Dating Online: The Coward

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful...

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This particular problem is not relegated to any gender, sexual orientation or age group.  Cowards  in the dating world are sadly universal.  I would bet that even prehistoric men and women scratched their heads over this dating archetype.   What is a coward?

A person who asks someone out on a date, only to then:

  • Cancel last-minute
  • Stand-up a date
  • Constantly reschedule
  • Make themselves consistently unavailable
  • Claim they never made the date in the first place – Act as if it was somehow a misunderstanding

I want to emphasize the distinction here, a coward is the person who sets up the date in the first place, and then blows it off. That is a huge difference, because plenty of people might bail on a date for any number of reasons.  Life is complicated, misunderstandings are common and people really might need to cancel.  They may also not be that interested and bailing on a date is a passive aggressive way of saying as much.  However if a man or woman asks someone out on a date, the need to do everything in their power to follow through.  A coward sends the mixed signal of

I want to go out with you, only I DON’T actually want to go out with you.

I hear these stories all the time from both men and women.  It has happened to me more times than I can count, and I will admit that one gentlemen strung me along like this for months.  I didn’t quite have my post-divorce self-confidence back yet so for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I put up with it.

Over half the men that ask me out on online dating sites do this.  The scenario goes something like this:

  1. They send the first email asking me to go out.
  2. I respond saying I would love to go out with them.
  3. Then they either cancel at the last second, blow me off completely, or never get around to actually planning anything.

I used to give these types the benefit of the doubt, but now I don’t.  If they can’t get it together for one date, they probably aren’t going to get it together for much more.   I used to think it was due to my blog, so I stopped using my name in any correspondence online.  Multiple friends of both genders have said this exact scenario plays out with them repeatedly.  Why do people do this?  I am not sure why but it might be

  • Fear of Failure – They are worried they will be ultimately rejected so they avoid the date, thereby avoiding rejection.
  • Fear of Success – If your date does actually go well, then they might have to deal with some type of dating situation this freaks them out, so they self-sabotage.
  • Intimacy Issues – They would rather have some type of fantasy of you than actually deal with another human being.
  • Seeing someone else – It is all a game to them, you are merely a pawn for their ego.
  • Ego Boost – They asked a person out just to see if they would say yes, never intending to go out with them.
  • Living in a Virtual Reality – A person becomes so accustomed to relationships online social networking etc, that a real one is just too much for them to handle.

Faking out dates is almost rampant behavior nowadays.   It seems completely irrational as asking a person out on a date is a bold move, and makes a person quite vulnerable.  It is such a problem with online dating, I could almost bet half the guys who end up in my inbox will never follow through with an actual date.

Actions really do speak louder than words.  If a person is not making you a priority in their life, then they are letting you know that you are not really that important to them.  Asking you out, only to then flake is rude, inconsiderate and downright baffling behavior.  If someone really wants to see you, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  Don’t waste your time on a coward.


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Dating Online – Mr. Online ONLY

English: Cybersex

English: Cybersex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The longer I have been single, the more I have come to realize that logic has about as much to do with dating as subtly has to do with holiday window displays.   Human beings just don’t act rationally.  Online dating has made this abundantly clear.

Mr. Online Only

  • Age – Any Age
  • Never married, divorced, anything goes
  • You NEVER actually meet them, so their whole profile could be a farce.

Mr. Online ONLY is exactly as his name describes.  For whatever reason, these gentlemen prefer to chat online, and will NEVER meet up with you.  They will instead:

  • Make a million excuses
  • Cancel right before the date
  • Stand you up
  • Arrive at the meeting place but not approach you, only later tell you that they showed up and got scared
  • Invent accidents, emergency situations etc. to excuse their behavior.

What causes this type of behavior?  I don’t really know but I have some ideas….

  • Suppressed homosexuality
  • Fear of rejection
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Unresolved issues with another relationship
  • Emotionally cheating on their spouse or girlfriend
  • An ego trip of keeping correspondence with several women at a time
  • Agoraphobia
  • Deep rooted insecurities
  • False representation – Their entire online identity is a ruse.

They will NEVER actually meet up, or physically see you.  What they would rather have is a fantasy they can play out in their mind as they type away. The first sign that you are dealing with an Online Only type: They avoid making time to see you, yet they want to maintain constant correspondence with you online. They push for emotional intimacy without any physical contact.  You might find it sweet or endearing, but in most cases the physical contact is never going to happen.  The online relationship is all they can handle.  If you insist on meeting up and some of these men will become defensive and even hostile.  Others will continually dodge the question, constantly making excuses.

You will never know

  • Is their profile information accurate?
  • Is the photo even of them?
  • Are they in a committed relationship or married and is this just one big game for them?

A recent article in New York magazine  discusses how some men have grown so used to virtual “relationships” with women in porn, that they become sexually dysfunctional when with the real thing.  A sad situation indeed.  Many Mr. Online’s will want to have cyber sex with you either over the phone, or through email or instant messaging.  Because they will never see you, this is the most you are going to get from a man like this.  Not exactly satisfying and you have no way of knowing what is actually happening on his end of the computer.  Is he showing your emails or messages to his friends for a laugh?  Is he publishing them somewhere on a blog?  Is he with another woman while talking to you online?  Since you don’t know, it is probably a bad idea to get into a situation like this.

I once had correspondence with a man I could tell was emailing several women at the same time.  I figured it out when he couldn’t seem to keep track of details or things I had written.  Finally I could tell he wasn’t actually reading the emails I sent him, at least not in full.  The whole endeavor was rather pathetic since my emails were so brief.  Even a full-page email is a few minutes worth of reading.  In his case I suspect, he maintained correspondence with multiple women to feed his inflated and fragile ego.  Once I figured this out, he became a bit of a joke to me.  Luckily that relationship never went any further than mildly flirtatious chats online.

What to do if you encounter someone like this online?  See the signs quickly and don’t take the bait.  There is a reason they refuse to ever meet you.  Their entire identity might be a complete fabrication. Cut them some slack but if the problem persists for an excessive amount of time, cut them loose.

Women also pull this trick, and it is often an actual scam.  The women will contact men, lead them on through promises of love and devotion, maybe even engage in some cyber sex only to eventually beg for money to come for a visit.  The man sends her the cash, and then waits like a fool at the airport for his dream girl who never arrives.  Some of these scams are so elaborate that the photo is of a model or even a stock photo, and the person on the other end of the emails is a man located in another country.   They call this one the lonely hearts scam.

Why would anyone put up with this for months in some cases years?  Virtual relationships aren’t entirely real.  A person we are chatting to online can’t hurt us in the same way a physical lover might.  At least that’s what we tell ourselves.  One viewing of the television show or film Catfish will show much heartache and pain when lovers discover their online romances were complete fabrications. Somehow we want to believe so strongly that a stranger on the other end of a computer is deeply in love with us and our perfect match.  The online version is a mirage, a fairy tale we tell ourselves.

I get about an email a day or several a week from men out-of-state, some from different countries.  I have gotten emails from Pakistan, Morocco, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland and on and on.  Why?  What woman would think starting correspondence with a man in another country would be a good idea?  After my divorce I trust little of what comes out of a strange man’s mouth, and sadly I check as much as I possibly can online.   How lonely does a person have to get to think that some man in a far off country, they have never met,  is the only man for them?  Rub the fairy dust out of your eyes and see reality.  There are available men and women everywhere.  Anyone trying to talk to you from a foreign country is probably up to no good.   Green card, scams, kidnapping…..whatever.  RUN!  If a man doesn’t want to see your lovely face, then he is not that man for you.  A virtual relationship is no substitute for a real one, don’t settle for a man online when you can have a man in real-time.  You’re much better off with the flawed and imperfect real man than a perfectly fictitious virtual one.

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