After not dating for a while, I decided to embark on the wave of online dating that I have been reading about. I decided to join an online community to match me with someone comparable to me. I completed my profile, and as soon as my profile was accepted, I began receiving emails from men interested in talking with me.
I have to say I had my reservations of meeting men this way, but my lifestyle (being a single mom) makes it hard to meet eligible men anywhere other than the ballpark. I was able to check the profiles of the men who emailed me before I responded if I decided to. I emailed a few people back but quickly decided their interest and/or lifestyles were not what I was looking for.
Then the first night after I was a member, I received an email from a man, which simply say “Hi.” I checked out his profile, and it interested me. I emailed him back and said “hi. ” From there we went back and forth for three hours.
He did not have a picture on his profile, so I asked him to send me on. He did, and I was able to see what he looked like. He was attractive. He indicated on his profile that he was a divorced single dad to three children and was in the military.
When we finally did speak on the phone, I was extremely attracted to him. I am not sure if it is the concept of “being swept off my feet,” even though that I not what I am looking for. Our conversations were so intense. We talked about the cheating in our past. Mine was with my father and an ex-boyfriend, he was from his ex-wife. We both seemed to have trust issues.
I guess my first red flag should have been that he was leaving in a few months to go overseas. This actually turned out to be true, but regardless, I should have known better than to start a relationship with a man who was leaving in four months.
We both decided not to meet each other’s kids. It was at my urging that we do not involve the kids, as his children had enough to deal with do to the emotional stress of having their sole provider leaving to go fight a war that he might not return I felt that his children did not need the added stress of meeting dad’s new girlfriend.
When we were together, we had a wonderful time. When we were apart, we talked and texted constantly. My friends liked him. My family liked him. I broke down and let my child meet him. He seemed like Mr. Wonderful. It seemed too good to be true. He said all the right things. He did all the right things. He was sweet, caring and loving.
About two months into our relationship he would disappear for a few days at a time. I would call and text him, to no avail. When he would call me, he would explain that he was busy with work- military work- and could not contact me. Said it was assignments that needed his immediate attention and he did not have time to contact me to let me know he was going to be out of touch for a few days.
When he realizes how upset I got over this, he turned it around on me. He would say “if you can’t deal with me being out of touch for a few days, how are you going to deal with me being overseas”.”Clearly I saw the difference, but he did not. This was his way of justifying him being out of touch for days at a time.
Something didn’t make sense to me. He had this elaborate story about how his wife cheated on him with a few of their friends. How he took her to court and gained full custody of his children, since she was “an unfit mother”. I decided to go to the local courthouse and check out his divorce record. Maybe some of my fears would be put to rest and my uneasiness would be unfounded. You can guess the next part of this story. I went to the courthouse and was unable to find anything regarding any divorce. In fact, the only thing I was able to find was the mortgage record, in his name, along with his wife.
I felt so betrayed. Here I had trusted this man. We discussed the pitfalls of the effects of being cheated on. However, this man added to my mistrust and added to my insecurities of men.
Once I realized what was going on, I ceased all contact with him. He contacted me for about 5 weeks afterwards, asking what happened. I finally asked him to stop contacting me.
He figured out I knew. The day after asking him to stop calling me, he changed his profile to show “currently separated” instead of “divorced”. I guess he felt justified if his wife found out. Like there is something okay with looking online if you are married. And you only say “separated”, not “divorced”. Who knows, perhaps he does this often. Perhaps his wife knows. Perhaps she chooses to stay with him because it is easier. In any event, I will never knowingly be a third party in a marriage.
I do not know if I will ever go back to online dating, but I can tell you, if I decide to, I will be checking out their “story” from the first email. It is a shame, but this married guy ruined it for all other men who may contact me. Guilt until proven innocent. It is unfortunate, but in order to protect myself, they have to prove that they are being honest and truthful.