I took a month maybe even two off. My friend, a life coach encouraged me to delete my accounts and focus on my kids and other parts of my life. Easier said than done.
I am hyper focused on my kids. Especially as I wade closer to telling them about our separation. I have already spent time focusing on myself as I have missed my husband being around for years and years.
But I took her advice and chilled. Until I went back.
I tried a different site this time. Some people I knew were having a lot of luck. Who knew.
I stuck with my tradition of choosing who to talk to and not answering those that contacted me. Mostly because as a woman, any woman, your inbox will fill up weekly with rude, bottom feeder messages. Try it. You’ll see. It’s rare to get a gem.
If your honest, you choose physical appearance over written words in the profile. Everyone does. It’s like shopping, which is terrible, because surely there are some very nice ugly people and some very horrible super models. It’s a fine balance.
I chose him for his face. It was a cute, black and white picture. His profile was very poetic, and he claimed a strong relationship with his ex, that was civil. I like that. Cause I do too.
As the process goes, messages are exchanged. They were squeaky clean. He said he sold his business and was a logistics consultant. As the days went on I asked for more pictures, and he kept promising to get to it. I let it go.
It turned out we went to the same University. He knew great details about the school and city, so I believed him. This was cool because we would have a lot of nostalgia to share. And we did.
Eventually I asked for more identifying information. All I knew was his first name. He was hesitant, because it was very soon in our connection, and he wanted to feel safe. I understood. But I wanted to feel safe too, yet I wasn’t going to pester. Cause I was raised to be polite (too bad.)
It was now two weeks of texting and connecting, all seemed well. He was nice, and shared a lot about his personal life, except of course anything that would let me see who he really was. I was getting nervous. I offered up an ultimatum. I said, after telling him about Dollar Town Dave, that I had made mistakes in the past, and needed to feel safe. Also I have a pact with my ex, that I be safe, due to kids and my not wanting a stalker.
He just wouldn’t budge. So I let him sit for a day without messaging. By divine intervention, I was wandering through the bookstore when I glance at a cover title:
In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age
It was a book by Nev Shulman. He likely doesn’t ring a bell with most of you. I’m a documentary buff, and I saw his story. He was “catfished.” This means you date someone online, who isn’t who they say they are. It’s an amazing movie. turned MTV show (of course.)
It hit me hard. I may be dealing with someone who isn’t who he claims to be. No, that only happens in the movies. And if it happens in the movies, it happens to me.
I watched five episodes of his MTV show. He offered tips, like google reverse image search. You can search the web by a picture.
My heart was racing. What if I have been tricked! How embarrassing. Ugh.
I took the only picture I had of “Bruce” and tossed it to the search engine fairies. BAM. It’s a hit. To my ego.
He was certainly not who he said. He had stolen his complete profile and picture from an unsuspecting man in Germany. I know this cause I messaged the man in Germany and told him my situation. (Full on spy shit.) He sent more pics that matched the original and it proved my suspicions. HOLY CRAP.
The great thing was, it hadn’t gone far in the connection with “Bruce.” And now it was time to reveal my private investigation to the stranger I didn’t even know.
I screen shot the German’s profile and sent it to Bruce. He immediately said “Omg, someone stole my profile?!”
I typed ” I know?! What are you going to do?.”
Bruce: ” It happens. People just get desperate.”
Me: ” No worries, plus I contacted the thief yesterday, and it turns out you’re a fucking liar.” (heart is racing and I’m uncomfortably sweating.)
Bruce: ” I haven’t lied at all. He is lying. But I am done online dating. I am sticking to the frozen food aisle.”
Me: ” You are a liar. So who are you? A minor (fuck my life), a cat lady, a bingo addict…what?!”
Bruce: “I’m driving right now, and I want to sort this out. I have never met a woman as wonderful as you.”
Me: “Drive off a cliff.”