How to tell if online Mr. Right is actually real-life Mr. Wrong

Lauren Gray

Dear Lauren,
A guy I knew over 20 years ago started messaging me on Facebook. In 3 weeks he sent me over 450 messages, all very flirty and about how he had a big thing for me years ago. We finally planned to meet at my birthday party but he cancelled the night before saying, he definitely wanted to meet up some other time. I told him I was coming off Facebook and if he ever wanted to catch up I gave him my mobile number. That was a week ago and I haven't heard anything from him since. I'm very confused. What's going on?
Hi Maureen,

Online dating vs. A waste of time
First I want to acknowledge the function and benefit of online dating. I personally didn’t like it when I was searching for my special fish but I get that many people find their match through that avenue.
The danger though is that there is a group of men that hide behind their computers and waste a woman’s time.
I myself have come face-to-face with one of these (well, not face-to-face exactly but we’ll get to that later.) These men are often found on free dating sites and social media, especially Facebook!
Anonymity and mystery is sexy; it turns these men on.
But wait, it has nothing to do with your anonymity or mystery. It’s all about him!!! (You might find that’s a theme in this post.)
He can be anyone he wants to be with the women he pursues.

His past disappears. He’s not responsible to or beholden to the reality of his life. He gets to play make-believe except that instead of playing a video game like normal escapists do, he plays with your life, your heart and your trust.

Buyer beware the hot and heavy pursuit
I bet your man falls into this category. So I want to applaud you because YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!
We can't know exactly what's going on for him but based on his extreme behavior, we can assume that something recently happened in his life that made him feel bad about himself or caused him to feel lonely.
He then reaches out to someone from his past, someone who doesn't know who he is today or what he's become. This makes him feel better about himself.
He finds you and when you respond, he very dramatically pursues you.
This isn't a reflection of his genuine feelings for you, how can it be when he hardly knows you?
He is needy for someone to validate him, appreciate him, love him, and keep him company. This is not the place a man should come from when he pursues a woman.

Unfortunately, the Internet allows for this to happen, A LOT. Lonely men in sweat pants can reach out, flirt and flatter while farting in their bedrooms in hopes of getting a “LOL” or a naught pic from a pretty girl.
This pursuit comes from a place of pure selfishness. These men will use you to make them feel better about their lives if you let them. If a man is sending you 21+ messages a day (that’s right, I did the math), what kind of a life do you think he has? I don’t have that kind of time, do you?
The foolproof test that always reveals the truth
I get how making assumptions about someone can be uncomfortable; it has the potential to make an “ass of u and me.” This person could be in a balanced healthy state of their life and just be so completely consumed with love for you that they behave this way.
It’s a rather romantic notion, isn’t it?
But there’s a foolproof test you can run that will either confirm or deny the assumption.
The test always comes when you ask to meet these men face-to-face. Most of the time, they can't deliver and that’s when you know the truth.

I myself had to sit through multiple excuses and cancellations before I finally got the message. But this one lesson learned saved me loads of time during the years of dating after and in turn, has saved my clients’ time as well!
Is it flattering when a man comes on strong? Absolutely! But it always brings up a question for me: 

“Does he love me or does he just need someone to love him?”

This is your life. Choose your role wisely.
I recommend that you follow your word and only pursue something with him if he "shows up," and even then, be cautious and take it slow. If he tries to contact you via Internet or text again, ignore him.
I doubt that he will because you’ve already called his bluff. That’s his cue to move on.
These men don't want a relationship, no matter what they say. They want a security blanket. They’re completely wrapped up in their selfish desires and have no true willingness to do the work that a relationship requires.
And while many women are willing to fall into that role for a small payment of flattery and attention, you are not. Props for that.
Your man will come and when he does, he's going to pursue you face-to-face because he'll want to learn about and bask in the beauty of YOU.
People can find each other online but real chemistry happens in person. The rest is just make-believe. (Tweet that!)
What to do with the lonely hearted?
It’s okay to need someone.
It’s okay to want to connect with other human beings.
And it’s normal for people to go through stages where they have low self-esteem and feel lonely.
I have complete compassion. I’ve been there too.
BUT this is not the time to start something romantic. This is not the time to fall into strangers’ beds or prowl the Internet for someone to love you.
This is the time to learn to love yourself.

The moments of darkness are the times to lean on friends and family but ultimately, it’s the time to look inward and reflect. It’s a time to read self-help books, journal, meditate, learn martial arts, heal yourself, make life-changing decisions and take me-time.

Do the work to move toward the light of self-love.
Only from a place of self-love can you truly love another. And by that time, you’ll have the pick of the litter. As Kris Carr says, “Folks are like plants, we all lean toward the light.”
With love,


read more blog posts from Lauren Gray
  • ForBetterAndBetter
     12/11/2014 9:51:18 PM
    That is right. The Right guy, will plan, will call, will make arrangements. I hope Lauren will direct future subjects on "needy" or "Miss Wrong" dating advise as well.
  • Kate2014
     10/24/2014 8:28:48 AM
    There is a song sung by Brad Paisley, 'Online', that kind of makes fun of the whole online dating thing and how people can really pretend to be someone who they are not. Me...I have tried the online thing and realize I much prefer meeting someone 'the old fashioned way' person! "Online" by Brad Paisley, Kelley Lovelace and Chris Dubois I work down at the pizza pit And I drive an old Hyundai I still live with my mom and dad I'm 5'3 and overweight I'm a Sci-Fi fanatic Mild asthmatic Never been to 2nd base But there's a whole nother me That you need to see Go check out MySpace 'cause online I'm out in Hollywood I'm 6'5 and I look damn good I drive a Maserati I'm a black belt in Karate And I love a good glass of wine It turns girls on that I'm mysterious I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious 'cause even on a slow day I can have a three way Chat with two women at one time I'm so much cooler online So much cooler online I get home, I kiss my mom And she fixes me a snack I head down to my basement bedroom And fire up my Mac In real life the only time I Ever even been to L.A. Was when I got the chance with the marching band To play tuba in the Rose Parade. Online I live in Malibu I posed for Calvin Kline, I've been in GQ I'm single and I'm rich And I got a set of six pack abs that'll blow your mind It turns girls on that I'm mysterious I tell 'em I don't want nothing serious 'cause even on a slow day I can have a three way Chat with two women at one time I'm so much cooler online Yeah I'm cooler online When you got my kinda stats, it's hard to get a date Let alone a real girlfriend But I grow another foot And I lose a bunch of weight everytime I log in Online I'm out in Hollywood I'm 6'5 and I look damn good Even on a slow day,...
  • naturegirl
     10/7/2014 7:14:14 AM
    Dear Lauren, I wish I had read this a year earlier and be a strong and wiser woman. The truth is the guys I met online called me on the phone, met up with me and generally just seemed okay at the beginning. But after a while, the text msg, the phone calls fizzled and the excuses increased. The ending is the same as what you've written above. I was left hurt, lost and puzzled. Worse was I was left feeling like there must be something wrong with me! But I've since learnt that free dating sites are the hangouts for men who want easy, quick and casual hookups. They have nothing much to lose... Thanks for this sharing. It affirms what I've learnt from my experiences, though I learnt them the hard way. ...
  • Lauren Gray
     9/29/2014 2:37:48 PM
    You're so welcome perfectpearl! Glad you feel good about moving on from this one.
  • perfectpearl
     9/28/2014 6:00:22 PM
    Hi!!!! I connected with a guy on Christian mingle. After a few "flattering" emails inside the site he called once. Through more emails he wanted to come to where I live. More emails inside the site, but no phone calls. His caller ID is John E. Schmuck!!!!!!!! We were to meet this Saturday and go somewhere I liked in my city (an hour away). Then no phone call for details and conversation. No call until 4pm on Sunday. I did not answer and I blocked him from contacting me. He must really need the contact from a woman writing him. What a joke!!!!! It takes all kinds doesn't it. My idea about the site is these men are as truthful and serious as I am - WRONG!!!!! I know better and have a personal "non-disclosure" attitude with the emails, etc. This one I THOUGHT was sort of the "real deal". However, not!!!!!! Thanks Lauren, I do so like your insight and video sharing!!!!!!!!...

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