Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

Chat Room Dating – Three Strikes!

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on October 22, 2006

I lay in bed and imagined spending the rest of my life alone.  I mean, it’s not as though I didn’t like spending some time alone it’s just that I didn’t want it to be always and forever.  I have a wonderful daughter, Liz, to share things with but how many sixteen-year-olds want to spend every Friday and Saturday night with their Mom.  I jumped out of bed, started up the computer and began to search for my future.

 

To start with, and mostly I admit out of complete ignorance, I tried chat rooms.  I started with AOL chat rooms for divorced and single people over 40, it seemed as good a place as any, after all what did I know.  What I discovered was that the Internet lets all sorts of weird, and rarely wonderful, people into your life and not only that but your email box becomes besieged with spam after any time in these chat rooms.  Why did everyone suddenly feel I needed Viagra, I’m a woman for starters. Were they just presuming I was going to meet some really old guy and I’d have a supply ready, just in case?  I mean what’s with that?  Then there was the steady supply of “marital aids.”  Well, there’s a euphemism, what about “divorced aids,” that might be more appropriate.  Is someone out there trying to tell me something?  The only message that was coming through loud and clear was, “Get a New Email Address!”

 

After trolling through a number of screen names and talking back and forth with a couple of particular guys I started to chat on the phone with one of them.  I felt I could tell from his voice, intonation and attitude what he was like and I agreed to meet, he asked me over to his house for a coffee.  Looking back on it now I realize this was the most stupid thing I could have done, to go to his home rather than meet in a public place, but in my ignorance, I knew no better.  I told my daughter where I was going and what I knew about him and before I had even been handed a drink she was calling my cell phone to check up on me.  It was reassuring to know she was both within reach on the phone and she was looking out for me.  Wasn’t this the opposite way around, aren’t I supposed to be the mother checking on my sixteen-year-old’s whereabouts? 

The evening went well, he was a nice enough guy but the distance that separated us physically and the fact that he had three young children was off putting.  As we talked, I began to feel he was looking for a mother, housekeeper and cook more than anything else. I didn’t want to go back to being a Mom of little ones and being at the beck and call of someone else’s children, I was looking for a new life now.

 

I went back to the chat rooms and tried again but it seemed that most of the guys out there were looking for a physical relationship above all else, nothing was taken at face value and sexual innuendos flowed freely.  Call me old fashioned but, to me, the physical side of things comes after the mental and emotional connection.  Finally, after much searching, I found another guy that seemed on my wavelength, we spoke on the phone, he sounded great, and we arranged to meet for dinner at a little French restaurant. 

Shortly into the dinner, over an expensive bottle of Pinot Noir, I began to realize he was a scumbag, plain and simple.  He suddenly seemed only interested in the sexual side of things and when I finally managed to get him off that topic he spent his time talking about why he drove a small car (it’s cheaper); why he get’s his clothes from Marshall’s (it’s cheaper); why he shops at Acme (it’s cheaper). 

Could he get any cheaper?  Yes, he could. 

The meal couldn’t have ended quickly enough but then there was another surprise, “Oh dear, I seem to have forgotten my wallet!”  My first thought was that this was something he should have thought about before ordering the wine but my second thought was that nobody, and I mean nobody, forgets their wallet.  I had been duped.  I went home and cried. 

Now, I was beginning to question my own ability to evaluate someone.  It’s true, you really do not know who you are talking to online.

 

For a while I gave up on looking.  I would rather be alone than feel desperate enough to be going out with these kinds of men.  But, gradually, I decided it might be worth one last look.  I searched around in the chat rooms, for the over forties, and found a guy that seemed genuine and interesting, as we chatted back and forth my daughter came into the room and I showed her the conversation.  Looking at the screen name she suddenly burst out, “I know that guy, he’s in my class at school!”  I was talking to a seventeen year old!  Is this the new thing, instead of old men trying to lure teenage girls now it’s young men trying to snag older women? What is this about? 

But, despite these downfalls, if you persist and are careful you can find good people online.  I gave up chat rooms, joined yahoo personals and the first guy I met up with became my present partner of six years.  It was worth it in the end.

 

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