Falling In Love With Someone You’ve Never Met

By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50

Because some older singles are lonely, they make quick--and foolish--decisions, hoping to improve their situations. The Internet often plays a part in this scenario by connecting people who live in different parts of the country who, of course, have never met face-to-face.

One Orange County woman met a Pennsylvania man online. Each had children. They exchanged hundreds of e-mails and had so much in common, they decided to marry and merge their families. They had never met in person.

They agreed to meet once face-to-face beforehand. She waited anxiously for him at the gate at LAX (this was before 9/11). Both thought the other didn’t show because when the gate area cleared, only two people remained. They hadn’t recognized each other; both had posted 20-year-old photos instead of current photos. Imagine that, both deceiving each other even though they had exchanged hundreds of emails.

He arrived at the airport unshaven, 30-pounds heavier than advertised, wearing a T-shirt (covered with soup or spaghetti he spilled on the plane), tennis shoes and blue polyester pants. His hair stood out like Bozo the clown’s hair. He had a beeper attached to his fly. The relationship was over before they reached baggage claim.

In another case, Ann, a California woman, met a guy over the telephone on a business call; he lived in Florida. After several phone calls back and forth, she allowed him to visit and arranged for him to sleep on a boat in the harbor, not at her home. After four days, he proposed and asked her to come to Florida to live.

She gave up her apartment and job, sold her furniture and car, and left in December, with a wedding planned for Valentine’s Day. She told me he was a very romantic man.

She returned in January, and had to start all over again. The move set her back at least two years.

Patricia, married, two children, lives on New York’s Long Island. She e-mailed: “I’ve met the most marvelous, fantastic, exciting, sexy, intelligent man in a chat room on AOL and we’re deeply in love.”

They hadn’t met in person, and, yet, she was ready to pack up her two kids and join him in Chicago. He was also married. She reasoned: “I never seen God either but love him above all.”

Tom’s comment: What? You’ve got to be kidding me. That is the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard in my 23 years of writing columns.

In another situation, Gale, North Carolina, wrote: “A recently divorced friend claims he’s met his ‘love’ over the Internet. After writing and calling for months, she arrived here last Wednesday. They’re going back to California, selling her condo, and returning to buy a house where he and his two girls can live. He’s known her all of four days. Is this crazy or is it me?” Crazy, Gale.

A San Francisco Bay Area man named Charles e-mailed: “After living in the same residence alone for 21 years, I fell for a charming, vivacious woman who lives in NW Georgia. We met over the Internet. I succumbed to my loneliness, married her in late 2000, and moved to Georgia.

“Things didn’t work out. I’m starting over, ruined financially, driving an old $300 car, and trying to put my life back together,” Charles said.

These people didn’t fall in love. They fell in love with the idea of love and made life-changing decisions that put themselves in a deeper hole than before. Do not relocate for love until you have known the person for a long time and have spent lots of time together.

Lesson learned: Don’t move to another city for someone without knowing them for at least five days! (Only joking on the number of days).

READER COMMENTS AND TOM’S RESPONSES

Jerry, Chicago: “You’re ‘mature love’ column was right on target for me. I’m 50 and fell “in love” with a fitness instructor who is 38. I hadn’t experienced the ‘feelings’ since I was young. Our relationship ended in a year. I’ve been forlorn for several months.” Response: You’d be wiser to seek a woman near your age who shares your interests.

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