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Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 15th 2011, 01:03 AM

Ok, this might sound really weird to you, but I don't know why i'm so upset right now. like my heart is beating fast and i don't know what to think.

Ok, there's an online friend of mine who lives like 50 miles away from me, that I met online a couple years ago, but we never met in real life. I've talked to her about many things, she knows my town, she knows my first name (not last name) she's told me about her anxiety, everything. I knew her name too, but I was never able to find any info online about her, because well she told me she didn't have a Facebook page or anything, I thought maybe because of her anxiety she just never felt confortable putting pics online (i'm the same way, i don't share much online)

I even started to think I had a crush on her. I don't know if she's gay/bi or not, heck i didn't even know what she looked like. I just fell in love with her personality. The only problem is, she disappears for long periods of time before we get to talk again. Like 2/3 weeks at least at a time. Well, about 3 weeks ago, on the website we met on, she completely deleted everything. All her information on her profile, all her posts... everything. Haven't heard from her since, hadn't heard from her for at least a week before that either. Well, I thought maybe she deleted her stuff because of her job, she has a degree and her career field might be one where it wouldn't look professional to have some of the jokes that were on her page.

Well, tonight I looked up her name on google, and the first result was a page that outed her as a guy, not a girl. I don't know if there's any truth to it or not. There were rumors on the site a long time ago, simply because a lot of people would make avatars of the opposite gender. We joked about it, and had some good laughs. But... on this forum I read tonight, it described how she was a guy, who gained someone's real life address information (didn't do anything creepy or anything though) but this person was creeped out because they gave their info to a guy without knowing it. It showed an aim conversation she had with this person, saying that they were a guy with a totally different name. Now to be fair, this was on another aim name that i never talked to her on so i can't even say for sure if it was really her, or someone pretending to be her, or what.

I don't want to believe it, but I'm getting paranoid and hurt. The thing is, if it's true, I still want to be their friend... they've been the nicest person ever to me, I've told her so much, that I never told anyone else. I just hope so much that this isn't true. Because if it is, maybe she's afraid to tell the truth and left forever, and i miss her.
   
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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 15th 2011, 03:55 AM

Hey there,

Unfortunately this kind of thing does happen where people do fake their identities online. Did you have any reason when you were talking to her to believe she was who she said she was? (i.e. a picture, video conversations) If you do, then you can disregard these posts from other forums. If you don't, then you do have to take this very seriously.

From what you have said, the evidence certainly does point that this person is lying. It's upsetting for sure, if you've entrusted this person with so much and have an emotional connection. If I were you, I would keep my guard up and not trust what this person says . If someone is willing to lie about their identity like that, they shouldn't be trusted and you shouldn't be their friend. I wouldn't even talk to this person if they were to come back in your life. As much as it would hurt, I would move on from this person.

Even though it's not 100% conclusive that this person is lying, try to use this experience in the future to make sure that someone online is really representing themselves truthfully before entrusting them.
   
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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 16th 2011, 01:00 AM

Well, I understand the issue.

You can put a lot of emotional value in someone who is similair to you. Online or not. You entrusted them and they were just fooling around.

However here's a few tips you might not have noticed:
- Never give more information than the other person is willing to give. Information is the only weapon on the internet, if they don't give you pictures of themselves don't give them pictures of you.
- It's easier to lie online than in real life. Your friend could have fabricated their entire personality, and this means you should never believe anything online 100%.

Now you mentioned not knowing the truth, so calm down. However I would recomend severing friendships with this person. Anyone who lies to you on the internet could easily lie again. "I'm a guy, but I'm the same age as you" and could easily be a 42 year old pedophile.

Next time make sure you aren't offering up more than the other person is, to avoid being hurt, stalked or bothered.

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Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
Load it, check it, quick, rewrite it"
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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 16th 2011, 02:54 AM

Well, the thing is, this so called proof was from 2003. Really outdated information from a forum years ago. This friend of mine is a few years older than me, so the ages would work out. I'm going crazy thinking about this, I went back and looked at this old forum and that one thread is the only place where it's mentioned so like i said, i really don't know if it's true or not. Neither of us ever shared pictures of each other, and it's not like I gave out my address/phone number so i'm ok on that, I'm just so confused right now.

I hope I'm just getting paranoid over nothing. I don't want to sound like i'm obsessed or anything... lol.

Also... to keep up a "fake" online persona for 8 years... wouldn't that be really odd. I even considered that she could be a transgender and started fresh all those years ago to be her real gender? I might just be losing it though. :/
   
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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 16th 2011, 09:36 PM

JustSomeone: Trans is possible. But I agree. Keeping a fake persona for 8 years shows a mental health issue.

- Justin



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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 18th 2011, 05:45 PM

Whatever the truth may be, from the evidence you've presented here it sounds like this person has something to hide, whether they are lying about their identity, or having to be away from the computer for extended periods of time. It's good that you didn't disclose any information about yourself because that person could have done something similar to what you saw from that forum post.

I've had situations like this in the past, and I think it's important not to get emotionally attached to someone if they haven't shown conclusive proof of their true identity. Personally this person doesn't sound like someone you would want to rely on, if you feel you can't trust them. It may occur that you may never really know the truth, especially with this person being out of contact for a while. It's unfortunate, and even though it may be hard because of the emotional attachments you've had, I think that distancing yourself would still be the best option.
   
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Re: Online Friendships-Gender confusion - August 22nd 2011, 02:25 AM

Thanks guys, this is just so tough
   
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