Last week I became the poster child for The Risks of Online Dating.
A guy I “met” online went postal when I had (apparently wise) second thoughts and cancelled our first date. I just had a funny feeling about him, that he wasn’t who he claimed to be. In hindsight, there were more than a few question marks in my head, but even before I fully knew what they were, I just “knew”: I don’t want to meet this guy.
Unfortunately for me, it was a little too late of a realization.
Even though I was polite and respectful, and even though I cancelled on the phone – not a text – he flipped out. He hung up on me and has been texting me all sorts of ugly and scary shit ever since. Threats, manic rants, disgusting descriptions of his lust, and today: porn.
I’ve had to file a police report, alert my office security, have friends walk me home, and I’m now carrying Mace everywhere I go. When I leave or go back to my apartment or office, I’m anxious and alert – watching for anyone suspicious. It’s unnerving and infuriating. All because of someone I’ve never even met.
I hate online dating, and the truth is I’m thrilled to have a reason NEVER to do it again. Next time some well-meaning friend or family member asks for the umteenth time “Why don’t you try match.com..?” I have the perfect smack-down.
Years ago I read Gavin de Becker’s amazing book, The Gift of Fear and it saved my life. I think it might of done it again with this asshole. In The Gift of Fear, “de Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs.“
Basically he teaches to listen to that small voice. That fear is a gift, not to be ignored. I can’t help but wonder, what if I had ignored my gut instincts and decided, “What the hell?” and actually went to meet him? How would he had responded when I had rejected him AFTER I met him, which I certainly would have.
I am grateful for my instincts, and that my mom gave me that book to read years ago. I have no doubt it will help me again in the future. Every woman should read it – immediately!
And I am hopeful that the worst is behind me with this nut job. The police are finally on the case – and I am off online dating for good!