On my learning adventure through all the TV shows made available to me out there (and yes, I watch the good and the bad), I came across a show on MTV called Catfish. The host experienced love but it was an online relationship, only to discover a few months later that all the things said with the girl of his dreams happened to just be a big fat lie. After confronting the person he called “the love of his life”, he decided to use his experience and film a documentary called “Catfish” that won a lot of awards.
MTV is now following the stories of people who are in a similar situation. People who have found love through an online portal, but have never met the person they claim they fell in love with. Too crazy to happen to you? Would you ever fall for someone you’ve never physically met?
Well… I know it sounds crazy, but I relate to this experience. I, too, fell in love with someone online, and was ready to leave everything behind to make my dreams come true. It happened on a chat room, in 2003. I started talking to someone called Tyler, and we connected right away. Tyler pretended to live in New York, only I found out later he was living in San Antonio, Texas. Tyler was twenty-one, had a bad break-up, was going through a lot with alcohol and drugs. Dropped out of school. Had a girlfriend who got pregnant, then lost the baby, who then cheated on him with his best friend… And to top it all off, Tyler committed suicide a week before my twenty-first birthday.
When you read this, you wonder how I could ever have fallen in love with such a person. Tyler didn’t even exist. Tyler was a woman with three kids, a husband, bi-sexual, bored, and ready to fool the world into believing her lies. What’s even crazier is that I knew her, and she sent me pics of her kids. We talked on the phone. We exchanged letters, emails, and she sent me memorabilia! All a lie.
The love I felt was real though. Everything made sense. There was no doubt in my mind I had found the perfect person. I was completely heartbroken when I thought Tyler had really committed suicide. People around me thought the whole gig was a joke. I didn’t. Because I would never pull such an awful prank on anyone. But I was wrong.
Tyler didn’t exist. The love we shared was nothing but a story born from a cheap soap opera. I moved on from it the day I hung up the phone on Tyler’s impersonator, and decided I should just forget about the whole thing.
I don’t believe in relationships where there’s no physical contact. Talking on the phone, even through Skype, doesn’t replace the emotion you feel once you stand close to the person. I had a few other beginnings of relationships build that way after that insane experience, but I pulled the plug on each of them every time.
I can’t fall in love through a keyboard. I need the real deal. Especially as a writer, I can say whatever I want just because it reads nice. Online dating, please. I stay away from that thing like it’s the plague.
Hooking up with people you meet at a bar isn’t better, but at least, the physicality of it still exists. And I realized many times, people put up a facade that fades very quickly once you peel off the layers. Online relationships manage to keep the romance going for a long time, and cause heartbreaks. I’ve been there. Not only did I lose a beautiful dream, I also felt humiliated and embarrassed for being such a fool.
I know now love doesn’t come easy. Yet, I’d rather stay single that run after deceit. At least, I don’t get hurt anymore.