A warning about online dating

A Warning About Online Dating




So, dear adventurers out there let this be a warning to you all.
This same story can be played out with different names, different places – but the intention will be the same.

This particular journey started on the DateInAsia website – it does not mean that there are no genuine people there – waiting for true romance to take root and blossom – but it is a focal point and will attract the bad and the good.

On the internet and in real life, deception, in the expert hands of confidence tricksters – is entirely convincing – pay great attention to even the slightest feelings of unease – of not being entirely comfortable. There is a part of you that knows when the truth is not resonating as it should – but often we even over-ride our own beliefs and rationality in our eagerness to fulfill our hopes and dreams.

If you find yourselves dealing with anyone who works for the real estate firm – they are interested in prospective buyers from the UK in particular – an attractive girl called – simply – Curly Hair on DateInAsia – that’s Mayen in this story – with a picture that appears strong and honest – just think for a moment – you are possibly not the only one.

Or perhaps you will be dealing with Sir F. – the marketing manager – who dis-engaged himself from any interest in resolving my dilemma – refusing to oblige me with the legitimate information that I so urgently required.

In the Philippines – money is number one – the lubricant that oils every social, business, political or familial activity. They are a wonderful people – but be careful how you tread. With all that lubricant washing around – the ground on which you walk is very, very slippery.

In absolute ignorance I stumbled into this, my first encounter with the Philippines.
Vague, picturesque notions of surf and coconut palms – of beautiful native women.
Throughout this journey, from April 2007 up until now – July 2008 – I have explored from the comfort of my swivel chair – and with a short visit – gradually uncovering some of the dynamics – the tangled weave of threads that are all pulling, all affecting each other – the interplay between the West and the third world country that is the Philippines – and most especially in the context of interpersonal romantic relationships, the knotted situation I found myself in.
The vehicle I used for some of my exploration is playing a big part in those dynamics – the internet.

I need to simplify to some extent and look at the morality of my behaviour, my own ethics, my responsibility – and try to see clearly the forces at play.

I started with the premise that all relationships were in some way a trade off – admitting that mine with Mayen would probably be inconceivable were I poor and pennyless – accepting also the reality that financial matters have an important bearing on any relationship.
I accepted that from my point of view our exchange was simply that I had the financial means to elevate her slightly in terms of her material surroundings and offer her the security of my absolute love – in return for her happiness being shared under the umbrella of our relationship – and that we would have a conventional marriage partnership, making plans for the future and for a family.
I felt assured that from her point of view this was understood – and that it was all reciprocal – in other words – that we loved despite our differences – not because of them.

But history has had a profound effect on these islands – denying them their independence for so many years – then suddenly slapping them in the face with the ways of the west – the lure – the glitter – the material attractions and comforts of a capitalist world that the great majority of them simply cannot afford and can only dream of. For us in the west, this was a gradual process – allowing some degree of acclimatisation – but for the Philippines it was very rapid. The glossy picture of their aspirations is force fed to them by the media – for a television is one of the first aquisitions – and taunts them from the many billboards that leer down in the ever expanding cities.
The enormous population – restrictive practices of Catholicism – the curse of unemployment – the lack of social services – political inertia – corruption – cronyism – vast inequalities of power, status and wealth – inadequate taxation resources – all conspire to produce a majority who are in poverty. The government however is forced to encourage foreign investment – and is trying to attract individuals or corporations to stay – which tends to protect and extend the mythical representation of the country – perhaps a little too well.

This presents forces within the people involved that are twisting – and twisting about in divergent directions – a dissatisfaction with their own birthright – a strong sense of national and personal pride – resentment at having to turn to people outside their own age, their own nationality – the only reason being to end personal poverty, or to assist the family – so why promise themselves to only one man when they can offer fake, cheap words to a thousand and reap the rewards?
To many, this has become their limited definition of love – of happiness – and their circumstances force them to become ruthless – turning to suburban savagery, unable to afford the luxury of ethical decisions.
Coupled with the forces coming in the other direction – dissatisfaction with relationships that have failed on their own territory – the knowledge of their purely financial advantage – the lure of a mythical paradise – and the beauty of the abundance of girls who are eligible – that can become a misguided definition of love – we in the west are not necessarily able to make these ethical decisions either.
We need to be informed.

More often than not – trying to solve these problems through a relationship creates an even bigger problem – even when it proceeds without deception. They both originate from needs and cultures that are at odds.
It’s nowhere near as simple as “Boy meets girl” – I know a little of that now – and I, for one, have lost sight of my original hopes – pursuing the call of love. In my naivety I presumed that love would be a common denominator – but it is always channeled by aspiration.
Please think twice, three times – a dozen times before you even make the first foray – and then make an informed decision – unlike me.

No one should read this as discriminating, or as a generalisation – people have choices, wherever they live – but those choices might be severely restricted by poverty and struggle – or by not being informed.
But please remember – my encounter was unfortunately with the wrong sort of people.

For some young women in this environment – the lure of using the internet to attract a partner is an obvious option as a solution to their poverty. The internet provides a means of rapid payments of cash – a means to cultivate a relationship through words – deceitful or true – the means to make contact with an unlimited amount of potential partners – and a means whereby the unscrupulous can take advantage by creating artificially emotive situations.
I know that this is a two way street and that the choice between good or bad behaviour exists at both ends, but for some – when they are encouraged into deceptive practices to increase their wealth, they might not feel they have the luxury of choice, or the freedom to be able to easily say no.
I am aware also of the many abuses caused to innocent Filipinas abroad and even in their own country – when relationships turn out to be different from how they were initially perceived.
I seek to find a resolution – but it is ultimately in the hands of individuals – and is a question of morality.

It is important to differentiate genuine poverty from greed – one certainly does not automatically engender the other.

I say that money shouldn’t influence morality – but it is people like me who let it happen – we
who have the culture that they are aspiring to emulate.
My responsibility is now to understand fully that I am part of the problem. Which is the greater gift? A promise of financial assistance or the promise of a young woman’s whole life?
If we think that our money entitles us to be able to pick from the crop of their youthful women, no matter how worthy we consider our motives – some will translate that as the perfect excuse to take us for whatever they can.
The result is a breeding ground for this sort of racketeering – Tierra Mafia – a cocktail of prostitution – money laundering – extortion – and the internet is the perfect tool to enable these practices to flourish.
Since this has happened to me I have heard of two other similar cases involving Ectopic Pregnancies – one in Thailand – the other in the Philippines – both scams – and I consider myself to have got off lightly.
The answer to why stories like mine are so rarely discovered lies perhaps in embarrassment and shame on behalf of the victim – and I am sure in the ability of the scammers, through information that they have gleaned, to threaten – and to use blackmail.

My heart still, at times, finds it difficult to believe – and because I had been so skilfully suckered in from the start – and made it so easy – we did genuinely share some good times together – but that happy house was built upon the sands of illusion – in hindsight, it is all too painfully clear.

Suckered in – yes – but I don’t consider myself as a sucker. There are many people who have similar, worthy dreams to mine – dreams of a sincere relationship – dreams of a wonderful, miraculous love.
There are evil people, also, ready to fill the emptiness of our lives with a myth – one that coincides with our dream – the myth that is all too apparent reading the template profiles upon dating sites – simplicity, a smiling face, home-loving, God-fearing – a painted picture of innocence, a certain native charm – they know precisely how to appeal to our dreams. 19th century snake-oil, sold to cure a 21st century disillusionment.
They can sniff out sincerity – it has a distinctive smell – money.
It is only the true dreamers that they target – not the cheap thrill seekers – who would simply turn away at the slightest whiff of obligation.

The kind of deception I have experienced is going to become a massive problem – the growth of computer use and the internet is on their government’s agenda for advancement – the IT highway.
They have done their very best to eradicate some of the worst examples of Mail Order Bride sites – making them illegal – but innocent looking dating sites are now the underground where these same people are hiding. It’s becoming a national sport.
My friend Jim experimented by launching a typical, wealthy, western profile on DateInAsia. No photograph – within hours he was inundated with requests – 99% from the Philippines. The same profile on other sites, not so popular in the Philippines, or concentrating on different geographics – no requests at all.
Awareness of this problem – will eventually cause it to self-extinguish, but there will be many tortured souls and gains made by deceitful and extortionate means before this happens.

Unfortunately – exposure such as this is a double edged sword – not only does it warn potential victims but it also educates the scammers themselves as to the efficiency of their methods.

When it is convenient for the Philippines to hide behind it’s third world image, it will do so – and where a contemporary impression is required – the disguise changes. More concerned with how they appear than how they are – seeming to be non-confrontational – but behind the smile, behind the myth – there is an inward looking, self serving psyche, that is extremely status conscious – harbouring defensiveness, avarice and in many cases – contempt.

The country itself is a sharp contrast between stunning natural beauty – and a mess of ancient and modern architecture – what appears to be a random, sprawling congestion of buildings – shrouded with clouds of traffic fumes.

In spite of all of that has happened – I remember that I loved the people of the Philippines – with their wonderful, natural joy – good, sincere hearts, most of them – but the population is so large that even a minority is vast.
Or was I simply being fooled by the myth?
It is time for the good people of this country to make a stand – to eradicate the activities that can only bring them shame within the global village of today.

Such a fascinating, endearing culture – on a precipice. My associations there have left me with a passion, that for me was based on the highest ideals of love. It is still within my heart – and it is with this same passion that I detest the sort of corrupt, immoral behaviour that has been uncovered. That is the reason for this story being available for you to read.

Thank you all and God bless you.


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Опубликовано 19 Jan 2012 в 5:16 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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