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In internet dating, it is important to meet face to face soon. And never fall in love with a stranger.

By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50

I often hear from women who've met some guy online and who've created an unrealistic image of him before meeting him in person. Some tell me they've even fallen in love with that person (image). When I tell them to cool their jets and get real, they think I'm being negative. Granted, some of these based-on-an-image relationships work out. The people meet and it's love at first sight.

But most don't. Today's newsletter is an example of one that didn't. You may recall the newsletter from May 15, which was titled, "Email etiquette: Behind the doctor's mask."
It was about Doctor RJ, a widower, 66, who was living in New Zealand. He had tried the free trial to the newsletter and had emailed what I considered to be an abrupt comment to a follow-up subscription solicitation: "Thank you for the 4-week trial. I didn't find love nor any advice as to what to do about it. So, thanks, but no thanks."


Instead of telling him to take a hike, I tried to salvage communication with him and sent him a conciliatory email. He responded and admitted to being lonely and "a bit desperate" since his wife of 30 years had died.


His email made him sound almost angelic, he was setting up medical clinics in New Zealand.  He said single women equated a physician with money and he was hounded by them.

He wrote, "I'm not street wise--rather innocent, or even worse--naive. Meeting the right lady is where the tyre strikes the tar! Where, good man, where? I'm not the pub-crawling type. I'm an alien in this wonderful country."

He added, "I'm living in New Zealand, although I'm as African as a lion."

The day after the newsletter was published, I received an email from Janet who lives in Africa. She wrote, "Your newsletter was forwarded to me by a friend who thinks the doctor and I would be a perfect match. He sounds like just the guy for me. I'm a widow and was married to a doctor. Can you put me in touch with him?"

I notified the doctor and he contacted her. "She seems to be a very nice person," he wrote.

On June 23, Janet emailed, "Happy to let you know that the doctor and I have corresponded and he is arriving in South Africa from New Zealand next week for us to meet."

I thought, wow, the power of this newsletter, bringing people together from those two countries.


"How great," I responded, and sounding more like a father than a columnist, added, "Remember, Janet, he is a stranger, even if he is an African lion, don't get your hopes up too high, and be careful."

Last Sunday, Janet emailed, "Dr RJ visited for one month; we realized we have way too far personality differences. He left. To be honest...he is not a nice person. He changes personality various times in one day. Too reckless in what he is saying/inconsiderate."

So, there was no merger between New Zealand and Africa. 
Let today's message be a reminder note of caution about falling in love with an image: don't be naïve. And when meeting a stranger, be very, very careful.

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