to stick to this. It’s painful because I I love her very much. I even told her that I would’ve loved to meet up with her but we could never agree on where or when. And I really want a second chance with her. Do I just have to give up now and date other people, even though she is the girl that absolutely knocks my socks off and the one I want to be with? I guess that is my only option. Unless she comes back to me and things have changed.

  6. C.M

    Lisa! I did what you said – I walked away. I told her I’m not interested in being second option or just friends. She asked me what I wanted, I said “I love you and I’m interested in you”. She said I love you too but I can’t be with you now because I am committed to him. And I said she can contact me if she changes her mind or if things don’t work out. She said “I won’t”. I said “okay up to you”. Goodbye, she said goodbye. I blocked her on Facebook chat. Before that, she told me this guy is spending the money for her to have a lifesaving operation to remove a tumour on her ovaries. I said “you do need that operation” and “I can’t compete with that”. If she is with him, I have to leave. I did say goodbye, after stated what I wanted from the relationship. I’m not going to be put in friend zone. I’m only hurting and disrespecting myself.

    Lisa, a few hours later, she called my phone. It rang for a few seconds. I checked to see the number and it was her. I (stupidly) unblocked her on Facebook chat. And about 10 minutes later, she messaged me saying “how are you?”. “what are you doing now?”. “How are you doing?”. Asked me if I’ve eaten. I said “yeah what about you”, she said “not much”. She is chasing me now, Lisa. And I’m trying to avoid her. But I’m in pain and I couldn’t resist replying. Although I said as few words as possible and acted like nothing was bothering me. Is she reaching out because she misses me, or does she just feel bad for what she is doing? I stopped replying to her. And she kept asking me if I was busy.

  7. C.M

    So much for not being interested, Lisa. Now it’s starting to feel as though I’m the one who’s not interested – I mean there are 7 billion people on this planet. Why am I wasting my time with someone who’s unavailable? When I walked away, and tried to cut contact with her. She still got in touch with me. She says “I miss you”, “I love you soooo soooo much”. Now she’s been reaching out to me a LOT. It’s almost like I can’t get rid of her. We had cyber sex last night. She even said good morning to me this morning and woke me up. Do these sound like behaviours of someone who isn’t interested, Lisa? Something to think about eh?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      If I were your therapist (and I’m not, so this is actually the last I plan to say on this subject) I would tell you that, in my opinion, she is largely interested in knowing that she has YOU where she wants you–interested in HER. You pulled away, so she chased. As soon as she thinks she has you back where she wants you, she’ll start holding you at a distance again. I believe that she is using you to meet her own needs and insecurities. And I believe that you could benefit from seeing a therapist and doing some work around the issue of boundaries in relationships. Like I’ve said before, I really do hope I’m wrong about this, but that’s my unvarnished opinion. All the best.

      1. C.M

        Excuse me? My boundaries? What are you talking about? I’m not the one doing the chasing here. Suggesting that I need to see a therapist to work on my “boundaries” is pretty insulting. What are you suggesting exactly? What am I not respecting here? I let her go, and I’ve told you that. She is the one chasing me now. That’s largely YOUR opinion and that may have happened in YOUR case (which you lied to me about at first to make it seem like you weren’t such a bad person using this other guy for your own insecurities). But I don’t think she is using me at all. I genuinely do think she loves me, but she IS committed to another guy. Don’t try and attack me personally and put me down just because you’re wrong. And god forbid anyone should tell a therapist that they’re wrong.

  8. C.M

    You were right… She was using me. I had to walk away. I blocked her chat on Facebook. As it turns out, I might’ve been stuck as her friend and nothing more, or second option to another guy in her life. I called her last night, asking how she felt about me (I know, how weak is that? But I just needed to know), because her actions were telling me she’s changed. She said she didn’t have the same feelings for me like she used to. And hasn’t for a while now. I asked her what changed, she said “I dunno”. And yes, I think she was taking me for granted. She was even upset that I blocked her on Facebook, telling me to do it again because she’s used to it, saying she’s been sick and I am having my dramas. But the fact is, when we got back together, she started ignoring me again and wanting nothing to do with me. This is why me walking away permanently and meaning it this time is the right thing to do. Do I think she loved me? Yes. Do I think she loves me now? No. She lost that attraction, interest. I know I’ve made mistakes, I believe the timing was wrong as well and her ex came back into her life. I have acted needy, made plans, didn’t follow through with them, said things and did the opposite. I screwed things up, Lisa. And I’ve learnt from these things. Other things in my life were going wrong too at that time and it prevented us from meeting or me making plans in the beginning. You see, my family were unsupportive and didn’t believe me when I tried to tell them or open up to them about this. What I should’ve done was cut contact until it was the right time. I took her for granted, strung her along. Thought she’ll always be there, and she was. I was afraid of losing her altogether or losing her to someone else. But now I realize how selfish I’ve been and that I shouldn’t have that fear. Even if she does have someone else, I should be genuinely happy for her and move on with my life. I told her I can’t just be friends and I’m not interested in anything other than romantic with her. And that if she ever changes her mind to get in contact with me again. If I stay in contact with her, I’ll never move on, even though there’s a hole inside me. And there may be that small chance she could come back to me at some point and we could try things again in future. Or we could even be friends down the track (I still have her mobile num, address, facebook). But if I stay in contact that won’t happen. I’ll have feelings and she doesn’t and she’ll keep taking me for granted as she’s lost interest and attraction for me. At least now she’ll know I do have the balls to walk away and stay away.

    1. C.M

      I’m still hurting a bit. We haven’t spoken for well over a week now. We got to the point where we hate each other. And if I go back, she will treat me like shit again. She was beautiful, attractive, I lost the person I love and my best friend. I recently got in touch a female friend from Philippines who reminds me a bit of her. And she admitted she had feelings for me. She’s a really nice girl, honest, loyal, trustworthy (unlike my ex), I like her. We will see how things go.

      1. Post
        Author
        1. C.M

          She reached out to me a couple of days ago but it was just like a casual catch up. I was happy to hear from her. But I really hate her for what she did – dumping me for someone else. I’ve decided to go “no contact” for at least 22 to 30 days.

        2. C.M

          This girl (Faye) has developed feelings for me, and I am still hung up on the other girl, the one who dumped me (Grace). I feel terrible. I want to love her but I can’t. It’s really hard to stay positive. I love someone that doesn’t love me anymore, who loves someone else now. And now someone else loves me, but I still love that other person. I tell you, it is a disaster.

  9. C.M

    Lisa you’re going to roll your eyes now. But I have a new problem.

    You said she wasn’t into me, right? And that she was stringing me along. Okay, I told you about how I walked away, and remained in no contact with her. I did not reach out to her at all. I thought we were finished. This lasted for at least three weeks, Lisa. And I was fed up with her anyway. But during that time, I’ve been happily chatting with another lady – Faye who I got in contact with again. She’s a really sweet girl. Things have been really perfect. This girl absolutely adores me, and she really wants to be with me. She’s been calling my phone every night, wanting to talk to me. She’s even been teaching me new words in her language – my love, I love you so much etc.

    Here’s the thing. The other one got in contact with me again, after those three weeks, and she began confessing her feelings towards me. She said she had thought about me, and that she missed me. She suspected something was different about how I was acting and asked me if there was someone else. I told her yeah there was. She practically blew up in a jealous rage. And that night, I was talking to both of them, and trying to juggle conversations. So I had to be honest. I told them both about each other, and both of them hate each other now and are jealous of each other. This wasn’t my intention to begin with, I was just trying to move on with someone new. Me and the ex were arguing until about 2:30 that morning.

    Meanwhile my other lady told me to cut her out of my life and just block her. But I couldn’t. So now both of them tell me they love me, I have two of them now, and both are upset about this situation but I don’t know who to choose. The one you said was stringing me along, she still has a boyfriend. And I brought it up with her last night, when she was angry about me having someone else. She blames herself, and yes it is her fault.

    But she confessed that she had thought that I was stringing her along and that I wasn’t serious about her, blaming things on me. I told her “goodnight and don’t let the conscience bite”. She told me she loved me and had always loved me since the beginning. She has somebody else though. And I have someone new now. So I guess the tables have turned and this is karma. I still love her though, and wonder how it’s possible to love both of them at the same time. I’m starting to think I don’t deserve either of them as I’m really hurting them both.

  10. C.j.M

    Hi, this is the last time I’m coming here. I don’t know if you can delete my earlier posts, Lisa. Because it looks bad. But I want to make this finalized. And I really want you to know the truth about this woman and anyone else who is reading this, and the things she did to me and how it left me damaged and heartbroken. And I want this to serve as a warning to anyone else who may or may not trust someone that they met online. Things can work out perfectly for people, there are countless videos on Youtube of couples who met online and are still together. But I want to share my story, which wasn’t so happy.

    Well, I finally ended our relationship on Wednesday. Here’s what happened. I blocked her from Facebook two weeks ago, knowing that she had another guy. She sends me a message to my phone abusing me about something I told a family member (who later messaged her on facebook) and that was months ago. I unblocked her, telling her that it was months ago and why was she messaging me. She told me she was “really fucking tired of me”. I didn’t care about how she felt at that point, to tell you the truth. My curiosity got the better of me, I decided to check out her Facebook profile, and she had updated it with new photos. There was a comment on her photo from a guy, saying “you’re beautiful”. My first reaction was “who is this guy?”.

    I decided to check out his account. I was infuriated to find out she had been messaging him, and liking all of his posts and photos since the beginning of the year. Roughly about the same time she started talking to me. And there was even posts about her and him, and how much he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, she liked those too and that was around the time she started acting cold and distant with me. She had always told me during the year that I was the only guy she was talking to, and got angry at me and defensive if I ever suspected anything. Months down the track, she told me there was another guy she was with, but she doesn’t really love him and was willing to leave him. But he was from Dubai and on a business trip and that they rarely talk. This guy though, was slightly overweight, with a red beard, and an American from Colorado. I wanted to find out more about who he was.

    I decided to message him, telling him about our history, and the things we did together etc. And that I’ve known her since February, that I was her boyfriend and her telling me she loved me, and us having cyber sex and phone sex. And how we have kept in touch all that time. He explained to me that he was her fiance. And that he had known her since last year and that they were deeply in love. We talked a little bit. And he told me he still loves her, even if she did cheat on him with me. And that he was very sorry for what happened and everything. I told him it wasn’t his fault and that I respected him. We both found out that she had not told either of us the full story about what was going on.

    I sent her a message that night, telling her I hated her, and asking why she could never be honest with me.. She is a liar and a cheat. And took both of us for a ride.

    He later discovered her chat logs with me on her laptop. And says he was disgusted that she could ever do this to him but still wants to work on their relationship. He copied those chat logs, and sent them to the girl I am seeing now, about everything we did together. And she no longer trusts me and hates me, we have broken up but not officially, I’m still trying to work on our relationship. The next day, this guy paid for the b*tch to fly to America, to be with him. And there are photos of the ring he bought for her and her wearing it. As well as a post about how they are engaged now, and people congratulating them in the comments. It is clear to me that she doesn’t really love him, and that she’s just using him for money and to get out of her country. He is naive, and I know she will hurt him and betray him badly. Best of luck to them both though. I really don’t want to know about or hear from either of them EVER again. I have blocked both of them on Facebook, deleted her number, her photos, our chat history, everything. She lied to me about everything. She lied to him about everything. There were other guys she also chatted to during that time. And probably told them she loved them too.

    1. C.j.M

      The two of them might be happy together now. But she left me damaged and in a lot of pain. I trusted her. So all I can really do now is stay out of her life, and focus on moving on with mine. I need time to heal.

    2. C.j.M

      The worst part is not being able to talk to anyone about this, and getting no support. Because nobody understands or cares about what I’m feeling. I can’t even mention it, without people making jokes, trying to dismiss my pain or giving me a lecture on why “it’s all your fault” and how it was a “fake relationship”, “see I told you it will never work” and how stupid I am etc. This just really sucks right now. But I’m trying to get through it.

      1. Post
        Author
        Lisa McKay

        I’m very sorry about the pain, which is know is real and enormous. And the reaction of your family and friends which is hurtful. But I’m sort of glad that you have final resolution on this girl so that you can do exactly what you said, stay out of her life, don’t react if she doesn’t stay out of hers (don’t “unblock” her or have any contact with her even if she tries to contact you again in the future–completely ignore anything she sends your way from now on) and focus 100% on moving forward. One day at a time. Months from now you’ll glance back at all of this and much of the pain will have turned into hard-won wisdom. Life’s funny like that. All the best.

        1. C.j.M

          I’ve moved on like you told me to, the pain is not really there now. I’m still talking to the other girl, but I’m just not as crazy about her. I mean I love her. She’s nice, and sweet and she really loves me a lot. We talk on the phone every night. Even though she makes me happy, I still miss the other one, and there’s sadness in my heart. I have been browsing her Facebook, and his, and they’re still engaged. She even has new photos on there. She’s really beautiful. It just makes me sick and sad at what I’ve lost. I can’t even tell my family or friends about the new girl who I’m “with” now because they won’t take me seriously after last time. That whole experience left me feeling betrayed, sad and disappointed. And also like I’ve failed.

          1. Jane Tris

            Hi CJ, I know this is about a year later. I read all of your posts out of curiosity. I’m a half-American/Filipino born in the US and currently living in the Philippines. I’ve seen how women here can act. I’m sad you had to experience it firsthand, but I could almost see it coming based on the direction you were going in your earlier posts.

            Truth is, if he’s lucky, she will stay committed to him, but he may find that he’s missing a few billing statements and that a lot of his money is being sent to the Philippines. The harsh reality is that you really shouldn’t trust any woman from here, lol. Unless they have VERY high education, or they were raised in another country/traveled a lot since childhood and have seen the world outside of the Philippines.

            This country is corrupt. A lot of this backhanded behavior is instilled on the general population from birth. Many women are expected to take care of their family, often by marrying a man who will provide for all of them. I don’t care if that’s horrible of me to say, because I have seen it countless times. A common phenomenon here is an old, retired expat getting together with a young hot Filipina to live the rest of his days whereas she just wants his money to provide for her family. The other scenario is that she gets with some nice local boy, they pop out 5 babies and hope that one of the kids will grow up to provide for them eventually. Poverty is a big problem here and this is an unfortunate side effect. When it’s consensual, that’s fine. But when an unsuspecting person gets led along without knowing how these women really think–like you–shit gets fucked up.

            In my opinion, a relationship with such a huge cultural AND class difference will simply never work out. I’ve yet to see a case that has proven me wrong, including my own parents.

            Anyway, this little ramble may or may not have helped you. Sorry if not. If I were you, I’d just take a break from relationships in general for a while! Hope you have found a little happiness since this post.

          2. Post
            Author
  11. Daniella

    Hi Lisa,

    I read your article with great interest after searching for a little help and reassurance on line with my own LDR. Mine is a little different from the others I see posted. I met someone on line in August who lives in the USA (I live in Europe) and we quickly became close. She was fascinating, caring, genuine and just generally amazing – luckily I was travelling to the USA for work a couple of months after we started talking, so we got the chance to meet in real-life after not too long. She was going to stay for a week, but it ended up being three and things were mostly great. I say mostly great as I was under a lot of stress with my work commitments during that time and a few times I craved my own space to relax, which was difficult as we were staying in a studio apartment, however when I got stressed, she handled it well and we were able to resolve things quickly.

    After that, we planned to spend Christmas together (transatlantic separation meaning that a few dates here and there were impossible!) and went back to normal – video chat and chatting online. I was looking forward to her coming, but now she is here – things seem somewhat different. I feel that my feelings havent had time to catch up with the amount of shared experiences etc we have currently – and that things are moving fast. I crave my own time, and I worry about our future and the next few weeks together. She seems very sure of things, i still feel like we are trying things out and that my feelings need time to develop and settle. It’s all very intense and a little overwhelming. i think in a way, I am reluctant to lose my notion of ‘self’ – i had a bad last relationship, which ended over a year before i got together with my current LDR relationship and I spent a year really rebuilding myself – I’m very happy with my life now. I thought she was the icing on the cake, and i still hope she is, but there seem to be some teething problems associated with actually meeting. There’s been some wonderful moments, but i also find it quite stressful. This is likely compounded by the fact we are staying at my parents at the moment in a tiny box room and both of us aren’t sleeping well.

    Any advice you can give would be much appreciated as right now, i find myself worrying a lot

    Thank you,

    1. C.j.M

      It sounds like things are going good. At least you got the opportunity to meet each other. And both your families were open-minded, understanding and accepting of your relationship. And even though things sound difficult, don’t give up hope, Danielle. It’s only natural to worry. All the very best to you.

    2. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Sorry for the long delay, I’ve been on holiday with the family. You’ve doubtless experienced the whole visit by now, so thoughts and feelings should have had time to settle. I will say this… if you’ve got persistent doubts and feel troubled more often than not when you’re together (in other words, if you actually feel better about the relationship when you’re apart) then that’s a sign you should re-think things. I hope things settled down and you both got more sleep and were able to talk openly about hopes and expectations. If you read this, let me know how things went, would you?

  12. N Dubose

    Hello Lisa- I met a man online a week ago. We were both uninhibited and talked about our traits from a sexual standpoint, I tried to be as evasive as possible. However did share some things. So I allowed things to go fast. So morning phone calls. Calls after he gets off from work. He wanted to meet after a week. He lives an hour away. I put things off for two weeks. He appeared to get frustrated. He mentioned that he could be getting cat fished. I refused to send him a full body shot. But sent him a pic while out yesterday. Ok, he mentions that he wishes I was with him. Demonstrating that he is interested in intimacy as soon as possible. I made the mistake of mentioning that it has been 3 years since I was intimate with someone. He has shown he is loosing interest. I’m not that concerned since he is trying to move things too fast. But I like him felt a connection and plan to meet him next week. Any advice

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      It sounds like he’s pressuring you. You’re worried he might be losing interest because you felt a connection. But you also don’t sounds comfortable with how fast things are moving. And they ARE moving fast. He’s basically told you that he’s interested in having sex ASAP, and at the first signs that you might want to put the brakes on he’s “losing interest”. The question you need to ask yourself at this stage is whether you want to be in a relationship with someone who may end up primarily being interested in long-distance “booty calls”. If you’ve taken the time to read this article and leave a comment, my sense is that’s NOT what you want. So figure out what you want, what you feel comfortable with, and stick to your guns. It’ll either make him respect you or move on. And if he moves on, good riddance.

  13. Tessa Lai

    Hello Lisa 🙂
    I met a guy through an online dating app, a month ago.
    And our distance is 2 hours away from each other. Things did moved quite fast between us, and i realised that. We text/call daily and he even includes me into his future plans, which i felt kinda happy but also a bit of afraid at the same time.
    He’s a very nice guy and told me that he will come meet me 3 months later.
    It was sweet of him but sometimes i had this feeling that things might not work out between us, as personally i think that LDR cannot be sustained.
    He told me if once we had decided to be together, i don’t need to worry much as he will come visit me every once/twice a month. Should i give us a chance? Should i negotiate with him regarding moving things slowly?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      I think you should be honest with him about your hesitations about whether LDR’s can be sustained, and take it from there. If you still like him and want to give it a go, I would move forward slowly. Relationships are always a balancing act, very few of us are ever completely free from doubts about whether things will work or whether we should stay in the relationship, but the key is trying to weigh up those doubts against everything in you that WANTS the relationship and thinks it CAN work. Only you can judge that balance and make the decision about whether to keep trying it out.

  14. Confused Girl

    Hi Lisa
    I started emailing a genuine guy (done my homework) from the States, met via a pen pal website last summer. A single dad with two kids. I said I was married, although I’m not entirely sure he still remembers that somehow. We seemed to connect from the beginning with a bit of a banter here and there. So the banter continued. We exchanged photos, normal and naughty ones as well. The fact is that I’m starting to find him very desirable indeed.
    Round about October I was checking his profile out and he was no doubt writing to a million other females. Then one day I noted he took himself off. Then he stopped writing to me for a while. Out of the blue I then received an email and he apologised and said he had lots on, I didn’t question, he then said that this nothing had changed between us and not a day goes by without him thinking of me.

    When he does go silent for a while I give him the odd nudge, and I suppose it’s the same with me as I can go silent too.

    We kept saying we wanted to meet (probably more me going there) but now we haven’t approached the subject since. I don’t want to push him as I know he has a lot on. Not really sure where to go from here…..

  15. Liz

    Hi Liza,

    I met a guy online through a chatroom( so 2000s) and we hit it off. We didn’t exchange numbers, but both got a kik in order to be in contact with each other. I’m in the States, he is in Australia. We have a lot in common, and both happen to be Christian, but I found myself doing exactly what you warned about; telling him things I haven’t told friends and family yet. We are moving really fast, and I am afraid we are to a point where I don’t know how to slow us down. I’m afraid because I know I like him, but the quickness of our ‘relationship’ has me doubting if this will have us flicker out just as quickly. What should I do? We want to meet in December, and I still want to do that, but don’t know if I want a relationship where we went from Point A to M so quickly. Please, I could use some advice.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      If 90% of you really wants to meet him, you will probably always wonder what might have been if you don’t meet. At the same time I think it’s wise to realize that you’ve grown your relationship in a greenhouse, so to speak, on an artificially accelerated timeline, and that that is risky. If you really DO like him, it’s worth having some honest conversations about this. Maybe show him this post and use it as a starting point to talk about your own relationship and it’s dynamic. Good luck!

      1. Liz

        Thank you Lisa! I missed this when you responded, and just checked to see your response. I brought up the points you made, and we have slowed things down. We still talk everyday , but the conversation has slowed down from fantasy talks to based in reality. Sometimes we slip, but it’s something I can manage as opposed to before. Now it’s just a matter of introducing him to people and vice versa. Should that be done before we have even met yet? Should we start taking days off so that we don’t burn ourselves out? In the 3 months we have known each other, there hasn’t been a day where we have not at least texted each other for a good portion of the day (with a few breaks here and there). Thank you!

  16. Monica

    Hi Liza,
    I met a guy on a chatroom nearly a month ago. I easily felt comfortable with him. I had been open and honest to him. But we are worlds apart. He is from the US and I am from Asia. One thing I’ve noticed, when he replies, it is usually after an hour or so. I am a caring person and it is natural for me to send nice and caring messages. I don’t know if he is annoyed or irritated but on the other hand, there are also instances that he is kind to me (or he’s just being nice). It is so confusing. Do you think I am becoming “too much” or pretending to be close or, it is just me with the attitude of wanting to find my Mr.Right. Can you please give me an advice about the usual behavior of men since I haven’t been to any serious relationship all my life. Thank you.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hi Monica, There’s a post coming up in a couple of weeks about pursuit-retreat behaviour that you’ll find interesting, so keep checking back for that. But in short, I’d say relax about him not getting back to you right away. Ask yourself whether you are texting and contacting him too much, and whether you’re coming across as needy. All the best, Lisa

  17. Essie

    Hey Lisa,

    I came across your article while looking up info about meeting someone online and was hoping you could give me some advice. Some background info: I’m 19, he’s 25. We’re both in the states; I’m on east coast and he’s in central. We met over this chat service via a “random rolling” feature and he was very forward about adding me. It was a very playful banter and flirting at first, and he says that I’m so likable he just might fall for me. Throughout the next two days, we exchange messages pretty often, ranging from silly topics to past relationships, etc, but he never fails to mention that he likes me. My problem is, however, that we’ve met for less than a week and he is already saying things like love and marriage (whether jokingly or not, I really can’t be sure). I’ve mentioned that I’m a sucker for cheesy words and I worry about how fast that things are going but he sounded so sincere in his reassurance that he wouldn’t lie/play me. I’m still taking things pretty lightly I suppose, but he keeps mentioning wanting to meet or go vacationing together. I’m not in a position to finance any trips or anything but I did tell him I was looking for a job. He might’ve sensed that I was just stalling so he asked if I even really liked him/ want to meet him. I honestly did not know that answer because I have so many inhibitions about online dating and worries that people online might be like serial killers or something (or at the very least, worries that I’ll get played if I let myself get attached). Through the chat’s random feature, I also was/am talking a few other guys but definitely not flirting to the level of this one (I treat them as friends), but this makes me wonder how many other girls he’s chatting with as well. This may seem childish, but I am pretty insecure, so I don’t know what to do about that. Apart from this, we’ve briefly talked about sexual things but it was more Q&A from him because I have absolutely no experience (haven’t had first kiss yet). Another worry is that if we do meet, how would the whole sex thing work? But that’s a worry for later because the problem at hand is, what do I even do about this pseudo-relationship(?) thing I’ve got going on? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Oh, Essie. Gosh, honey, it sounds like he’s moving WAY TOO FAST. And you’re totally right to feel cautious. I wrote a book that you might find really interesting. Here’s the link: http://www.modernlovelongdistance.com/shop/ebooks/from-stranger-to-lover-strategies-long-distance-relationships/. But, in short, you be clear with your thoughts and feelings and keep putting the brakes on. If he’s worth having a relationship with, he’ll match your pace. He won’t push you. And he won’t pressure you. If he keeps getting frustrated because you can’t meet anytime soon, or he keeps wanting to talk sexual, ditch him. Stop it now, before you waste time and energy on him. If it’s going to work, it’s going to have to be an LDR for quite a while, and that requires someone who is really interested in getting to know YOU, not just addicted to that amazing buzz that comes with a new and interesting online connection.

  18. Dana

    OK. Here goes. Somehow I believe I already know the answer to the question….but….I have been talking on-line, on the phone, had two Skype meetings and have exchanged many, many photos with a man who lives 3000 miles away. I am 40 years old and so is the man with whom I am having the LDR with. I am a year out of a long term, abusive relationship and was in no hurry to jump into any other sort of serious commitment. For 7 months now I have had daily conversations, sometimes two or three times a day with my online man. We have fallen in love…or at least that is what we say to each other. We both have hang-ups and issues but seem to find a helpful common ground with each other. He has helped me through some difficult times and I him. I am an independent woman with a full time career and am very fit, active and outdoorsy. I have a full life. He does not work, semi-retired and seems to be lacking any sort of goal or purpose at the moment he belongs to Mensa and has hobbies. The problem being my need to meet up in person and his apparent apathy to do the same. I have been up front with him since the start and have (many times) brought up my concern about becoming more emotionally committed before actually meeting first. Today it all came to a head when a promise to meet passed by and then when I broached the subject again about the second meet up deadline coming up in two months, he turned a ‘yes’ into a ‘maybe’. In my frustrated state I told him if he didn’t commit to meeting me, or at least that he come up with a valid, rational excuse for a delay, we would have to go our separate ways. I am paying for my own flight, my own accommodation, my own meals and yet STILL he keeps stalling our meeting in person scenarios. He also has now claimed that he must not be ‘the one’ if I can hand out ultimatums so easily. Wow. I am very hurt and not sure how to deal with the passive aggressiveness and am lost as to how to deal with it all. I want to meet him but at what cost to my own self-worth and peace of mind. Please Lisa, some clarity? Thank you.

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      Lisa McKay

      Oh, Dana. You’ve laid out this tension so beautifully and articulately. You hinted at the start that you may already know the best answer (there may not be a “right” answer here, but there probably is a “best” answer), and I think you probably do. From my point of view, I think you’re on the right track. You know yourself. You know where you guys match up and where you are very different. You’re aware of your needs and wants to meet to move this forward, and you are picking up on all sorts of signs that (for whatever reason) this man is not willing or able to move forward in the same way. Look, I think wanting to meet up at this stage is more than reasonable. And I think that if he can’t follow through then he likely has issues of a scope that mean that he’s not a good fit for you. If he can’t commit to a meeting, he’s unlikely to be able to take steps to move towards a more shared future on any sort of reasonable timeline. And if he can’t clearly explain his hesitations then he either has trouble communicating, or trouble figuring out his own issues. Your ultimatum sounds less like a “manipulation” (as he’s trying to suggest) than a statement of facts: i.e., if this doesn’t happen now then it’s a clear sign we need to move on. All the best as you try to move towards a next step on this, either way.

  19. Rachel

    Dear, Liza:

    Firs of all, I would like to thank you for writing this article that has confronted me; something that I needed/wanted in this moment. Like the rest of the fellow peers here, I also met a someone online. However, I just met him less than two days ago. I know this is crazy and I’m realizing I’m probably mentally or emotionally unstable because of this, ergo I’m grateful for this well-written article.

    Here’s the thing: we met on a virtual-world site and we started chatting, despite the variants of having an avatar and interacting with other people in the same virtual space. We instantly clicked. I don’t know how, (maybe our personalities and interests are the reason) but what started as a casual chit-chat became a very serious conversation that bewitched me. It wasn’t like we both poured our guts out hours after meeting. In fact, he emphasized on giving me facts about his life that were banal. What he considered “banal” about his “ordinary” life, I considered enthralling. I found him amazing–and the few people I find amazing are either dead or divorced, brilliant authors living in a Parisian apartment and smoking their lives away. Anyway, I have “online-dated” and dated people outside the web before, and I have never experienced knowing someone in the way I got to know him; I have never met someone like him before.

    It’s not my intention to sell you this story like something special–like the exception. I don’t mean to tell you that my case is different–that this could be my “happily ever after”. No. I’m well-aware that this could lead to nowhere, but I just can’t stop thinking about how stirring it was—about how we accidentically or indirectly found traits in each other that we wanted in a significant other. We even talked about our love lives and he explained that he was comfortable being single until he could afford to be stable, because that’s his goal: stability. Now, I’m about to graduate from college (He’s 24 years old and I’m 22) and I have this itch or wanderlust to travel the globe. My goals are my priority and so are his. So, I consider us both rational adults who are extremely interested in each other but are also aware of the complications of a long-distance relationship. Plus, we just met.

    The problem is that he’s working full time and I’m studying and working, so we both came to the conclusion that we would rarely see each other on that site again. If it were another guy and if I weren’t feeling this crazy impulse, I would leave it as it is. I would forget about it in minutes. I would just say: “Oh, well. Nice chatting with ya. Peace!” But I can’t. I’m invested somehow.

    To conclude (I don’t wanna write a novel like our peep CM over there), I’m thinking on giving him my Facebook or email in a private message that he could read whenever he signs in again. I never do this and since he never asked for my Facebook or phone number (rare in a guy, I know), then we don’t have a way to communicate outside that virtual platform. Of course, even though I’ve already named our three kids (I’m joking, I’m just really into this guy), I would give him this info for the sake of a new friendship. I would emphasize that we would just be friends just to be clear. So, Liza, or anyone who’s reading this, should I do such a thing or leave it as it is and forget about it?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      “Our peep CM,” LOL. Look, I’d say go for it. If you don’t you’ll always wonder. But DO be careful. Be cautious. And be measured. You don’t have too much to loose here unless you “loose your head” and let your emotions and common sense completely run away from you. So send him those details. If he wants to take it a step further, great. If he doesn’t, it’s cost you nothing except some disappointment, and it’s saved you a lot of “if only’s”

      1. Rachel

        Thank you so much, Lisa*! I did it and we’ve been emailing each other, taking things slow. I can’t thank you enough. Now I’m off to read other articles in this amazing blog and your memoir. 😀

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  20. Lisa

    Hi Lisa

    I just met someone on a dating site. I’m not used to dating sites. Some ladies I met on Fb I didn’t have a problem chatting with. But I am lost for words. I’ M trying not to go too fast especially because she’s far away and I don’t know of the possibilities of a physical date soon. Advice needed… PS: I am Lesbian.

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      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hi there… Could you just pretend you met on facebook? The principles of getting to know someone are the same, except this time you know they’re also interested in dating if there’s chemistry. So that’s a bonus, right? Just take it slow. Focus on getting to know them as people and friends. And don’t think too far ahead if possible (hard, I know).

  21. Lily Santiago

    Hi Lisa,

    I met a guy about 4 months ago online and we connected pretty well. We would message each other everyday, just not all day everyday (whew). Although, I expressed to him that if we had each other’s phone numbers, that we should talk on the phone more often as well. He admitted he loves video chatting (facetime), so he would call me throughout the day. I figured, face-to-face might be better than phone calls after all. About a month ago, we had a disagreement and both agreed that we needed some space in terms of “flirting” because we were moving too fast and both got caught in the moment (although he would still send me funny videos and pictures of his friends).

    About two weeks ago, we had a long conversation admitting that maybe we did not communicate the best last time, were both too defensive and that we need to learn each others’ triggers a little better. He has invited me to visit him in October (I am in the South, he is on the East Coast) and I agreed. I got an extremely great deal with my airfare, and he has agreed to pay for everything else. He also suggested that maybe the first two nights I can get a hotel room and that if I feel more comfortable after, I can stay at his house. (I will be out there for a week). He has added a few of my family members on Facebook, we video chat every day, message a few times throughout the day and I know where he works ( yes, I was THAT nervous lol :-)), and he said that when I arrived he wanted me to contact someone I am comfortable with to give them the address.

    What I am concerned with is: How soon is TOO soon to become intimate? What topics are off limits during the visit? Should I ask him to visit next time?

    I know that some of this may sound stupid. However, I am 26 and I just started really dating. I was in a long term relationship and after that ended, I took time off to focus on myself and work. Right when I decided to just give up, he popped up.

    I just can’t help but feel that someway I am going to get hurt. And I really want to break out of that.

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Apologies for the delay in reply. Busy time here in Vanuatu!! Sp, it’s scary, isn’t it, this dating thing? And exhilarating. I think it’s natural to worry that you’re going to get hurt because the fact of the matter is, you might. But you know what else? Even if you DO (and that’s by no means a given) you’re also learning and growing and stretching your “love” muscles and expanding in all sorts of ways. Now, as for your questions… I’ll take them in reverse order. Ask him to visit towards the end of your visit if you’re absolutely sure you want him to. Don’t ask him if there’s any significant doubt in your head and heart that it’s a good idea–in that case, go home and let the dust settle first before asking.

      What topics are off limits? Almost none. You might not want to share all your secrets and fears, that’s just rushing emotional intimacy. And you shouldn’t expect him to share all of his at this stage either. But I don’t think that means there are topics off limits. I think it means recognize some topics are sensitive and potentially loaded, acknowledge that, tread carefully, and respect hesitations and boundaries.

      And intimacy? Again, if any doubt at all, don’t go there. And maybe even if there’s no doubt, ask yourself if you’re going to regret it next week, or next month. If the answer is yes, don’t go there. If he’s the real deal, he’ll wait with grace.

      Have a great visit!

  22. EA

    Hey Cm,

    I have the same situation as you do. I am from the Philippines and I met a Brazilian who’s living in the US last 2013 through an online chatroom. He also offers to pay for my airfare just so we could get to meet in the US soon. But I couldn’t because I couldn’t quit my job just for me to see him. The risk is too much. But I really do love him. Adter 3 yrs, I confronted him what are we and what I am to him and he answered me that he does like me but only considers me as a very good friend since we live very far away from each other. It sucks that I have been so emotionally attachrd and invested and it turns out we’re not on the same page 🙁 Long distance hurts. 🙁 My advice is you do “defining the relationship” before you invest too much on her.

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  23. Ariel

    Dear CM
    I have been talking to this guy for a few months now. I live in Texas and he lives in Minnesota. We have been really connecting and we both want to meet each other . How do I approach this in a safe way without sounding too suspicious? Should I meet him in Minnesota or should he come down here? He seems real sweet, and we have fun and speak on serious matters too, but by most accounts, he is still a stranger and I just want to be safe. Do you have any tips for me when it comes to meeting him in a safe environment?

  24. Nao

    Boy have I done this all wrong. I’m doing the complete opposite of this list. I met someone in September on SKOUT and right away we started getting intimate. This might sound crazy, but we started dating the day that we met. We said we were going to try and become just friends first, but what can I say, I have a way with words. About 20 minutes into our conversation I made him cry with the sweet words I shared. He said he had never met anyone that could treat him so well, even though he deserves it. I couldn’t hold back, I was really into him as a person, not just for his looks. The next day we started talking about getting married in Vegas and adopting a dog. It all moved so fast and I wasn’t planning on hitting the brakes. However, since our first week of meeting he has become very occupied with his life, so we speak maybe every other day or so. What baffles me is how open minded I am in this relationship, given the distance and the age difference (4k miles and 5 years apart). I can’t say if it’s because he’s so young that he’s willing to fantasize about this stuff so soon, but he did say that he was afraid of the online world killing everything, and that he didn’t want us getting too close for the outcome of either of us getting hurt. It’s just, I really feel like I love him, but don’t necessarily feel “in love” yet due to the mental and physical barriers. I told him I would try to fly to Poland next year, I’m just extremely nervous and scared. We probably are moving to fast, but what does it matter if we actually do meet someday? What does it matter if you love everything about the person? What does it matter if you have so much in common? I guess the true answer is fatal attraction… will both of us actually fall in love when we meet, or will it all start to fade away the moment we lock eyes? After that it’s just a question of who’s willing to move (also complicated).

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      What does it matter? Well, it’s not “sexy” but there’s a lot to be said for building a relationship slowly, bit by bit, without jumping straight to talking about things like marriage and love. If you skip all those real “getting to know you deeply” layers that just take time, then at the very least you’re in for a lot of “reality checks” and “expectations adjustments” as things progress. All the best, and I hope things are still going well for you.

  25. TCM

    Hello, I’ve met a man on positive singles as we both have an STI, it’s moved pretty fast, he lives in the USA & Im in Canada. I am flying out to meet him in 3 weeks. Is it okay for me to plan to stay with him but have a hotel booked just in case? As long as my family and friends know where I am and what addresses I’m staying at?

    All of his information online checks out, he owns a business in his town that he lives in and has a 5 year old son.

    I feel as though he is honest and trust worthy.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    I know he wants to be intimate and I do as well too- just not sure if this will break the ‘relationship’ or not?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hi there TCM. It’s always a judgement call, these types of things. Isn’t it? He does sound pretty trustworthy, but I would recommend you plan to stay at the hotel at least on the first night, and communicate that that’s your plan in advance. That will give you a bit of space and reflection room after you first meet, and then you can change course after that and stay with him. Sorry for the delay in reply, I was offline over Christmas.

  26. David

    I’ve met someone on a game and then started talking on more social apps…. I’m in Canada but she’s in Netherland, we keep talking about how we would like to meet each other and we like each other a lot…. it’s been going a couple month now, we’ve moved on to the phone and then video call… but it’s just to meet up with her she’s to far away, so am I so we don’t know what to do?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Well, if you really think there might be potential it may be worth the money. I flew to a different country once to meet someone. It all turned out to be nothing as far as romance but we’re still friends.

  27. Arara

    Hi Lisa, I currently decided to give a guy a chance to get to know him from a fb dating site..2 month agonhe messaged me and i said no..we remained fb friends..4 days ago he messaged me again asking if om single and if so would i like to get to know him and am i willing to relocate..so I liked that he was straight forward he said hes looking for something long term…i liked that so I said we can pursue something..but i question some things, because hes already saying stuff like “we” and Im gonna be his future wife and stuff..so far he calls me daily..he said he wants to stay in ohio because he has a job of 17 years nd his mother is still therw.he wants the woman to come tonhim and he said if i want us to move a few years or so” if i want to” then he’s willing..but looked at his fb from 2013 to 2015 and all I see is women flirting on his pge..looks like irmts calmed down about 90% last year..a matter of fact nust yesterday a woman wrote on his wall saying ” how come your never on here anymore?” My concern is when i asked how long has he been seriously ready to settle down now and he said a few years….I said well you should have found someone by now…then he said hes had a few he liked but nobody would move…he talks like im already his wife and hes easy going and accepting about everything…Im wondering of Im just another online thought in his head and am I temporay or since i have seen a calm down in his fb page last year id hes possibly serious…he says im everything he wants and needs and he has a good feeling about us that well be ok…I think its all too soon for him to onow all this..I want to pursue iy but am scared I may be an online conquere or something..all only because I tnink its too soon for him to be saying all this.I told him I dontvfal for all this stuff by words and he said hes gonna show me..whats your take on him? Should I be xoncered about the busy female pattern on his fb from 2013-2015?

    1. Post
      Author
      Lisa McKay

      Hi Arara. He is certainly moving fast, and it sounds like he has a serious case of rose-colored glasses. Read this article to learn more about that: http://www.modernlovelongdistance.com/rose-colored-glasses-halo-effect-long-distance-relationships/

      Look, if you’re at all interested I recommend going to meet him sooner rather than later. Don’t stay with him on that first visit, though. And don’t let things get too physical.

      I have never met you or him, but what concerns me about the patterns you described is not so much all the flirting a couple of years ago, but how he’s approached things with you. It’s one thing to be up front and honest. That’s great. It’s quite another to be talking about marriage and you being his wife so early on. That’s skipping over a lot of stages and sort of suggests that he has less interest in getting to know YOU as a person and figuring out if you may have a good shared future together than he does in seeing his little vision in his head of someone moving out there and marrying him come true.

  28. M.P.

    Hi Lisa –
    I randomly met a guy from Ireland online about 4 months ago. We started chatting as friends, but things quickly escalated (as you advised they would in your article.. I only wish I had read this first!) I asked him pretty early on (when things started getting..personal) if he was seeing anyone. He said something to the effect of “I have a date here and there but nothing serious.” Being the trusting soul that I am, I accepted that answer. We spoke pretty much daily from early on, despite the time difference (I am in NY, US). We’ve talked of meeting (and actually are in about 10 days when I fly to London, he is coming to meet me there). The problem is that I came across a “friend” of his Instagram account where she, as far back as 2013 referred to him as her boyfriend. There were pictures of them together after the time he and I met, back in October of 2016. There has only been 1 of them together this year – and when checking our coinciding conversations – he told me he was going to Dublin (where she lives) for ‘a friend’s birthday’. I’m just not sure what to think, especially since there were a ton of pictures prior to December I’d say, then maybe 3 total from December to now. He actually called me a few days ago when he had been out drinking with friends and told me how I was the reason he wasn’t still at the pub trying to pick up girls, that normally he would be the first one to talk to the girls in the pub but since meeting me he hasn’t.. I was once told that people lose their inhibitions when drunk and often say things they wouldn’t be able to when sober, although maybe that is wishful thinking. I’m trying to go into this meeting with an open mind and just let what happens happen – but I don’t want to wind up getting hurt.
    I guess I should also mention there is a significant age difference, he is 28 and I am 43, although he says that doesn’t mean anything…

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