Well, you’re not alone. This is so common that there’s a name for it: VAPORSHIP. Just like vaporware (the product that’s promoted and doesn’t actually exist), there are relationships that are completely fake. But here’s the thing, you’re not crazy for thinking there was something there. You were led to believe it. You were manipulated into believing it. And you probably gave more than you would have to someone you barely knew because you fell for the false advertising. It was an irresistible song and dance. How could you not fall for it? It was personal propaganda designed just for you. You were supposed to think it was real. And you wanted to believe it was real. That’s why Dating Game players fall for seemingly special someones who dangle fake futures before their eyes. That’s why they fall for the vaporship ploy. They want to believe it’s real. But it’s not real. It never was. Mr. Right was actually Mr. Right Now Because I Find It Amusing to Play With People’s Minds and Your Mind Will Do Until I Find Someone Else to Mess With.
People who tell you what they think you want to hear in order to get you to do what they want are manipulators. If they withhold truth or bend it, that’s still lying. That’s still icky. If you dig deeper, you’ll often find these people lie and deceive in many aspects of their lives. And they’ve left a string of dazed and confused daters in their wily wakes.
So how do you play the Dating Game without falling for fake future vaporships? Trust your intuition. If something seems strange, it is. If someone moves too fast and acts too familiar too quickly, he may be hoping you can be lured in before you recognize he’s playing you. Look for actions and don’t be lulled by words. Masterful manipulators know how to make nice people behave against their better judgment. It’s all part of the game to them. They have nothing but contempt for normal people who feel real emotions. They see us as weak. We are prey. They gleefully take our hearts, minds, and money. That’s why we call them Icks.
Alas, there are no unicorns in the Dating Game. Don’t rush to level up to Love. It’s not a lightning round. It takes time. There are no rules and no guarantees either. Fortunately, there are many decent players out there with lots of helpful advice on how to avoid vaporships (though they give it other names). To save you time, here’s a brief synopsis:
Be cautious. Trust yourself. Question everything.
And give yourself Foole Points for falling for a vaporship:
** If you’ve ever bought a vaporship from an Ick, give yourself 50 Foole Points.
** If you vowed it would never happen again but it did, give yourself 100 Foole Points.