Dear diary …

12th December 2017 14:00

Oh dear!  I think I might have just blown it with someone rather dishy:-(

My fakedar is so sensitive that I am no longer giving people a chance.  This profile, a really cute guy, messaged me.  I was about to make a joke about him being too cute to be a genuine profile when I saw the detail in his message.  I mean …. it was long.  Of course, my initial response to him confused him somewhat and he asked me to explain.  I tried to keep it light and briefly told him that I had recently been duped, and so I was ultra cautious online, and there were things about his profile that were red flags to me.

Firstly, he claims to be Scandinavian, living in Canada, and moving to the UK in the spring of 2018.  Ok, so that would take care of any grammatical issues.

Secondly, was the very long message he sent to me. Regular guys don’t do this – they say hi, or you’re gorgeous …. or maybe even something a little rude.  They do not send chapter and verse as an introduction.

But then I took a look at his profile – and boy, that was very long and detailed too.  As I read it though, it slowly dawned on me that maybe on this occasion I had got it wrong!  The things he wrote about were very specific and he talked about his siblings, about his job, and about his plans.

Maybe it is time to take a break from online

It seems, dear diary, that I can no longer discern between a real profile and a fake one.  Not surprising really that my fakedar is hypersensitive – I mean, I am coming across up to 5 fake profiles every day.

The realisation that I can no longer trust my own judgement brought me to tears.  Only for a few seconds but nonetheless, as hot tears prickled my cheeks, I resolved that I was just going to leave it alone.

I am not finding what I am looking for – and I have been full-on participating.  Checking out profiles, clicking and swiping – giving guys a second look when I don’t get that gut feeling that yeah, I would like to get to know them better at first glance.

Cancelled guy doesn’t seem to be speaking to me anymore, although he said he understood my reasons for cancelling.  (No, I didn’t tell him about my hangover, but gave a more acceptable – and actually truthful scenario as the reason for my backing out).  He hasn’t picked up my last two messages – and who can blame him?  I know he works through the day and maybe he just didn’t get to them – but hey – I’ve binned guys for being flaky too.

Is there ever any point to compromise?

Of course, there is nice guy – and we chat a lot.  I’m not sure though – that there is enough of a spark between us to take it any further. We had agreed to meet, although a date and time has not been set in stone.  He’s not the pushy type – but hey – it would be good to know he isn’t just going through the motions.

And then there is cute guy.  I actually quite like cute guy, and he is pushing to meet.  Everyday, he tries to persuade me to let him come over.  Trouble is, dear diary, we want different things.  At the outset of this period of online-dating-dalliance, I was very clear in my own mind what I did and didn’t want.  So why am I even considering changing the rules to suit a man that although cute, I don’t actually know?   Ok, so yes, he does message me every day.  Yes, he would travel the 35 or so miles at the drop of a hat if I agreed to see him.  As I have mentioned before, there is a 15 year age gap.  Had I met this guy in a bar, and he asked me out – I am sure I would give it a try.

I think though, that when you haven’t met, it is so much harder to know whether the spark is there or not. Photographs are all well and good, but you need to see the crinkle around their eyes, the upturned mouth as they smile – and more importantly, you need to be drawn to them in such a way that is simply just not possible unless you meet in the skin.

So, dear diary, why don’t I just meet him?  Well, I had agreed to meet him next week – but then he texted me yesterday asking if he could pop in.  I mean, pop in?  You do that when you are around the corner – not when you are 35+ miles away.  I suppose the answer to that is that I don’t want to have to deal with the disappointment if the spark is not there.

Crazy I know …. the truth is – that we have shared a little too much for it to just be an “oh let’s meet and see if we like each other” deal.  I like him. I actually like him.  He insists that he really likes me too.  I’m not so convinced.  I think he enjoys the banter and likes the fact that I am not easily phased if he tries to become a little risque.  After all, we are both adults – and I am more than capable of taking him down a peg or two if needed.  Which I have – and do!

Ok, so I was a bit naughty this morning and let him think that he could come over – and when he was all “wow” about it … I countered that I hadn’t finished my sentence.  He didn’t reply after that.  I don’t blame him really … I mean … he can’t make it any plainer.  But then, I can’t make it any plainer either what my deal is.  He agrees to it and then he tries to change the plan.

So, dear diary, I am not convinced that I will meet him.  Maybe then, I should let him off the hook that he seems to be dangling from.  I’m not one to be a spoilsport – but yes, I can be a bit of a tease if I have a mind to be.  Between the two of us, I rather think it is I who is playing games.

A second bite at the cherry?

Well, the rather dishy guy who I accused of being fake has messaged me again. I have decided to interact with him but just be cautious – as I always am.  I mean, nothing ventured nothing gained right?  And if he does turn out to be fake, it can only hurt me if I fall for it.  That, dear diary, is not something I will let happen again.

Oh, and Captain Lindegaard is back on Facebook.  Albeit he has shared that he is keeping his profile private.  I don’t blame him.  There is a gang of men misappropriating his identity and his images.  It incenses me that Facebook, where the majority of the fake profiles are – do nothing to tackle this issue.

I’m also getting a little weary of some of the more persistent messages that I receive on my Facebook page.  I mean, seriously, all contributions to the cause are to be applauded – but please, don’t give me a hard time about who I am – anyone who wants to know who I am can check me out by following the links to my websites or my blog!

That dear diary, is all I have to say for now …. as my fingers and toes are cold and I need to go switch the heating on!

Later

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

Image of Captain Thomas Lindegaard.

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.

Dear diary …

10th December, 2017 @ 09:47

Well, dear diary, I have pretty much lost the past two days.  Newcastle on Thursday didn’t happen which was a huge disappointment as I had been looking forward to it.  Instead, my girlfriend and I headed off into town for a few drinks.  My protestations that I wasn’t going to have too much went out the window; one sip of the gorgeousness that is the Margarita cocktail at Macy’s was enough to tip me over into – well, I’m not quite sure what but I have no idea why I hammered it so much that night.

The first of many!

The evening was pleasant enough, as it always is with my friend – we had a bit of a deep and meaningful (as much as you can when fuelled by alcohol) about something that is going on in our lives, and then it was to home – after Cheesy Chips from the not-so-dodgy-kebab-shop nearby.

Well that, my dear diary, was a HUGE mistake.  I won’t gross you out with the details, but suffice to say I was regretting the decision to have quite so many cocktails for two days

Yes, you read that right – TWO WHOLE DAYS lost to the queasiness and hungoverness that was me for the next 48 hours.  I had to kiss goodbye to my coffee date in a nearby city and I pretty much spent the next two days recovering in bed.

Never again, I lamented – we’ve heard that before, responded the rather cute guy that was the only joy amongst the detritus that was me over those few days.  Of course, the joy was at a safe text-only-distance. I could banter to my heart’s content with him without having to get out of bed to clean off the remnants of Thurday night’s makeup.  Yes, dear diary – I was THAT bad.

Is there a reason for my over the top drunkeness?

Hmmm …. good question. I reflected on what went wrong.  After all, I have always enjoyed a good drink but it has been many years since I got into the kind of state that I was in Thursday.  I clearly can’t be trusted around Margarita’s anymore – so they are well and truly off the menu!

Ok, so the past few weeks have actually been a lot of fun in as much as I have enjoyed writing, and I have enjoyed being focused on a project – the #FakeProfileFightback campaign.  I have played to the humour of my woes of dating as a middle aged woman, and I have continued to report fake profiles when I have come across them – yesterday, I reported no less than FIVE fake profiles on Match.com.  I also came across a fake profile on Tinder – but simply unmatched as the only proof I had was the fact that he was 3.5k miles away, and the rather inane message.  It went like this:

What a beautiful smile you have on your face no doubt, if someone can see through the heart your heart must be as beautiful as the smile on your face.

Uggh.  I guess one of the saddest things that has come out of my dupee-status is that it is now near impossible for anyone to say anything nice to me.  Yes sure, I believe I am a good soul, and what you see is what you get.  That said, this guy does not know me from Adam, and that is not the typical first message one would receive.

Indeed, first messages are a really good indicator of whether the profile is fake.  Too much detail.  Poor English.  Good English but the misuse of s on the end of words – essentially rendering the word plural where it does not make sense to use a plural word. I could go on; let’s leave that one there for now and get back to my original question.

What is going on with me?

 

The answer to that is I am not really sure.  Now that the frantic writing and posting has slowed down, I guess I am actually feeling quite disappointed that, despite spending a considerable amount of money on paid memberships to dating sites, I have yet to have one date.  Ok – so I did have a date Friday that I had to cancel – that though, was not from a paid for site.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with cute guy, but to be honest, although I like him and I enjoy the banter between us – it is clear we want different things.  I protest that I am happy just to have a little fun meeting people without any expectations – but to be honest my heart is not really in it if at the outset the object of my interest is not looking for at least the potential of a relationship.

Ok, so I do believe that cute guy is actually much nicer than he lets on and is hiding behind his stated objective.  He is though, 15 years younger than me – and whereas he has made absolutely no mention of my age, and professes to really like my pictures (which are all very recent), I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

There is another side to how I feel, though, one that I am a little reluctant to share.  I miss the Captain.  Crazy isn’t it?  I’m not really sure whether I miss Fake-Thomas or the small interaction I had with Real-Thomas.  Whatever pragmatism that came over me when I finally found out that Thomas Falconer was a dupe, it can’t be denied that for nearly 3 weeks I had developed a bond with this guy.

I always knew that I was determined to enjoy the journey no matter how things ended up.  Sure, none of it was real – but the emotions and the feelings were, triggered as they were by my over active amygdala.

Where did it all go wrong?

My whole adult life, I have only had THREE serious relationships.  Two of those were with the same man.  You can read about that one and the resultant fallout here:  Lost love.

I do recall proclaiming at 16 that I would never marry.  It was not that I did not want to marry, I just hadn’t had the best example of a happy marriage growing up – and it put me off.  I’m not going to turn this post into a debate about childhood angst, although that is something I will return to later with my professional hat on.

I recall my father saying to me in my 30s that my best years were behind me – and I really should think about settling down.  Sure, I had flings and crushes, but nothing ever lasted very long.  I did fall very much in love – or so I thought – with Paul, in the year that my father died.

I had been single for quite a while, having ended my relationship with the second serious guy (after ending my first serious relationship to have the chance to go out with him.)

We met on a night out, and it was one of those connections, that for me, was instant.  Initially we spent a lot of time together, and although I was a bit closed off from sharing my emotions, I felt exceptionally happy that I had found this guy, and believed he was THE ONE.  Then he dropped a bombshell.

Life can be so cruel

Here was a guy that I was madly in love with, albeit I had not shared with him how I felt.  One weekend, when he was staying with me, we were lazing around when he suddenly seemed quiet and serious.  I joked:

“It feels as though you are about to say you can’t see me anymore”.

Instinctive though I am, I really did not believe what I was saying – or maybe I just didn’t want to. When he confirmed to me that was indeed what he was saying, the bottom fell out of my heart.

He asked that he could stay for the remainder of the weekend, so that we could enjoy our last time together. Really?  I mean really?  He had just broken my heart – and yet he wanted me to play nice.  In somewhat of a daze, I agreed to go to a park with him.  There he tried to entice me to play some kind of bizarre game – I don’t quite recall it, but I remember it reflected how different he was from other guys I had met.

So, to the evening, when it was time for him to leave.

I was so upset I could hardly speak.  He went upstairs to gather his things, and when he returned, he found me on the telephone (no mobile phones in those days, dear diary), confirming an arrangement to meet.  He asked me who I was arranging to meet, and I lied to him.  I made out that I was meeting another man – I wanted to prick through to his heart in the hopes that he would come to his senses and take back what he had told me earlier in the day.

Instead, he simply closed his eyes, and I saw the tears roll down his cheeks.

Why?  Why are you doing this when you so clearly care for me as much as I do you?

Of course, these words, screeching though they were, were in my head, and not a sound passed my lips.

I could not look at him, let alone speak to him as he left.  As soon as the door was closed, I dissolved into tears.  Life, at this point, dear diary, felt so unfair.

I had thought to follow him, but I didn’t see the point, as his mind was made up.  Although in a subsequent telephone conversation he had said to me he kept turning around on his way to the train station, hoping that I had come after him.

The bravest thing anyone of us can do when life is tough is – LIVE

I know that he thought he was doing the right thing, and I know that life had felt very tough for him over the last year.  What he hadn’t shared with me in the short time I had known him was that he had applied to join the army.  He did not want what was happening with me to derail that – as he believed that joining the army was the only way to salvage what he believed to be the remnants of his disintegrated life.

Of course, it didn’t end there.  There were telephone conversations, and tears and tantrums. Ok, so I admit, the tantrum was from me not him.

On one particular evening, I was screaming like a banshee down the phone at him.  So concerned was he that he asked a friend (the guy he was with when we met) to drive him over from his town to mine.  Knowing that he would come, I put on a great show of hauling a case downstairs and filling it with clothes.

When he arrived, he checked I was okay, took in the case, and asked me where I was going.  I rather haughtily informed him that I was moving to London (I had lived in the south previously for 7 years, so it wasn’t that ridiculous a statement, dear diary).

I don’t recall what he said to me, but I do remember that he left. My little ploy had not worked.  He hadn’t changed his mind, and we were still broken up.

Oh well (I thought), I’m already packed – so I might as well move to London after all!

And that, dear diary, is how I came to move back down south!

Second time round was not so good

I might have lived in the south for 7 years quite happily three years previously, but when I returned – living and working in London – I hated it.

I hated that it took me so long to get to work, I hated my job, I hated sharing a house with people I didn’t know, and I hated being away from him.  Of course, even if I had stayed in my home town, I would have still been away from him.

Within six months, I was so depressed that I just had to come home.  One morning, as I sat drying my very long hair, I just could not face the commute into Victoria Street where I worked.  Instead, I gathered my belongings together and booked a cab.  As the driver took me to Kings Cross we chatted.  He said to me, wisely, there are other jobs and other places to live.  My mind was made up – I was going home.

So I arrived back at my house, which fortunately I had not rented out this time, and dumped my belongings.  I then walked the short distance to my parents house and let myself in.  As I greeted my father, he said:

Hello, what are you doing here?

My response:

I got depressed so I came home.

His response:

Fair enough, put the kettle on will you?

And that, dear diary, was the extent of that conversation.

Over the next few weeks I did the round of the employment agencies, and secured myself a temping PA role at a major pharmaceutical company about 20 miles away.  I was due to start work on the Monday, and I was just keeping my head low.  I had not washed my hair or bathed for some days, and I certainly wasn’t expecting any visitors.

Life can throw up the most amazing surprises

I recall it was 10pm when I heard a knock at the door.  Who on earth could that be?  I wasn’t expecting anyone, and I certainly wasn’t going to open the door with greasy hair and clothes that could do with being in the wash pile rather than on me.

I resolutely ignored the knocking – but it continued, and continued – whoever this was had no intention of leaving without seeing me.  So, I dragged myself up from where I lay on the settee – and as I approached the door – I quite simply stopped in my tracks.

Even through the frosted glass windows of the door, I recognised that frame.  I would know it anywhere.  Why?  Because, dear diary, I had been in love with him since the day I met him!

For a few seconds I was frozen.  What!??  How could I open the door to him looking (and probably smelling) as though I hadn’t washed in weeks??

Of course, I did.  And there he stood – that stupid cheeky grin on his face, and holding a bottle of red wine.  I think I said something along the lines of “what are you doing here”. I don’t remember the response, but of course, I let him through the door.

That he turned up at my doorstep was simply bewildering.  After all – how did he know that I had returned from London?  Ok, so he may not have quite believed me when I proclaimed I was moving to London – but we had spoken on the telephone and he knew that I was actually living there.  To this day, I still do not know how he knew I was back home.  After all, it had only been a few weeks since I returned.  Of course, he could have telephoned my aunt (where I was first staying) as that is where I called him from. Or perhaps he didn’t really believe that I had moved to London!  Who knows.  As I say, I never did find out.

The twitching of the eye and the stumbling words

Yes, dear diary, that was me.  As I sat on one settee, and he on the other – I quite simply was twitching of the eye, and stumbling over my words.  I was also repeating myself, which he teased me about. I was also throwing cushions at him.

Somehow, we ended up on the same settee.  I tried to push him away from me as I was soooo embarrassed about my greasy hair.  It was very long at the time, and although it definitely needed a good wash, it did hang rather nicely!  So, it may have looked nice, but it certainly did not smell nice and I did not want him getting too close to me.

He laughed at this, as he recalled how I had always had a thing about how clean my hair was.  It wasn’t long though, dear diary, before I was in his arms and tasting the sweet kisses of the man I had not stopped loving in the time we had been apart.

I pushed him out of the door, ignoring his pleadings to be allowed to stay the night. No – I will see you in the morning as arranged, I told him resolutely.

That night I hardly slept, and the next morning I took special care to make sure my hair was squeaky clean and I looked as good as I could.  The frizzon of excitement as he drove up the next morning made me dizzy with anticipation.  As he fussed around me in the car, making sure I was comfortable, I really didn’t know what to think.

He drove us to the lake district and we had a lovely day.  We ate a nice lunch, we played some pool, and then later still he teased me for proclaiming what a wonderful view the mountains made.  He had a prior arrangement with friends, and so had to get back to meet with them in the early evening.

When we arrived back, and as I gathered my things – he asked if he could come over after he had met with his friends.  I hurriedly told him that I didn’t think that was a good idea as I flounced out of the car.  I telephoned my girlfriends and arranged to go out with them that evening.  I had half expected him to turn up (as he had done on other occasions), but he did not.

As I lay alone in my bed, I reflected on why I had given him the cold shoulder.  Why I hadn’t encouraged him to come over once he had met with his friends.  I suppose the answer to that one is that I couldn’t cope with him turning up like that.  I had  been in a very low mood – and I guess I simply pushed him away.  Did I want to get back with him?  Hell yes!  I had since the day he broke it off with me.

So as the day progressed … I hovered anxiously near the phone.  Wanting to call him (as I knew he would be staying with his mother and step-father) but not daring to.  It took me THREE hours to pluck up the courage to call.

His mother answered the phone, and although we had never met, she knew enough about me to know who I was.  I had just missed him – he had quite simply just left a few minutes before to return to his army base. Hang on, she beseeched – and she hightailed after him and brought him back to the house to speak to me.

To say he was surprised to hear from me was an understatement.  The best I could do was mumble:

Don’t be a stranger.

To this he responded that he thought I didn’t want to have anything to do with him. I don’t really recall what I said to him, but the next thing out of his mouth was this:

Do you love me?

What!!!??

I had never once told him how I felt about him – and I wasn’t about to now.  All I could utter was some profanity which had him roaring with laughter (he knew I wasn’t really one for using bad language).

So, dear diary, we said our goodbyes. Again!

Unexpected tragedy

Some months later, we discovered that my father had terminal cancer.  This had come as quite a shock, as he had not complained of feeling ill.  He had though, returned early from Portugal where he was looking for a suitable place for he and my mother to winter.

Although I was in shock at this news, I went into some kind of “sensible” automaton mode.  The one person I did want to share this news with though, was Paul.  So I rang his barracks and asked them to pass a message on.  When he called me later, it turned out that soldiers with guns had pulled him off an exercise so that he could return to barracks and call me.  Oh, that was a tad embarrassing.

As time went on, the surgeons stabilised my father enough for him to return home.  He lasted only three weeks.

He died at 3am with his family around him.  Not I though, I was in the next room – I couldn’t bring myself to be there as his breathing was so laboured, and the stark contrast with the silences as his breathing gradually slowed was too much to bare.

At 9am, I called the barracks, and asked that they could let Paul know that my father had passed away; I also asked them not to interrupt if he was in the middle of something.

Within a very short time, the phone rang and it was him.  His CO had offered him the use of the phone in his office, but he had said that he wanted to take the call in private.

We talked, and he asked me to visit him.  I responded that it really wasn’t possible for me to do that as I needed to be with my family, and so he arranged to get leave and came up that weekend to stay with me.

My father knew about Paul, and now and then he would ask me about him. In his hospital bed, he asked me if I had spoken with him, and I told him that I had.  He replied “everything will turn out ok then”.  My brother said to me later, he just wanted to know that you would be alright.

So, dear diary, it was a very strange weekend for me.  My father had just died, but I felt a sense of happiness at having the man I loved beside me.

Rather trepidatiously, I asked him what this meant for us.  I will never, to this day, understand why he told me that we were together again.

My happiness was short lived.  He did call me a couple of times although unfortunately I was out with friends.  I will never know why he did this – but he quite simply stopped calling.  No explanation – nothing.

The pain I felt was indescribable.  Here I was, recently bereaved, and the focus should have been on my father.  Instead, I was hurting over a man who had quite simply dumped me again.

That dear diary, was not the last time I heard from him again.  But it was the last time I ever saw him.

A few months later I collapsed at work with stress.  I took some time off, and my sister and her husband took me to a nearby camping ground with their caravan and their dog.  I spent a few days there but cut it short when the weather turned bad.

What I could not know, dear diary, as I reflected on how weird it would be if Paul was nearby – was that – he actually was.

I had dialled into my voicemail at home – and there was this bizarre beagle howl.  This could only be one person.  The beagle thing and the howl was a joke between us.  When I returned home the phone rang.  It was him.  We spoke for a while – and then he said something to me that made me see red.

I left him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him – and I never heard from him again.  Oh, except that one Christmas there was again a frantic knock at the door at 10pm.  In those days, there wasn’t really anyone that I knew who would call at that hour.

This time, dear diary, I did not answer it.

I think it took about 10 years for me to get over what had happened, and to stop secretly hoping that our paths would cross again.  Now, as a woman in her mature years – I can see it for what it was.  At the time, it felt as though I had lost THE ONE.

Sadly, and I am not entirely sure why – I’ve kept men at arms length  Okay well, maybe I do know why.

You will see, if you read my lost love post, that I did have another chance of happiness that came in October 2011.  I reunited with my first serious boyfriend.  We had been engaged, but grew apart.  Or at least, I grew apart from him.  The second time around, I ended it again three months after he moved to South Africa.

So, to get back to my original question – what is wrong with me?

I think there is a small amount of sadness that I thought I had found someone special in Fake-Thomas.  I mean, if I hadn’t been affected by what happened then I wouldn’t be human, right?

I won’t dwell on it though – I have experienced much worse in my life.  After all, it is not what goes wrong that counts – it is how you deal with it.

I am dear diary, proud of the lemonade that I made from life’s lemons on this occasion.

Later

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

Image of Captain Thomas Lindegaard.

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.

Dear diary…

30th November 2017 07:48

So, this morning  is the first morning since since Fake-Thomas-Gate that I haven’t reached for my Dear diary blog as soon as I am out of bed.  Instead, this morning, I have been having a lil Tweet about other issues that are close to my heart.  Ok, so the Mason jar aren’t close to my heart, but the other topics I Tweeted about are.

Not sure where to start this morning, Dear diary, as I have a few things on my mind.

Not least that I continue to receive messages about dupes online – and Fake-Thomas’s still trying to befriend unsuspecting women on #Facebook.  This one despite being reported to Mr Facebook!

 

He is in my friends list

 

When my paid subscriptions end, I am done

I am still somewhat perturbed about online dating.  How difficult it is for anyone over a certain age, that the sites themselves seem to hold no moral compass when it comes to taking money from people who are unlikely to successfully receive a date via their site, and the scammers, fakers and plain weirdos!

I have two paid subscriptions.  One for a month, and the other – sadly, for six months!  Once these expire, I am done with online dating.  This whole sorry experience has not brought any potential dates into my life – just a bunch of disappointments.  Disappointment at the photo’s of the men that are contacting me – really – make an effort guys, and disappointment that the ones that I do have a modicum of interest in are too far away to make an initial dating scenario feasible.  Then there are the ones that simply want sex-talk.  Don’t get me wrong, dear diary, sexy-chat is not necessarily a bad thing – in the right context, and with someone that you have developed some level of relationship with.

Then there are the onlines that are free, but for which you pay for extras to get highlighted etc etc.  Sure, this results in a flurry of activity – but are these any more suitable than the search function?  In my experience that would be a resounding NO!

The online is dire

One dating site that I have been registered with a few years and have dipped in and out a couple of times with paid membership, is #MySingleFriend.  You know, the one that #SarahBeeny set up.  Well, I guess if you look like SB and – have SB’s life – maybe you would be successful at the online.  Or maybe, a more cynical view is that she just saw a business opportunity.  Come to think of it – maybe she didn’t create the site and is simply a bought-for-well-known- face to lend it credibility?

I keep forgetting to look at MySingleFriend as it is one of the few (if not the only one) that does not have an app.  Now an app, Dear diary, takes the effort out of looking for “something – anything” online.

So yesterday, I logged in and did a search using my preferred age range.  The site came up with about 57 matches.  Hmm …. I paid £27.00 for 57 age-related matches?  So, hoping beyond hope there would be a morsel of an interesting profile, I decided to check them out.  Easy to do so on MySingleFriend as the gallery has enough information to decide if you want to click on the pic and take a closer look.

I was shocked.  Crestfallen.  More than a little annoyed, Dear diary.  Out of the 57 potential matches – only ONE had been online within the last six months.  Ok – so when I looked a little closer – that would be TWO.  The remainder of the “matches” had all NOT been online within the last six months.  So either they had moved on – or they simply gave up with online.

One or two decent pictures

Ok, so I cheered up a little when I saw that there were one or two decent looking guys within this 57.  So, I decided to be bold and send them a message.  How to stand out I pondered?  Oh, I know … let’s put my humour at the forefront and make the odd quip about online.  That should elicit a response.  Oh boy.  Did it.  This is one not so kind exchange:

Online is dire

WHAT??!!!  Cold?  Rude?  Did I really deserve that?  This response took me aback. I am not a cold or rude person.  Ok, so I can be a little rude sometimes when a service provider is getting on my last nerve, but those who know me know that this descriptive assumption is way off the mark.

It certainly wasn’t the response that I expected.  Perhaps the adjective that is missing here is – passive aggressive – and I’m not talking about me!

What this guy could not know, is that I had displayed a tremendous amount of warmth with Fake-Thomas.  That I had used caring and loving language in the new found knowledge that the language you use is so crucial to developing relationships.  Whoa … hang on – lest I forgot, that whole exchange was based on a lie!  I was not building a potential relationship – I was unwittingly being drawn into a scammer’s lair.

Now it really is time to let it go

As I write this, Dear diary, what I realise is that what happened to me is no one else’s problem but my own.  Who cares?  I didn’t hand over £000’s and so no harm done, right?  The only people who truly have empathy for what happened to me – are the people who experienced similar themselves.  Not my friends, not my family and certainly not ex-friend.  The people that try to engage me in conversation are simply curious – or even just a little nosy.  It is an unwelcome trait of human kind to want to rake over every last detail of other people’s misfortune.  Why else do people rubber-neck at motorway pile ups?

I am no worse off than I was before.  So I need to let it go.  I thought I had – but if I am still ballbusting online, then clearly I haven’t.  All I am doing by being that way is attracting the guys who like to be dominated (go figure!) and putting off the guys who are half way decent.  That said, I didn’t lose anything from the above exchange as he lives the other end of the country.  To be brutally honest, to display such arrogance so early on was eye opening about the individual himself.  I hate arrogance of any kind.

With that in mind, that thought brings me to this question …. was my message to Mr Arrogant a little arrogant itself?  Maybe.  That was not my intention though.  My intention was to stand out (which it did) elicit a response (which it did) – unfortunately, it seems, for all the wrong reasons.

Well dear diary, it is time for me to leave this here.  I am not sure that I have covered what I set out to; what was uppermost in my mind.  As typically, once I start writing, I let the thoughts flow and go where they want to go.  Being in the flow, so to speak.  More on that later – but perhaps under my professional hat of success coach.

Later,

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

The only image of Captain Lindegaard that I remain attached to. I am working on that!

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.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

 

Dear diary …

29th November 2017 15:24

Today, a fellow Fake-Thomas-Dupee-Survivor has been interacting with my Facebook page; and is quite simply my kinda gal.  She clearly has the same sense of humour as I – and we both acknowledge that we still have ever such a slight crush on Captain Dreamy – or should I make that McDreamy??  You know – the cute Dane?

This is the message exchange that has got me chuckling:

….and this:

I am really  not sure Captain McDreamy will be up for coming along to our “Thomas Try Hards” get together (if one should indeed go ahead), but we can but dream …..

oh … ahem … yes .. well ……

Then there was this ….

I’m not the only one still hung up on this image then!   LOL

…and this:

Yet another fake profile found?

Well, dear diary, it looks as though I am not the only one of Captain McDreamy’s disciples who is missing his presence on Facebook.  Actually, if I were him – I’d stay clear.  I am sure the swell of forlorn women are seeking him here and seeking him there – I myself still interact with him on Twitter.  I know others do so on Instagram.  I am careful though, not to tag him in his Instagram profile, as for me – that is is personal space where he shares his love of all things maritime.

I am rather pleased to confess, that I am just about immune to McDreamy’s images – all except one.  Not sure I will ever sicken of that one ;-).  Well, I’m only human – and don’t all women love gay guys?  They are so much nicer to women than non-gay guys (IMO).

Later, diary

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

The only image of Captain Lindegaard that I remain attached to. I am working on that!

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.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

Dear diary…

29th November 2017 06:52

What next for me?  Where do I take this next, if at all?  I left my pooch sleeping soundly in my bed (for the last number of weeks he has taken to sleeping with me again – I have allowed this as it has been comforting to have a living, breathing, creature near me through the long nights – he has to go back to his own bed sometime though!).

So incensed, yesterday, was I, that someone had reported Captain Lindegaard to Facebook as a fake, a stealer of identity!   I mean, you couldn’t make it up could you?  For those who have read with me from the beginning, you will know that Captan Thomas Lindegaard – of the cute Dane persuasion – is the guy whose identity not only was used to dupe me, but also hundreds (if not more) of women looking for love online.

So why did this bother me so much?  (Apart from having an ever so slight crush on the gay guy?).  Most likely it is because I hate injustice, of any kind.

Never turn a blind eye – it is not my way

Not least, the injustice that a man who is spending his precious time trying to warn women that his image has been misappropriated multiple times, when he could very well just ignore the situation and get on with his own life unperturbed.

That some woman who has allowed herself to be duped because she has not taken the proper precautions – to accuse the Real-Thomas of being a fake and a duper – is outrageous to me.  Note, dear diary, that my compassion towards such women has waned somewhat!

Incredulous though it is, that Mr Facebook would profess that such fake profiles do not infringe on their community policy and refuse to take them down – to then castigate the ONE AND ONLY Captain Lindegaard is ludicrous – and says a lot about #Facebook.

I had thought yesterday that it was Captain Lindegaard that had deactivated his account – I am not so sure now, whether it was in fact Facebook who deactivated it!  This uncertainty because a German lady who follows my Facebook page and contributes her own fight to take down the fakery, posted that he had submitted his ID.  So, dear diary, perhaps Captain Lindegaard did not simply become sick of it all (which surely he must be, on some level at least) – but was unceremoniously dumped by the very platform that holds hundreds of fake profiles purporting to be him?!!!

This campaign has been so very important to me, not least to focus my attention from any potential hurt inflicted by the discovery that I was duped; as I said: I can’t abide social injustice of any kind.  I have been known to be an avid social commentator now and then on matters that treat others so badly and unfairly.

What next?

Back to my original question.  I really am not sure what to do next.

I no longer choose to spend my hard earned money with Mr Facebook to raise awareness of this – or any other – issue.  Mr Facebook and his cronies have steadfastly ignored me – heck – they probably  haven’t even registered that I am more than a little mad with them.  My Tweets have gone unnoticed, my open letter via IM has been ignored. What to do?  I am one woman.

I have though, enjoyed writing and posting tremendously.  So I will continue to do this on some level.   It is gratifying when you know people have read your blog – and I am a frequent checker of stats to be sure on this.  It must be said though, the traffic that I am getting is probably mostly down to paid advertising.  I can’t be sure yet as I have not checked the tracking pixel – but if the stats on the paid promotions are anything to go by, then the link clicks equate to readers of my blog.

As stated – my intention is to spend not a penny more with Mr Facebook, and so I am sure that my daily traffic will dwindle.  I will continue to Tweet on Twitter, and although it is gratifying to know that my stats have increased on that platform too – the majority of my readers come from Mr Facebook.

The plan is fluid

Here’s the plan.  I will continue to post when I feel I have something to say on the matter – or matters related to the things I have written about.  Love, life, relationships – the perils and pitfalls of online dating.

If I come across a fake profile, then I will post it on my Facebook page.  I’ve said my final cyber-goodbyes to Captain Lindegaard.  It is time for “us” to part ways.  He is not the man I think he is.  Yes, indeed, I believe him to be a good and honourable man, from the little I know of him from his online.  I do not, though, know the man himself.  He has been dignified and circumspect in his communications.  Gracious too – after all, he did not have to enter into any level of communication with me, or indeed any of the women have been duped by douchbags using his image.

So, dear diary, I will leave it there.

With a plaudit to a man I don’t know.  I wish you well Captain.  May your seas always be calm, and your soul always have light.

Goodbye, my Thomas – I will miss you.

Carol xOxO

Website     Facebook page      Twitter  @BeYourBestSelf2 / Twitter @FakeDatingRebel   Social Media Groups

The only image of Captain Lindegaard that I remain attached to. I am working on that!

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.

You can no longer report such occurrences to him as he is, for the time being at least, no longer on Facebook.

 

 

Dear diary …

28th November 2017 @ 16:15

Montenegro

My heart is heavy.  In fact, for a little while there I was bereft.  My gorgeous Captain has disappeared off Facebook.  Was it something I said?  Did my campaign get too much with all the sharing and Tweeting and posting of his image and his name?

But wait – maybe putting my ego aside, the disappearance of his Facebook profile and page is nothing to do with me.

I was surprised though .. at how crestfallen I was.  Perhaps, I pondered, he is simply sick of it all.  Sick of Mr Facebook and sick of all the wailing women berating him for duping them.  HE DIDN’T!!  Wise up guys! (or gals for that matter).

Puzzled by his disappearance, and not quite ready to let any tenuous connection go yet, I Tweeted him.  This is the response I got:

Deactivated, yes, as someone has reported me for identity theft and being fake!

Really?  I mean – REALLY!!!

At first I thought that one of the fakers had tried to get him off Facebook because too many profiles are getting shut down.  Then I slowly realised – it is most likely some dupee who believes it was him that suckered them.

How sad.  How very, very sad.  That there are hundreds of fake profiles on #Facebook that are so difficult to get shut down – and yet the REAL MCCOY, has felt it necessary to deactivate his own profile.

Over the course of this week, I have spent more than I ever have on promoting my posts on Facebook, so intent was I to spread the message as far as I could – within a reasonable budget.  It seemed a small price to pay given that some women have been duped out of thousands.  At least it was my choice – my own free will to spend this money.  It was a rational decision and not one based on a falsely elicited emotion.

But no more.  I will not spend a cent more (or a pound for that matter) with Mr Facebook and his fabulously rich cronies!  I am done with them.

I will continue to use social media as I have connection to friends and family including some overseas.  I will, however, be circumspect about what I share on there and I will definitely IGNORE all sponsored posts and adverts that appear in my feed.

Captain Lindegaard tried to fight back.  Not only to protect his own identity and images, but to warn others of the dangers.  How pitiful that he has been scapegoated in this way.

For the first time since this sorry saga began, I am more than a little exasperated with the dupees.  My patience and compassion has lessened.

Grow up.  Get over yourselves … and stop getting emotionally invested in someone you haven’t met!  Yes – I admit, I was somewhat emotionally invested in Fake-Thomas.  The difference being, I had a smattering of healthy scepticism, that allowed me to switch off that emotional investment as soon as I was over the initial shock.

That is all I have to say on the matter, dear diary.  I am not yet sure whether I will continue with this campaign.  Not for the sake of people who have reported Captain Lindegaard for being a fake!  Ye gods!  Wake up and smell the coffee!

Coffee

Maybe not later,

Carol xOxO

 

Dear diary …

28th November 2017 @ 06:37

Online dating woes

Elite

It has been quite a week.  I have been blogging, posting, and webmaking; not to forget Tweeting  and Twittering.  I have been using paid promotion on #Facebook to get my message far and wide (within a reasonable budget you understand).  For some strange reason Master Twitter does not want my money anymore, as I seem to have been banned from paid adverts.  Quite how I violated their policies, is anyone’s guess.  Of course, I did ask, in my inimitable style – of Tweeting along the lines of: Oi!  What’s going on??   The only response was that they would email me – which they haven’t.  So, I will keep my money thank you very much and spend it elsewhere.

A different kind of scam?

Oh, and guess what I received yesterday?  A letter on behalf of #EliteSingles demanding money.  The letter states that I failed to pay for a subscription in October!  WHAT???  Now given that these dating membership sites only let you use their premium services AFTER you have parted with your hard earned money, I fail to see how this is possible!  In any event, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been using that site for more than a year or so!

As you can imagine, I am well and truly p****d off with all things online dating right now!

So I hastily Tweeted #EliteSingles (guess what – I got no reply) and dashed off an email not to the company on the letter, but to their parent company.  I got the stock responder we will respond to your email within 48 hours!  So that’s me ever so slightly worried for the next 48 hours.  Oh, but wait!  Could this be another ruse?  Could this be a fake letter?

If it is, then what is really worrying is that they have my name and address.  Where did they get that from then?  I have seen nothing in the news about #EliteSingles being hacked.  Should this be the case, it wouldn’t surprise me – we only seem to get to hear about such happenings when the story is leaked.

So, getting back to my rather official letter demanding money.  I did a google search on fake debtor letters for dating sites and I came up with this:

Beware Fake Debt Collection Agencies

Bogus debt collection agencies, online dating chat robots, and an “Energy Department refund”: Internet ScamBusters.  Source

You can check out more posts about dating site debt letter scams on this forum.

Oh, while I’m at it – this article by the Independent popped up in the search list, and is worth a read.  WOW …a whopping £39 million has been reported (February 2017) to have been scammed out of online daters. WOW … big business then!

I have made a decision

No more online dating for me!  Yes, I would still love to have the odd date, spend time in the company of an interesting man, but I am done with paying for the privilege of regularly being disappointed.  In the couple of months or so that I have been avidly using the site, I have not had ONE date.  That’s right.  Not one.  Now lest you think I am butt ugly, let me assure you that when I make the effort, I scrub up ok.  Sniff.

Interaction that leads to nowhere

It’s not as though I don’t get a lot of “likes” and messages, and “so-and-so wants to meet you”.  Not one of these has led to a real world date.  Interestingly, it is from the sites where you can exchange messages unpaid (there are always paid for bells and whistles) that I have received offers of dates.  Two in particular: #POF and #Badoo.  Now, I have been on POF for years.  Badoo not so long.  Initially I was impressed that Badoo attempt to verify profiles – not so much when one such verified photo was confirmed as a fake!

Incidentally, the most expensive site that I am registered with, and from which I have received not even a modicum of interest from any guy that I would be comfortable to meet, is #Match.com!  (Buyer beware if you are over 40). 

Sure, following my not so new rule of meeting quickly rather than spending weeks or month endlessly conversing through the ether I have agreed to meet a number of men – you need to see if there is a spark, right?  This is what happened:

    • Guy that is more keen on me than I am on him, has blown me off twice.  Second time to see his solicitor about his divorce (erm .. ok, maybe too soon to be dating then!)
    • One guy within two seconds asked to meet – he was local (for a change) so I agreed.  This time I cancelled as my heart was not in it.  (I always said I would not meet a guy for the sake of it – but I was kinda wanting to bust my cherry on the first date from t’internet thing.  It’s been awhile since I dated at all, let alone from the net).
    • Yet another guy, local, but working away some distance asked me to meet the following Sunday when he was back home.  I agreed to this as, initially at least, I liked his no nonsense approach.  He then had to go and spoil himself by sending me a near-nude picture of himself!His retort to my protest was “well, you must find me attractive as you are chatting to me”.  Can someone please explain to me the logic of that one, and why chatting to him (or finding him attractive – as it happens I didn’t particularly) infers consent to receive dodgy pictures?  I mean, ok, so it was from the waist up – but I got the general idea and I am pretty sure the next one would have been the rest of the picture!
    • Another guy, again, local asked to meet.  He was reasonable looking if not a little tall for my petite stature.  We agreed to meet the next day, at a local bistro I know.  I had initially insisted that we meet for coffee at said venue, however, guy said that he rarely gets home from work before 7pm.So drinks it is.  The next day I eagerly awaited confirmation – and it didn’t come.  So I took it up on myself to send this message:

 haven’t heard from you so I am unsure whether we are actually meeting tonight or not. Could you let me know?

I decided that if I didn’t hear back in plenty of time for me to get ready at a leisurely pace then regardless of the answer I would cancel.  After all – I was NOT going to rush around like a demented loon trying to make a date that the guy did not have the decency to confirm the arrangements.

After some hours (and after the anticipated time of our meeting I might add), I received this response:

Hi Carol I am so sorry I was late back from London last night and it’s been absolutely manic today and a stressful day! Apologies that I didn’t get to respond earlier 😔x

Now ok.  That is fine.  But I am no longer playing nice online.  I have a new, no nonsense bad-ass attitude.  Had this gent simply messaged me to say that things were hectic and he may not be able to make this evening, I would have given him a second chance.  To not contact me, displayed a lack of respect.  I mean, the only reason I tried to confirm is that we hadn’t settled on an exact time.  Can you imagine how I would have felt if I had spent an hour or two getting ready?  You’ve heard the expression All dolled up with nowhere to go, right?

Keeping it real world

So, what is next for me and my seemingly impossible quest to have the odd date?  Well, a real life girlfriend of mine has invited me along to a social networking event in a nearby city.  I readily agreed to this and I am soooo looking forward to it.  A perfect opportunity to come across interesting people – and who knows – I  might score a date out of it.  At the very least, the see-before-you-date potential is so deliciously appealing.

Well, dear diary, that is all I have time for just now.  For anyone reading with me today, please do comment, like and share my blog.  It would be great to hear from you.

Later,

Carol xOxO

Thomas Pedersen

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.

Fightback: Dystopian utopia – has social media gone too far?

Dystopian utopia?

Has social media made automatons of us all?  Are we really supposed to blindly accept what Mr Facebook & co dish out to us?  They hooked us in so that we can’t go more than an hour or so without checking our online status – and sharing every minutiae of our life with those in our world and beyond.

This was a very clever tactic by Mr Facebook.  As he now knows exactly what we covet, and can target his paid for advertising clients accordingly.  There can’t be any organisation that knows as much about us as does Mr Facebook and his motley crew.  Heck, not even the tax man knows as much as Mr Facebook!

What we have now is decidedly Utopian-esk,  big brother if you like.  It is not such a leap of the imagination to consider that in the wrong hands, there is an awful lot of personal information out there on the web from which to exert control.

It has to be said that I am a prolific poster online.  Both with Mr Facebook and with Master Twitter.  That said, there are times when I go to ground for 3-6 months, and ne’re a peep, never mind a tweet, is heard from me.

The world is just a click away, at the behest of our fingertips

I do use online exposure in a number of ways:

  • pictures of my dog
  • stories of my dog taking over my bed
  • stories of my dog pooping in the park
  • little ditties of insights that I want to share with the world
  • the occasional rant at the social injustices in the world

I also use online to promote my business interests.  Rather unsuccessfully I have to say.  The lure of the “do it my way – I will charge you mega-bucks to learn how to grow your groups and earn …. peanuts!” has been something that I have had to learn to ignore.

It seems, you see, that you can’t just post about any old drivel.  It has to be drivel that the masses want to hear about.  Now, you and I may enjoy a little bit of high brow philosophising now and then – but for the popular masses, that is a huge turn off.

I will though, give Mr Facebook props for keeping me connected with peeps who have the same, or similar chronic long term health condition that I have.  The support I have gotten from one group in particular has pulled me through some dark days.

Now, one would assume that the real people in my real world would be the ones to support me with this; not so much!  Heck, most of my family couldn’t say a cursory “well done” when I achieved a First in my Psychology degree as a mature student!!  But hey, let’s not go there – the bitterness has left me.  Almost …ahem.  Sniff.

Indeed, Facebook connectedness, has also allowed me to keep in touch with family scattered around the UK, and with friends that live the other side of the globe.

Out of control monster or useful tool?

Ok, I digress.  Let me bring this back to the matter in hand.  What was that again?  Oh yes!  Mr Facebook & co – and whether they have too much influence on our lives.

Certainly, the online has been a revelation.  Indeed, I think my undergrad and post-grad studies were that much easier because I could research for pertinent articles online; not solely restricted to the dusty shelves of the university library.  (The library was one of my favourite places as it happens!).

We are customers, patrons, whatever you will – not automatons to do your bidding, Mr Facebook.  So when a patron has something to say, perhaps you might demonstrate some common courtesy and respond.

Has Mark Zuckerberg been replaced by a bot?

I am beginning to think that Mr Zuckerberg no longer exists.  That he has been replaced by bots and they are holding him prisoner on a remote desert island in the pacific along with Mrs Zuckerberg and the rest of their family.  Perhaps Captain Lindegaard can track him down in his very big ship, and ask him ever so politely to to something about the literally hundreds of profiles on #Facebook that are misappropriating his image and his identity.  You will know of Captain Lindegaard, if you have been reading me from the beginning (is it really only a week ago that I started this quest??).

The cute Dane effect

For those of you who have only just stumbled across this blog today, I beseech you to read the back catalogue of posts.  Captain Lindegaard, is, actually, the quite cute Dane who is the subject of amorous attentions of way too many women; who quite simply think that he has duped them.

I have seen posts on his page, lamenting about ‘why he would hurt them so bad when he was happily married’?  The answer is, dear reader, it was not him.  Even a good looking Dane with a ship’s company can’t be in 100s of places at once!  And why would he?  As stated – he is happily married, and not signed up to ANY dating sites.  Nor does he have multiple profiles on Facebook with multiple variations on his name.   (Personally, I think there should be a profile called Captain Dreamy ….. oh sorry, ahem … moving on ….

cropped-thomas-lindegaard
Captain Thomas Lindegaard does Duckface

So, what is it about this man that has created such a swell of online swooning?  Ok, so he is cute – at least, many of his pictures are.  Not all … but perhaps that is one of the reasons that the fakes who use his images are so successful.  The majority of them are notable for being – well, ordinary.  (Sorry Captain Lindegaard .. blush).

Certainly, there is a lot of information about his life – at least, his work life, which makes it extremely easy to assume his persona and create a very plausible dupe.  I did wonder myself what all the fuss was about – not because I don’t believe he is cute (because I do) but because he has a very small following on Facebook.  Eventually, I checked him out on Instagram.  On that platform, he has a very respectable following of 24.5k.  I think that it is this following that has made him a mark for the scammers.  With such a following, he clearly has kerb appeal.

Mea culpa?

So, a question that I ask you to consider: does Captain Lindegaard bare any responsibility for the duping and suckering in of innocent love-seekers?  In my opinion the answer to that question is a resounding no.

Captain Lindegaard, or “Real-Thomas” as he is affectionately referred to in my earlier blogs, is simply abiding by the rules and expectations created by Mr Facebook and his motley crew of pirates .. I mean, marketeers.  He is sharing information about his life and work that he is not only proud of, but that he believes (quite rightly it would seem), that other people would be interested to learn about.  In a podcast that is listed both on his Facebook page, and I believe Instagram (I’m not sure as I have banned myself from trawling through his personal (yet public) profiles – his life’s mission, mariner-focused at any rate – is to bring sea and shore closer together.

Well, he has certainly done that when you consider how many land-locked women are pining after him!  Just not in a way that he could have possibly conceived.  (I do hope that the majority of the 24.5k following are not virtually-cuckolded women…).

Indeed, I believe most strongly that the responsibility lies with Mr Facebook, and the other social media giants that would have us believe that they serve us – and that we can’t live without them.  Of course we can.  There are more platforms than Facebook for us to share and enjoy.

So, to close, why am I so het up at the moment about Mr Facebook?  Quite simply, because – they are a platform that will allow nudity, terrorism, sexualised images to be posted on Facebook and yet ban nursing mothers and breast-cancer survivors.

More than this, they have a responsibility to protect our data that they so avidly bid us to share on their platform.  It is not for Captain Lindegaard, nor I, or anyone else for that matter – to have to spend hours trying to make Facebook a safer place for its patrons.

That Mr Facebook, is your job.

Later, dear reader, I hope you read with me again.  If anything I have written here resonates with you, please, comment, like and share to spread the message far and wide.

Thank you!

Carol xOxO

Forde Thomas NiklasAs 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.

 

 

Dear diary…

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!

Thomas Lindegaards 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:

  1. Don’t be rushed into meeting up until you feel comfortable to do so;
  2. That said, don’t exchange endless messages; meet fairly quickly to establish if there is a spark;
  3. 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.

Carol xOxO

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.

 

 

Dear diary – an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg

The following message was sent to the “official” Mark Zuckerberg account:

 

 

Fake profile using the image of Captain Thomas Lindegaard

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.