A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about a woman who’d failed to find a suitable partner online despite lying about how old she was. It’s hard to think of something more dumb than starting off your very first interaction with someone with a blatant lie, especially one which is impossible to keep very long. Unless, of course, you’re not really interested in pursuing anything serious with them in which case you can say you’re an off-duty astronaut who regularly saves baby seals from burning buildings.
Some of my readers will recall I was left rather mystified last summer by a Russian woman I’d met in the US who pursued me with gusto for a month, spent a week with me in Miami during which we got on fabulously, only for her to end it via text message the day after we parted and block me on every platform and communication system she could think of.
I can’t say I spend much time thinking about her, mainly because I barely knew her, my life has changed a lot since what with my moving to the UK and meeting someone else, and sand and sunshine is so far from the wet streets of Cambridge it might as well have happened on the moon. But the other day I was discussing it with someone and suddenly it occurred to me that the most obvious explanation is she’d told me a pack of lies about her life, circumstances, and who she was and if things had gone any further I’d have discovered the truth. Hell, there were plenty of red flags as I’d mentioned, and if you took an uncharitable view of any of them it would be enough to send any sane man running for the hills.
So I expect her life decisions had forced her into a trap: tell the truth from the beginning and never get a date, or lie and accept it can only be a short-term thing. I expect the reason she’d been on 60+ dates without success is because she’s tried everything from telling the truth to lying through her teeth, and always with the same result. By now she’s probably got the narrative so polished she believes it herself, but retains enough wit to know to exit before the truth comes out. In hindsight, it’s easy to see where the lies were; some things didn’t make any sense, and there were more than a few inconsistencies.
Why I didn’t see this back in the summer I don’t know. Perhaps I was too close to the subject, so to speak. But I can imagine a lot of men getting into this situation, too. If a married guy wants an affair, when does he drop the bomb that he’s got a wife and kids? From the outset, and only pick up the desperate, the insane, and the French? Or later, in which case she’ll go nuts, tear up his clothes, and phone his wife? Or not at all, in which case the whole thing’s got about a month to run unless he’s very smart or she’s very stupid.
For men or women, it must be an exhausting way to live. It’s probably better to make decisions you don’t have to spend a lifetime lying about. I’m kind of glad that for the most part I have. The only questions which have me skirting the truth are “How were things at your last place of work?” in interviews and “What kind of music do you like?” on first dates.