"I'm tired of being lied to," the person complained. "I've tried on-line dating, and what do you do if the person you met is entirely different from what they said?" It was a query on conundrumworld.com. I was sort of surprised at first by the question, and wanting more contextual information. "Lying" can mean so many different things. For example, there was the suicide case recently. A woman created a persona on the popular social network site, "MySpace" as if she were a teenage boy. Using the fake identity she cajoled and teased an innocent teenage girl and then "dumped" her. The girl was so distraught she ended up killing herself. No charges could be brought against the older woman for murder. It was apparently not against the law to create a fake on line personality. At best she was charged with harassment.
I have also noticed that some people get around the age requirement for having a MySpace page by just lying about their age. For reasons I don't really understand, my former husband's grandson, who is only five, has his own MySpace page. His parents have listed his age as 18. I doubt the five year old is uploading the pictures. He has friended, though, his grandparents and their partners and his parents' friends. If I were a high school age girl and I thought this kid was for real, I would be annoyed to find out he was only five, not suicidal.
Other people can be malicious in other ways. One of my friend's mothers had a penchant for all things new agey. She went with regularity to a psychic. The Psychic told her she would soon meet a dark haired man from Northern California who would marry her. Without much thought she mentioned the prophecy to a guy she had met recently on line. With the goal of fleecing her out of all of her assets, the guy dropped hints about being from Northern California, and wanting to marry her. Eventually they did get married, after he milked her of all she had, he dumped her. It was a short marriage. Christian people are just as vulnerable to this sort of scam. Lots of people enter the church and make no pretense of having a spotty past. They ask to be forgiven, and are, however, like wolves amongst the sheep, they have intention of taking advantage of fragile single women.
Some of the older sites such as EHarmony, have really extensive personality tests. They actually even turn down about 20 per cent of the people who try to join. Even EHarmony isn't foolproof. Someone like my first husband wouldn't even try to answer honestly. He would say whatever he perceived he HAD to say in order to promote what he wanted to promote. For example, I told him when I met him I detested all things fake, whether it was a lab created ruby or an artificial flower, that just wasn't me. He pretended to acknowledge that, all the way up until we were married and then conveniently forgot. He was a diagnosed narcissist, what can I say? Being fake was his modus operandi.
Getting back to the original question, what do you do if the person you meet is completely different from the person you met online. I would start with "BACK AWAY." You don't need an explanation so much as you need space. Your safety may be at stake. IT may be as tragic as a murder or financial devastation or as benign as a bad relationship. It doesn't matter, What it is, so much as it matters that you get away. Even in the bible, it says a person who cannot be trusted with small things Should not be trusted with larger ones. That's the gospel truth.
There is a word for people who lie about stuff habitually, the pathological liar. I met a woman like this once. IT was eerie the way she lied about things she didn't even have to lie about. I asked her about the pile of dirt in front of her house. She told me her son liked to climb and play in it, so she bought the dirt from Bakersfield and had it dumped in front of the house. I was surprised to see the dirt being taken away a few weeks later to a construction site up the street. When I asked the crew about it, they said they had asked the homeowner if it were alright to store the dirt in front of her house for a week, and she agreed. Wow! You have to wonder what would make a lady lie about such a strange thing. Wonder all you like, from a distance. Don't try to get an explanation.
In the first place, no explanation will be the explanation you wanted. For example, I would love to know how my husband and partner in life got be so drug addicted, and what was so bad about our marriage that he preferred death. But he will never be able to explain it. Saying he was sad when his father died 40 years ago, or couldn't get over the death of his first child, doesn't really explain how he went from being clean and sober and supporting our family, to siphoning off all our assets to his habit. If he said aliens came down from Mars and took over his body that would be about the only acceptable explanation for the depth of his betrayal.
So what about the guy who says he drives a BMW and shows up in a Volkswagen Rabbit? Was he lying to impress you? Probably. Was he gambling that once you got to know him you might like him anyway, maybe. But what is the point? First off you'll never be able to trust him, if he lied about that he might be lying about anything. Second off, if the kind of woman he wanted, is the kind who is impressed by a BMW â€“ then it's a bad fit all round.