Friday, July 29, 2016

Falling in love with an image

On Life and Love after 50   July 29, 2016
Falling in love with an image (someone you’ve never met)
One of my favorite recordings is the Rod Stewart version of Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe” song that Stewart released in 1971, which happened to be what we called back then the flip side of “Maggie May.” The words state that had the singer listened long enough to the woman he sings about, he would have found a way to believe everything she told him, even though he knew she was lying.
The words to that song can apply to what has happened in a number of long-distance relationships: People find someone online. They live in different states, even different countries. They start a long-distance relationship and one person falls in love although they have never met in person. Simply put, the person is falling in love with an image.

                                  He could look like this guy in person
A woman who describes herself as being intelligent, wrote, “It can be very easy to ‘think’ you are in love with someone, after many e-mails and phone calls, even though you have not met that person yet. It is not love, just a great infatuation, which often is dispelled once you meet face-to-face."
She explained, “This happened to me. After a long analysis of the situation, I realize now that I actually fell in love with the guy’s voice. Sound is a strong motivator of emotion. I ended up broken hearted. He didn’t want a relationship, although he said he did.
“Emotional needs can overcome common sense. Now, if I feel myself getting unrealistically drawn to someone I have never met, warning flags go up.”
I am glad she has learned her lesson. Falling in love with someone you’ve never met in person can happen to people who consider themselves to be smart and not naive.

                           What if her guy looked like this in person?
In another situation, Susan, not her real name, wrote, “I’m from Florida. I fell in love with a trucker from a another state.” (There’s nothing wrong with falling in love with a trucker; his profession had little to do with her taking hook, line and sinker.) We will call him Trucker Jack.
She blames Trucker Jack for what happened, but she was the gullible one. “He really knew how to work me. He called every day, sometimes twice a day. He left poetry on my voice mail and wrote poetry on my email, so much so I started calling him ‘Mr. Romance.’
“Friends felt I would never settle down and marry again. But, when Trucker Jack started to email and call me, things changed overnight. When he sent pictures of himself, his house, his truck and a book about his family that the Chamber of Commerce in the little town where he grew up had produced, I was hooked.”
Even when red flags started to appear, Susan--similar to Rod Stewart in theReason to Believe song--continued to find a reason to believe. This usually happens to older singles because they so desperately desire a loving relationship, they focus on imaginary situations and fantasies.
Trucker Jack told Susan he planned a trip to visit her, but, a health problem forced him to cancel. Then financial problems involving his truck caused another delay. He said when he ironed out his finances, he would take her on a three-week trip to see the leaves turn in Cape Cod. Susan said, “These are the things that romances are made of,” finding another reason to believe.

  These guys work with trucks and fast cars. Which one is Trucker Jack?
               Could be anyone of them or none of them

She added, "Then, Trucker Jack said a woman he had previously dated tried to commit suicide. Her family and the entire small town told him he’d better do right by her. He went to the hospital to wish her well. She wanted to come home with him so he took her home. Then he took her on the trip that was supposed to be my trip. I got dumped. He still calls; he tells me he took the wrong woman on the trip.”
And what’s mind boggling about this story? She fell in love with an image, a man she had never met (Assuming he was a man, he could have been anybody). And the scary thing was Susan would have gone on a three-week trip with a stranger; she hadn’t met in person. “Book smart and street dumb is what my dad would have said,” says Susan.
The senior internet dating lesson here: Don’t fall in love with an image (someone you haven’t met in person).
Why did Susan look so hard for a reason to believe? “I did not know how starved I was for romance,” she admits. Loneliness can easily cloud judgment.
He still calls her once a week. “He tells me he is trying to get to see me, but I’m not holding my breath,” she added, sounding like she’s still trying to find a reason to believe.
Another woman shared her story of falling in love with an image. She said, “I have been emailing a man who fit the perfect image of what I am looking for. I have talked to him for four years; he is in Tennessee, I am in Texas. He tells me he loves me, and has a special place in his heart for me. Sometimes he calls, but I call him more often. He said what I wanted to hear: that he is a Christian and is searching for a Christian woman.
“I bring up us meeting in person, but it never happens. When I divorced after 30 years, I wanted a Christian marriage. I thought it might be with him. Are there decent Christian men out there?”

             Who is the fake in this photo? Which one really called her?

Tom responded:
 “Four years is about three years and 10 months too long for not meeting in person, unless you are happy with just loving an image. He isn’t going to change. Yes, there are decent Christian men out there, you can Google Christian websites. But, just because they say they are Christian, doesn’t make them saints or even Christians. They could be wolves in Christian clothes. 
What is the best strategy to avoid falling in love with an image? Keep your emails short, your phone calls short, your texts short, and meet in person as soon as possible. And when you do that, take all the precautions you would normally take when meeting any stranger—meet in a public place, tell your friends and or family with whom you are meeting, and where. Be safe, even though you feel you can trust your long-distance love. He could be just another bad guy with ulterior motives.
Meeting sooner than later can dispel the falling in love with an image fantasy before it has a chance to grow.
Link to Reason to Believe by Rod Stewart (skip the ad when prompted)

No comments:

Post a Comment