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July 10, 2014

What I’ve Learned from an Online Dating Scam. ~ Grace Cooley

online dating

Warning: F bomb straight ahead.

I was recently scammed via a dating website.

I won’t mention which one it was, mainly because it doesn’t matter. When I told close friends about the scam, many of them said it had also happened to them on various other dating websites, paid and unpaid, so the site itself is not the issue.

I’m also not going to discuss any of the “red flags” I noticed during this experience but ignored for various, probably self-deceptive, reasons because that would only give scammers ideas about how to improve the scam.

What I’ve learned from this experience.

There’s a lot of information circulating right now about Masculine and Feminine energy. Women are learning how focused and goal-oriented men are. Women are beginning to understand that this is a big turn-on. There is nothing so sexy as a focused, self-directed man who is going after what he wants—whether it’s a woman, that new job or the big, cosmic, spiritual goal of living his life with integrity, purpose and clarity.

It is simply a massive turn-on to be around a man who is living for himself first and putting all other things second—including me. Steve Horsmon says it well on his GoodGuys2GreatMen blog, “The truth is, a woman can not help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values.”

I was surprised and extremely relieved that within minutes of publishing my dating website profile, several men already wanted to connect with me. Sometime within the last two years, while I’d worked on my own issues, I had made a new rule for myself: I don’t initiate anything with men—they must make first contact. 

In those two years I had, once again, taken a serious look at my life, and I didn’t like what I saw.  

I believed that if I didn’t like something about my life, I had the ability to change it. I had done it before, and I was determined to do it again. I began by exploring and changing the things over which I have absolute power:  what I believe, think and say.

When I looked back at all my romantic relationships, I found that I was always the person to initiate the exchange. In fact, I was usually the person pushing frantically to make it happen. Consequently, I had always been in relationships with very passive men, which I then proceeded to bully into being more masculine. 

Gawd, I can’t tell you how very embarrassing that was to admit—and how ineffective.

I could see that I had always put myself in a self-protected, dominant “masculine” place on the masculine to feminine spectrum. From my research, I began to understand that Feminine and Masculine energies are always seeking polarization and balance. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract. It was no wonder, then, that I had always attracted sensitive, passive, or even “feminine,” men.

I began to pay attention to my own energy and beliefs associated with the masculine and feminine. When searching for why I was so resistant (and even hostile) to receiving men’s masculine gifts/energy, I had to go back to childhood. I realized it was not safe in my childhood to appear “weak” or “less than” by receiving help from anyone—especially from males.

I am a survivor of abuse.

My adult rejection of Masculine gifts was founded upon good reason, but had become a defensive, knee-jerk habit that no longer served me. I started by taking the emotional charge off the originating source. Yes, it was painful and difficult to look at and heal.

So having done my work, and still doing my work (does it ever end?!), I was confident I was ready to let men, and the Universe, lead. I wasn’t so sure how that would look, as I had absolutely no experience.

I did still have moments of panic when I wondered if I was truly ready and if I could live the lessons I’d learned or not. Mostly, however, I was excited to begin something totally new for me:  the art of embodying the Divine Feminine and of allowing. I certainly needed the practice of walking around in my new, allowing skin, so I stepped carefully and introspectively into this dating website. I occasionally freaked-out a bit and thought of removing my profile, but I ignored that sensation every time it came up, rallied and kept moving forward.

I let men initiate every connection. So when one of the men suggested he call me and email me instead of using the site’s messaging system, I liked that he was taking charge of the situation and moving things forward. I agreed and gave him my phone number and email address.

His energy during our first phone call was obvious. I liked it. It was focused, direct. I could tell he had a mission. The mission seemed clear to me: I like this woman. Get to know this woman. During the next few days, he asked questions, he expressed interest in me and my life; we laughed a lot together. We were soon talking twice a day, in the morning to start our day and in the evening, before going to sleep. 

I woke up every morning, remembered and smiled.

I could feel my heart sigh happily, expanded and relaxed—felt it stretch inside my chest like a big fat tabby cat with a full belly and nowhere to go. I languished in this feeling. I turned to greet the sun each morning warming the bed through the window and imagined seeing his sleeping form beside me. I imaged waking him gently and slowly with kisses that would start on the back of his broad neck (he had sent photos–some included a son). I’d work my way up to his ear and then pull myself up and over him, so that I’d be lying in front of him, still kissing him easily, on the eyelids, the nose…

He would grumble, then smile as he came back up from the deep and pull me closer with a sleepy laugh. I craved that familiarity with him, that habit and ease of intimacy. Every sunrise, upon waking, I was hopeful and happy and imaged some form of this perfect morning. But he wasn’t there yet, and I liked that too. I liked the thick anticipation. 

I loved the feeling of walking around every day knowing we were falling in love with each other as we communicated. I felt like we were becoming a team, and I loved the feeling of him having my back, of having someone who adored me. I felt safer in the world, knowing we were coming together as a couple. With these feelings growing inside me, I walked taller every day—stood up straighter, felt powerful, safe and almost smug in his warm regard.

I felt important to him. I felt his masculine, goal-focused energy directed at me, wooing me. It felt heavenly. I had never felt energy this intense from a man. Partly, I’m sure, because I had never allowed it. I think men are often very focused on their career and making money. One of the ways they show love for their woman and family is to make money. The intensity of that focus on career/job is primal. It felt pretty bloody amazing to be the focal point of that type of intense, masculine energy.

It was like a highly addictive drug that I couldn’t get enough of, for fuck’s sake.

The scammer took that directed, intense, masculine energy normally reserved for focusing on a career, because wooing women was his career, and focused that energy on me. He was confident in his abilities, as odious as they were. 

Information men can take away from this experience.

Take that unbelievably intense, goal-driven, concentrated masculine energy that you usually reserve for making a living and a career and focus it on your woman. We don’t want you to give up yourself and your life for us, but we do want, on a regular basis, to feel that we are, in that moment (or those 20 minutes), the single most important thing to you.

Focus on us like you do it for a living, like your life depends on it; that primal energy of survival. We can feel the difference. We women understand the courage it takes to be vulnerable. We have a deep respect for that—especially when it comes from a man.

You become our hero when you do this for us. You know the perfect time to call us, how to touch us, when to tease us and when not to. All because you took that how-can-I-win-this-contract way of thinking and turned it into the how-can-I-win-and-keep-her-heart-and-respect way of thinking.

Please lead the way for us, with your strong, directed masculine energy. When you offer that to us, it creates a safe place for us inside the protection of your love, your attention. It frees us to be able to do the same for you.

We women will know you really see us and hear us when we turn off the hundreds of simultaneous thoughts, when we put down the phone, close the laptop, stop talking, etc., to concentrate on you and give you our undivided attention and vulnerability, when we genuinely open to you.

And when that shared focus becomes a wonderful habit, something that is a part of the normal, everyday way we love and live together? Dude, you have just become a girl’s dream come true right there.

What I am taking away from this experience.

I learned that I really can embody Feminine energy. I was able to be the new, feminine person I wanted to be. I learned that I am able to keep my heart open during a budding relationship. At no time during the experience did I become defensive or reactive. I was just relaxed and allowing. I let him direct himself. I directed myself—powerfully and softly.

While I felt disappointed as soon as the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath me (which really felt more like a magic carpet ride), I never felt as though I did anything wrong or stupid. I still have not felt any shame.

The only thing I was “guilty” of was being authentic, open and vulnerable.

I was able to feel what I’ve always been missing and craving without even knowing I had been missing and craving it:  to be the occasional, appropriate, single, determined focus of a man’s goal-oriented attention.

The experience gave me an example of how intense that focused, masculine energy could be—and how important and cherished it made me feel to be the recipient of that, how it filled me up to feel that coming from him. I was his goal. It felt stunning. For the first time in my life, I felt that with a confident man’s support and love, I could meet him there and support and love him too—in the healthy, adult, juicy, wild, authentic and close-to-the-bone way I had always wanted to be able to love.

I feel like I actually won, somehow. He received no money from me, and I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

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Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor:Renee Picard

Photo: MattysFlicks/flickr

Grace Cooley

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