I met a woman 6 months ago through one of the social media sites and she really attracted me. She gave me her phone number and we have been communicating since then. According to her profile pictures, she is very beautiful and I would like for her to be my wife and the mother of my children. She really loves me and she says she is ready to be my lover forever. The problem is that she lives in Sirare (border of Kenya and Tanzania) and I am Nairobi. We have never met and whenever I ask her to come, she asks for me to send her bus fare but I am not sure about this. I want to meet her but I am afraid it may not work out. Please advise me.
WHAT THE READERS SAY:
It is so strange how you talk so fondly about this girlfriend of yours yet you have not set your eyes on her. It will interest you to know that the distance between Sirare and Nairobi is about 400km only. It costs Sh1,000 one way and it takes 8 hours on a bus ride.
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I am giving you all this information, which you probably already have, just to let you judge for yourself how serious both of you are in this relationship and how much you are committed to it and to each other.
When you say you are not sure about sending your girlfriend bus fare to come see you in Nairobi, I am tempted to believe it is because you think she could get the money and not travel to see you. There goes another indicator.
There is nothing wrong with meeting a mate on social media. It is a social place just like other physical places the only difference is that you do not get to interact in person. It becomes a challenge if you do not take your interaction beyond the Facebook or the other social media. This is because there can be a lot of false image and impression on social media. For that reason I would encourage you to tame your expectations on this relationship unless you change your mode of operation and you get to meet in person.
It is very possible for you not to like the person when you finally get to meet and experience their temperament, attitude and emotions. Please remember people always display their their best image on social media and we are more than a pretty or handsome face.
You also need to come up with a workable plan to minimise on the challenges that long distance relationships present.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
Jeff, social media is becoming increasingly popular as a meeting platform and the starting point for many relationships. Indeed, many friendships have been born through the internet and proceeded to become relationships with many ending up in marriage so, yes, social media has made it much easier and convenient for many people who may not have otherwise met. However, it has also become a den of con men and women who have transformed it into an extortion platform and are using it to get money from people who are genuinely looking for online friendships.
It is OK to have online friends but it is important to also have basic rules that should guide the friendship until you are able to actually meet the person. Some of these should include no sending money and no monkey business e.g. sending private images. These are the two most sought out things by those who browse the internet looking for people that are looking for friendships. If you put this across you will be able to filter more than 70 per cent of the fraudsters and have a handful of friends that have potential for genuine relationships.
You only described her from her profile pictures, have you had a chance to video chat? There are many men who pose as ladies on the internet posting photos of beautiful women to attract gullible men and extort them. If she really wants to come and only you can finance this why don’t you buy a ticket from Nairobi? Alternatively you may ask her to borrow money from a friend and assure her that you will pay once she arrives. This is a popular scheme for extortion and sometimes they get to con several people every week with this narrative. They are usually in conveniently far places such as Sirare. Lastly, please take time to get to know her better before deciding that you are going to be lovers forever. If you are looking for a long-term relationship then take time to build a strong foundation for it otherwise you never know how many other people she has promised to be their lover forever until they send money for bus fare never to hear from her again.
Simon is a relationships counsellor
NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION:
I am 17 boyfriend is 33 years old. I really love him and he always promises a good life ahead and that he will marry me. The only problem with him is that he is very mean with money and cannot even pay for my school fees. He hardly ever buys me anything even the simple presents boyfriends buy for their girlfriends. He always promises to pay my school fees but when the time comes he becomes cold and avoids talking to me. Any discussion about money annoys him and makes things very difficult for us especially when he accuses me of being only after his money. He says he loves me very much but I am doubtful about this. I don't know if to continue with him or not please help me decide on this.