My Online Boyfriend Wasn’t Real

Hi Readers, I’ve been on a 50-day sabbatical. Thanks be to God, I’ve got what I was looking for from it. So I’m back (hopefully with interesting posts)

To kick off, here’s an article on online romance. It’s not mine, but I found it a very interesting read. More such articles can be found here.

Michelle Satterlee, 21, thought she had found her soul mate online. But it all turned out to be a cruel hoax. Learn how she fell prey, and what she learned from the experience.

I was starting my freshman year at the University of California at Davis when I received a message on a social-networking site from a cute guy named Jason. He was my age, lived an hour away, and said he knew an old friend of mine who had suggested we get to know each other. I don’t typically read messages from strangers, but there was something about Jason that seemed genuine.

Still, I wanted to make sure he was legit. I hadn’t seen or spoken to our mutual friend, Kara (not her real name), in a few years, but nevertheless, I e-mailed her to ask what she thought of the guy. She promised me that he was great. So I wrote to Jason on and off that school year but it wasn’t anything serious.

That changed during the summer. I wasn’t as busy as I had been at school, so I spent hours chatting with Jason online. His parents were divorced like mine, we both played basketball in high school, and he was really into art, which is my major. I’d never talked to a guy who understood me like he did — not to mention, he looked great in his photos. I was falling for him fast.

By the time my sophomore year started, we were writing to each other on MySpace and Facebook and texting each other constantly, but I was dying to talk to him and hear his voice. Every time I suggested it, however, he was too busy. And when we’d arrange to meet, he wouldn’t show up. I was disappointed and angry, but he always apologized and had a good explanation. It sounds bizarre now, but I was too head over heels to think rationally .

When I told my friends about Jason, they were happy for me — until they found out we’d never spoken. They told me to cut off contact, and in my gut, I knew they were right. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was perfect for me. So I hid our relationship, skipping parties and slacking on schoolwork so I could spend time with him online. If I did go out with friends, he would ask me why I didn’t want to chat and grill me about other guys. I always reassured Jason that I was interested only in him. I was too emotionally dependent on him to risk losing the bond we had.

By December, even my parents were worried. They noticed my grades slipping, and since we have a family cell-phone plan, they saw the outrageous bills resulting from all the texting I was doing. They wanted to know more about Jason. Without my knowing, they did some digging and figured out who the cell number really belonged to.

It belonged to Kara.

When my parents broke the news, I felt overwhelmed with disgust … and embarrassment. I certainly thought about all the things I would say to Kara, but in the end, I decided not to confront her. I’d already had enough drama. So I texted “Jason” and told him I didn’t want to talk anymore. Well, Kara went crazy. She texted me 25 times in one hour, asking me to reconsider, and promised to come visit me. It got so bad that I had to change my phone number.

I’m a smart girl, so people ask me how I ever could have fallen for it. I know how strange it sounds, but since Kara knew me and my family history, she understood exactly what to say to manipulate me and play on my emotions. Everything was too intricate and perfect to have been a scam by a stranger and I never would have suspected a friend. I’ll never know for certain why she did it, but I do think it’s possible she was attracted to me. She also may have been lonely and needed someone to talk to, but that doesn’t make me any less angry. Looking back, I wish I had listened to my gut. At least I know I’ll never ignore it again.

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