It’s easy to believe that online dating is this fabulous new, modern way to find love, aside from the issues of decade old profile photos being used, the odd dirty sex perve trawling round, or Mr or Mrs Personality who read like a match made in heaven, only to end up like being on a date with a dead fish.
The reality is, that more and more people seem to be creating what they think is a relationship with someone online but with a key element missing – they’ve never seen or met the person in real life. It seems more and more people are allowing themselves to form emotional bonds with strangers that are taking them for a big fat ride.
American footballer Manti Te’o, who plays for the college team Notre Dame has become the poster boy for the ugly truth behind online dating. His story although elaborate and one that gained international coverage due to him saying he had this beautiful girlfriend for years but who subsequently died of leukaemia.
Why Manti has become such a figure of question, is not just because he convinced himself and others that he had a girlfriend but had never met her, even lying to his Dad saying he had, he also found out that her death never happened because she actually didn’t exist. Well she did, but she was a he and this person had created a whole masterpiece of lies. A web of lies if you like.
I can understand people suspecting the guy was part of the scam to make himself look like the perfect guy, still managed to play amazing football despite the sudden tragic death of his partner, but many elements of this story are happening within South Australia as well.
When Manti was told on the phone that his girlfriend had died, after all sorts of disastrous events leading up, supposedly by the brother of the girlfriend that didn’t exist, he went into some sort of mourning. When he found out the whole thing had been a scam, he went into serious saving face mode, even going on national television still running with the tragic story.
So why is it that so many people are reporting being taken for a ride online by someone that they believed they were having a relationship with, that ended up being a pack of lies? To some degree it must be similar to why some people marry a person that has all sorts of traits they really can’t live with, but then presume they’ll disappear once the ring is on the finger. It’s called false hope.
There are always signs leading up when something ends up a mess. As with Manti and other stories I know about those seeking love online, there are the standard reasons why their online lover could never show their face. Whether that is on Skype or an actual date.
What astounds me though is how many of these situations result in the innocent party being sucked into sending their ‘never been seen, online lover’ money. Why on earth is anyone getting to the point where they are wiling to financially help someone out that they have never met? So many reports about women sending off money to their Internet lovers? What sort of new lover even asks a woman to help them out with money? What sort of start is that to a relationship?
Online dating is rife with a distinct lack of effort or commitment to actually turning the relationship from the ‘get to know you’ stage and into the ‘now let’s physically meet’.
Are too many of us creating a world where it’s easier to have a fantasy version of love because it prevents us from having a real life broken heart? Happiness and love requires some work. If the person you think you’re in love with cannot manage to take you on a physical date, then I’m sorry, this is not real love and you are not in a relationship.