Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a woman who we’ll call Lorraine. She is 51years old and lives in Australia. The name of the man she was involved with has been changed.
I became involved with David, 49, after joining up to the dating site in September last year when I was emotionally down after a divorce and being on my own for awhile. I have heard both good and bad stories about online romances and was fully aware of women being ripped off financially. Well that was never going to happen to me, for I am too smart for that. But quite clearly not too smart for being taken emotionally.
Within days of placing my profile complete with photo of myself I had received lots of requests for contact by men, most not suitable at all. Amongst the requests was one from a man whose profile was flawless. A person professionally employed with a good Christian background. Fit and healthy and having a teenage daughter in his care much of the time.
I accepted his contact request and we clicked straight away. Had lots in common, both employed in the medical profession, both had three children, he three grown daughters, me – three grown sons. Both loved walking, cycles, the outdoors, markets, gardening, same type of music. We chatted merrily away, night after night for hours, about anything and everything including things one only tells ones closest friends.
For three weeks, until one nice pleasant but very quiet weekend afternoon, I went online and he was there. He said it would be nice to meet and have my company for a chat for an hour before he collected his daughter from his ex-wife’s. Sounded safe enough. And it was. I even thought he was nicer in person. When I left he asked if he could give me a kiss, and I accepted the small peck on the cheek. How lovely. What a gentleman, I thought. It left me wanting to see him again. The second time a week later when he invited me to his house he had lovely mood candles burning, a gorgeous meal prepared and the right soft music on. And there was that chemistry between us and he told me that he thought I was “hot.”
Notch on the bedpost
Very romantic and easy to communicate with. I was on another planet. But also I was vulnerable and found myself really liking and trusting David. And as the evening went by one thing led to another! Just perfect. Who could ask for anything more!
But make no mistake, once I had become a notch on his bedpost the conquest was over for him. The game had been played. And he was already well on his way in grooming his next victim online.
I know he is very selective, he picks only good, honest women with high morals, that way there are far less risks for him. And he told me nothing. Zero. He just stopped communicating with me. End of story.
I was left totally and utterly shattered and emotionally scarred by it. I saw him online chatting to others but he refused to acknowledge me.
So I chose to confront him personally. I jumped in my car and I drove the one hours drive to his place. (I knew he was home because he was online chatting to someone else at 10 p.m. but would not return my request for contact.) He was shocked to see me – totally. He could not look me in the face. He fidgeted and behaved much the same as a naughty boy who has been caught out but was too scared to admit it. He tried to maintain composure. He said that he is grieving for his mother who is dying from cancer. And that there isn’t anyone else and that he just wanted to be by himself. Then he stated that I was intelligent, good-looking and will find someone else. And he added, “We’ll both be fine. Everything will be alright.”
Talking with other women
The first time I initially had contact with David last year and after a couple of weeks chatting online he suggested communicating through MSN via internet email as it is more personal and that I didn’t need to go on the dating site to communicate as they are full of strange people wanting contact. He then hid his profile and I thought maybe I was special because he had given me his undivided attention. He then removed me from his “contacts” on the dating site.
But when I checked the online dating site, usually very late at night, there he was online, no doubt conversing to other women. I do recall in about the second week of chatting to him on the net and before I actually met him that David mentioned that he was on some type of suicide watch for a friend and may need to go in a hurry. Well that call came and he said he had to go and help his friend in need. The next evening on the net I remember him referring to it when asked by me, he said that it was a long, long night. “Someone was drunk in their car, and there were lots and lots of tears. But everything would be alright,” he said.
I was not to know then just how significant this was until weeks later when going over things again and again in my head. It all fell into place.
“Lots and lots of tears” obviously meant female. And I have now worked out that this female was likely a person he became involved with as he began chatting to me online. When her usefulness ceased, that is, he achieved his notch on the bedpost, he told her their relationship would not work. Yet another poor deluded soul, led to think there could be more but let down in a cold, callous and calculating manner.
So from all of this I strongly felt that David needed to be taught a real life lesson. Users on these dating sites are real life people with real feelings and emotions. I felt he needed to hurt, and in exactly the same way he was hurting vulnerable women who would open up to him – like myself.
Does not matter if you think you are the sharpest tool in the toolbox. If you are new to these dating sites – beware. You are raw meat. Ready for the taking. Long time players will regularly scour the new additions and quickly request contact before others do.
Then when I began to play him at his own game I was terrified he would catch on straight away, as I find it near impossible to lie and keep a straight face. But remember that online, on internet dating sites, all that is being conveyed is around 25 percent of the actual communication.
The other person cannot see you, or you them. And I know that body language counts for around 75 percent of what is being conveyed. Could I do this? Could I carry off the lie? Well as it happened – yes, I could. Wasn’t as difficult as I thought. If he could see me he would have known, but he couldn’t.
I became Jo
I placed a new profile on the dating site and became “Jo” in late January 2010, and made up a background similar to my own. I felt myself writing what I knew he would want to hear. I needed him to take the bait. And he did. Almost instantly. It only confirmed to me what I had already discovered over recent months that did not quite add up.
David’s first contact with Jo was the day after his mother, whom he supposedly adored, died. Strange behaviour when one is grieving! Chatting on line for one hour to “Jo,” whom he knew nothing about, yet telling her that he had no one to hug!!!!!!
Then telling Jo that he has been on the site for over two years and hasn’t had any luck, and hasn’t had a date in 14 years! I thought and what about me, or the others, whom he just so readily discarded!!! Liar!
Also in the three weeks of being Jo online, David at no stage asked what line of work Jo was in, or even where Jo lived, which was good in one way, because I did not need to lie, however it did highlight how he was so self-focused.
My aim of playing him at his own game was to keep him interested, wanting more, wanting the real deal. Getting him to ask me to his place would be even better as I knew he would go to some length to get it right. Mood candles, soft music and red wine!
Agreed to meet
It happened just the way I planned on Friday evening, February 12, 2010. Three weeks after chatting to him online and developing a rapport, he was clearly very eager to meet Jo. No less than six times throughout chatting to him on Friday early evening he hinted at Jo meeting him with comments such as, “I had a delivery of wine today… come lets try one.” “I might ask you over…or let my hormones take over.” “There’s at least seven bottles of red to choose from here… come choose one.” “You deserve a back rub for daring to talk about my mum and how I feel about it…no one else wants to know it happened.”
After stringing him along for awhile, Jo agreed to meet him at his place and he gave a very detailed description of how to get there in exactly the same way he had to me. Jo then left him with the final message of “Looking forward to meeting you. You sound so nice and friendly.” And, “I shall arrive in my nice shiny black convertible, shall I?” And he said, “So off ya go and come on over… much more fun talking than typing.” Of course Jo then did NOT turn up.
At 10:50 that night, David left a message for Jo online: “David wonders what happened to Jo…hope you weren’t snapped up by crocodile, not been fed to a shark … and that you didn’t do this to wind me up … though that would seem very out of character from the chats we had … catch you whenever I s’pose.”
And: “P.S. I would really like to honestly know what happened and why … so please chat and tell me.”
Just perfect, I thought. It would leave him now wondering why and maybe feeling rejected, just like I had.
Advice for Internet dating
Now, my advice to anyone new to any of the Internet dating sites is to first check out how long the other person has been on the site. If more than a few months, beware. Secondly, when you are communicating with someone on these sites, remember you are actually only getting about 25 percent of the communication. You do not see them or their body responses; all you get is a motionless computer screen. Thirdly, it might be wiser and safer to communicate only with other new users, and stay well away from those who have joined many, many months ago or years! Let the alarm bells ring.
When I joined again as Jo several months after the first time, there were again the same large group of men whom had requested contacts with me the first time!!!
In conclusion, David has an obsession with these sites, much the same way as an addict has to gambling or a smoker to smoking. The addiction is either about gaining power over women or is a sex addiction. Yet, in real life David functions at a high level. He does have friends and is quite social, even having a weekly home church group meeting at his house. Yet on the chat line he says he is alone and feels unwanted.
David lives in a fantasy world, in a made up one, when on the Internet. The real sad part of all of this for me is that underneath the entire act David puts on, he seems like a lovely man who is highly confused and has lost his way with reality.
Through personal research I have now found some good sites on the Internet that outline what “net addiction” or “Internet dating addiction” or “cyber-addiction” is. Internet addiction is a growing, serious public health issue. And those that are addicted can be quite callous towards unsuspecting others. America has even considered this cyber-addiction to be included in the DSM V of Mental Health Disorders. It can be seen as the new growing social cancer of our century.
But how David could do this to innocent women, and repetitively, knowing he has three teenage daughters himself, is beyond comprehension. How would he like it if one of his daughters fell foul to someone just like him?
Finally, if my story can just stop this from happening to other females then that is a bonus. If what I did by becoming the player myself hurts him like he has clearly and deliberately hurt many women over a lengthy period of time then I will be very happy indeed. And my job is done.
So regardless of where you live, not just Australia, let the Internet user beware. It could cost you significantly emotionally, which will take you a long time to recover from.
Playing “The Player”
Everyone comes into one’s life for a reason. And I now firmly believe David came into mine because I was the right person to take him on and turn the tables on him. By playing “The Player,” it gave me the chance to regain my self-esteem and confidence and gain some kind of closure. My aim was to show him that one cannot use and emotionally abuse innocent people who initially come online and are often very vulnerable by those who are masters at “the game.”
I think I will stay well away from the Internet dating sites for the time being. I need to heal and become the calm, relaxed person with the happy disposition I was before.