I don’t mean to sound like a concerned mom but I mean to sound like a concerned mom. I know that online dating is often seen as an honest way to find love or companionship but, unfortunately, this really isn’t the case for all parties involved.
Over 40 million Americans use online dating to find an actual relationship, according to a recent study done by eHarmony. Among those 40 million, however, are dangerous characters who hide behind the internet in search of their next victim.
I find it difficult to believe my true love is just waiting to be found out there on a dating app. It is human nature to “fluff your resumé.” Adding a word or two and telling someone what they want to hear to “get the job” is a commonality. Get my metaphor?
I don’t trust online dating nor do I think anyone should because when a phone screen is the sole connection between two people, you both might as well be on two different planets.
The FBI has coined the term“romance scam” when referring to a criminal adopting a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim. Romance scammers use their victims’ vulnerability and attach themselves to it in order to take advantage of a person who is only looking for love.
Online dating stems from the realization of the inconveniences that face-to-face dating can bring. First, you have to find the person, talk to them for a bit to see if they are crazy or not, then get all dressed up to meet at a place neither of you has tried before. It is a lot of work. However, I believe that the inconvenience of it all is what makes it worthwhile and much safer. At least you know what you are getting upfront, compared to finding someone from the internet and risking the chances of being hurt – physically and/or emotionally.
I don’t have much experience with online dating myself but there are certainly some things I have heard about meeting up with someone you’ve only known online. Close friends have shared their bad experiences and it has stopped me from ever taking the online dating scene seriously.
For example, my friend went on a date with someone she met on Tinder. She pretty much went through all the steps — they texted, talked on the phone and even face-timed. However, this didn’t prepare her for what he would actually be like in-person. After talking for about a week, he was persistent they meet in-person and she hesitantly agreed, because what’s the worst that could happen? She has her own car, so she could leave if things went south. Turns out things did go south — ending in her being so scared and worried for her safety that she completely deleted Tinder and swore to never use a dating app again.
Have you had a bad experience with internet dating? Whether it be from someone who stood you up, pretended they were someone else or took advantage of you? They shouldn’t get away with it. Speak up, whether it be just to talk to a friend for emotional support or the cops for legal assistance. You deserve to be heard and comforted, no matter the means by which you met with the person.
Don’t trust anyone you meet online. Regardless if it’s someone you have chatted with for months because people even lie to those they have even known for years. If you are worried about being alone, remember it’s better to be alone than possibly scammed out of love and never being able to trust anyone else again.
Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas