Dear Double Vision:
I put an ad on an internet dating site, to which I received a lot of responses. I liked one man’s name, so we emailed a bit. I was enamored with him from the start. When he sent me his picture, I got flushed, had goosebumps, and started crying uncontrollably. I felt a profound love for him even though we haven’t met. I felt like I had lost him and I was so sad. I’m not sure what to do with this. He thinks I am special also. He is in the middle of reconciling with his ex, but now I am causing him to re-think that relationship. I don’t want to cause him stress, but I don’t want to let him go. I think I have loved him intensely in a past life. I am 50 and for the first time in my life, I feel lonely and sad. It is as if these feelings were opened up just by seeing his picture. Is this possible? If we were soul mates, would he feel the same thing? He says he has an inexplicable attraction to me and is confused about this because we haven’t met. I mistrust online connections, but I want to trust this man and I want to love him.
I advise you to proceed with extreme caution here, for there are all sorts of different reasons this man’s picture may be triggering a strong emotional response in you. When we encounter someone we have known before in a past life, the reactions you describe are common. The intense sense of familiarity we experience can bring about a dramatic psychic shift. All our thoughts, energy and focus then turn to this one person, and the more we wonder about the possibilities, the more we get caught up in our heads and forget about what’s really happening in the here and now.
The danger in connecting via the internet is the tendency to assign certain characteristics to people that they simply do not possess. I have had many clients meet someone online or find themselves fascinated with a public figure they have only seen on television or in movies. The feelings they experience are very real and all-consuming. However, if they encounter the person in real life, they may discover the object of their affections is either completely unattainable or not who they professed themselves to be.
Though this may seem to discourage your hopes of loving this man, there are a few things you can do to determine this connection’s true potential. While you can remain open and see where all of this leads, you will want to proceed with caution.
When soul mates are destined to come together, it’s rare for the other person to remain on the fence or involved in another relationship. At this point in time, your man is obviously not finished with his ex. If the two of you are destined to be together, the feelings you have will still be there once he has completed his karma with his current relationship. Ask him not to contact you until after he is clear of this situation completely. If the connection is as you describe, he will honor this request, and it won’t take long for him to finish it so that you can move forward together.
Next, you must agree to meet in person. Being with him a few times in real life will usually tell you everything you need to know. Either your connection will grow stronger, or it will quickly fall apart.
You have already invested your heart and soul in this man without even meeting him. This alone can put the relationship in jeopardy, as you are prone to forgetting yourself and putting all your focus on him. Energetically and romantically, this can smother the spark instead of fanning the flames. I encourage you to step back from these dramatic waves of emotion and allow Spirit to reveal the true purpose of this connection.
I suspect you’ve been carrying deeply buried sadness all your life, and something about this man’s internet persona has triggered that sadness. While this is a gift, please don’t assume that the feelings are related to HIM. He is merely the key that opened a long-locked door within you. Your feelings are likely related to a profound loss that took place during your early life, like a death, divorce, new sibling who seemed to replace you or a cold and emotionally distant parent.
When someone triggers our old business, we often feel as if we’ve known them in a former life or for most of THIS one. We have this profound feeling of inexplicable familiarity because the person has stirred up dormant feelings from our early childhood. We may experience a sense of resonance, bittersweet longing, and an intense desire to connect with them.
If we could look at this man objectively for a moment, he seems unsettled. I might even use the word “flakey,” as he’s in the middle of reconciling with his ex AND dabbling on a dating site! When people go fishing online while in a relationship, it’s usually because they’re seeking a distraction from their real life or because they unrealistically believe there’s a Prince or Princess Charming out there with whom things will more easily fall into place.
While its important to choose a partner who is stable and compatible with our goals and values, a relationship mostly works or doesn’t because of what we put into it, not because of whom we’ve chosen. I’ve always liked Laura Schlessinger’s relationship-success formula: “Choose wisely; treat kindly.”
You said you don’t want to cause this man stress, which sounds loving. You said you don’t want to let him go, which sounds immature, self-centered and possessive. These conflicting positions show that both your adult and child selves are involved. The child in you yearns to heal the past and mistakenly thinks you need HIM in order to do so. The adult in you recognizes that love is about wishing for someone’s happiness, with or without you.
It’s good to move to the phone and an in-person meeting in a timely manner after making an internet connection; otherwise, you can’t be sure that what you’re feeling is based on reality. When the only contact is email, chat or texting, it is easy to fill in the gaps with our own idealization and fantasy. You say you want to love and trust this man. I suspect you want to love and trust SOMEONE, but no one – this gentleman included – deserves your love and trust until they earn it over time in real life.
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