Assuage virtual doubts with real contact (Ellie)

Question: I met a woman online six years ago; we plan on getting married next year. She lives in the Philippines; I live in Canada. I trust her with all my heart.

I got to know her over the years. I know that with Internet dating, I have to become fully aware of the risks involved. However, I keep hearing horror stories, that people from other countries will say “I love you” just to get into this country. I’d agree with them, to some extent, but we do love each other.

Should I go with my heart? Or should I listen that the Internet is a network just for social gathering for people to immigrate to North America?

My heart tells me that after six years over the Internet, she’s not lying to me and I do know her.

So Confused

Answer: Tell her you want to move to her country. I’m not kidding.

You wouldn’t be “so confused” if you were as sure as you want yourself, and me, to believe. Yes, six years is a long time to carry on “dating” over the Internet, and seems plenty of time to build a sense of knowing each other. But without personal face-to-face contact, and without seeing something of each other’s lives, there’s still a lot you don’t know about her. And that leaves room for unpleasant surprises.

Doubt is what you’re feeling, which is why you’re asking these questions.

Go with this niggling instinct before you start any serious steps toward marrying. It’s not that hard to explore her reactions to another plan, to see if emigration or love is her driving goal.

Suggest that you’re thinking about changing your lifestyle, moving to her country, and marrying and living there.

Even if you still believe she’s sincere, visit her in her own environment and learn more about her from what you see rather than just from what she says.

Question: My live-in boyfriend of four years has been making me feel uneasy lately. We live together and for the past few months he’s been giving me really guilty looks when he comes home from work. He avoids eye contact, kisses me so I can’t look into his eyes, and looks really guilty.

I confronted him, feeling these were signs of an affair. He admitted that he’d feel guilty when he saw a pretty girl in the elevator or on the bus because he’d start to fantasize about them sexually.

I don’t know what to think. I think it’s normal for people to fantasize but it feels like it’s going a step further because he actually looks guilty! I said he should stop looking guilty because it’s making me feel insecure. So far it hasn’t happened and I can’t take another look! It makes me feel like I’m being played for a fool. What should I do?

Worried

Answer: Either you believe him or you don’t. Just demanding that he stop averting his gaze isn’t going to end your insecurity. Deep down, you think he’s cheating, no matter what he says.

The real question is, why are you so easily insecure? Is there any change in your relationship that warrants it, such as less sex, less intimacy of cuddling and stroking, less sharing of confidences?

If nothing’s changed, it’s possible there’s little he can do that reassures you, because of your own insecure nature. In that case, you’d do well to have some counselling to help you be more confident in yourself.

TIP OF THE DAY

Internet dating, without any personal contact, still leaves much unknown about your cyber-partner.

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