The Truth about Cats and Dogs

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:00
Posted in category Ask Rickhead
<div class=\"postavatar\">The Truth about Cats and Dogs</div>

Post written by Rick Doyle 

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

 I got a call the other day from a friend who was concerned about her girlfriend.  She said that her friend was new to the Internet and has been chatting with a man online for several months.  Just chat friends?  No. He wants to meet her, face to face.  No big deal if she takes the right precautions, such as meeting in a public place, letting someone know who she is meeting, when, where and what time she expects to be home after the date.  My friend said that was great in theory except for a couple of minor issues.  I said okay, fill me in.


First off, she is married.  She is 37 years old and has been happily married for 15 years.  She has put on a few pounds since having children and might be considered just a bit overweight.  She is a professional and has been at her job over 10 years.  She is bright, well thought of and has what most of her friends would call a good head on her shoulders and a great personality.

She has just discovered the Internet and online chat rooms.  She is about to become a statistic, a victim of her own ignorance and a mark for a carnivore.  Without confrontation, she could very likely lose her marriage, her friends and even her job as a result of an online affair.   She will naively sabotage her life pursuing an elusive romance, a fantasy that springs from avoidable neglect and loneliness.

Second, she wants her friend to go in her place and just check him out for her.  But the friend has a boyfriend whom she is loyal to and doesn’t want to risk a misunderstanding or chance hurting him to go on a date for someone else.  The married woman suggests that if the internet fellow is cute the girlfriend might just want to keep him for herself.  Of course that would mean throwing out the current boyfriend where things are going just great.

Did I forget to mention that the two friends look nothing alike and the online guy doesn’t know that he has been conversing with a married woman, who hasn’t quite given an accurate description of herself?  One other snag in the tangled web of deceit, our mystery man sounds a little too good to be true.  He described himself as 6′ tall, 185 lbs., works out all the time, travels a great deal and, you guessed it, he’s a doctor. 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the mess that would result in this scenario if played out.  What is more important here is that we look at why she is willing to destroy a marriage and involve and possibly destroy her friend’s relationship with her boyfriend as well.  Let’s list what is wrong with your married friend’s intentions and what is down the path of self-sabotage: 

1.   Her marriage, while good, has probably gotten a bit stale and her husband is probably not romancing her as much as he should because of routine, stress and boredom.

2.   She has put on weight, may have some self-esteem issues and may not be as affectionate or intimate with her husband as she used to be.

3.   She is flirting online, getting attention and a man is showing interest in her. 

4.   She believes or convinces herself that it is okay, as her cyber situation is “just a friend” and nothing is really going on, until meeting in person becomes the next step.

5.   She doesn’t really know who she is talking to and doesn’t realize that the attention is taking time away from her husband while she is online. The time spent with the other man is becoming a very hypnotic fantasy that is satisfying her desire to feel wanted, attractive and needed (even available to this other person), but all based on deceit.

6.   She progresses with her addiction (addiction: continuing to engage in something despite the consequences) even to the point of involving others to cover for her and participate in her fantasy despite the risk of hurting them as well.

7.   Her behavior is covert and dishonest at its core.

8.   She is caught up so much in the rush of these fresh new feelings that she jeopardizes what she has rather than work to improve what she already has or resolve her core issues that has led her to “greener pastures” which is in actuality just plain old astro-turf.

9.   She looks for an enabler to cosign her behavior and is not even willing to follow through with the encounter herself, additionally encouraging her friend to sabotage her healthy relationship just to satisfy her own curiosity from a distance without regard to consequence for her friends’ relationship.

10. Her online inexperience leaves her vulnerable to poor judgment and enticement from any savvy manipulator who can sweet-talk a meeting out of her.

While this sounds a bit like the movie The Truth About Cats and Dogs it really has nothing to do with truth at all.  I am happy to report that while this is a true story, the girlfriend confronted her married friend and said that she would not play out the charade.  She confronted her on the ten points I listed and convinced the friend to tell the online pursuer the truth about her marriage and situation. 

The sad truth about on the web dating is that if you are single, so many dishonest or unhealthy people can be drawn to you and separating fact from fantasy can be a real weeding out process.  If you are married and at all susceptible to being needy, presently unhappy, or just vulnerable due to a variety of circumstances, the allure of false promise, fantasizing, or role playing can lead to a disastrous outcome. More importantly, the deeply addictive nature that we are seeing with the web when it comes to instant gratification, romance, sex and the hope of easily connecting with someone ideal while still at a distance, makes us mistakenly brave and susceptible to taking foolish risks. 

While cyber romance does have its success stories (my wife and I being one of them) chances are those people were single and honest and just as likely to meet The One at a party, church, park, sporting event or chance meeting through a friend as they would the internet.  The catch is that if you put enough candy in front of a child, sooner or later, left unchecked, the child will eat it.  Left alone long enough, the child will eat it till they have made themselves sick.  For those who are married or couples, online romance can quickly lead to a real life breakup or worse.  A good rule of thumb for these folks is simply this: If you wouldn’t have any problem with your significant other reading all your correspondence with your online chat friend, then you have nothing to worry about.  However, if you have to ask yourself or others if you are engaging in inappropriate contact or relations with someone online, or find yourself hiding or enjoying your cyber relationships more than your real life ones, it is time to unplug!

To Ask Rickhead a question please email: askrickhead [at] topicisland [dot] com






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One Response to “The Truth about Cats and Dogs”

  1. Farrow says:

    June 12th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Great blog you have, the articles here are very helpful. Thanks! 😀

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