I could only ruefully shake my head when I heard that the Aurora theatre shooter, James Holmes, was on Match.com. I’m sure it would have been Ted Bundy’s favorite trolling ground as well, had it existed in his time. How many others are on that site right now, others who haven’t yet imploded on our 24/7 news feeds?
While I am sure there are a great number of folks who have found that special someone through internet dating, I would like to add a tiny whisper of caution; things aren’t always what they seem. Before internet dating, there were personal ads. I know; I met my deceased husband through one he placed in New York Magazine in 1987. This was an upscale and quite respectable publication, but my friends were highly skeptical. “How do you know he won’t be some psycho or pervert, or serial killer? What if he kidnaps you and holds you captive, rapes you, and then murders you and your body is never found?”
I assured them I had some hard and fast and non-negotiable rules in place, and that I had no fear whatsoever. They were hard to convince. I met and dated many men, some wealthy, some famous, some just regular Joes. Nothing different from going on a blind date really, other than, in that case, they always had someone to vouch for them; they were who they said they were. Not always the case on Match.con.
My experiences with dating through personal ads came to a halt when I met the man I would be married to for eighteen years. I spent the first month cataloging all the things wrong with him and trying to fix him up with all my available acquaintances. He was just too tall, too skinny, too blond, too blue-eyed, too, too, too. But after that first month I began to see the potential in a steady mate who wanted the same three kids I wanted, STAT. Cape Cod cottage with a white picket fence and ivy twining through the brick, climbing roses, and paddling pools in the backyard. No pyrotechnics, but steady and seemingly decent. I figured after my eight years of story-book romance with Jack, no one else could ever measure up, so why not just accept his proposal and settle into a stable, predictable life? After all, I’d had my Prince Charming, and like all moronic princesses, I’d let him go, so really what more could I hope for at age thirty-five?
After nine months of dating, I met all thirty of Rob’s Scottish clan at Christmas and they had me at hello; they cinched the deal, and forced that gold band onto my finger. They were the family I’d always dreamt of, always yearned for throughout my dysfunctional Elvis Daddy childhood. They were a Norman Rockwell painting and I wanted to leap onto the canvas. I don’t hold the personal ads responsible for Rob’s subsequent mental breakdown and suicide; we had some thirteen good years together before his meltdown and inevitable demise.
After eighteen months of gloomy widowhood, my coworkers devised a plan to get me on Match.com or eHarmony, “Just to get you back in the human race again. Go out to dinner once a month, smile sometime, have some fun”. I acquiesced to get them off my back, and that is a decision I regret to this day, a decision I will probably bear the consequences of until the day I die, which could be sooner rather than later.
The men on these sites have license to say and pretend to be anyone they choose; truth and sincerity are not prerequisites. Beware of oozing charm and love declared much too soon. Once they worm their way into your family and your pocketbook, you are doomed. If such a critter crosses your path and you just can’t resist, for God’s sake women, take him to a hotel, tie him to the bed for two years, screw him until near death, then shake hands and walk away. A couple of nice Hollywood air kisses are allowed upon parting. DO NOT MARRY THE BASTARD WHATEVER YOU DO! Let this be a cautionary tale for women everywhere hoping to meet their Prince Charming online.
You are not a fool for trusting someone who lied to you.
They are the fool for lying to someone who trusted them.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to get away with temporarily,
And the hardest thing to recover from permanently.
Please don’t let it change you.
There are already way too many of them
And far too few of you.