My parents used to say that I was academically smart. Many people might be proud of that, but I used to hate it. The reason was that it meant that I was intelligent at school but dumb outside of it.
Well, if I was honest, my parents were not far from the truth. I did not have street smarts because I was sheltered my entire life. As a family tradition, they sent me to a boarding school early, which meant that I did not have the same upbringing as other kids and met all kinds of people while growing up. If I wanted new clothes, I had to send photos of them to my mother, and then her assistant would buy them for me. If I wanted to go to the beach, I could bring as many friends as I wanted to our private resort. It was all fun and posh, but none of those privileges allowed me to develop some street smarts.
The Age For Dating Came
Since my parents were traditional, they told me repeatedly that I could only have a boyfriend after college. I agreed to do that mostly because I felt that the harder I studied, the faster I could gain my freedom. While my friends were busy partying or entertaining boyfriends left and right, my nose was buried in a ton of books all the time.
When I graduated, I thought, “Sweet victory!” The first thing I did was move out of the house and into my new apartment. Granted, it was their graduation gift, but it was still mine, and they could not barge in my place whenever they wanted. And since I no longer had people watching my every move, I got to do everything I wanted, such as hosting parties and being loud and silly.
Regarding dating, the right time undoubtedly came for that. However, I became too busy at my new job that I could not make time for all the blind dates my friends tried to arrange for me. After another year of being loveless, I decided to look for love online. I figured that it was better than not eating at all. Besides, I was only interested in men who wanted to meet and were into a serious relationship, so I thought I was safe.
Love Came Alright
When I signed up for the dating app, I filled every text field religiously. I wanted every guy who came across my profile to see the real me and what I wanted to get out of a relationship. I even had my friends pick the images that I should post on my page to ensure they represented me best.
I only waited for a few days before receiving a sensible message from a certain man named Drew. It read:
Hi, I’m Drew! I read your profile and found you genuinely interesting. Can we talk?
Of course, I checked out Drew’s profile at once, even if I was at work. I learned that he was a surgeon in the next city and had been single for a couple of years. He had the body of a model, which meant that he was hot, hot, hot. I did not answer his message right away because I did not want to get too distracted, but when I finally replied yes, my phone rang within two minutes once I stepped into the apartment.
Our initial conversation got an encore the next day, which lasted for two full hours. It would have gone on longer if my battery didn’t die on me. Then, Drew’s calls became a part of my night routine for many weeks, and every time, he would hint about how much he liked me and wanted to meet me soon.
My helpless heart skipped a beat whenever I heard those sweet words, for sure. Hence, even though I hadn’t seen the guy in person yet, I agreed to be his girlfriend. I fell in love with Drew quickly to the extent that I even welcomed marriage talks when he opened the topic.
But His Love Wasn’t Real
As a woman blindly in love, I thought of surprising my boyfriend. Drew and I had been online dating for almost six months, and we still hadn’t met due to his busy schedule in the hospital. That day, though, I knew that he was free, so I decided to go straight to the home address that he had given me. I actually brought my best friend to film the entire thing because I wanted to document such special moments.
When the GPS signaled that I reached my destination, I looked a few times at the address to ensure that I did not misspell any word or number. Why might you ask? That’s because I just saw three young kids swimming in a plastic pool in the front lawn of the house that’s supposed to be Drew’s. He told me that he was an only child, so they could not be his nieces. My heart began to pound, but I shook away the other idea that crossed my mind because I did not want it to be true.
Gathering all my courage, my friend and I hopped out of the car. One of the kids left the pool and stopped a few meters from us to ask who we were. I introduced myself and asked about Drew. My heart stopped beating for what felt like forever when the child replied, “Yes, Dad’s just got inside to help Mom. How did you know him?”
I did not get to answer the kid; I just ran straight to the car with my best friend in tow. She took the keys from me and drove us away from that place because I was shaking out of shame and anger. Though Drew and I never got intimate, I still had a relationship with a married man. I got fooled — big time.
I hated myself for weeks for not seeing through Drew. When he called me that day, I just answered it to curse him before blocking his number, but that did not lessen my hurt feelings.
My friends decided to do an intervention on me and told me that I was not at fault. There were just some predatory men online who loved to prey on pure women like me, and I happened to come across one of them. Still, it did not mean that I should beat myself up because of it.
They gave me a lot to think about, and I believed they were correct.
The moral of the story is that no matter where or how you meet a potential life partner, you should look for proof of everything they say before you agree to date them exclusively. Look at what happened to me. Because I trusted easily, I fell prey to a hyena. I even went to counseling at some point to continue my healing process.
If you don’t want to need counseling because of online dating, learn from my story.