It’s a new term. It’s fairly self-explanatory. Assigning a name seemed like a natural progression given it’s frequency. It’s a rather sad description as any word coupled with the word “baby” should mean something joyful. Instead, it feels heavy, lugubrius, which means downright mournful and on the far end of the spectrum a joke. A baby, a tiny little person that has a trillion needs and only has one singular desire to be loved and nurtured by both parents shouldn’t be a sad, mournful joke. We should avoid it being a sad, mournful joke until we are ready for it to be happy celebration.
Onto the explanation for the story…
Most singles are familiar with the free online dating site PLENTY OF FISH. It’s one of the few dating sites that you can join and be matched up with another like-minded soul for the total of zero dollars and zero cents. But, as the adage goes nothing in life is free. There’s is always a price to paid. Even true love will cost you. The price is well worth it, but you pay, nonetheless. You pay in the form of trusting, compromising, and sharing which is a most scary and daunting task for many individuals. I spoke to two individuals who used POF and the cost for both was $heartbreak, $emotional despair, $frustration and $parenthood. Yes, I said parenthood. Yes, you can be impregnated after one night of sex–enter newly coined term–P.O.F baby. I’ll give the quick version of both stories followed by tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls these individuals experienced. I’m sure their are hundreds of similar stories from members of other dating sites, but it can be surmised a term would have been coined after those sites if pregnancies did abound. Also, when you pay a monthly fee more times than not the individual is at least capable of keeping a job. More importantly, the idea that anyone would use the “entertainment” portion of their budget to find love means there’s a certain level of commitment and honesty you can expect. Not that you won’t meet nice people on POF, but you might have to go through twice as many duds, to finally meet a decent individual who you still might find is
incompatible. In short, my research found that you can’t find a certain level of seriousness and quality among the men and women on POF.
Girl and boy of seven years break up. Devastated girl is referred to POF to “get back out there”: nothing like a new man to get over the old one. Totally not true in my book, but that’s another post. …Girl goes through several duds, then finally meets ideal guy. New boy is a great package: single, working, nice, gentlemanly… all the good stuff on any gals list. Girl and new boy go out on several dates, new boy says he’d love a relationship. Girl closes her POF account. New boy does to. Girl and new boy continue dating and ultimately have unprotected sex on one dark and boozy night. Girl gets pregnant. New boy is comfortable with whatever girl decides. Girl makes an abortion appointment, but cancels. She tells new boy she’s having the baby. New boy is excited, “Yes! Let’s do this”. Girl hangs up relieved. Three hours later new boy calls back freaking out, upset, distraught, “No! Don’t do this, you will destroy my life”. Turns out new boy has lied about everything and anything in his life. He lives with an older woman who takes care of him in every sense of the word. He does not work. She has been in his life since the age of 16. His parents are not bothered by this relationship or its origin. The girl believes he is mentally unstable. He’s seeing many many women on POF. Yes, he lied regarding his interest of meeting someone that could lead to a serious relationship. Yes, he lied about closing his account. Yes, he lied about wanting to be a parent. He is an absentee dad
and does not participate in his child’s life.
Boy is in the military. He meets nice girl on POF. They hang out a few times. They quickly have sex and unprotected sex. Girl gets pregnant. Boy was not in a relationship with girl and never gave her all of his information. Boy was having a good time. Girl tracks down boy’s family and calls mom to tell her the good news. Mom and dad are shocked and disappointed. Turns out girl was also having sex with three other men at the same time and doesn’t know who the father is. It would appear that the boy was being pegged for pregnancy because he was the most stable of the men she had been intimate with. Mom and dad get involved and demand a paternity test. Boy is off at sea and isn’t dealing with the fall out. Paternity test comes back, boy is the father. Boy is ready to fulfill his obligation as a daddy. Girl is bi-polar on medication. Girl refuses to let mom and dad be involved in their grandchild’s life. Refuses to allow boy to be in child’s life except in a financial capacity. Family had to jump through a myriad of ridiculous hoops to get to a working relationship. All is not well, but boy gets to be a daddy and parents get to be nana and grandpa on days girl is taking meds. On days she’s not, well, let’s just say things are not so good.
The moral of both stories is you don’t know people and it’s never, ever, never, ever a good idea to have unprotected sex with someone you just met even after a month. Whether online dating, bumping into a man in a club, meeting a woman in the soy aisle of the grocery store; you just don’t know people. Anne Hatheway’s ex-beau of about decade, Raffaelo Follieri is an extreme case of sociopathic, compulsive lying behavior. However, there are others who could Follieri a run for his money.
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Below are six tips you should consider using after connecting with someone from a dating website or if you have a chance encounter with a potential Mrs. Right at the grocery store. Though, when meeting someone in person you have the luxury of feeling the person out and deciding if there’s enough chemistry to warrant a more formal date. This luxury is missed when dating online. Most times a relationship is formed before a face-to-face meeting. On average the first encounter happens between 3-5 days, so our gut instinct could be dulled by heightened expectations in anticipation of the actual meeting. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to sustain a lie before you actually meet face-to-face and by then you may already be hooked. The tips below are about doing your due diligence.
I’m not saying to do a full on background check or psychological analysis, but a basic Google search of the person’s name is well within your right. You may also want to glance at their Facebook or Twitter profiles. Check to see if what they’ve said to you, lines up with what they post and what others have posted about him/her. You may not do this right off, but after the second or third date you should do yourself the favor of finding out more about this person so you can cut your losses early–no harm, no foul at this stage in the game.
S/He is new, and shouldn’t get the keys to your emotional kingdom. Dole out important truths about yourself. Strike a balance between sharing and holding personal details about you and your family until you know you can trust this person with your vulnerabilities. Also, beware if you’re the only one sharing. You should ask why they are being tight-lipped. Which brings me to…
It’s okay to ask if s/he hasn’t offered a bit more details regarding what was presented on his/her online profile. You can create an image using a profile. You should ask specific questions to move beyond an avatar, in order to get to the real person. Examples: She says she has a roommate for how long? Do they hang out a lot?; or if s/he likes living alone; close to one siblings versus another; ask who their favorite co-worker is and what they like best about their job. Is it the same career choice s/he had when they were 5? If not, is s/he happy it isn’t? You may want to go online and check the company roster. Pay attention to those funny stories about family members, co-workers or friends. It may give you some insight into the kind of person you are dealing with; particularly, if you don’t find the story
You don’t have to be concerned if after 3 months s/he hasn’t invited you to meet mom and dad, but you should be concerned if they are secretive about things that should be common knowledge among dating individuals like the basic relationship s/he has with their parental unit. Or you randomly find out s/he hate dogs after you’ve gushed about yours and include pictures on your profile page. Begs the question what else is she hiding if she feels she can’t be honest about liking dogs?
5. Yellow flag
Does your new interest hide his laptop or cell phone when you come into the room. Is he constantly receiving text messages but won’t say from whom?
6. Red Flag
You never know where they are at any given time of the day and when you do happen to find out he never offers up why he is there. Too many mysteries is a red flag that she is up to no good or is hiding something she feels you wouldn’t like.
The tips above are for those wanting to eventually evolve into a more serious relationship and your new interest has shared the same sentiment. You want to find out as soon as possible if this person is telling truth, and if s/he can be trusted. Sadly, you can’t always take people at face value or at their word. Again, these tips are not designed for you to become James Bond and stalk the person or to have so many walls the person becomes concerned you’re the crazy
one. It’s basic guidelines you should simply look out for. Usually when someone is lying you can find out pretty quickly because things won’t line up, so pay attention. They are warning signs that you might need to let him/her roll on by. Contrarily, if you are using POF or any other dating site to casually hook up with men or women, and your goal is not to settle down, then the list above is NOT for you. Your primary focus should be protecting yourself from people who have an ulterior motive like monetary support or something more nefarious. In this scenario, gents, I recommend a vasectomy; it can be reversed. Use condoms religiously to avoid contracting unwanted critters. Ladies, keep your pill box close and take them daily. Keep matters of the heart private until this person has earned your trust. Bare in mind casual encounters may never reach that level of trust and that’s okay. Don’t feel the need to spill your guts. Above all, be honest with the person, so they know exactly where you stand. In case s/he missed your status line, explain again that you have no desire for anything serious. Honesty is still, and will always be, the best policy. I’m a firm believer that lying to and hurting people brings on bad relationship juju that will impact your
relationships into the future. Big boys and girls should wear their big boy and girl undies and tell the truth. If you feel like you can’t be honest about your needs in life, then you have maturity issues that need to be resolved like the boy in Story 1.