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Author Topic: Age difference, and the internet... a bad idea?
ms.feministashley1
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I have a couple of questions, but I first need to give some background on the situation so it can be best evaluated.

About a month ago I visited an international chat room to talk to people from other countries about current events and their local politics. Most of the guys I encountered only wanted to cyber, and I made it clear that that was not what I was there for (though I don't have an issue with cybering, it's just not my thing). A few guys I talked to were interested in talking only politics; one in particular. I made it clear from the start I was only interested in talking politics, and that was the same for him. He also asked if I still wished to talk to him since he is 42 and I am 17(almost 18), even though we were not discussing anything sexual or romantic. We ended up exchanging email addresses.

We emailed about our views on politics, current events, experiences in life, hobbies, interests, etc and found that we have a lot of similarities, though we still differ. We both found that there was a connection (or so it seems) and we both felt drawn to each other as friends and perhaps more than that. I did not give super personal information that could be used to harm me, such as last name, address, etc. He did give me his last name though, as well as sent me a picture of him with a poster saying "Hi Ashley, I am so and so." so that I would know the pictures he was sending as himself were legitimate. He has not put any pressure on me to give out personal information, and is fine with the fact that I call him on a blocked phone number. I also know his birth date and it checks out with his name. I did a search to see if he is a predator (or at least has been convicted of that and is on the records) and nothing came up under registered sex offenders.

I feel comfortable talking to him; it is not manipulating or controlling or abusive in any way or form. Our talks have been encouraging each other in our dreams and goals, providing support, talking about everyday life, how to change the world in a positive way, giving our opinions in a diplomatic way, giving advice, etc. We have also talked about what we think is healthy in friendships, relationships, sex, etc and have pretty much the same views. He told me he wishes the age difference wasn't there, as I also wish, and recognizes that age does indeed matter as it can propose many challenges. We also made an agreement not to talk sexually (in the terms of saying things sexually directed towards each other) until I am 18, even though we've both admitted that we would like to, and that has been respected in the month that I have been talking to him. I view him as a friend, and he says he views me that way. I know what healthy conversation between two people who are friends and like each other more than that looks like (i.e. supportive, honest, non-manipulative, respectful of each others boundaries, open, caring, can communicate well, entrusting equal amounts of information (like not having one person tell their whole life story while one person just gives the basics) and etc) and what abusive looks like (not respecting a persons boundaries, pushing something on someone that they do not want or are not ready for, judgmental, not supportive, not being honest, not being able to communicate well, having the wish to hurt someone, etc). When I talk to him, I do not see anything unhealthy. I know that people can pretend to be something they are not to take advantage of someone (I've had this happen to me before) so I can recognize to some extent when this is someone's agenda (you can't always tell when a person is lying, but there can be vibes, tone of voice, and what a person says, or how they act that can hint to this). I have not gotten those predator vibes from him; I feel as though he is being honest, though of course with it being over the Internet, one can never know for certain.

I have been thinking about meeting him when I turn 18 at a public place like a bookstore, that is not in my hometown, during the day. I also am learning self defense from my uncle who is teaching me certain techniques he learned as a police officer and according to my uncle, am doing well at it. He lives in PA and I live in CO, and he said he is find with coming out here to meet me. I plan on, if I decide to meet him, running a background check first to make sure he does not have a criminal background that is known and having a friend call me every hour to make sure I am okay. I would, if I decide to do this, drive myself to the place we would meet, go no where else but, for example, the bookstore, and would not ride in his car. I would also be sure to have pepper spray on me, and have my phone on to call 911 if needed and know where the closest police station was so if I thought he was following me after we met when I was headed home, I could drive there and report it. My question is do you think it is a bad idea to for me to meet this guy off of the Internet? If it is possible for it to be okay, what are the precautions and actions I should take?

Another thing that concerns me is the huge difference in age, 23 years to be exact. The thing is though, we seem to be on a similar maturity level, have similar thoughts on all kinds of aspects (though they are not the same and we do respectively disagree. I know it is important to watch out for people telling you what you want to hear so they can gain your trust in order to take advantage of you). Due to our similar thought process, and the fact that we aren't just attracted to each other due to physical reasons, but also emotionally and intellectually as well (and he is told me that he isn't just interested in my because of my looks) I feel like I can see him for who he is (or at least what he tells me) and not for the age. He tells me he views me the same, for who I am, and not my age, even though he and I both recognize the challenges it does bring. We have also talked about how I do not wish to get too serious (as in engaged or married) before I finish college and he says he is supportive of that and wants me to finish my education as it is a very important part of my future. He also told me that if we meet, and the connection isn't there in person, he will leave me alone if I wish. I really enjoy our talks because we can talk for an hour on one topic, like food politics, and it feels like 5 minutes because time flies. I feel comfortable talking to him about pretty much anything, though I have put boundaries on for now because I have not met him in person and I am still a minor until January. He also hasn't put any pressure on me to meet or get serious. We both agreed to take it a day at a time. I also am doing fine with my everyday life in that I don't feel like I need to talk to him 24/7, and when I do talk am I feel happy afterwards. I respect his space and he respects mine. I also do not feel jealous about people he talks to, and the same goes for him. We both are drawn to each other, but wish that if that doesn't happen, that we each meet someone who is special to us in a healthy relationship. He is free to go if he wishes, as am I. We just really seen to connect as in who we are as people, and I do not get any bad vibes from his tone of voice when we talk at all. I could be wrong about that though, and he could be a creep. I have the scarlet teens book about sex and relationships for teens and young adults, and have read the part about age differences (heck I've read the whole book, it is amazing and I am grateful it was published by the way) so I know that some relationships with age differences can be healthy, but age does matter and the people involved need to acknowledge that and know the challenges ahead of them and discuss how to deal with those challenges in a healthy way. I have not told my family about it yet, because I am concerned about their reaction to the age difference, but there is not talk about keeping this secret. He has already talked about it with his parents and gotten their perspective. Anyway, I guess my question on this is, do you think a healthy relationship can form with an age difference like this and the Internet?

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Ecofem
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Hey Ashley,

Welcome to Scarleteen! [Smile] I'm also glad you like the S.E.X. book, and I'll pass on that compliment to Heather, the author and Scarleteen founder/director!

This is a quite complicated situation, as you know yourself. I'm going to share my thoughts, although another volunteer could have a very different take and can share that. The bottom line, as you know, is to absolutely wait until you're 18 before you arrange anything. I'd also talk to people you know it. Once you're 18, you don't *have* to tell your family but I would make sure there were more than a handful of people who knew about it and who are supporting you.

While learning self-defense can be useful in general, it also scares me to think that you'd even be in a situation with this guy so early on where you'd need it! I agree that a public place would be essential; I assume you'd want to meet out of town so it would stay secret both from him and your neighbors. I understand small-talk gossip and stuff, but while there's something to be said about more anonymity, it also can mean less immediate protection for you.

If you should meet up, which is definitely your choice at 18, I would request that he come with a friend or family member. If he doesn't have someone who'd come with him, that's a red flag. (I'm surprised that he's not more concerned about YOUR being real, you know? Because that really can go both ways.) I'd definitely go with at least one friend or family member. Seriously, if your police office uncle is up for it, you could ask him (to come in plain clothes, off duty, etc.) Not that you need that level of "protection" or are trying to scare him away BUT if he wouldn't be ok with that, then that's another red flag.

At 42, you just don't go to your parents to get their perspective on dating a 17 year old you've met on the internet. I mean, you can, but you would presumably have friends, family members around your age, coworkers, etc. whom you could talk to about all this... minus the family members, of course, these are also people to date. If you're 42 and meeting people online, you generally go for people around your age or who are at least of majority age. The fact that he went his parents first (and not others) makes me believe something is a bit off in terms of his maturity level and life independence. And honesty we can't really know if he actually talked to them or is just saying it to try to make you feel better (because for a 17 year old that might sound safer whereas to me, a 26 year old, that sounds like a red flag.)

I have met a number of friends online and even my current boyfriend who is definitely over 18 but a bit younger than I am. I understand how you can connect through the internet and that most people you meet aren't going to be creepy abusers; of course, we have to be be careful just in case. I also understand how there still can be a stigma to meeting people online, at least from people who don't understand, although it's slowly going away with time.

I work in education and regularly interact with people who are under 18. Whether it's an online forum or a classroom, it's a quite structured environment (a.k.a. extra safety all-around) and I would never ever even consider dating any of them (even students who are older!) I see them as equal human beings but I'm in a mentoring role and dating any of them would go against what I stand for. It's not to say that we couldn't become friends over time but that's how I feel for both moral and professional reasons.

I know that this guy isn't some sort of teacher or mentor to you. But as well as you get along, there are some big differences like in terms of life experience. When I was 19, I dated someone who was 25; at the time it was ok and we seemed the same maturity level but now at 26 and 31, there's no way I would want to date him because, as nice as he was or as hard as he was trying, I'm in a different place than he is.

Again, this is up to you: You sound like you're cautious and building in safeguards. I understand how you can find great connections online with "strangers" and I understand wanting to meet up. However, for me I just think there's something unsettling about a 42 year old being so keen about a friendship with a 17 year old online. I would be like, "Hey, I think you're great but I feel for both of our safety and what not, I'd like to stick to formal forums for our talk." To put things into more perspective, I know ST is a sex ed site aimed at teens and young adults (and that your online encounters have not been sexual) but we refer to older users to other sites; it wouldn't work with our guidelines (and our emphasis on feeling comfortable) to have them interact the same way (i.e. not as mentors) as teens do. Just to throw that out!

I'm going to ask other volunteers for their feedback. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you [Smile]

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ms.feministashley1
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Thank you for the welcome =D. I really appreciate the S.E.X. book and am extremely grateful it has been written for it offers the best advice and gets straight to the point.

Yes, I agree, I will not do anything until I turn 18 which is in about a month. To tell you the truth, it would be difficult to tell some of my friends about this because of the stigmas they hold against meeting people off the Internet; at least with this kind of an age difference. Perhaps that is a red flag it is not a good idea to go through with if I feel uncomfortable about telling them?

Actually the reason I was thinking about meeting in another town is not to hide or anything, just another safety measure. I was thinking about if from the perspective if I meet him and there is something off, I don't want him to be close to where I live. Then again, though, like you said, I would be farther from my strongest support, so perhaps it would be best to meet in my town, but a good distance from my actual home.

I did not think about him coming with a family member or friend; that sounds like a very good idea. I would also like to come with a friend, but I don't know if any of mine would be supportive in that. I think the reason he doesn't question as much as if I am who I really say am I is because I sent him a similar picture with me holding a sign saying "Hi ....., I'm Ashley." I don't think my uncle would be up for it; if I told him he'd spill the beans to my mom and aunt and I know they would be very disappointed in me for even considering it period. See, my mom has said in passing (not directly as I have not told her about this) that friendships and such can form safely from the Internet if the right precautions are taken, like by meeting in public, and having all your safety precautions set up like I mentioned. But she has made is very clear she does not want me to date someone more than 5 years older than me and would be extremely disappointed if I did. I may be able to talk to my aunt about it when I turn 18, and perhaps she could go with me, but I really don't know how she will react. I know she loves me and only wants the best for me, including safety. I think I am definitely going to talk to this guy I am thinking about meeting what his thoughts are about him bringing a friend and me perhaps doing so as well or my aunt. If the idea freaks him out, then that will be a red flag, and I will cut off all contact immediately.

I will ask him if he has gone to anyone other than his parents (and when you put it into that perspective, that does make it seem a little strange.) That is definitely true, he could be lying to make me feel better so I am more inclined to trust him and then he can do with that what he wants; perhaps even hurt me which is a scary thought!

I have to admit I hold some what of a stigma myself about meeting people over the Internet and perhaps in some cases that is wrong. But as a young woman, you have to be extremely cautious because you are at the target age between now and up to 25, though of course bad things can happen to anyone at any age.

I think that is a very good moral you have over not crossing that professional line. He said that he is a family medicine physician, which is a profession where there are definite boundaries like that. See, I am confused because in some ways I am more mature for my age by a long shot; we can talk about all kinds of things like politics, religion, current events, what's healthy, what's not and I can keep up with the conversation because I have read a lot and like to think critically. But at the same time, that doesn't mean I am fully matured, I am still very much developing as well, even though I have a good idea of what my core values are and who I am, though things may change in those departments. He on the other hand, says he doesn't feel his age completely, and does feel less mature than his peers. For some of the ways he talks, I could perhaps see that, but is that due to the fact he really is less mature or because he wants me to think that? I know people can and do mature at different rates, but is that the case with him, you know? My first boyfriend was 4 years older than me when I was 13, and I still talk to him as friends, and looking back on that he has stayed at the same maturity while I have out grown him in a lot of areas, so we are at different levels even though he is older than me. It can occur, so I don't think that's the question. I think the definite question is "Is this guy I'm thinking about meeting really less mature for his age, and so were are on a similar level, or is this something he is manufacturing to gain my trust to take advantage of me?"

Yes, I think it is a little unsettling too with him being 42, even though it can be easy for me to forget about age when we talk because it seems, and I could be wrong, we are in a lot of ways on the same level. It is up to me when I turn 18, but I am seeking advice so I don't make the wrong discussion and really put my safety at risk, even if I feel a strong connection. I have heard so many horror stories about girls meeting older guys on the Internet and being raped or killed; I really do not want this to happen to me, or anyone else for that matter. It never is a victims fault, but it is always a good idea to be cautious around issues like this.

Thank you for the advice; it has been very helpful and given me a new perspective that I needed. I will ask him about having family and/or friends with us when we meet and see what he says and keep you posted. I would also appreciate other volunteers feedback as well; the more perspectives, ideas, and etc I have before I make a decision the better.

~Ashley

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ms.feministashley1
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Oh and I also forgot to add, I do not think he is lying about being a physician for a couple of reasons. One is the name he gave me (and he could be lying about his age, and of course if I decide on meeting him I will run a check on his phone number to see if it matches with the name he has given me) does check out on google as being a physician, and all the states he has told me he has practiced in come up on google. Secondly, my father is a physician and so I know how doctors talk, this guy and I have talked about medical things and his knowledge and the way he talks fits with being a physician. Of course this doesn't mean that there aren't creeps who are doctors. He also has told me the name of his family members; mom, sister, and father. When I looked up his name it came up with those names as possible family members or people related to him.

~Ashley

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Ecofem
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Hi again, Ashley!

quote:
Originally posted by ms.feministashley1:
Thank you for the welcome =D. I really appreciate the S.E.X. book and am extremely grateful it has been written for it offers the best advice and gets straight to the point.

You're welcome for the welcome. [Wink] I want to thank you for your honesty and openness; it's not an easy thing to discuss but you sound smart, aware, and open, which is a really good sign.

quote:
Yes, I agree, I will not do anything until I turn 18 which is in about a month. To tell you the truth, it would be difficult to tell some of my friends about this because of the stigmas they hold against meeting people off the Internet; at least with this kind of an age difference. Perhaps that is a red flag it is not a good idea to go through with if I feel uncomfortable about telling them?
I would say that, yes, it is a red flag to not feel comfortable telling friends. Pretty much from the start I was telling friends and my closest siblings about my growing feelings for my now-boyfriend, both because I was really excited and because I wanted to get their opinions and do a reality-check. I was actually amazed HOW supportive they were, honest but also hopeful. I know that the age bit adds some extra stigma but, really, we are neutral (wanting to support you!) and have some misgivings, too. I think that while we don't need our friends' ok for everything in life, we also shouldn't have to compartmentalize our lives so much.

quote:
Actually the reason I was thinking about meeting in another town is not to hide or anything, just another safety measure. I was thinking about if from the perspective if I meet him and there is something off, I don't want him to be close to where I live. Then again, though, like you said, I would be farther from my strongest support, so perhaps it would be best to meet in my town, but a good distance from my actual home.
Yes, I agree that it's good to explore the options in terms of safety. However, not to be alarming, but he may well already know where you live. If he knows your last name and state, he probably can figure it out from some online sleuthing. And if he has an IP tracker or his computer or software that enables him to track your web use, he already knows more than you think. I don't mean to scare you with this but rather say that, yes, safety first is good but we're not as anonymous as we think we are online despite many efforts.

quote:
I did not think about him coming with a family member or friend; that sounds like a very good idea. I would also like to come with a friend, but I don't know if any of mine would be supportive in that. I think the reason he doesn't question as much as if I am who I really say am I is because I sent him a similar picture with me holding a sign saying "Hi ....., I'm Ashley."
You know, I'm not doubting you here but the sign thing could still be made-up on both ends. You could be a 50 year old who found a young person to do it, he could have taken on someone else's identity. I met my boyfriend through a place that had a level of identity verification, saw his passport, etc. but I still really couldn't 100% be sure who he was.

quote:
I don't think my uncle would be up for it; if I told him he'd spill the beans to my mom and aunt and I know they would be very disappointed in me for even considering it period. See, my mom has said in passing (not directly as I have not told her about this) that friendships and such can form safely from the Internet if the right precautions are taken, like by meeting in public, and having all your safety precautions set up like I mentioned. But she has made is very clear she does not want me to date someone more than 5 years older than me and would be extremely disappointed if I did. I may be able to talk to my aunt about it when I turn 18, and perhaps she could go with me, but I really don't know how she will react. I know she loves me and only wants the best for me, including safety. I think I am definitely going to talk to this guy I am thinking about meeting what his thoughts are about him bringing a friend and me perhaps doing so as well or my aunt. If the idea freaks him out, then that will be a red flag, and I will cut off all contact immediately.
Your mom actually sounds really cool per her feelings about meeting people online: she's neither totally anti nor down with everything. She does mean for the best for you and it sounds like she's that while also being pretty openminded. I think your aunt will be a good person to talk to, for sure. I wouldn't just ask if if it's ok but would already just tell him something like, "My aunt and my police officer uncle are going to accompany us throughout our entire meet-up. I'd expect for you to also bring a friend or family member. I say this because I care about both of our safety." If he says no or tries to talk you out of it, then, yes, that's a definite bad sign. I have to say that, as much as you're obviously self-aware and thinking of safety, this is such a biggie in terms of online-meet ups and I'm a bit surprised that you hadn't thought of it earlier. It's ok, I'm just sayin'.

quote:
I will ask him if he has gone to anyone other than his parents (and when you put it into that perspective, that does make it seem a little strange.) That is definitely true, he could be lying to make me feel better so I am more inclined to trust him and then he can do with that what he wants; perhaps even hurt me which is a scary thought!
I've been talking to some other volunteers and we definitely find the "42 year old telling his parents and they're ok with it" bit is odd on his part as in it's a lie. Many adults in their 60s and up do not quite conceptualize the internet in the same way we do. Additionally, if he's a doctor (which I'll mention later more), they'd be like "don't jeopardize your career with this!!"

quote:
I have to admit I hold some what of a stigma myself about meeting people over the Internet and perhaps in some cases that is wrong. But as a young woman, you have to be extremely cautious because you are at the target age between now and up to 25, though of course bad things can happen to anyone at any age.
Yeah, I understand that stigma. I started out by saying I didn't want to talk to anyone online whom I hadn't met in person, then that I didn't want to meet up, then that I'd stick to women, etc. It was a slow journey but worked out well. I'm not saying it's wrong but I'd maybe start with meeting some more local people around your age in-person and take it from there.

quote:
I think that is a very good moral you have over not crossing that professional line. He said that he is a family medicine physician, which is a profession where there are definite boundaries like that.
Yes, like teaching, medicine is a profession with very big and important moral lines. I honestly don't believe that he's a doctor because 1- he'd be too busy to chat really, 2-he'd be considered very eligible by those around him to date due to his high-status profession, and 3-he would not want to jeopardize his career by talking to 17 year olds online (which if he is a doctor, is already doing right now.)

If you google his name and location, like "Dr. Joe Schmoe" and "Scranton, PA" and do not find numerous websites that list his practice, like a personal website, a phone book listing, a rating site, then you can know for SURE that he's not really a doctor. Even if you do find it, then he may be using a fake identity. If you do find his number listed, then you could call his office and ask to speak to him. He probably would have to call you back and I know you don't want to give him your number, but there might be another way to do this. I'll just end this year but you get the idea.

quote:
See, I am confused because in some ways I am more mature for my age by a long shot; we can talk about all kinds of things like politics, religion, current events, what's healthy, what's not and I can keep up with the conversation because I have read a lot and like to think critically. But at the same time, that doesn't mean I am fully matured, I am still very much developing as well, even though I have a good idea of what my core values are and who I am, though things may change in those departments. He on the other hand, says he doesn't feel his age completely, and does feel less mature than his peers.
As a doctor, I'd sure hope he was pretty darn mature and that he would have all types of doctor-y forums for this kind of discussion, not some sort of anonymous online chatroom. I think you ARE mature in many ways but that, yes, that doesn't make you safe. And as I said, I mean it respectfully but I'm seeing a few things that don't match up with him that you hadn't noticed yet. It's ok, I'm just seeing how he COULD be manipulating you. I also get how it's really nice to have such conversations with someone where you feel you can express yourself this way; however, the good thing is that there are other places to do this, too, like at college. For example, if you were to meet people at an ag school at a university or workers at an organic co-op, you'd find a TON of people VERY happy to discuss food politics with you. [Smile]

quote:
For some of the ways he talks, I could perhaps see that, but is that due to the fact he really is less mature or because he wants me to think that? I know people can and do mature at different rates, but is that the case with him, you know?
Yeah, he may be trying to sound younger. He may not even be 42. But if he's really a doctor, he's probably not going to sound like how he's been sounding.

quote:
My first boyfriend was 4 years older than me when I was 13, and I still talk to him as friends, and looking back on that he has stayed at the same maturity while I have out grown him in a lot of areas, so we are at different levels even though he is older than me. It can occur, so I don't think that's the question.
Yes, definitely. I think this is a really good reflection on the subject. [Smile]

quote:
I think the definite question is "Is this guy I'm thinking about meeting really less mature for his age, and so were are on a similar level, or is this something he is manufacturing to gain my trust to take advantage of me?"
Yes, I think that the creating part is true. But please don't feel bad but the people who do this ARE experts at manipulation.

quote:
Yes, I think it is a little unsettling too with him being 42, even though it can be easy for me to forget about age when we talk because it seems, and I could be wrong, we are in a lot of ways on the same level. It is up to me when I turn 18, but I am seeking advice so I don't make the wrong discussion and really put my safety at risk, even if I feel a strong connection. I have heard so many horror stories about girls meeting older guys on the Internet and being raped or killed; I really do not want this to happen to me, or anyone else for that matter. It never is a victims fault, but it is always a good idea to be cautious around issues like this.
Yes, it is your choice. You're being careful and what not, but I'd honestly cut off all contact with him. It's up to you but that is what I'd do and recommend to others. I see a lot of red flags that make me think he IS one of those people online to watch out for.

quote:
Thank you for the advice; it has been very helpful and given me a new perspective that I needed. I will ask him about having family and/or friends with us when we meet and see what he says and keep you posted. I would also appreciate other volunteers feedback as well; the more perspectives, ideas, and etc I have before I make a decision the better.
Yes that sounds good and I'm glad it can help. I'll ask others to post more, too. [Smile]
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-Lauren-
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Ashley, Ecofem has given you amazing input, but I just feel the need to offer my (agreeing!) opinion and take as well.

Family physicians are in massive shortage in the US. The waiting lists are miles long, and new grads are specializing to make the big bucks. If you've gotten this involved with a guy you've been chatting online with for just one month, that's really a LOT more time than a booked family physician could manage.. hell, that's pretty quick for just about anyone.

Next, I'd consider the possibility that he's using the name of a local physician. Unless you've found pictures of the doctor in question that very closely match those sent to you (the "very" because of the wonders and woes of photoshop), I'd be wary. Have you considered phoning the clinic/office where he works, both to see if it's legit and if the attending physician knows who you are? Perhaps you could discuss doing that.. obviously, if he's for real it is a huge risk to his career, but he'll also know the risks for a young woman are pretty dire as well.

I really admire how you're approaching this, by the way. You seem to really be into keeping yourself safe. I hope that you can find someone close to you to confide in for a support and help sussing this out as you consider it. Take care!

(Ahhhh crap, I just noticed I posted here again. Apologies, mods, please delete.)

[ 12-12-2009, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: -Lauren- ]

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ms.feministashley1
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Thank you for the advice, all of you! I really appreciate it, and am glad I look for advice from here.

He has sent me a picture of him when he was working at the ER, or at least that's what he said. But like you all said, unless I find pictures on doctor websites oh him that look similar, then he could just be making that up. I want to trust him, but I must take precautions. He has given me is full name, and I googled it and it did come up as a family medicine physician on numerous websites. I think though, to clear that he really is a physician, I should call the hospital as you have said. I can look up the number and hospital he says and see if it matches, and isn't just some number he gave me that is a friends who is pretending to be a hospital.

He told me that right now he is working in the ER two times a week for admissions and is not in a practice yet. He says he is trying to pay off student loans and really doesn't like family medicine and is thinking about going back to school to become an internist. He isn't working at a practice yet. I know that sometimes doctors will do this, as my dad has done things similar.

He has talked to his parents about this, but I did not say they were okay with it. They told him that I was too young and immature and that it would never work. He says he doesn't really understand it either, how we get along so well and are able to talk like this. He says he does not go looking for teenagers to talk to what so ever, and was cautious as I was at first when we were talking because of the age difference. He asks my opinion if I am comfortable with talking period, and talking about certain topics.

I think it is a very good idea to have him give me the number of the hospital he is working for and me be able to call him and talk to him through that. Doctors do have lunch breaks sometimes, so perhaps he could tell me when his was so I could call the hospital at that time and talk to him that way.

Yes some things I did not think of, and perhaps that is a bad sign on my part that perhaps I am vulnerable and am open to being taken advantage of this way.

Thank you all again for your advice and support. It is much appreciated =D.

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Ecofem
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Hey Ashley,

Thanks for updating.

I just talked to a friend who HAS been the victim of older men preying on her on the internet when she was younger. She said that this situation is actually quite textbook and that many, many older men who go after underage and young women online pretend to be doctors because of the status that goes with the job. She is also alarmed about just how many excuses he has.

I have to say that I would not trust or want him as my doctor based on his contact with you, even if it's a so-called rare thing for him-- not professionally, not personally. I wish I could be more positive about it, but the more I think about it, the more sketchy it sounds and the more concerned I get. [Frown]

Good luck with the processing and your decision, it's tough for sure. You're welcome to come back and chat if you'd like, of course. [Smile]

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ms.feministashley1
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I had no idea that many men pretend to be doctors because of the status thing to hook young girls. Wow, I really feel concerned now. I have heard my father talk about medicine, and I have heard him talk about medicine, and they both sound very similar in their knowledge, but like you said some guys can be experts in pretending.

Thanks for the advice. I am beginning to agree more and more with you, and am very concerned. Wow.

You are right, I would be able to meet more people from real life in college or at organic co-ops. I was curious if anyone knew of any feminists organizations for teens and young adults that I might look into?

Thank you again.

~Ashley

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Ecofem
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Hey again, Ashley!

Yes, I have to admit that of the two people I'm discussing this with (and I'm been around all day thinking about it) are both very concerned about you... not you because we think you're neat but him, really.

We can TOTALLY hook you up with some feminist orgs, online and local. I can think of a few but let me ask around more. [Smile]

For starters I recommend a ST-related site, the All Girl Army. It's safe and the people are nice and a lot of fun. Please do check that out for now! Would you be ok giving me a general location in CO so I can look up some more local resources for you?

[ 12-12-2009, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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ms.feministashley1
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My general location in Colorado is around Denver.

I am very concerned too, and am questioning why I was so naive to consider it. But thanks for the advice, I am glad there is a safe place like this to talk about things teens need. I can tell you it is probably saving a lot of people lives, sanity, health, and happiness.

I will check out All Girl Army, and I look forward to hearing from you on the other organizations.

Really, I can not thank you enough. If it had not been for this site, and everyone's helpful advice, I may have ended up making a decision that could have ended up hurting me in irreversible ways. THANK YOU!

~Ashley

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Ecofem
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Hey Ashley,

I know you got the feminist and environmentalist links here but I wanted to follow up with a few more links here, too.

I'm glad you feel safe and welcome here, it's great having you and I look forward to seeing you around the boards. [Smile]

I was thinking about this situation last night while out grocery shopping. Please don't feel bad for having been interested in him: it's so nice to have that attention, to feel special, and have that excitement in your life. We definitely all get that here! My guess is that you're a high school senior (?) which can both be exciting and fun but also mean having to wait, wait, wait for your adult life to start. I think checking out some of those local orgs will be a good start and I hope that through your involvement there and the people you meet, you'll get that same sense of happy and excitement you've gotten talking to this guy online.... or even more!

If it's a possibility, you could look into enrolling in an evening class at your local community college, such in Women and Gender Studies or Environmental Studies. You'll be able to study the subjects more in-depth and be around more older, like-minded individuals.

OK, here are those links:
Activism 101
An Immodest Proposal
Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault
Getting Real: Relationships on the Net
Going the Distance: A Few Thoughts on Long-Distance Relationships
Love Letter
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
Shrink Cocktail: My Starter Experience of Counseling
To Be... AWESOME or Just Be –– Tips on Making the Most of Your Life Right Now!

(Some you may already know, some you find may not apply to you, but they're all worth a read if you get a chance. [Smile] )

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ms.feministashley1
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Thank you so much for all the help and advice! I really appreciate it!

To update you on the situation, I ended up talking to my aunt about it, and she thought it would be a good idea if I were to meet him to have her and a guy, like my uncle, who she knows come along too. She still felt, however, that there was something off, even though this guy agreed that he would be fine with bringing a friend of his own and meeting my family. It mainly had to do with the age difference. My aunt ended up telling my mom, who was furious, and called the guy and told him not to talk to me since I am so much younger. At first I was upset at this, but now, looking back, I am glad to have people who care about me so much!

Perhaps everything he told me is true and what not, but there seemed to be something odd. To tell you the truth, had I thought there was nothing off I would not have contacted this website, would have told my family and friends from the start, and etc. Better to be safe than sorry. Besides, it seemed almost too good to be true, and if it feels that way, chances are it is too good to be true.

I really like the links to the websites you sent me. I am going to right away look into getting involved in the feminist and environmentalist community. I will probably find people closer to my age I know in person that can become close friends or are available to date. I will also look into perhaps attending some of those classes in Womens Studies and Ecology, etc.

Thank you again Lena and Lauren for your help! I will definitely read those articles today! =D

Have a great day,
and take care all!

~Ashley

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