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Caucasian man wrapped in plasticSometimes online dates self-destruct before you can even meet in person. They weed themselves out for you.

I flew home to Nebraska for Christmas and was sick before I left the sunny 80 degree weather to enter into a blizzard. I arrived on Friday, yet stayed inside cozy next to the fireplace working on my book and trying to get better before the holiday festivities started. In-between editing my book I was chatting with a few guys from POF. I had narrowed it down to a couple guys that stood out and two of them asked for my phone number. I was reluctant as always giving out my digits, though I made them promise to not text stalk me if I did. They obliged and communication began. Since I had just arrived in the Midwest, I wouldn’t be back for a week to actually meet anyone in person.

The one guy younger, good looking, ex-army was very persistent. He would call and text. We had a few hour long conversations and for the first three days I thought he might be someone I could really like once I got back to Florida. He came off as intelligent, hardworking and really had his shit together for being younger than myself. ‘Twas the night before Christmas when it all fell apart.  Utter melt down at O 200 hours. I had just settled down for a long winter’s nap, when my cell phone arose me with such a clatter. I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Multiple texts telling me he doesn’t have a car, he’s broke, no family to spend the holidays with and was lonely. I responded to try to reassure him everything would be ok and went back to sleep placing my phone on silent mode.

The next morning I awoke to four missed phone calls and text messages.  I respond with one short text and before it even goes through he’s calling me back. I answered, freshly out of bed and groggy. He starts rambling on in a condescending tone, “Merry Christmas, can you hear all the spoiled brats unwrapping their Christmas presents?” He continues on to ask me what I’m doing for New Year’s Eve, I’m I going to come visit him at the bar he’s bouncing that night. I said no I have plans with friends to go to a fancy masquerade that I have already bought tickets to. He responds, “Who am I going to make out with at midnight?”

Next morning he’s calling and texting obsessively and I only respond a few times. At night he texts me he drove a friend’s car to a bar and is getting drunk. He’s depressed and sad. I tell him to go home and sleep it off, to take a taxi he shouldn’t be driving a friend’s car drunk.  He tells me not to be mean, he doesn’t need it. The next morning he texts me with sad faces.

The bad thing with giving out your phone number and someone starts stalking you is, it costs money to change your phone number and for some reason you cannot block numbers. I really wish they could change this. I have an iPhone and tried to download apps to block numbers, yet to no avail. Nothing I have discovered works. So when someone goes crazy, you have to just ignore them, which can be hard to do. Especially if they are obsessive compulsive. During the separation phase with my ex-husband I had to turn my phone off he was so bad. When I did turn my phone back on I had 50 missed calls and 10 voicemails. I ended up changing my cell phone number and At&t charged me $50. Not a cheap thing to do and a pain in the butt especially if you use your cell for business purposes. You can set up google numbers which is helpful in the beginning of a relationship. It’s free and it will be forwarded to your cell phone. Visit http://www.google.com/voice to set it up. It’s very easy and user friendly and easy to delete.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.