I’ve begun an online relationship with a girl from another country. She pursued me and won my love, telling me that we were perfect for each other. I responded by telling her that it’s impossible to know such a thing because we’ve never met, but I finally accepted her. We have never laid eyes on each other, not even by video…. The problem is that we go days without talking to each other. She doesn’t seek me out, but when she’s online she starts telling me that she loves me and misses me. I, however, don’t feel the same way.

Dear Friend,

Did you know that your girlfriend might not even be a girl? She could be a much older woman, or even an older man. When you are on the Internet, you have no way of knowing whom you are really talking to. There are predators and pedophiles that spend hours every day pretending to be someone that they are not.

However, let’s assume that this girl is real and that she is sincere in the feelings that she has expressed. We agree with you that it is impossible to know someone without having ever met that person. Online chatting, love letters, and emails are great forms of communication, but they facilitate dishonesty. Furthermore, people may use the anonymity of the Internet to hide important information about themselves, such as their marital status, their age, their profession, or even their own mental illnesses.

You sound like an honest person, and you seem to be concerned about the girl’s feelings. But you don’t love her the way that she says she loves you. She pushes you to reciprocate her love, but then she doesn’t speak to you for several days. You have no way of knowing how many other men she is corresponding with during that time. And you can’t know what her true motivations are.

The kindest thing that you could do is tell her that you don’t want to hurt her, so you are going to stop corresponding with her. Explain that you recognize that her feelings for you are much more serious than your feelings for her.

If more men were honest and forthcoming about their feelings, fewer women would waste their time in relationships that are one-sided and have no future. No person, man or woman, should continue a romantic relationship because of the pressure or expectations of the other person. It is much kinder to be honest and completely cut off communication.

Wise Solomon said: “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.”(1) If you continue your relationship with the girl, not letting her know how you really feel, then your lack of honesty will be just like the fraud that Solomon was referring to. The fraud may seem like the right thing to you now, but in the end it will taste like gravel in your mouth.

We wish you well,

1 Pr 20:17