Online Dating Lessons of Manti Te’o

Online Dating

Online Dating Lessons of Manti Te’o

Gina Stewart Gina Stewart • 9/25/14

A year or two ago I got a call from a good friend of mine. She told me she had just Facebook chatted with Matt Leinart.

I am not the biggest sports follower but my dad is a former, albeit for a short time, NFL quarterback and indirectly he keeps me well informed on the landscape of all things quarterback related.

When they are handsome, I am all the more interested in the details my dad relays of these guys (Aaron Rodgers, my dad says, you can call me).

My friend’s story.

So for those of you who don’t know, Matt Leinart is a disturbingly handsome Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from USC who went on to the NFL and arguably hasn’t transposed his college success into the pros.

But he dates celebs and for some time was pictured canoodling in US Weekly with whomever happened to be his flavor of the week.

When my friend called me and told me she just Facebook chatted with Matt Leinart while at her friend’s house who was “dating” him, I was immediately poised to throw the BS card.

Why would hot celeb-status Matt Leinart be doing that with his time? My friend laughed knowingly.

You see my friend says her other friend, whom she describes as a knockout and brilliantly smart (Ph.D.), somehow believed she was involved with Matt Leinart and was “dating” him, despite the fact they had never met.

He found her on Facebook, thought she was hot, friended her, and their relationship  budded from there.

Facebook chats, emails and phone calls became frequent and suddenly she’s got giggles and butterflies and a Facebook status of “In a relationship” with Matt Leinart.

And this relationship goes on for some time. Feelings get involved. Red flags get ignored.

 

“Make decisions that will help you have

healthy relationships in the long run.”

And when I say red flags, I mean things like:

  • Months into this, why haven’t you met face to face?

Oh, Matt always has an excuse of why he can’t get together? He makes a buttload of money, flights shouldn’t be beyond his budget. And uh, isn’t Matt from Southern California? Why do you not get together when he’s here?

  • Why haven’t you and Matt Skyped? He can’t figure out technology?
  • Matt could date any hot piece of hiney in the world, so why would he spend his time to seek out and carry on an online affair  with a girl he’s never seen and that never manifests in person?
  • Don’t you have a very important NFL game in a couple of hours, “Matt”? Shouldn’t we get off the phone? Don’t you have a practice you should be at, “Matt”?

The truth about lies is they can only last so long.

This brilliantly smart girl eventually started putting the super obvious (to everyone but her) pieces together. This dude is not the real Matt Leinart and she’s being duped.

Which brings me to…

If it’s not obvious, I’m telling this story in light of a similar and more recent current event involving another footballer, Manti Te’o, whose fake relationship with a man pretending to be a woman who subsequently was in a tragic car wreck only to survive and die of leukemia right before an important game,  is the current humiliation story heard round the world.

Both stories are an important lesson for online daters and a reminder of some relationship realities, which if you don’t know are as follows:

  • If you’ve never met in person, you’re not in a romantic relationship. Period.
  • If someone always has an excuse for why they can’t be present, they don’t care enough about you to be worth your time. Put your efforts on someone who makes effort for you.
  • People will lie. If something seems a little off, don’t ignore it. Investigate.
  • Assume you are the rule, not the exception. If it seems like a fairy tail dream come true, make sure you put a reality check on it before you throw your heart into it.

No one is responsible for your life but you, so if you don’t look out for your well-being, don’t assume anyone else will.

Be safe and make decisions that will help you have healthy relationships in the long run.

I gotta go, Tim Tebow just sent me an instant message.

Photo source: hdnux.com.