Becoming smitten with the fantasy

I’ve been surprised when men become smitten with me without yet meeting me. Perhaps we’ve had some interesting emails and phone calls, and they begin professing their love — or lust — for me. It’s happened enough times, I’ve decided they fall for the fantasy. When I was first dating, it happened to me. Now I’m more savvy.

It is easy to fall for someone absent the reality. You only have blurry or old photos, a few hours — at most — of phone conversation, and some emails. Until you meet, you don’t really know if there is a spark, or if there is some annoying habit that is a deal breaker.

A few weeks ago I was contacted on a Tues. by guy #57. He was intelligent, successful, tall, nice looking, articulate. We talked by email and phone a few times over the next few days. He was flirty and suggestive, even sending one erotic email — all before we’d even met. I warned him that reality was never as good as fantasy.

We set up a drink date for Friday. I dressed in nice, sexy casual. He arrived looking nothing like his picture. However, we had good conversation, and he asked if I’d like to stay for dinner. This is a good sign. We continued talking about personal history, divorce stories, business, world events. He walked me to the car and left with a hug and quick kiss.

I wrote him a nice “thank you” email, as I always do, saying I’d be happy to see him again if he’d like. He sent me a “nice evening; we’re not a match” response.

So how did he get from erotic emails to we’re not a match? Whatever he fantasized about me wasn’t a match for the reality. I have recent, full-length pictures posted in my profile, so he saw what I looked like. So somewhere along the way his fantasy fire was extinguished.

Now when I hear someone going overboard before meeting, I know it’s a yellow flag. Best to reserve your assessment until you’ve actually been with someone, and then you need to see them a few times before their “real” self begins to emerge.