Online Cyber-Romances - Can they work?

When you're a divorced full-time programmer who has an autistic son living at home, you really don't have a lot of time for the dating scene. I never liked it anyway, so "no great loss", as far as I'm concerned.  In my case, I've been divorced more than 10 years and in the last year or so I've come to the realization that I'd really like to find love again and have a life - partner who wants to share the rest of her life with me.

But what is left, if you are seriously "looking for love" again?  Well,there is social media (Facebook or Google+ - Twitter is out of the question) Of the two, I prefer Google+ because it gives you all the tools to meet someone in the virtual world, have private conversations, and even video hangouts. Facebook seems to have too many "fake profiles" and scams. The other alternative is dating sites such as OK Cupid or Plenty Of Fish (POF). I tried Match.com but it didn't seem to offer much more than the other two and you have to pay for it. Overall, my determination about dating sites is that they seem more like "target practice" I've met a couple of women though these but it seems like it's hard to get things to move to the next level somehow. My preference currently is Google+ - and I've had two online romances in the last year or so that originated on there.

The religious nut
The first romance was a fluke. A woman from California who I barely knew sent me a private post from "out of the blue" sharing her sexual fantasy about me. At that time, I didn't even know she was married. Anyway a cyber-romance ensued and I became emotionally involved with her. But it only lasted about two months; she suddenly wanted to withdraw and be "a better wife" to her husband, face God, repent and all that other Christian stuff about "sin". Oh, and could we "still be friends". Unfortunately, I later found out that she is a serial cheater - she turned around and had a new affair with an online friend of mine who is married. Hot naked pictures were exchanged, his wife found out about it and really got hurt. Later I find out that this woman is not only borderline sociopathic but has also been depressed and has taken medication for clinical depression. So that relationship blew up. I should have known better and asked her if she was married right up front. Unfortunately, there is far too much of this serial cheating going on and social media is the primary place that it takes place.

The "Processor"
My second romance was much more recent, and it's pretty much over. A woman circled me, I checked out her profile and liked it, and I circled her back. She sent me a thank you post, and I replied saying that I don't circle everyone, and  I thought she had "passed the test". There was a period of a few weeks where there may have been some good-natured subliminal "teasing" going on, and one day I sent her a private post confiding that I had a sexual fantasy about her (which was true). We ended up having private conversations; I found out we had a lot in common and she's divorced. Phone numbers were exchanged and there was a series of texts and phone calls. We talked a lot, we became rather intimate, and it looked to me like a serious potential relationship was developing. Then I sent her an email confirming my true feelings and I guess it kind of freaked her out and scared her. Apparently, I may be looking for love,  but she is a "processor" - much more cautious and didn't want to move that fast. The problem was that she didn't communicate this to me until it was too late.  In this particular case, it is still almost incomprehensible to me how a woman could respond so positively to a man's advances, texting, chatting, talking on the phone, becoming intimate and sharing her inner self, even having virtual sex as a willing participant, and then expect the man to be able to somehow "read between the lines" and know that she isn't ready to make a commitment and wants to be more cautious.

If you're not ready for love  and need to be cautious, you need to reevaluate how you are responding to the advances of men and think about ways you can respond more honestly, much sooner, and not give the man the wrong signals. Otherwise, it most likely will "blow up", as this one did.

The bottom line is that if you are a busy professional and don't have a lot of time to go on dates, yes -- you can actually meet somebody online and fall in love. It can be a little tricky, but it certainly can be done. I also have women friends who have met men online. Just be careful, and do what I do - don't do anything that could hurt other people.