Cousin in a tricky situation

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2007
Cousin in a tricky situation
Tue, 09-24-2013 - 5:59pm

Hello all!

I recently found out about a weird sort of situation and I'm not sure how to proceed (if at all). My cousin told me that she recently met a guy online and she referred to him as her "boyfriend." I have my own experiences with meeting guys online and I have friends who have had both negative and positive (read:marriage) experiences so I am not judging her for meeting a guy online.

The situation however, is a bit more complicated. My cousin is in her late 30s and is disabled (she has never been able to walk,only has the use of one arm and I think she is also epileptic). She lives with her mother (my aunt) and has never worked or attended school apart from a special education school when she was a child.  My country offers very little in terms of leading a constructive life for persons with disabilities so although she has no problems functioning on a mental, emotional and intellectual level that is equal to persons of the same age, she is severely restricted by her disability.

My aunt is almost 80 years old and is no longer able to stand for long periods of time is unassisted.  I am concerned about my cousin's new "friendship" due to the fact that both she and my aunt are quite vulnerable physically if she ever revealed important information to someone who could potentially be dangerous.  My cousin joined Facebook about a year ago and the content of her posts and the detailed information on her location etc. demonstrate to me that she is not quite conscious of how to "safely" use social media.  

I told her to be careful and I asked her for information about the guy which she readily provided. He lives in our country (which is a small one with a small society therefore rendering it even more dangerous as he can easily locate my cousin and aunt if he wanted to) but it was his name that worried me.  I decided to do a Google search on him and it returned an entire pages of hits...all for different dating sites.

I am not saying that it's impossible for him to be nice to my cousin but at the same time, I have my doubts about a man who belongs to all of these dating sites and is simultaneously entertaining my cousin in a romantic manner (albeit from a distance). They have been chatting for two weeks according to what she tells me.  

Is this a situation that I should butt out of or should I have a talk with my cousin and let her know about my concerns (and perhaps the Google search)? I feel sad for her because I am a little more than a decade younger than her yet have had opportunities that she never had and will never have. She's quite excited about this guy but I am worried that she will be hurt.

Thank you for your reply :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Wed, 09-25-2013 - 2:25pm

I see why you would be concerned.Dating online and even in person can be dangerous at times if you're not careful.I would just remeind her to take precautions on being safe.You should get as much info as you can about the person to see if he's legit too.There is nothing wrong with being on different dating sites...I'm on about 3 or 4...Did your cousin tell this guy about her disabilities yet?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-25-2013 - 2:32pm

I would definitely tell her to be careful--maybe you could send her a link to an article about online dating safety.  make sure to tell her that if she makes plans to meet in person it should be in a public place--although can she even get out?  I would be curious about whether she has told him that she's disabled.  Maybe I have been watching too many episodes of Catfish, but it seems like it would be really hard for a person who is disabled and doesn't work to get dates (unfortunately)--I'm curious about whether she just wants a kidn of fantasy romance.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 6:11pm

Without any hard proof that this guy is a scammer, I would only discuss in a general way the hazards of on-line dating.  Of course, you may weave in tid bits here and there, but I don't know that simply showing her all of the OLD sites he is on is going to be helpful in any way. 

Plus, having a profile on these sites does not necessarily mean he is a player.  But I would reemphasis the safety issues for any of us, not just her and your aunt. 

I only went on a couple dates from OLD and I always drove myself and met in a public place.  And, I always told someone where I was going, who I was meeting, and what my timeframe looked like.  

By remphasising that to her, you are not picking on this guy she likes.  Just stay close....

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2007
Sun, 09-29-2013 - 4:46am

Thank you for your reply. It's not likely that they will ever meet in public (or anywhere) as my country really has little provisions for disabled persons. The only way for her or my aunt to leave the house is via a pre-booked taxi which comes directly to their house and I don't think she has ever gone out without my aunt or without my aunt's knowledge. It isn't feasible. 

I think that she just wants to feel like a woman who is desired rather than as a disabled person who has never had the chance to experience a lot of things in life. I also wonder if she told him about her disability although I think that it will come up sooner or later if she sends him photos or he wonders why they can't meet.

I am concerned about him being on different sites because while I know that some persons do it harmlessly, men in my country have a reputation for being players. 

I will talk to her and see how things are going before I decided whether to be alarmed further.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 09-30-2013 - 10:57am

Well if you think they will never meet and he is a player, then he will get pretty tired of just the online communication.  A guy who is a player wants to meet women in person not just stay on line forever.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2007
Wed, 10-02-2013 - 11:20am

Well, I do have an update to this story. She told me that he's cut communication with her suddenly so I guess that problem is solved... Thanks for the replies!