Dear Dr. Archer,
I have been dating a guy online for about six months. He's like a dream come true. We talked about meeting each other in the near future, and he told me he wanted to be with me forever.
He did not pay much attention to another girl who asked him out. He cares about me and he tries to help me out in every way he can. He asks about my family, their health and other things. He thinks I'm beautiful.
Everything was going great, but then something happened. He suddenly stopped talking to me. Please, tell me what this is all about. I love him so much. Please help me.
You sound like a very nice, sweet girl. You want to know what this is all about, but the fact is, there is no way I could possibly know who you were talking to for the past six months…..and neither could you. After all you have never met.
The Internet allows people of all ages to get online and to either be themselves or create different identities. Some men pose as women, men, boys. Some 60 year old men pose as teenagers or guys in their 20's or 30's. It could have been a married man. Women pose as guys -- I just don't know, Katherine. He could have been legitimate and found someone else -- it could be anything.
Some meet others online just to start a relationship for kicks. Some do it to steal money. What I do know is that I stress DO NOT fall for someone online, because you simply don't know who you're dealing with. If you meet someone online, keep it simple until you can meet them in person. When you do meet, it should be in a public place during normal hours, NO EXCEPTIONS.
No matter how great the messages, wonderful the emails and enticing the phone calls, you just don’t know a person until you meet. True, they may turn out to be everything you thought they were, but then again they may not.
If they're who they say they are, then a relationship can continue after a meeting, but I still urge caution. Not until you meet their family, friends and co-workers, etc…. do you really know.
I do not know what's going on, Katherine, but I want you to take this experience and learn from it. The Internet is a great tool for many things, but it comes with dangers, too. Do not dwell on this guy; have fun with your friends and learn a new hobby or two. I'm sure there are many great guys right there in your school or your city.
If this guy pops up on your computer again, be very, very careful. Make sure you meet and check him out in every way. Please take care, and remember. Do not pine away for this guy! You're too good for that and you don’t even know who you’re pining away for. Good luck,