Part Two: It’s a Jungle Out There–Dating in My Fifties

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Nick water

A post by my friend Kathy Cox:

In my first post, I mentioned the craziness of internet dating, and ended by giving a brief description of Nick (pictured above), a 52 year old man who recently emailed me expressing great interest in getting to know me better.

Nick’s online profile listed Wilmington, NC as his hometown, which is where I live.

However, in his second email to me, he mentioned flying from Wilmington home to California. I questioned him on it. He explained that he had never tried online dating before, and while on a recent business trip to Wilmington, he met a friend and business associate who suggested he look online to find the woman of his dreams. The friend helped Nick create his profile, and listed Wilmington as his hometown.

When I still objected to the distance between us, Nick explained that he travels on business and he could fly to meet me, once we got to know each other better through emails and phone calls. Since I just experienced a difficult break-up with a guy I really cared for (he had mental issues), I decided it wouldn’t hurt to email and talk with someone new for a while before meeting him.

Before we talked on the phone, Nick told me he had lived in Greece all his life until moving to California seven years ago, and begged me not to laugh at his accent when I heard him speak. He certainly did have an accent!

Nick also told me his first wife was Asian, and she died of cancer five years ago, leaving him with two fairly young children, a girl age 10 and a boy age 12. I was surprised at the young ages of his children! He emailed me several pictures:  of him, of his children, and of him with his children.

Nick was always very complimentary, telling me how beautiful I was and how he loved hearing my “tender and lovely voice.” LOL!

He would call, email or text me every day, and began describing how he was falling in love with me, calling me “darling” almost constantly.  He said, “after we fall in love, I will fly to meet you.” Then he started asking me if I loved him. Of course I didn’t, because I hadn’t even met him, but I said, “yes” because I wanted to meet him.

One day Nick told me he was awarded a bid worth two million dollars to furnish a hotel chain in England with art and sculptures, and he had to fly to London to purchase the items to fulfill the contract.

Next he called me from London and said he couldn’t purchase what he needed and had to fly to Malaysia to buy Asian art and sculptures. We spoke while he was in Malaysia, and he gave me a sim card number so I could call him (very briefly!).

A little more than a month from the day he sent the first email to me, Nick called me very early in the morning. He was still in Malaysia, calling from a shipping company where he was arranging to ship the art and sculptures to London. He said there was a problem with his credit card, and HE ASKED ME FOR MONEY!!

I immediately realized “Nick” was a scammer. I told him several times I couldn’t send him any money; then he got mad and said I was wicked! I hung up on him, and that was the end of “Nick.”

I am sure that the man I talked to is not the man in the pictures. In retrospect, I’m mortified that I fell for his lies, but he was quite convincing.

Thankfully I viewed the entire “relationship” as humorous, although many women send money to these scammers and refuse to believe they are being scammed.  So ladies, be careful when engaging in online dating!!

Kathy Headshot copy

Kathy Cox lives in Wilmington, NC and has two grown sons living in Raleigh, NC. She recently received her master’s degree in gerontology and is doing consulting work with a non-profit Aging in Place organization.  She also sells printing and works as an innkeeper on Bald Head Island, NC.

17 responses »

    • You’re welcome. Thanks for your comments. Someone commented after my first post that “Nick” sounded almost too good to be true, and that was certainly the case! Fortunately I didn’t have much emotional investment and no financial investment in him!

  1. Thank you Kathy for ur willingness to share your story. I too have tried the online dating through many that are out there and have encountered trouble and deception and not even one successful date. It just seems like theres too many opportinities available for fraud in this set up.

    • I agree with you that even without taking into account actual scammers like Nick, there can be trouble and deception in online dating. I’ve heard numerous stories of people posting really ancient pictures, then when the other person meets the person with the old picture, they are horrified!

    • Yes, they sure do try, and they are SO convincing! One time I called Nick and left a message. He called back shortly and said he was sorry he couldn’t take my call; he was busy talking with his nanny, giving her instructions about his kids before he left to go to London. That seemed very believable. He was probably talking to another woman he was trying to scam!!!

  2. Internet dating is a complicated beast. Either the women are out for a man to pay her bills, or a man is out for taking a woman for all the money he can get out of her. Sadly, I have crossed paths with too many of both and I no longer view the internet as a place to meet a gentleman. I once had a three year conversation with a man. I can’t say that it ended in heartache, we never met face to face. I do miss the conversations. Maybe someday we will both find a decent match offline. I still have hope.

    • Wow, Lisa, I can’t imaging talking with someone for three years and never meeting him. Did he live far away? I think even if there was no romance involved, I would want to meet someone who had developed into a good friend. I’m glad you still have hope; I do also, although I get discouraged at times. Good luck to you!

  3. Even though I have never needed to do online myself, I have several success stories, including my 32 year old sister. She had to go through many duds to find her love though. Hang in there Kathy ….and so nice and brave of you to share this story. In many ways I think online better than resorting to a bar scenario to find a date. Sending a hug!

    • Thanks, Judy! It’s awesome your sister found her special someone through online dating. I have an older friend (in her early 60’s) who met her second husband online, but it took her a while also. She compared online dating to a job; it was so much work sifting through the ones that were duds, as you said. I do think there are a few good men still out there, but they are few and far between. I was happy to share the story, just so other women can realize the potential for disaster!!! Being scammed is one of those things that you hear about, but you don’t think it will happen to you.

  4. My daughter knows a lady who fell for the exact same scam and sent the guy $. He promised to pay her back and she did indeed receive a “cashiers check” which she promptly took to her bank to cash. The teller discovered that it was counterfeit and called the police who took her into custody and the lady’s ex-husband had to come to bail her out of jail!!

    • Oh, that poor woman! Especially how humiliating to have to ask your ex-husband to bail you out of jail because you were scammed by another man. That is really a story to tell (but one I’m sure she wishes she could forget!).

    • Hi Lisa, I know you commented on my first post, but I became busy with work and never replied to that one. I’m so happy for you that you found a great guy and got married again recently. Thanks for this comment also. As I mentioned in other replies, I still have hope! I do worry that as I get older, it will become even harder to find someone, but I know I need to be patient also. You’re right, Nick is definitely a rat!! I wonder how many women he has scammed successfully?

  5. it is sad that you had to go through such a terrible experience. I am not in my 50’s only in my 30’s but in my 20’s I did the online dating thing, and why you ask? Well here is my answer I had just moved back to NC and I was a nanny. I didn’t meet any new people because when you are a nanny you take kids to practice, classes, and stay at home. So there was no meeting any significant other. My mom met her second husband on a blind date, my dad meet his wife online, and my sister met her husband online. Now I assure you like your experience we have all had some bad ones, but I didn’t I think because I took their advice and learned from their mistakes. I am now married for 6 years and have been with James for 8, we too met online on a dating site. I talked with him online for 3 months and 3 months on the phone before I decided to meet him. We met for a lunch date at the mall in Raleigh. He drove an hour and a half to meet me so he couldn’t be that bad. We also got to know each other by talking for that 6 months even before I met him. So the day I met him it was like I was already in love with him, I knew I would marry him. So see not all dating online has to be terrible, and shame on this man for giving it such a bad rep.

    In my young age I got some great dating advice from different people here it is:

    1. Never meet someone at their house or in a private area
    2. Meet for a couple lunch dates in a crowded place.
    3. Talk to their family- find out what they are like and what the person you are dating is like
    4. Never go in the car with them, always meet them there
    5. Give them your cell number not house number
    6. Don’t give them your address
    7. Always keep your options open- you can talk to more than one person, and casually date
    8. Go on a group date, with his friends and yours. Then you get to know him and talk to his friends

    I hope these tips help others out there and you. Online dating can be scary, you have to be really careful. You can also do a background check if you are still not sure.

    Here is a link for what to do when you are setting up an online dating profile from Dr. Phil.
    http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/524

    thanks for sharing your story

    • Hi Renee, I honestly don’t consider it to be a terrible experience; just an educational one! What a great story you have about meeting James. You were so patient by talking for six months before even meeting him. I am much more impatient than that, and I can certainly learn from your success story. Thanks for sharing those great tips about online dating. All of them contain great common sense advice.

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