WOW …life goes on

Dear Diary 

Dear diary, I have deleted the image showing the name and picture of the man that I came to believe was fake.  In a moment of clarity ….ok well, I think I will keep that to myself.  I have no wish to cause him any harm.  I am not convinced he is a fake … if he is not, he is incredibly stupid.

4th May 2018

So it has been a struggle the last few days to come to terms with how things have played out with my would-be-distant-paramour.  I knew I had made a HUGE mistake, the problem was … I did not know whether that was in trusting him in the first place or not trusting him.  Not knowing was eating me up inside.

I sent him an email outlining exactly why I believed he fit the “profile”.  I suppose I did this because my heart did not want to believe it was true, and if I was wrong – I wanted him to understand why I was yet again accusing him.

The silence in response was deafening.  If there is one thing worse than not knowing, it is being ignored.  My problem is …if I don’t know 100%, then I have a tendency to pick at the scab to provoke a response.

This morning, I sent the above to him and then deleted the app that we had been exchanging messages on.  I had already deleted it, but as I was struggling with this – I reloaded it hoping to get some kind of acknowledgement from him.

This morning I did … although I no longer had the app, the message came via the browser on my phone.  The message exchange says it all.

IMAGE DELETED

 

In my earlier post I did not reveal his identity.  Even now, I am not entirely convinced that he is fake, and part of me wants to believe that he is saying it to enable me to move on.  Ha!  My critical friend on my shoulder is reminding me not to be such a fool.  I guess it is human nature to hold onto hope.

A last word for the person who took the time to comment on my last post – although I did not authorise it to be shown…. you are entitled to your opinion.  If sharing my story helps to warn other women then I choose to out the fakes.  I know who you are, because I recognise the name and email address.

You need to stop this obsession of catching fake profiles on dating sites.
You were conned. Get over it and get on with your life.

I suppose on one level it is hugely embarrassing to admit that I have been caught out again.  But then, all along I had my doubts – but I did not and will not let this stop me from looking for love.  It just won’t be with anyone that is not able to meet up quickly.

All that is left for me to say, is don’t give up on love.  Don’t let the fakes win.  And above all else, no matter how attached you become – if you haven’t met them – you cannot 100% trust them until you do.

Take care of yourselves, and be safe

Carol xoxo

 

 

Dear Diary: Could it really happen again?

Dear Diary

crying woman 1

1st May, 2018

As I sit in front of my laptop with a heavy heart and feeling sick to my stomach, I am not sure I want to share this with you.

Writing though, is a way for me to deal with uncomfortable issues that refuse to stop swirling through my mind, torturing and mocking me.   You see, dear diary, I think it happened again.

As those of you who have read with me before, you know the sorry tale about the Fake Thomas that duped me back in November of last year.  Once I got over the initial shock, I put my anger to good use and created this blog, my website and Facebook page and groups; all dedicated to warning other women about the perils of dating online.

I have not only put considerable time and effort into this awareness raising campaign, I have parted with hard cash.  I have spent literally hundreds (if not a thousand or so) on paid advertising.  Ironically, the majority to #Facebook who have a woefully inadequate approach to applying their community standards to clearly fake profiles.  I am hoping that the advent of the GDPR regulations will make some difference here – but social media giants have grown into such arrogant entities, I am not holding my breath on that one.  But I digress.

Back to the issue at hand

For those of you who have followed my story, you will know that I “met” a man that was living overseas and claimed to be planning to move to the UK.  You will also know that in the early days I was at the same time blasé and guarded.  I was adamant that I would not put myself in a position where history could repeat itself.  When my fears got the better of me I called out “fake” and metaphorically ran away.  Not once, dear diary, but twice.

So what hooked me back in?  It is difficult to say for certain, but I guess there were two things that influenced my return to the interaction.  Firstly, that he did not respond in a typically “fakerish” way.  He did not disappear.  He did not block me.  He also did not reach out to try to persuade me that I was wrong.  Over a few days, as I saw him updating pictures of his life I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake.

And that leads me to the second reason.  I have so much love in my heart to share with someone.   It is not that I need a relationship to define me – I don’t.  I think there are few of us that would disagree that finding a good relationship can be life enhancing.  And why not?  Why do I have to be the one that lives my life alone when all around me live theirs with a significant other?  But then, it is not about what others have.  It is simply about human connection and sharing the loving heart that I know beats inside me.

Not only that, when we subsequently spoke again, he shared that he was not angry with me – he was simply devastated that I believed he was a fake.  I guess that statement really pulled at my heartstrings.

So what went wrong?

Four months down the line, it felt as though we were in fairly smooth waters.  At the back of my mind, I was not going to truly believe in this until I could stand in front of him and look into his eyes.  After all … I am not gullible.  For those of you guffawing at that remark, let me explain why.  Online dating works.  Not for everyone – but it is the social norm these days.  It would not be the first relationship that developed across the ether and geographical distance.

After all, what creates a relationship?  Largely it is about choice – you choose to take the chance on someone.  You explore whether you share common goals and values.  Finally, you decide whether you really like this person and take the risk of trusting them.  Spending time with someone, whether it be in the same room, on the telephone, or on an internet chat service – bonds develop.

It was also the only option that the universe seemed to be allowing to unfold.  At the  beginning of the year I ventured on some real face to face dates.  You can read the back catalogue if you care to know how those went.

As for how I have ended up here, writing this miserable story – he shared so much with me.  I felt that I knew so much about his life, his hopes and his dreams.  And he had a plan.  From what he said, that plan included me.  I am still not sure whether this has been an elaborate ruse, or whether what he did stemmed from him believing that we were on this journey together and on this basis it was ok to ask for my help.

I have to say, I am pretty devastated.  Not because I may have been caught out again by a fake, as I am not convinced that he is (I am just not ready to believe that yet).  But because I had allowed myself to believe that I had finally found someone special to share my life with.

It is not only heartbreaking, it is bloody embarrassing.  I had started to share my  excitement with friends and family.  I have not spoken to anyone in my day to day world about what has happened.  It is too raw.  Sure, they may be aware of this blog, and they may pick it up and read it.  I’m ok with that.  I do not though, want anyone’s pity, well meaning opinions or any well intentioned advice.  I simply want to lick my wounds with dignity.

I made my choice – I decided to trust.  That it didn’t work out is unfortunate.  This will not beat me.  I do think though, that I am off dating for a while!

For those of you who haven’t guessed already, here is what pushed my buttons enough for me to walk way

Throughout the four months that I have been interacting with this guy, he had told me about a contract that he intended to bid for.  It was worth a lot of money, but he had to find 50% of the mobilisation costs, which was up from the typical 30%.  This amounted to some 1.2 million dollars.  He shared a lot of information with me, together with contract documents.  I did find this a bit strange – but hey everything looked legit.

He was short of a couple of hundred thousand .. and he told me that he had reached out to friends and family and that he had whittled the shortfall down to 67,000.   The other detail isn’t really relevant, as I am sure you get where this is going.

A few days ago, I received an email from him – full of woe, and saying that he felt terrible, but if his last ditch attempt at raising the additional funds failed – he might be asking me to help him out.  My return email was very clear – No.  Regardless of whether I had that kind of money or not, I would not give him money based on the fact that we had not actually met.

He apologised, and told me that he had spoken to his sister about my response, and she had told him in no uncertain terms that she understood my reaction.

Needless to say, the discomfort that I was feeling would not go away.  I had just started to settle down about it when  I received this message:

Hi sweetie, can you raise $2-3,000 for me?  I will refund.

It goes without saying, I have cut all ties.  I do not want to believe that someone could enter into a deception for 4 months, but I have to face facts.  I just don’t want to believe it.  Regardless – he is gone.

Later,

Carol xoxo

Revisiting some of my older blog posts, I came across this:

 

Who knows what the future holds for any of us – all I know is that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and just jump off that safe bridge, and trust that whatever you find at the bottom – you can handle it; good, bad or indifferent.

leasp of faith

Stay safe online series #5: Whose responsibility is it anyway?

We all need to take personal responsibility for ourselves

I had cause to reflect today, on everything that has happened since the time on 19th November when I discovered the man that I was so excited about was in fact a fake Thomas.

It is fair to say that it is a minefield out there – but something struck me today when I was talking about another issue.  Personal responsibility. There is not much we can do to stem the tide of people who see no wrong in duping and scamming others – heaven knows, we have tried.  The hours that have been dedicated to reporting the fake Thomases and warning other women are staggering. Not to mention the money I have handed over to Facebook to run adverts (better than the scammer having my money and my choice).

We each have our own story, and we each have our own personal influences.  What we all have in common, is that we can choose to NOT be a victim when others try to exert their immoral behaviour on us.  We can take care that we know who we are talking to and whereas I accept that the intense feelings that arise lead us to think we are in love (as I have experienced it myself) – it is the stimuli that is igniting our brains and making us feel that way.  Fortunately for me, once the stimuli was removed, the intensity of my feelings subsided. After all … you cannot be in love with something that is not real. You can have feelings of intense pleasure in response to the pretty words and the flattering attention – that is not the same as enduring love.

For those women who continue to struggle with that happened to them, I would hazard a guess that they have other things going in their lives and the distress and disappointment has caused a loop.  I cannot fathom though, how the real Captain Thomas Lindegaard Madsen must feel at the vitriol and obsessive way in which he is pursued.

It is a sad reflection that it has been beyond difficult to get anyone at #Facebook to listen and to apply correctly the community standards.  That is a battle that I fear we will never win.

What I want to say to any person who reads this post – live your life the way you want to, develop the relationships in your life in the way that you want to – but please, be vigilant and accept that you have personal responsibility to protect yourself from those who would do you harm.

#Besafe #PersonalResponsibility

Check out the website and Facebook groups:
www.fakedatingdotcom.net 
Facebook page and groups