Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Cheated on My Internet Boyfriend”

I’m in a long distance relationship with a guy I met online. We haven’t met in person yet, but we’ve been planning to this summer. We’ve been “dating” for five months, and we really care about each other, but he doesn’t trust me at all, and he tries to control who I talk to. I really care about him so I try to respect his wishes, but lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with personal problems at home, and having to deal with the fact that I stopped talking to most of my friends for him. Despite this, never once while I was thinking clearly (and soberly) did I contemplate cheating. However, a few nights ago, I went to this party at my sister’s place, and her boyfriend’s best friend was there, and we both ended up getting really drunk and having sex. I regret it and feel completely guilty but I don’t know what to do because I know that my boyfriend will break up with me if I tell him, and for the last two or so months, all we have talked about is meeting and being together, and I really want that. What do I do? — Scared to Lose My Internet Boyfriend

Oh, honey, this guy is not your boyfriend, which is a good thing since he’s controlling and manipulative, and not the kind of man you’d want to build a relationship with. And how could you build a relationship with someone you: A) have not actually met in person; and B) do not share trust with? Two things any happy, successful relationship needs are trust and a physical connection. You have neither. That’s like trying to make a latté without espresso or milk.

Not only are you trying to build something while missing two very key ingredients, you are trying to build it with someone who, frankly, sounds dangerous. Anyone who tries to control whom you talk to and asks that you give up friends for him, is someone to stay away from. That you have let him — some guy you know only from the internet — make decisions for you says a lot about your own emotional stability. There’s a vulnerability about you, and this guy, who probably is very familiar with signs of vulnerable, easily-persuaded women, has recognized you to be someone he can manipulate. This is not a good combination and it’s a situation you need to remove yourself from immediately.

Quit talking with this internet guy, quit having drunken sex with guys you aren’t involved with, and focus instead on building friendships with both women and men who value what you can bring to relationships besides sex and blind loyalty. Take things slowly, hang on to your independence, never ever let a man — or woman, for that matter — tell you whom you can or cannot talk to. And for the love of God, don’t ever “date” someone you’ve never actually met in person. There’s something called intuition — it’s a feeling you get in your gut when something or someone feels right (or wrong) to you. Some people have really strong intuition, and others need to nurture theirs and help it gather strength. The best way to do that is to spend time with people in person and to pay attention to the way their physical presence makes you feel. Don’t pay attention to how you WANT to feel; pay attention to the raw emotion you can’t control — the feeling in the pit of your stomach. If it’s telling you that something is “off,” then it probably is.

Above all, take care of yourself, and quit putting yourself in vulnerable positions where people can take advantage of you.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

97 comments… add one
  • avatar

    TheGirl May 7, 2012, 3:04 pm

    WHAT WENDY SAID. Seriously. You’ve never even met him and he already sounds like total bad news.

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  • avatar

    Diana May 7, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. You are so good at what you do. Right on.

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  • theattack

    theattack May 7, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Break up. That is all.

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  • Budj

    Budj May 7, 2012, 3:21 pm

    Yea….I find it hard to consider that a relationship and think it’s a little more like masochism…

    Some day a bf might ask you to stop talking to someone aka singular…as this is rare unless you are a terrible judge of character and really like to associate yourself with dangerous and / or questionable people…and they may have a legitimate reason…but when you are dropping friends left and right for a guy something is definitely wrong.

    Drop this “relationship” and go find someone tangible that isn’t a control freak.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 7, 2012, 7:42 pm

      Wendy’s response just made me realize something… Maybe your romance isn’t as real as it is in our heads. What do you think? Sad, but I needed that tough love!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 7, 2012, 7:42 pm

        *our. I meant OUR romance. Sigh.

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      • Budj

        Budj May 8, 2012, 1:45 pm

        haha I was like why are you projecting this all onto me?! In other news, with my new gravatar I confuse you for me when scrolling through the comments.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl May 7, 2012, 3:25 pm

    So, this may be drawing some pretty wide/far connections (and today’s earlier letter may be bringing this on) but alienating you from all of your friends is a bad bad sign. Seriously this guy sounds mentally/emotionally abusive already. I would say you should move on from this relationship asap.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow May 7, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Also, for your safety, DO NOT let him know that you had sex with someone else. Does he know where you live? Keep this information to yourself so he doesn’t retaliate. He sounds super shady.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle May 7, 2012, 3:39 pm

    You can’t be in an exclusive relationship with someone you’ve never MET. Also, this guy sounds unhinged (you stopped talking to most of your friends “for him”? Not healthy), so you probably shouldn’t EVER meet him. Okay? Stop making plans to meet him. I hope you guys only communicated through e-mail or Skype, so you can simply change your e-mail/Skype name or block him. Forget this guy, go to more parties, and see your real-life friends again.

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  • avatar

    2_J May 7, 2012, 3:40 pm

    just my two cents… I haveb een in this situation myself in the past, like waaaayyy in the past. Although i agree this guy has no right whatsoever to demand or even ask you to stop talking to people, and yes he does seem a bit dangerous and manipulative, the distance and not meeting makes it a little bit harder to build that kind of trust, especially if you have been burned before. So yes i think that “breaking up” is the best thing to do, i think that although he went about this all wrong, he was correct in not trusting that you wouldn’t sleep with someone else behind his back. It’s over, it’s not going to go any further than it has in the 5 months you two have “been together”. Ladies , please please please quit stating that being drunk is the reasoning behind your inability to be faithful it’s never an excuse

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    • Budj

      Budj May 7, 2012, 3:49 pm

      To your point. While this guy may have abusive issues….I would add that insecurities and trust issues can manifest this behavior too…he knows nothing about the lw or her friends and if he is clinging to this “relationship” then he is going to act “crazy” if he is insecure and has trust issues…for all we know she has guy friends that hit on her and she tells the long distance bf about it and he got jealous/needy…but the LW could clarify that (not saying it’s the case either…just devils advocate here)…REGARDLESS of any of this it does not seem they have a good enough relationship foundation to justify moving in together and she should move on.

      And yes…the alcohol excuse is tiresome – guys do it too.

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    • avatar

      Flake May 7, 2012, 4:29 pm

      You know what, I disagree. When you start any kind of a relationship, trust is pretty much a prerequisite. If he has been burned before, that is his personal problem. He cannot project his issues from past relationships onto a new one.

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    • dandywarhol

      dandywarhol May 7, 2012, 4:32 pm

      Yeah the whole “I was drunk” thing…no. I’ve been drunk plenty of times and have never cheated on a guy. There have been times where I did questionable things (making out) but at that point the relationship was pretty much over anyway. Being drunk =\= get out of jail free card.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar May 7, 2012, 3:52 pm

    No one man, woman, child, job, dog, friend or activity should be your everything. If you want to be a complete person, you need a full life. Anyone who doesn’t support you in that does not have your best interest at heart. Any man that tries to strip your friends or family from you SIGHT UNSEEN has ulterior motives. Thank goodness the universe sent you a boy to have drunken sex with. Consider this your wake up call. Now conduct yourself accordingly.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't May 7, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Wendy is on FIRE today!

    That’s it, nothing else to add.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 May 7, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Hmm, my guess is that you aren’t the only one he is trying to control over the internet. This guy isn’t your boyfriend as much as you want him to be. The thing I don’t get is that it doesn’t seem like you have trouble talking to or meeting guys so why are you taking orders from some random guy on the internet that you have never met? I would just “Breakup” with him, and don’t tell him that you “cheated”, because he could be a crazy person, and definitely don’t wait until you meet in person to do it, because he could do something bad to you.
    It just really blows my mind that you would let somebody you have never met tell you what to do, and make you stop hanging out with your friends who have been with you for a lot longer than 5 months. So again ditch this guy before it’s to late, and your friends never want to talk to you again, because you went off the deepend for somebody who by all means is imaginary to them.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. May 7, 2012, 4:30 pm

    You are not in a relationship with this guy and he is not your boyfriend. He’s some guy you’ve been talking to on the internet who has manipulated you into believing you’re having a relationship. No relationship = no cheating. But please, please, cut off all contact with him and then figure out why you let yourself be manipulated like that.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger May 7, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Help.

    It’s one thing to be in a long distance relationship, but completely different to have a “boyfriend” you have never even met in person. This is where online dating turns from an easy way to meet people, into a crazy substitute for living and interacting in the real world. It’s sickening to me. The fact that people can be so messed up and far from reality that they actually think they’re in a relationship with a person whom they have NEVER MET. It’s terrifying, especially when you mention that he’s controlling your life and other relationships from hundreds of miles away!

    LW, see a therapist immediately.

    You clearly have some pretty intense self-esteem issues. And at the same time, I find it hard to believe you’ll recognize this or take Wendy’s advice, unfortunately. Because someone with a firm grasp on reality and average intelligence would never treat this illusion as a reality.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Michelle.Lea May 7, 2012, 3:34 pm

    if the relationship you share with this guy had sounded more stable, i’d have had other things to say. However, you gave up talking to your friends for this guy?? not acceptable. in ANY relationship. You have the opportunity to break it off clean, and it will be easier to recover since you haven’t met him yet.

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  • avatar

    Flake May 7, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Oh yeah, and just to be on the safe side, do not tell this guy any personal information about yourself, such as your address, or full name, or whatever else he could use to find you. And if you already did, make sure that other people know about him and have whatever information you have about him. And if, and that’s a huge ‘if’ (personally, I would strongly suggest you don’t ever meet this guy in person), you are going to meet him, make sure that people know where you are at all times, and make an arrangement with a friend you trust to call every few hours.

    After rereading this, I realize it sounds paranoid, but I just get a very bad vibe from this letter….

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  • dandywarhol

    dandywarhol May 7, 2012, 4:38 pm

    One of the biggest red flags to prove a guy is going to turn out to be a jerk is a guy who m
    “makes” you stop hanging out with your friends. And jerk is a nice way of putting that. My last bf did it, albeit very sneakily, and guess what? He was a manipulative a-hole. So even ignoring the fact you guys have never even met, that is a big RED FLAG!!! I mean, really, you haven’t even seen him in person and he’s already controlling you?? No. Just no.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster May 7, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Thoughts that went through my head while reading this (in this order):
    1. Creepy internet guy ≠ boyfriend.
    2. Ooo I would LOVE a latte right now.
    3. I don’t think drunk sex is that bad of an idea.
    4. Ok, drunk sex a bad idea when building self esteem. Touché, Wendy, touché…
    5. I’m gonna run to Starbucks really quick.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 May 7, 2012, 4:12 pm

      I agree, drunk sex really isn’t that bad if you are careful. It is bad if you let somebody manipulate you into doing it, which is hard to tell with this girl, because she is obviously very easy to manipulate.

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    • dandywarhol

      dandywarhol May 7, 2012, 4:34 pm

      She totally got me with the latte thing too. So tasty…

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    • avatar

      Trixy Minx May 7, 2012, 10:03 pm

      I love Starbucks happy hour!

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      • avatar

        Ricki May 8, 2012, 9:15 am

        My friend works at Starbucks and yesterday they served over 200 frappaccinos in 2 hours. Everyone who works there secretly hates everyone who goes there. Just an FYI. The longer it takes to make your drink the more they hate you.

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    • avatar

      DMR May 8, 2012, 4:57 am

      Correct: There’s nothing wrong with drunk sex.

      I started a relationship with my second girlfriend from a night of drunk sex. We broke up after six months and are still friends to this day.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 5:14 pm

    Okay, lets see, the guy is a controlling asshole and you haven’t even met yet?

    WTF?!

    Wake up, Girl! Look, you can definitely do better… Why are so many young women these days so fucking desperate? Seriously, DearWendiers, please! Tell me! Tell me because I really wanna know! Why do so many LWs deliberately put themselves in such obviously awful positions….?

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow May 7, 2012, 5:20 pm

      Probably in part because of our biological clocks. Did you see how crazy that made some of us last week?
      (too soon?)

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      • Lili

        Lili May 7, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Haha. I chuckled. Oh and Mercury retrogrades, they make me more crazy as well.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 7, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Haha. Oh, AND? My facebook is PLASTERED with weddings and babies and weddings and babies and weddings and babies and…..yeah, that’s just about it.

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    • landygirl

      landygirl May 7, 2012, 5:38 pm

      Sadly, it isn’t just DW readers, it occurs everywhere and it’s been happening for a long, long time.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 6:16 pm

        I blame that wretched show GIRLS. It shamelessly glamorizes female victimhood, I swear. No, but seriously. Maybe it REALLY is because you all have such lousy role models. We had Madonna. You all got stuck with Rhianna who very publicly GETS THE FUCKING SHIT BEATEN OUT OF HER BY CHRIS BROWN… But then a year or two later, all is forgiven and the two idiots are collaborating together on vapid dance remixes just to sell their fucking records… Oh, and the clueless Academy plays along by tossing Grammys back into Chris Brown’s lap. I mean, yeah, sure. It’s all pretty fucked up. And a long, long way from:

        “Don’t go for second best, baby / Put your love to the test”

        or

        “You’ll do much better, baby / on you own / Baby, on you own”

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      • Lili

        Lili May 7, 2012, 6:38 pm

        Building on what Cats said about Facebook, I think that social media is playing a part as well. SO many of us are caught up in the image and the way things look about our personal lives that any kind of relationship seems better than nothing. I mean now a few clicks lead to family vacay pics and wedding albums where as before you would have to physically go to a friends house to see the pics and hear them talk. I think this shift is playing a role in women settling for ANY guy as long as they have A guy to ‘brag’ about. Otherwise, who can we tweet as having bought us those amazing new earrings/flowers/vacations. I don’t mean to be glib, but I am seeing a disturbing trend in my news feed and with friends in general who want to tweet/ status update every inch of their lives. I think a lot of people are glossing things over in an effort to make their lives more picture perfect without all the thought and self reflection that goes into making a life well lived.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 6:46 pm

        That’s very true. I feel that my generation really lucked out with the whole social networking thing. We didn’t WASTE our 20s vicariously living our lives online and endlessly comparing ourselves to others… (We couldn’t. The technology was years away…) Instead, we all got online just in time to see how fat, how bald, and how bitterly unhappy most of our old high school rivals were twenty years later. It was all very validating in a way… 😉

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      • dandywarhol

        dandywarhol May 7, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Yes! You said it perfectly. I feel like so many people now have to have a million FB friends, and then proceed to show off only their best assets. Sometimes it makes me want to scream! Like am i the only person jn the world who has a bad day or a boring day?? Is anyone normal anymore? Anyway that probably made no sense haha but I agree, FB is not doing us any favors.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl May 7, 2012, 7:13 pm

        What about the vague status posts looking for attention so that people will ask “What’s wrong?”

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 7:45 pm

        whoops. now THAT i must admit i am sadly guilty of. though most of my updates are random song lyrics or notable quotes from film or tv… the big three repeat offenders? mad men. madonna. and star wars.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl May 7, 2012, 8:48 pm

        If I were a gay man we’d be a match made in heaven.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 9:08 pm

        i wanna kiss you in paris
        i wanna hold your hand in rome
        make love on a train
        cross country…

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      • avatar

        niki May 7, 2012, 9:33 pm

        Wanting
        Needing
        Waiting
        For you to justify my love….

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 9:46 pm

        Oh, dear God. Now it’s a threeway… Madonna would so approve.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl May 7, 2012, 9:58 pm

        I’m picturing Joan lip syncing that song as she’s walking through the streets of Paris dressed as Princess Leia.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 7, 2012, 10:43 pm

        Joan would SO rock that Bespin Gown outfit….

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      • dandywarhol

        dandywarhol May 8, 2012, 8:32 am

        Ooh you’re right haha. I guess everyone is either extremely awesome and happy or depressed and in need of attention. This is why I don’t even check mine anymore haha.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl May 7, 2012, 6:58 pm

        Don’t look at me, I’m older than you are! We grew up in a very different time. We didn’t have texts and emails, we had to actually interact with people if we wanted to talk to them. I think technology plays a huge part in the lack of critical thinking skills of youth today. People aren’t attached to other people, they are attached to their devices.

        That and our parents weren’t the helicopter parents that they have today. I know so many mothers who do so much for their kids, more than is necessary IMO. If you child wants something, let them figure out a way to get it, don’t do it for them.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant May 7, 2012, 8:01 pm

        I hate Girls, but let’s be real. It *just* came out, it can hardly be held responsible for anything yet.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny May 7, 2012, 9:58 pm

        The real culprit is Twilight. If you are self destructive enough, he will come back and make you a vampire. Because true love only works if you force it.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant May 7, 2012, 10:11 pm

        Yes, I agree. Its twilight.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. May 7, 2012, 7:07 pm

      Besides social media and all that, which wasn’t around when I was growing up, I can say for me it was my mom. She started talking about marrying me off as soon as I hit puberty. Everything was about “find that man”. Her friends actually started questioning her about whether or not I was gay because I didn’t date much. (I remember one actually asking, “But she is engaged, right?”) Whenever I did bring a guy home, wedding bells started playing in her head. (She scared off at least one.) When I broke up with someone, she was the first one to ask me why. She finally gave up when I had my tubes tied. I guess married people must have children…

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  • avatar

    Joanna May 7, 2012, 5:38 pm

    The LW sounds very young and naive to the concept of relationships. Perhaps she has never had a real live in-person boyfriend before. Despite what she may think, this is not a relationship at all. This guy could be lying about anything he tells her. She would have no basis to know if that is the case or not because she has never met him. Relationships don’t start long distance. It takes an in-person meeting to begin one.

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  • avatar

    *HmC* May 7, 2012, 6:36 pm

    Signs of controlling behavior and lack of trust (by him) plus signs of unhappiness-cheating (by you), and you guys haven’t even really MET yet?! There’s no way that’s the start of something good. Also I’m confused, is it really even appropriate to call someone your boyfriend that you haven’t met yet? Internet and phone chemistry notwithstanding, with very few exceptions, in my opinion if you haven’t ever been around each other you don’t really know them well enough to know if you want to *be in* a relationship with them in the first place. And if you both really think that you could like each other and you’re looking for a relationship, would it really take you 5 + months to meet?

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  • avatar

    katiebird May 7, 2012, 7:26 pm

    You deserve better than this internet jerk. End things with him ASAP

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  • avatar

    emmkat May 7, 2012, 10:41 pm

    As almost everyone has already said, you did not “cheat” on this internet guy because he is not your boyfriend. It’s quite possible he’s manipulating not only you but other women as well. Don’t tell him what you did, but break it off immediately, block him on email/Skype/phone/whatever.

    And, most of all, stop feeling guilty. What you did wasn’t wrong, you only feel that way because some guy you’ve never met (and honestly, you probably don’t know much about him that’s true) has been taking advantage of you. He saw a vulnerable woman and separated her from her friends to make her even more vulnerable, so he could suck her into his web.

    Move on from this guy (I know, it’s easier to say than do), get back in touch with your friends, and find someone to talk to. Find a therapist or family member or friend who will be supportive and who can help you in cutting this man out of your life.

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  • avatar

    Somebody May 7, 2012, 10:48 pm

    Well, first of all, I respect and thank you all for your opinions… Secondly, I would like to point out that a long distance relationship, where the two haven’t even met yet, isn’t that unbelievable. I have two close friends, that met their boyfriends online. One was with him for eight months before they finally met, and they have been together for over four years now. The other moved to a different state to meet/live with her internet boyfriend, after six months, and they are now expecting their first child. I know it is very hard to understand if you’ve never experienced it, I’m just trying to prove a point. I do understand the concern that he is controlling, and COULD be worse when we meet. However, his controlling began at a particularly stressful time, and I hope, that it was JUST because of the stress he was dealing with, with his jobs, (he has two) and family trouble. And of course the stress of not being able to be with someone they very much care for. This sounds naive but I do believe it, because I deal with the same issues… We’re both young, but everyone is once, right? I do care for him, and I would like to see where this could go. I will definitely take the advice about when we meet, I will be careful and have friends/family nearby, and if it goes well, then, I guess we go from there. We have both made our mistakes, and we’re both willing to work through them, and see what happens. I hope you all can respect that.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl May 8, 2012, 9:16 am

      Being overly controlling at any point in a relationship is not okay. Deciding which friends you can/can not have is controlling. Justifying his boarderline abusive behavior with his stress is a bad bad bad idea. Life is stressful. What if you met, married, had children- his stress will only rise which would make him more controlling (based on your rational).

      Please please proceed with caution if you proceed at all. His behavior in these short 5 months have big warning flags for a abusive relationship.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 8, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Feeling my frustration after reading this update, I can only imagine how Wendy must feel when people write in to say they completely disregarded all advice, logic and sense. Literally every person here had the same strong opinion and LW’s reply is a lot of people meet online??!?! Yea, we know, Wendy’s married to someone she met online. A lot of the commenters are too I think.
        If you are really capable of not even considering/completely ignoring ALL advice, especially when all commenters and Wendy are in agreement, why bother writing in?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 8, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Seriously, it’s laughable. I am beginning to think that at least half of the women out there in abusive and controlling relationships simply must secretly be digging it on some sick level. Why else would they keep on making such asinine excuses for constantly being treated like shit? Oh, I’ll catch hell for this, sure… But you know what? In far, far too many cases… it simply ISN’T all that difficult to leave. You know what, LW. If you want to be treated like shit, fine. Go have a ball with that. But for fuck’s sake, stop writing in here expecting us to justify your stupidest of decisions. For that matter, just stop wasting our fucking time if in the end you are just going to write in and painfully prove that you so weren’t worth it.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Once you’re IN it, it can be difficult to leave for a multitude of reasons. I thought the same way you do until I experienced it myself.

        But that’s exactly why this LW should see it for what it is NOW and walk away before she gets too involved.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 8, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Wouldn’t a multitude of uninterest internet people voicing how seriously F’d up this is helped a little though?
        I hear where you are coming from about “once you’re in it” but I still think this should’ve opened her eyes a bit.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 1:47 pm

        That’s what I mean. I wish there had been such a bright loud and clear message saying to me DON’T DO THIS before I got so invested and so involved. BEFORE it was so difficult to leave.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 1:49 pm

        I’m disagreeing with BGM that women in abusive relationships are “digging it” and that “it simply ISN’T all that difficult to leave.” Trust me, I thought the same thing. I think it was Pinky who described it best on the last thread as the boiling frog syndrome.

        BUT! This particular LW is being given the gift of being shown a red flag before she’s stuck. She should pay attention to it.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Wait. No. I never thought that women in abusive relationships “must be secretly digging it.” That’s insane. But I always thought the whole “WHY did she stay” thing. The truth is, it’s really really complicated and messy.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 8, 2012, 1:58 pm

        And this is precisely one of the situations where it would be fucking easy to leave. I didn’t say ALL, I said HALF. And I do stand by half. Look, I’ve grown rather weary of the victim mentality so many people use here to justify stupid behavior.

        People are only as weak as they make themselves.

        Look, if somebody doesn’t even have the balls to end a fucking fantasy internet romance where they haven’t even met in the flesh and yet are already being treated like shit, then, yes, I would argue that they are truly and deeply just loving it. This silly vapid LW is totally digging it. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out. Really, I am on the edge of my seat. The suspense is killing me. Oh, wow, what will possibly happen? Gee, I wonder…

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 2:33 pm

        This LW, knowing what she knows, absolutely 100% should walk away right now. I will agree with you there.

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      • avatar

        Flake May 8, 2012, 1:43 pm

        There is another thing I don’t get in these letters. Every single person, man or woman, in an abusive relationship had that choice at one point – to walk away relatively unharmed after the first incident or a HUGE RED FLAG WAIVING IN THEIR FACE (such as a guy who has never met you or your friends, who goes on to force you to give up those real-life friends), but they consciously and consistently choose not to do so, instead putting themselves in potentially dangerous environment.
        LW, the guy is bad news, and not in a sexy dangerous bad boy kind of a way. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you have met, or where you met. He is a controlling ass. And you are right, everyone was young once, that is why you asked more mature people for an opinion. No one here is trying to keep you away from your soul-mate. People are simply concerned and are giving you their unbiased opinions, which is, again, what you have asked for.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 8, 2012, 1:45 pm

        A wise person once said…

        Some people are simply beyond help.
        Most simply don’t deserve it.

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      • avatar

        Flake May 8, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Oh, and I have more news for you LW. You think he is stressed now?? Wait until you throw in a couple of kids, mortgage and all the other responsibilities of an adult person. You better be ready for that roller-coaster ride.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark May 8, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Seriously…

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl May 8, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Until you go through the crazy mental abuse that happens in abusive relationship…you will never understand. Abusers prey on people who have low self esteem and screw up their brains even further. An abusee will 9 times out of 10 defend their abuser because they have been so brain washed into beleiving them.

        It truely is that difficult to leave when your abuser has alientated you from your support network, family, friends, often times not let you work. Where are you supposed to go when you have no money, no friends, no family ties, no self worth? Yes, the LW isn’t there yet which is why she should run for the hills- but you are not in a place to make such bold statement when you have never suffered and survived an abusive relationship.

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    • katie

      katie May 8, 2012, 9:21 am

      oh, LW…. good luck with that. clearly you arent open to listening to the overwhelming majority of voices telling you how wrong this situation is…

      also, im sorry for your friends who have found themselves in similar situations. that kind of stuff doesnt happen out here in the real world… just becuase the situation has repeated itself does not make it right and/or normal and/or healthy. it just means that this sad situation has happened to more then one person…

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      • avatar

        Marcie May 8, 2012, 11:57 am

        I even wonder why she’s writing in. I agree that it doesn’t seem that she’s open to any of the opinions put forth here. And why is it okay that he became controlling in a stressful time in his life?

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 8, 2012, 9:23 am

      Well, I’d be concerned about a person who becomes controlling and manipulative during “stressful times.” Life is stressful. How people handle that is telling. This guy handles it by trying to control and manipulate you.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 8, 2012, 9:29 am

        Also, you’re justifying his controlling behavior by “the stress of not being able to be with someone they very much care for” (i.e., you). So now the blame is on YOU for his bad behavior? This seems like a really icky situation – the beginning signs of abuse… This isn’t normal. Huge red flag!

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle May 8, 2012, 9:44 am

        Ugh, I said I wasn’t going to touch this, but I’m going to piggyback off of the quote you pulled– “And of course the stress of not being able to be with someone they very much care for.”

        LW, that sounds just so incredibly misguided. You came into each other’s lives only 5 months ago & never even met. That’s not enough time to build a connection even for two people who’ve been dating (in person!) that whole time. It’s stressful being away from a partner, yes, but this guy is not your partner at this time. So the “he’s stressed at not being able to be with me” excuse doesn’t fly.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant May 8, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Agreed, both reason she gave for his stress, and thus controlling behavior, are ridiculous. He’s stressed because he has two jobs? I’ve had two jobs, I didn’t try to control who my BF hung out with. He’s stressed because he cares for her and can’t be with her? My BF and I live two hours apart. Still haven’t tried to control him.

        If he can’t handle two pretty mundane situations that a vast majority of people will experience at some point in their lives, look out when things get really rough.

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        ele4phant May 8, 2012, 2:36 pm

        Oh, also she mentioned family trouble. Everyone, EVERYONE, will have family trouble of some sort at one point or another. Also not a valid excuse.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow May 8, 2012, 12:37 pm

      Whether or not you can meet someone online and have a legitimate relationship without officially meeting is not the point right now. The point is that he is controlling and manipulative and possessive, and stress is NOT an excuse. It will only get worse if you start an in-person face-to-face relationship or if you ever live in the same place. Please read the previous letter about abuse. This guy is exhibiting HUGE bright glaring red flags.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant May 8, 2012, 1:27 pm

      Yeah, you can meet someone online, correspond for a long time before meeting, develop feelings, and eventually have that turn into a full fledged relationship. Critical part though…meeting each other.

      If you haven’t met him yet, you are NOT yet in a full fledged exclusive relationship. You can slap that label on when you actual meet him and start building a complete, exclusive, and committed relationship with him (although common sense would be that you not continue anything with this particular dude).

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    • avatar

      Vathena May 8, 2012, 2:56 pm

      Actually, LW, no, I personally can’t respect that. I have zero respect for your making choices that will only lead to bad outcomes. You wrote in to ask Wendy (and, by extension, her readers) for advice. You’ve been given advice by dozens of strangers who uniformly agree that your internet “boyfriend” is bad news, a guy who is going to treat you like shit, a guy you’ve never even met. He’s making your life miserable and you’re letting him! And you’re going to keep letting him! And ALL of us who read this question (even the ones who didn’t submit comments, I’m guessing) thought the same thing. Personally, I didn’t even need to read beyond “he doesn’t trust me at all, and he tries to control who I talk to.” That’s NEVER OKAY no matter what the circumstances are, how you met, how long you’ve been together, whether you’re married 35 years with 9 children and one more on the way. It means that your relationship is fucked. And the thing is, you don’t know this guy. You’ve never met him. You’re NOT married with 9 kids. You met another guy you’re attracted to! It would be super freakin’ easy just to erase this internet loser from your life and MOA. But instead, you want to whine about how much you CARE about each other, and how we should respect your decisions. Well, I’m not gonna.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 May 9, 2012, 9:28 am

      Oh and you clearly don’t care that much about him, because you arleady cheated on him, and want to lie to him about it. Think about how much stress that is going to be on him, don’t worry though he can use that as an excuse after he hits you. “Oh but I was stressed, because you cheated on me when you were drunk”.

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  • avatar

    sarita_f May 7, 2012, 10:53 pm

    I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but this LW really should read “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. That could really help her develop her ‘gut instinct.’

    This guy is hitting so many red flags.

    In addition to the commenters that are (rightly) pointing out that this guy shows pretty classic abuse signs I have to point out that abuse isn’t just physical.

    LW, you NEED to know this about the world, in particular the world online: There really are – crossmyhearthopetodie – sick people out there who totally get off on messing with people they only know virtually. Get off as in literally beat off in their mother’s basement when some nice woman 1,000 miles away does what they’re told to do by said guy. It’s weird. You probably don’t think you know anyone in real life, but these people EXIST. And sadly, in this situation, you’re actually physically the safest, cause there is NO WAY this guy is going to blow his cover to come meet you. He probably doesn’t want to spend extra time away from the computer ’cause then he wouldn’t get the satisfaction of controlling the 5 other women he’s probably doing the same thing to.

    HOWEVER, this type WILL fuck your mind a million ways to Sunday. Please disentangle yourself from this guy.

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  • avatar

    Anna May 8, 2012, 12:34 am

    Oh my god, LW…this internet guy sounds really creepy and manipulative. He can’t be your exclusive boyfriend if you haven’t met in person, therefore you did not cheat on him. However, I agree with the others who said you shouldn’t tell him about having sex with that guy because he sounds a little crazy and you don’t want to put yourself in danger. Stop talking to him immediately and block him on all websites. I really hope you haven’t given him any actual personal info such as your address.

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  • avatar

    the other guy May 8, 2012, 1:05 am

    I would suggest getting a another internet boyfriend in case the first one doesn’t work out, i know that is unlikely as he sounds prefect. Just be careful to cover your tracks. Avoid using your home computer, maybe use a computer in an internet cafe, recommend going to different cafe’s so it makes you harder to track.

    If your first boyfriend does catch you talking online to the second boyfriend deign everything, blame the first boyfriend for not appreciating you enough and launch counter accusations. Well that is what I do normally….

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  • avatar

    DMR May 8, 2012, 4:54 am

    Wendy is right. There’s nothing else to say.

    Oh wait, yes, there is something else. The guy you had sex with is probably boyfriend material. In fact, that whole thing about having sex just randomly like that might not be so random. He may have been waiting for a chance. And in fact, he may have had help in creating the situation by others in your circle.

    Have another look at the guy you slept with. He may be a great opportunity to have a “REAL” boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    RLSing23 May 8, 2012, 8:12 am

    What bugged me most was the fact that you said you have been “dating” him for about 5 months, but that “for the last two or so months, all we have talked about was meeting and being together.”

    Wait, WHAT?

    So you were talking with him for a full THREE MONTHS before the subject of “being and meeting together” was all he could talk about with you?

    Um, no. The time that should have elapsed between when he started talking to you and when he couldn’t stop thinking about seeing you should have been zilch (okay, maybe give/take a conversation or two).

    I met my boyfriend online and we were only talking online for about a week before we met up (although it would have been less had I not been smack-dab in the middle of final exams). We have now been dating for two years.
    When a guy wants to meet up with you, he makes the plans. He doesn’t make you wait. This guy is stringing you along out of his own sick, twisted mind or for an ego boost. Don’t take his bait and MOA!!!!!

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle May 8, 2012, 8:18 am

    A part of me thinks this letter is not real. I mean, are people really this clueless?

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    • avatar

      MissDre May 8, 2012, 9:40 am

      Yes, they are. But they usually grow out of it by age 18, 19, 20….

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray May 8, 2012, 8:31 am

    I wonder why after 5 months they haven’t met up yet? I assume they live far away from each other. But still.

    Has anyone ever met someone online that refused to meet up? I did once. I was on match or ok cupid and I started emailing with this really cute and interesting guy. He’d email me daily but never ask me out. After a week of that, I asked him if he’d like to meet for coffee or a meal. We tried to set up a date but he was always, mysteriously, unavailable. Yet, he was always available for daily IM’ing. It was really weird. After 2 more weeks of him never making plans to meet me, I just stopped responding to his emails because he was clearly not interested in meeting. My last email was “let me know when/if you’d like to get together.” He avoided that and jut sent me another long email talking about his day and asking about mine. I didn’t respond. He maybe sent another email or two that I didn’t respond to and then stopped emailing me. … I’m pretty sure he had a wife or girlfriend. I mean, why else would you correspond with some girl but never meet up? What’s the point of corresponding?! Or maybe he had lied about his age or picture or something? I don’t know, but it was weird.

    So, the fact that this LW has lasted 5 MONTHS without meeting up is really weird to me.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle May 8, 2012, 9:07 am

    Okay guys, the LW responded above under the name “Somebody”? Just alerting you all (partially because I don’t even wanna go near it!)

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  • Heather

    Heather May 8, 2012, 9:33 am

    LW, you’re being naive. This guy isn’t your boyfriend. You don’t have anything that constitutes a real relationship. That sounds demeaning, but it’s the truth. LDR is one thing. You don’t have that.

    Why are you so desperate to “see where it will go”? Why don’t you find someone REAL and see where it goes with them? Someone who doesn’t try to control you or manipulate you? I just, in my opinion, you’re settling. And if I had to go off of your update, you’re being exceptionally idealistic about this whole situation. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying (and honestly I think we all are) to tell you how we see it. Nothing good can come from this. This isn’t “You’ve Got Mail” rom-com business. Dump this loser and move on with your life.

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  • avatar

    Suzanne May 8, 2012, 10:45 am

    Anyone else wondering if the “boyfriend” put his best friend up to seduce her just to test her loyalty?

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    • avatar

      ele4phant May 8, 2012, 10:51 am

      Um, different boyfriends I think. This was the best friend of her sister’s boyfriend, not hers. Maybe he set-up his girlfriend’s sister, but that would be weird. The LW’s boyfriend is long-distance and I assume doesn’t know these people.

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  • avatar

    Somebody May 11, 2012, 12:56 am

    I was WILLING to see where it would go, I didn’t just for certain say that it would happen. But it’s over. One of my best friends made me realize. Sorry for wasting everyone’s valuable time.

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    • avatar

      DMR May 11, 2012, 5:34 am

      You didn’t waste anyone’s time. We love this stuff!

      And please don’t be embarrassed or resentful if people didn’t quite get where you were coming from, or about the fact that you’ve now resolved the situation. Questions about matters of the heart are usually asked right in the middle of a process. At that time your opinion is in a state of flux. The answer is often obvious in hindsight. (in my case, the decision to leave my wife was obvious in hindsight).

      At any rate, I’m glad you’ve resolved it, and I think the general consensus would be that you made the right call.

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  • avatar

    intunecos May 24, 2012, 2:51 am

    I know it’s pretty late for a comment, but I have to let this off my chest. I have been in a similar situation to that of the LW (except this ‘relationship’ wasn’t with a manipulative, creepy guy). I will begin my rant now:
    He is not your boyfriend. I repeat. He is NOT your boyfriend. That is not a relationship. Relationships cannot start until you meet in person. Period. A couple of years ago I met a guy online and we talked for months. We clicked on a mental level, and got a little too close. The relationship would have worked have we lived near each other, but did not happen. LW, did you know what eventually ended up happening? We broke up after we met, because we realized it just wasn’t going to happen. Were feelings hurt? Yes. Did it take time to heal? Yes. But looking back, I wish it wouldn’t have happened.
    The entire relationship was a mindf. It took me a while to get over it, because in online ‘relationships’ all you can do is talk; which can leave you very vulnerable. Then one day, LW, I noticed why it was so hard to leave him to begin with. I did not fall in love with him, I feel in love with the idea of him, and the idea of love. I have to admit, I was pretty young back then, and I believed in some universe, we could be together. In that little hole you have dug for yourself, I am sure you have come up with amazing scenarios of being together. The dream is too good to let go. Waking up from a good dream is always hard, isn’t it?
    I have to agree 100% with the other commenters that this guy sounds extremely shady and dangerous. However, I am not targeting that. I am targeting that dream you have, that dream of having someone who can love you forever, and live happily ever after. Wake up from that dream. It is not the kind of dream that you wake up and easily forget. It is the kind of dream that can leave you wounded for a very long time, and the best thing you can do right now is to wake up.
    Don’t meet up with him, under any circumstance. He sounds very dangerous, and I really wouldn’t want you to get hurt (funny how our similar circumstances have made me care a lot about your well being). I know how you will react so I will recommend you to erase his email, phone number, skype, msn, facebook, twitter; anything, and also block him in all those mediums. Please listen to me. I wish I had someone giving me this advice some years ago. Go out and meet a guy in person. It will be harder to connect at first (because this online fling has probably made you crave for super intimate conversations), but it will happen. Most importantly, I know all women have this, listen to your gut. If your gut tells you something is off, then it’s probably off. Listen to it. Don’t try to prove yourself wrong (I have tried this for a long time, and until now I haven’t been able to prove my gut wrong). Please take care sweety

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