I want to tell you a cautionary tale about a friend of mine, in the hope that you will not suffer the same distress he did. This friend of mine, whom I'll call “Joe”, met a woman online in a chatroom for people in his town in England. They chatted and emailed madly for ages, Joe falling passionately in love with her. She had sent him her picture (well, a picture—who can say if it was of her? It is easy to grab a picture of someone else off the net...). After Joe had well and truly fallen for her, and was in a terrible state because she kept either refusing to meet him or cancelling dates, he discovered that far from being a 35-year-old accountant in England, this person (we still don't know if it was a woman....) was writing from a university server in the USA. It was probably a student.
I mention this story because there were some big red flags he should have seen, and which you should not miss yourself if you are in a similar situation:
First, despite writing vast amounts of email to Joe and chatting a lot, and appearing from what she said to be extremely keen on Joe, this person did not meet Joe, not even in a public place for coffee. If a person is really interested, and he or she has nothing to hide, they are going to want to meet up. There is nothing worse than getting really close to someone online, only to discover that there is zero attraction chemistry when you meet in person. This woman claimed that she had had bad experiences/been abused or something, and that that was why she was reluctant to meet even after a long time, but given the feeling expressed in her email messages and chats, this reluctance simply did not add up.
On several occasions, she agreed to meet, and then did not turn up. Later, she always had a perfect excuse—car accident, grandmother dying, you name it, it sounded plausible. But after about the third such time, I smelt a rat... One thing that everyone in any kind of relationship needs to keep clear in their mind is that actions speak louder than words and if a person's actions belie their words, it is the actions you should believe, not the words.
Another friend of mine fell apart over a woman who was extremely friendly to him whenever they met, looking deeply into his eyes and appearing to find him so very interesting.... and yet somehow, she never quite got around to seeing him alone, on a date. There was always some excuse. Her words said she was very interested indeed; her actions said she wasn't. He should have listened to her actions. Instead, she led him a merry dance that went nowhere and cost him a fortune in expensive gifts to her, not to mention a broken heart...
And before you conclude that this chap must be a sad loser and a gullible fool, let me tell you that in fact he is a highly intelligent, insightful, switched-on, sharp-witted, rational, mature, even cynical man who has women throwing themselves at him constantly and who had never before been the one being strung along. It can happen to the best of us.
But to get back to Joe, eventually, I got so sick of his angst-ridden phone calls to me about this woman whose actions did not seem to me consistent with her words, that I persuaded Joe to run the most basic check on her, just to rule out my hunch that she was not who she said she was. (For detailed easy-to-follow technical instructions on how to run the check I ran on the information in her email message headers, click here.)
Joe was at first very angry with me for suggesting that she wasn't genuine. After all, he had her home address, and he had driven past her house and seen her BMW outside, and she really seemed to know about accountancy so she must be an accountant, right? And surely she must be in England, because her email address was a yahoo.co.uk one, right? Wrong! You can get a yahoo.co.uk address whether or not you are in the UK. You can get a yahoo.com address whether or not you are in the USA. And if you have visited a place, you might know that there is often a BMW parked outside the house.
We all know that actions speak louder than words, but even the most rational individuals can sometimes get swept up in excitement and forget everything they know. And that is why I make no apology for stating the obvious: because sometimes we all need a reminder.
Have you seen the following articles?
Dealing with a man who doesn't do as he's told
The appeal of a very feminine woman
Don't tell anyone I'm here!
The Surrendered Wife, by Laura Doyle: a critique
The soothing effect of vowing to obey
Finding the right man
The paradox of the master and the queen
The erotic power of unshackled male dominance