A woman I know, owner of her own business, single mother of two, and a kind, cheerful, truly good person, has just had her heart broken. And it makes me really angry.
“Lynn”, who hadn’t dated anyone for five years, met the man in question online. Normally, this could be a red flag in itself, but one of her clients vetted him through her own company, and Lynn proceeded to get to know “Ted” over the course of nine months, discovering a lot in common, making plans, and developing a deep connection.
Ted apparently worked for a shipping company and was posted overseas. The couple FaceTimed daily from his location, which seems to be legitimate. It all fell apart a week ago when he was due to return to the US and visit her, at which point he suddenly stopped returning calls and text messages.
Is Ted married? One would think so: someone away from home who thought an innocent flirtation would help pass the time? Or is he a sociopath who constructed an elaborate web of lies, replete with fake background images? It doesn’t matter.
I’m sad that this lovely woman is hurt, embarrassed, and feels humiliated. She says, “At 50, I should know better.” I tried to assure her that trusting someone and assuming the best doesn’t make you a fool, it makes you normal. How would we navigate life if we were always suspicious and cynical? Easier said than done, though, right?
I told Lynn a bit of my own story: an ex-husband who lied, stole, cheated, and stole some more, all without one bit of regret. Luckily, one divorce and four years later at age 58, I finally connected with the right person. Being trustworthy is, in my opinion, the single most attractive characteristic a partner can have. The rest is gravy.