27th November, 2017 @ 06:38
Well, dear diary, it has been an exceptionally busy week. My new project has taken up most of my time. Certainly, my initial purpose in setting up my website, blog, Facebook page and groups was to focus my energy and attention away from the fact that I was duped. I did not want to spend hours on end angst-ridden, raking over what had happened. By and large, my goal has been achieved. I have been able to distance myself from what happened, and I no longer feel bonded to the images of “Real-Thomas” as I previously had been. Oh – well, maybe with the exception of one. Perhaps I need to finally flip my mobile screen saver and upload this one – so that I become immune to this one too!
This (rather cute) image was not, you understand, on the profile that introduced me to “Fake-Thomas”, but it is an image that is burned into my memory from a video clip that “Fake-Thomas” sent me.
Indeed, it was the ever so slight difference between hair length in the first video clip, and the second, that had me wondering. It seemed preposterous though, as the second was taken on the ship, and there was clearly a slight breeze.
What I know now, however, is that the slightest inconsistency needs checking out. Unfortunately, by the time the modus-operandi of arranging to meet and then cancelling at the last minute (this should have rung alarm bells but didn’t as the story was so plausible) I was already emotionally invested! I wouldn’t quite say that I would believe anything that “Fake-Thomas” said to me, but given the scenario of a busy captain of a very large ship – everything he talked about was realistic. In fact, “Fake-Thomas” was using every aspect of “Real-Thomas” life, as played out on #Facebook and #Instagram – and of course, this gave the ruse an element of credibility.
Sound rules for online dating
This is why, dear diary, it is so important to follow some golden rules when dating online:
- Be sceptical until you have met face to face at least three times (even real life people can have dishonourable intentions)
- Keep it lighthearted and don’t reveal information about yourself until AFTER you have met (maybe the three time rule should still apply – your choice)
- Do not become emotionally invested in someone that you only chat to through the ether
- Resist attempts to lure you in with sweet words and unrealistic promises
- NEVER send money to anyone – even if you have become emotionally invested
Why do we become so emotionally invested?
I think this is a tricky one to answer, as I think the reason for any of us may be different to the next. Here are some of the reasons I believe that we become emotionally invested.
- We want to find love
- Life can be tough and stressy, a few kind and caring words trigger happy hormones
- We might be lonely
- Many women put other’s needs before there own, so to have someone’s full attention – whispering sweet nothings – is a panacea to the mundaness of our day-to-day life
- Thoughtfulness is desired by women in romantic relationships
- Those feel good hormones are less to do with the other person and more to do with how we respond
- The happy hormones that are triggered when we are “falling” for someone is said to give a cocain-esk high:
Falling in love then goes like this. Unpredictability, mystery, and sexual attraction make the amygdala go into a hyper-activation mode. Via neurotransmitters, this signals to the adrenal glands that something exciting, scary, mysterious, and unpredictable is going on. This, in turn, results in the adrenal glands pumping a surge of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the bloodstream. Via the bloodstream, adrenaline increases heart and breathing rates; noradrenaline produces body heat, making you sweat; and cortisol provides extra energy for muscles to use. Source
Who wouldn’t want to get their happy on? Certainly the delicious feelings are heady and intoxicating. Trust me, I know, because that is exactly what happened to me with the “Fake-Thomas” ruse. Fortunately, these hormones are only activated for as long as the stimuli is present. This means, that as soon as I knew for certain that “Fake-Thomas” was a scammer, they fizzled out like a firework on a rainy day.
Interesting fact about marriages that start off online
In a nationally representative sample of 19,131 respondents who married between 2005 and 2012, results indicate that more than one-third of marriages in America now begin on-line. In addition, marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married. Source
So it seems, dear diary, that all is not lost with online dating. Done properly (read safely), it can lead to committed and enduring love. One which, it seems, has a higher success rate when it leads to marriage.
So, yesterday, I swore off online dating after a particularly inane message exchange with a guy that I was willing to meet. We agreed to meet very quickly – and then he blew it by sending me a naked picture of himself. Ok, so it was only waste up – but I can only imagine that the full version would be naked. On this particular site, (as with some others), members can have “private” images. Quite what this means is anyone’s guess(!). I do know, though, that having realised that this site had pulled across profile pictures from Mr Facebook (I used FB to sign up), it had included some pictures of me with my sister. Clearly, I did not want these on the site, and initially I couldn’t delete them, so I made them private.
This produced a scurry of activity from guys who wanted to “view” my private images. So very quickly, I worked out how to delete them!
So dear diary, it seems that all is not lost with online dating. I think I just need to continue with the bad-ass attitude that I have developed and call the shots. For any reader, I would caution these three points:
- Don’t be rushed into meeting up until you feel comfortable to do so;
- That said, don’t exchange endless messages; meet fairly quickly to establish if there is a spark;
- ALWAYS be safe: meet in a public place, and let a trusted friend know where you will be and what time you will be home. Arrange a text/call as a “get out” if you don’t feel comfortable with simply getting up and leaving if you are horrified/worried by your date. (Just so you know … I’d get up and walk out 🙂 )
Well, dear diary, that is all I have time for just now. As ever, for anyone reading with me today, if my blog resonates with you in any way, please comment, like and share.
Bye for now.
As ever, images of Captain Thomas Lindegaard are used with his kind permission. Copyright remains with him and these should not be used for any reason without his explicit consent.
If you are approached on any site from a profile using images of this man (Captain Thomas Lindegaard), please be aware that there is a Tsunami of fake profiles out there using his images.
If you are approached by anyone using his images, please report this to Captain Lindegaard via Messenger on Facebook @CaptainThomasLindegaard. You can also check out his Fake Alert page on Facebook by clicking the link.