FINDING OUT AN ONLINE BUDDY ISN'T WHAT WAS "ADVERTISED": Your Experiences and Outcome

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 12, 2009 1:31 PM GMT
    So you have befriended someone online, whether it be from RJ or elsewhere.
    As time passes you begin to realize that the person you've been talking to isn't quite the individual you had thought in the first place....

    Now a couple of things.. With this opening, many of you might be thinking about someone who has just lied about who they are (and thats a part of the question). Maybe an outright fraud, but this question goes beyond the obvious. What if the person you've come to like and appreciate really has
    gently "played you along" for some reason. What if its less than that, what if you just realize this person really isn't the kind of person you thought you might have liked and admired (due to no fault of that person)?

    Certainly online you only get part of the picture. If you take it further and talk on the phone or meet in person, the online friendship can become permanent. I'm just curious how you all have delt with (or if you have even had any issues). I do think you have to remember the "mode" in which you are meeting someone (and give the crediblity it deserves).

    I'm a pretty trusting person, but due to a situation that occurred several years ago with someone I met online, I've come to be a little more
    realistic. I tend to scrutinize a little more carefully these days.

    You?
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    Feb 12, 2009 3:47 PM GMT
    I had an unfortunate experience a couple months ago on here. Looking back, there were a million red flags and I just ignored them because whatever it was that this person was offering, I wanted it enough to overlook them. My father died, I was ending a 10 year relationship, I was moving, blah blah and I needed an escape of sorts. I guess I must have gotten what I needed. It was the perfect storm.

    Everyone has their own reasons for being on here but I can genuinely say that I just wouldn't take the time to fuck around with someone just for my own kicks. I expected the same courtesy but that just isn't how it works many times. So, lesson learned. As much as I want to think it was all someone else's fault, I am not so childish that I don't realize I was playing along too.

    It makes me cautious and I think twice before answering an email that comes out of the blue, especially from an unverified. I felt pretty stupid and I don't care to go through that again. I have come to realize that a lot of people are on here masquerading as someone and something else to get attention, to have a laugh, cheat on their significant others online or explore their own sexual identity. It is obvious what certain people are here for. I had a bf and still came here , posted pics of me in my underwear and hoped that someone would tell me that I was cute and thoughtful because I didn't get enough of it from my partner. I would have never admitted it at the time, but my life had become so mundane that I came here to feel better about myself and find a stimulation I didn't have at home. It was sad really. Now that I have moved out, I just don't need that validation so much that I am willing to put on my blinders and play the fool.

    Most (not all) RJ relationships I had formed before have dissolved because I have just stopped putting energy into it.

    It is understandable how easily you can become a pawn or exploit all of what the internet has to offer.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 12, 2009 4:55 PM GMT
    I had one online experience that turned out better than expected and it scared the daylights out of me.

    Back in 2003, I knew I was going to be in the Seattle area for most of the summer, so I started chatting online with people from that area. I chatted with this one guy a few times and we hit it off very well. We intended to meet up once I got there, but we never actually shared information and set anything up.

    I left for Washington state, not having internet available to cruise gay sites looking for people to hang out with. So I just left for Seattle from where I was located in Washington (about 45 mins south) on the first Friday after my arrival to the area.

    I went to the CUFF, a gay leather bar. It was fairly early as the crowd was easy to walk around. I kept getting glances from a group of guys and they eventually struck a conversation with me. There was one guy in the group that particularly peaked my interest. So he and I started talking and we warmed up to each other to the point where we went back to his place and hooked up.

    After sex, we were just talking to get to know each other more and an odd thought occurred to me. I asked him if he chatted or met people online from the local area. He said yes. I then asked him which sites he visits and he mentioned one that I was visting before I left for Washington state. I then asked him what his screen name was and it was the same exact guy that I lost contact with!!!!!!


    So we met up regularly while I was in the area and it began to don on me, as well as some of his friends were telling me, that he was falling head over heals for me. His friends noticed him changing some of his habits to accomodate me and my preferences. I had never dated before, but I have acted like a jerk with him because I didn't know how to take the prospects of being in a relationship.

    We have since reconciled and remain long distance friends, but we don't talk much. Perhaps I should change that.

    I hope that any negative experiences that many likely have with online disappointments don't damper your optimism that good people exist in reality. Disappointments are a bitch, to say the least.

    I think once, I was chatting with someone online who posed as someone else and we were supposed to meet at his place. So I go over and the person that answered didn't know what I was talking about. It's funny now, in retrospect, but at the time I was thinking of a possible murder scene with me in the chalk line!!!!
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    Feb 12, 2009 5:02 PM GMT
    i would never make a "friend" online. Chat in a friendly manner..sure. .
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    Feb 12, 2009 5:07 PM GMT
    funny pictures of dogs with captions
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    Feb 12, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    My rule of thumb is that, no matter how well you "know" someone on the internet, when you meet up for real you start from zero. If the person is who they appear on the net then you shoot up to good friends much faster than normal, as you have a history with them. If they are acting or pretending, it still might work, but the chances are very, very much less that it will.

    I also tend to think that, unless distance stops you, if you don´t meet up within a week or at most two, then something is wrong and you should downgrade them to the "interesting, but so is Daniel Craig" catagory
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    Feb 12, 2009 5:53 PM GMT
    It is hard enough to really know a person when you are in a relationship with them, let alone on the internet. Even with friends I have made on RJ or other websites, I know there is a lot I don't know about the person that would take years and direct contact to know. I certainly cannot imagine falling for a guy on the internet if I was single. I am in the "wait and see" category (or emotionally stunted to those that don't like me).
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    Feb 12, 2009 6:05 PM GMT
    I've been at this online thing since the days of the chat rooms on AOL. You think I would have learned my lesson by now but maybe I have - I don't take anyone too seriously (myself included). I used to take it so personally if someone didn't like me or if they didn't call back after we met in person. And so when I would meet the guys I would chat with, I would find that I didn't feel bad when I didn't want to talk to them again because they lied about everything. Not just the physical stuff (that's a whole different story). But the things that, if you're really looking for someone serious, shouldn't matter IF you are telling the truth. If the other guy can't handle the truth, then you're not meant to be.

    I met someone online last year who seemed promising, lived in the same city (RARE), I found myself attracted to, and I couldn't wait to meet him. Not having met anyone in years, I was so excited for this to take off. His pictures, his emails, instant messages and everything matched up - there were no hidden stories or lies or anything that I caught onto right away. Then we met in person, and this guy, again, was everything I was expecting as we sat in the cafe at Barnes and Noble. But within ten minutes he told me things about his family, his life, etc that most people do not disclose until at least three months later. At 27 he never has held a job or even applied for one. Red flag. He is on SSI for attention deficit disorder (which I later learned he faked so he didn't have to get a job). Red flag. He never went to high school or even wanted to get his GED, or learn job skills, or do anything - ever. HUGE stuff there that came out of left field. I mean, during our discussions I was so caught up in the things we had in common and his interests I felt it was rude to ask what he did for a living (right away). And that's where I'm sort of lost - and maybe you guys can understand what I'm saying...

    - if you are totally honest about what you are looking for, what you expect, and what you won't tolerate, won't a lot of guys just go along with that to get their foot in the door?

    - if you don't disclose enough in your profile then you wind up with the exact opposite of what you are looking for, creating a lot of wasted time, disappointment, and getting both parties hopes up for nothing.

    - if your profile is too vague or charming, most guys will just keep reading because they won't take you seriously.

    Somehow you have to stand out. When you're on gay sites (and let's get real, a lot of us are looking for something more then just someone to chat with or have coffee with). I've gotten good at catching on the bullshit, but it's really hard to deal with the guys who seem to be for real until the first few dates when you discover he's not really that masculine, he's not really that confident, and he's frankly just like every other guy you've met. Those aren't bad qualities, in fact I think we all have them to some degree, but that doesn't mean we have to be attracted to them also.
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    Feb 12, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    My BS-ometer is quite good on msn. I can normally work someone out unless they are a truly excellent liar. It´s not rational, it´s intuition. The result is that many of the people I have met on the net are really quite pleasant.

    (disclaimer... I make mistakes icon_eek.gif )
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    Feb 12, 2009 7:03 PM GMT
    I'm sure it's happened to all of us. I really never meet guys unless I can talk to them by phone or vid chat first so I can get a real dialogue going instead of the IM chatting or exchanging emails. Photos never tell the entire story of what someone looks like. Even if someone looks great in their pictures, they will look different in person. I've had guys who thought I look exactly like my pictures and others who have told me that I looked different. I've had the same happen when I meet a guy. It's all perception. I think the best thing to do is to meet someone in person after you talk to them by phone. At least then you'll have an idea if you CLICK on some level.

    I have some pretty funny stories of meeting guys though. One time I chatted with a guy from AOL (at least 10 yrs ago), and we spoke on the phone and had some things in common. He sounded great but said he couldn't send me a pic because of his job status, but that I wouldn't be disappointed (the usual, right?). I was hesitant to meet him then..he lived about 100 miles from me in another town anyways. Well I was visiting a friend who lived in his town a few months after our chats, and I asked my friend if he knew of the guy because he was on aol too. He said, yeah, he did and that one of his friends had met him..and that he was really good looking. So I called the guy up and told him I was in town and asked if he'd like to get together. He asked me to come over to his house so I did.

    I knock on his door and out comes this hunky, bare chested hot guy. He apologizes for not sending me a pic and having to meet at his house, but he said that whenever he has met "blind dates" through AOL or whatever, he'll go to the meeting place, but no one shows up to meet him. He ends up going back home where he'll have an email message or phone message saying that the person was indeed there, saw him, but they were too intimidated to actually go through with introducing themselves to him. Can you believe that? I mean, yeah, the guy was great looking, but if I set a time to meet him, I'd certainly go through with it, wouldn't you? Anyways, we had a good talk about dating and everything.

    On the rare occasion where the guy would meet him, they had lied about their appearance. He said, I would have been fine with some as friends but not if they had lied about their appearance as that was a deal breaker for him. Needless to say, it is kind of funny how things work out.
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    Feb 12, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    I think I've been guilty of being the disappointment. It wasn't because I came from a bad place...all I wanted was to be given a chance. However, I tended to stretch the truth a little when I first came out of the closet. It was a total insecurity thing, and I think it's hard to find someone online who is completely comfortable with themselves. I think realjock's a very constructive online gay outlet for the most part, but if I go to any other chatrooms, or forums it's always the same people searching for something. What I do not know what. But with the amount of time they spend there, I take it that it's completely unrealistic. There are exceptions, but if you blink you miss them.

    I just take the whole online thing with a grain of salt. I haven't had any horrible experiences off the internet, but I'm selective about who I meet. Most of the time there's not really a connection because you can't really throw two people who have nothing in common together and expect them to fall in love with each other, or even be friends. That's why I do not take offense when people don't call me, and I do not intend offense if I don't follow up much on our meeting. Though I will say "hi" and stuff like that.

    I think trusting your instincts is important. If something sounds too good be true it is...if something doesn't seem right it isn't. Your instincts are pre-programmed survival mechanisms dating back from the times that we were all running around with hair on our knuckles yelling "unga bunga." If they're telling you something it's best to listen no matter how good something looks.
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    Feb 12, 2009 8:44 PM GMT
    TRUST NO ONE!!!!!
    Except me of course.LOL.
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    Feb 13, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    Are gay guys only online to hook-up? Or to meet only attractive people? I'm on other non-gay forums. I chat with people regularly both in the forums and through IM. Self pics, verification, web cam.. none of that exists on those sites. I've been to a few "meet and greet" activities, not knowing what my online buddies look like, and wooptie dooo.. They're exactly what they say they are. Only thing different is, now I can associate a face with the screen name.

    I've only met one psycho at a meet and greet. But he was psycho online too. So no surprise there. icon_lol.gif

    This is all very interesting. And a little unsettling. icon_confused.gif
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:46 AM GMT
    I'm like thousands of miles away from everybody here. I'm harmless, I swear!!!

    Now gimme your credit card number. icon_twisted.gif

    ...and your soul. mwahaha.gif
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    Feb 13, 2009 6:34 AM GMT


    Naive and naiver here,

    Hey mnjock23, we're both feeling sorry that happened to you with your on-line connection. It doesn't seem to either of us that you were playing along.
    You had two types of grief to deal with and trusted someone to be honest and up front.

    Just Doug now, hoping you'll consider us unverified old guys as friends. icon_wink.gif


    This topic is really educational for us. Thanks for all the stories and advice you guys..


    -us guys
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Thanks guys..
    But I was equally culpable in the situation. Although I was living with a boyfriend, I still chose to open up more to a stranger online than to someone I had lived with for the past 10 years. What started out innocently enough eventually became something intense.


    Anyways, I am seriously over it. I don't think he set out to cause drama, it just happened. I use this as a cautionary tale instead of some ploy to get sympathy. I know a lot of guys in relationships flirt their ass off in here and it should be warned that isn't always without consequence.I can appreciate the banter and intellectual exchanges on RJ but I am pretty certain I will not allow a complete stranger access to my private life again. There are plenty of cute and smart guys in real life to be busied with rather than worry about online relationships anyways.

    Even someone with the best intentions can get carried away when they are allowed to play make believe.
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:36 PM GMT
    Sedative saidI'm like thousands of miles away from everybody here. I'm harmless, I swear!!!

    Now gimme your credit card number. icon_twisted.gif

    ...and your soul. mwahaha.gif
    ...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmuuuuuuussst oooooooooooooooobeyyyyyy.............
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    Feb 13, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    mnjock2003 said There are plenty of cute and smart guys in real life to be busied with rather than worry about online relationships anyways.


    Wish people could see that in me... (regardless of the faceless picture, I'm talking about in the real world.)
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Feb 13, 2009 5:46 PM GMT
    mnjock2003 said
    Everyone has their own reasons for being on here but I can genuinely say that I just wouldn't take the time to fuck around with someone just for my own kicks. I expected the same courtesy but that just isn't how it works many times. So, lesson learned.



    I learned my own lesson recently on here the hard way, so I can relate all too well. I like to think of myself as a very trusting person of others, and I don't want to change that trusting nature. That being said, I do get disappointed when someone turns out to be completely different than they originally presented themselves to be. I will definitely be more careful next time, and keep both eyes wide open to the signs.
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    Feb 13, 2009 6:03 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]CuriousJockAZ said[/cite]
    mnjock2003 said
    Everyone has there own reasons for being on here but I can genuinely say that I just wouldn't take the time to fuck around with someone just for my own kicks. I expected the same courtesy but that just isn't how it works many times. So, lesson learned.




    You just had to quote me with that blaring spelling error. damn you.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Feb 13, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    mnjock2003 said[quote][cite]CuriousJockAZ said[/cite]
    mnjock2003 said
    Everyone has their own reasons for being on here but I can genuinely say that I just wouldn't take the time to fuck around with someone just for my own kicks. I expected the same courtesy but that just isn't how it works many times. So, lesson learned.




    You just had to quote me with that blaring spelling error. damn you.




    LOL! Okay, okay, I went in and fixed it for ya! icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 13, 2009 6:47 PM GMT
    Sure, it's easier to be deceptive on line but that doesn't necessarily mean that in-person meetings are immune to deception either. You can't expect to know somebody completely no matter how long you know them, much less when you only chat here and there and maybe meet for coffee every now and then.

    If you are out looking for perfect people or clones of yourself you are necessarily going to be disappointed. I have met some really great folks here, a few that were not so great, and one that was downright scary. But in all cases who I perceived them to be changed as I got to know them better - I think this is normal and not just intrinsic to meeting online.
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    Feb 13, 2009 7:28 PM GMT
    A lot of folks view The Internet as a place where anything goes: deception, slander, hate, and so on. They lack a sense of civility and decorum and have never been taught / don't understand / are simply to ignorant / or are mental cases... how to behave in a civil manner, nor engage in intelligent discourse. Of course, The Internet is only the medium, but, it speaks to issues of bad parenting, mental illness, and trends in popular culture. They feel the medium provides them some level of impunity.

    While it's not possible to control it as well as one wishes, one can expose frauds (we had a kid in Denver who is a huge fraud that we exposed), report the hate (Logan had one stalker / hater guy thrown off here this morning twice, and it was well deserved), and try to lead by examples, trying to understand that some folks are pretty immature and behave badly both in real life and online, as well.

    I've met folks who had completely bogus pictures online (I haven't slept with them).

    I NEVER act as an enabler to the pictureless, the dual lives, the "on the down low", etc. because it wrecks public acceptance and promotes low quality individuals (those folks who lack any level of virtue or integrity).
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    Feb 13, 2009 7:47 PM GMT
    My photographs are never kind to me, so I'd be hypocritical if I got upset when other guys differ a little in person from their own online pics. Major deliberate deception regarding image and personal bio do bother me, however, and I avoid those guys for good.

    As for myself, I try to keep my online pics fairly current (though private), except right now there's a 1-year lag as I struggle to lose these recent extra pounds. icon_razz.gif With past online groups I made an effort to meet fellow members in person, partly so they'd confirm to others in the group that I am exactly the guy I say I am. I recognize the opportunities for deceit presented by online friendships, so I will go out of my way to validate myself.

    I haven't yet done that with RJ (but I am verified), although I do know a guy here in person, through another group we both already belonged to (glee.com, where I'm Gay_Vespa). His own RJ pics, BTW, are completely honest, too.

    So bottom line, I hate false advertising, don't do it, don't tolerate it. A guy who'd lie about one thing is a likely candidate to lie about other things, too.