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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Dating posts, and why not to answer them

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Author Topic: Dating posts, and why not to answer them
Member # 25983

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As all of you know from the Guidelines, it's not okay to use this site as a dating service, to get boyfriends/girlfriends/soulmates/anything. We do this not only to maintain a focused environment, but to protect everyone; we need to see what's going on at all times to prevent the abuse so commonly seen in other teen sexuality forums/communities.

However, occasionally, you may come across a such a post before we have time to see it, or take appropriate action. You can also easily see such posts in many, many forums/communities on the Internet. It's very important you do NOT answer them, especially in teen-aimed settings, as these are ripe environments for people with not-so-good intentions.

They may feign interest, build your trust and ask for photos/video, then use them for masturbation and you never hear from them again. They may post said material on sites for other creeps. They may share your steamy exchanges with their online buddies, or pass your details along so they too can "score". Things can even progress to a real world meeting and well.. let all the NBC specials and news reports do the speaking there. So, even if things don't get "really" dangerous, there's a lot of very upsetting things that can happen when you aren't careful online. Sometimes being careful just isn't good enough.

Let's use an example from today to demonstrate how much something a dating poster initially posts differs from the apparent truth.

I'm 18 years old, not in university. The southern hemisphere is boring and hard. I need a girl to come with me, to live for short time in an old beach house, that is on the beach that is secluded i.e. not squeezed with other people. I've watched films and dreamt about long stretches of beach with sporadic houses right on the sand. Annie hall and those lush long island landscapes...

I like paintings and music. I like the feel of paint. I want to rent a place for some months and just live there... I just want to live in an old old small house on the beach with no busy people or roads etc
Just an empty landscape.
And just paint. Paint all day and live in this life all day. For days and days.
I'm not interested in talking to more than one person.
Coming to this type of communication/forum seems to be the quickest and most effective in "locating" you!
I want the most connected person there, next to my flesh to be breathing the air and her face to be in the dying sunlight.

So hi.
Lets go live here.

Ahh, romantic. Artistic. Care-free and sensitive, looking for someone to share his life with.

Cut to him being told, plainly in a few sentences, that his threads are being locked because they are against the rules. A gentle expression of limits provoked this type of response:

Woah there. All of a sudden this romantic artist is sexist, suicidally depressed, and extremely hurt and angry. How might someone like this react over, say, said girlfriend of his dreams saying no to sex, or going against his plans for the future? It seems the first bit was just a lure!

So, let that be close-to-home testament to the fact that many people looking for love online can be very unstable, unpleasant people. Always be on guard, never believe someone that's too good to be true because it often is disguising flaws of some sort, and please let us know immediately when you see these sorts of posts and by all means, do not respond! Also exercise caution with any other dealings on other communities/forums you frequent.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 33869

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Lauren, thank you so kindly for posting this. It is a nice, although unfortunate, reminder that not all we see and hear on the internet is what it first seems to be. Thank you, Scarleteen, for being here to openly protect your teenage users. I am sure their parents, and the users themselves, most appreciate it. The good you guys do is immeasurable. Please, please remember that in the face of people such as these. [Smile]

And Lauren, I'm so sorry you had to face such awful and hateful words as his today. It never feels good to have those kinds of things said to you, even if you know the kind of mouth they're coming out of in the first place.

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

Posts: 59 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25983

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Thanks, Beckylein. It didn't upset me pretty much at all; just the ramblings of some disturbed individual projected onto the nearest obvious target. :)

I'm going to expand this post further, because I didn't make clear that anyone can jump in and share any experiences they've had relevant to this. I've had several, obviously, but it happens quite frequently, and I think this is a perfect opportunity to share our stories, and trade warning signs.

How do YOU spot a creep/likely liar? Have there been any frightening/upsetting experiences when you or a friend responded to a teen-oriented dating post, even if the consequences didn't carry over to "real life"? People sadly downplay what an effect stuff on the Internet can have, so it's about time we stopped focusing on "real" and "virtual" -- if it was typed by human beings, it IS real life!

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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oh hey, I know I'm oodles late, but no one else replied to this which surprises me! And it still applies (and always will, as long as there are means of mass communications, and total creeps -- and we all know those things aren't going away any time soon), so hey, why not.

First off, Heather's reply to his thread was awesome. Gawd I love heather =P

Actually, the time of you posting this was exactly a day after I broke up with a boy from the internet. A boy who turned out to be just like the one in your post!

He was romantic, he talked of his goals for a romantic future with me, boat cruises (sorry... I don't really like boat cruises...?) and other romantic getaways. He mentioned having planned his romantic proposal (excuse me... we've never even met!), could see himself growing old with me etc etc etc. But as soon as I didn't quite go along with his plans, or demonstrated that he wasn't my number ONE priority in life and my entire future (we had e-dated for three months when I dumped him... yeah, no life-planning should have been taking place there) ... BOOM. He would get PISSED.

Even though we HAD only dated for three months, I became pretty attached to him pretty quickly -- I'd never experienced a sexual/romantic relationship before, and he was always around to talk to me (he.. had nothing else in his life. Boring) so we did a lot of talking and "getting to know each other" (as much as you can get to know each other online, that is). So he used this to coerce me to do things -- got me to strip on webcam for him, talk dirty to him even though I wasn't in the mood, things like that.

And you're right, online stuff is downplayed a lot. I even downplayed it (and find myself still doing so now, sometimes) myself. But it can be serious stuff. This was more than me making a mistake and showing a boy my boobs on webcam. I still have ISSUES from this stupid little shithead, 8 months after leaving him.

It can be SO serious. Because opening up on the internet can have the same consequences as opening up in real life, it's still your feelings getting hurt and it's still YOU being taken advantage of, and as you said it's still being typed by human beings. It's still real life. You still get hurt.

I still get triggers and burst into tears because of what happened to me with some boy from New York on the Internet eight months ago. It IS a big deal.

Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 18938

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I agree, Heather's response definitely made me chuckle.

When I was much younger and just learning the ways of the internet, some guy found my profile and started chatting with me. He was sweet, romantic...he'd send me poems written about me and always email me with little roses or kind words. He was the "amazingly nice guy" until one day I questioned why he was interested in me when he was much older and lived so far away. He exploded and called me names that I luckily can't even remember anymore. He was cold, cruel, and downright scary.

People forget how easy it is to pretend to be something you're not online. Text can hide so much...and I'm not saying one should cut him/herself off from the possibility of meeting people online but being super cautious (to say the least) should be a requirement!

Posts: 25 | From: Louisiana | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 35773

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I've never had any experiences personally, but I know a few friends who have. It seems like people who are in a hurry to move things along, meeting in person, making you all kinds of crazy promises three days after starting to talk to them...those seem like things to watch out for. I have one friend who has dated online a few times, and I know she won't ever go to meet someone in person without having had a phone conversation with them, and at least having talked on the phonewith a friend or family member. Ideally she likes to have a webcam chat, and if that's not possible, has her perspective partner take a picture holding a sign saying something she told them to write on it. She, in turn, will always do the same for the other person.

If she decides to meet them in person, she always does so in a public place not too close to her house, and always brings a friend ot two with her. She won't let them take her home, go to their house, go to her house, or be together in complete private until she's gone on a few dates with them.

She met her current boyfriend online originally, and they have a great relationship. So, it is totally possible to meet a worthwhile partner over the internet, and I think what she does is sound advice for anyone who may find themselves in a potentially romantic situation online.

"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
-Oscar Wilde

Posts: 115 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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