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Old 09-19-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default When to open up?

I wasn't sure where to put this thread, but it seemed to me that it applies to people who are "looking" more than to those who are not. I'm very interested in what everyone has to say:

An interesting dilemma to ponder.

Penny always warns us that it is not a good idea to give out our personal information (full names, phone numbers, etc.) and to always keep yourself in a position where, push come to shove, the other party will not have a way of finding you (or your spouse) off line. Common sense tells that she is right about this but I think we all adhere to it to very differing degrees.

Some of us have met people in here (or elsewhere) and had a relationship develop where hiding one’s identity becomes inappropriate or even impossible. If you’re exchanging phone calls, you have to have phone numbers. If you’re actually meeting, it would certainly be difficult to avoid revealing your identities to each other. Moreover, if your relationship is actually getting to that kind of level, there comes a point where mutual trust would seem to be something that you would both expect.


The question I have is: When? At what point do you expect the other person to share his or her personal information with you? At what point do you offer to share yours?

The corollary question: Do you assume from the start that the name the other party is using is his or her actual real name?

Final question – a hypothetical: You have met someone in here and a relationship has developed. At this point it is strictly chat and email. You are not security conscious and have always used your real name. Your partner is security conscious and has been using a false last name and has decided it is the appropriate time to make you aware of that.

Situation 1 – He or she tells you and tells you his/her full name.
Situation 2 – He or she cops to the deception and is still not willing to reveal his/her full name but indicates he/she might be willing to do so in time.

How do you react?
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:19 PM   #2
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I think that it really, really depends on the parties involved. I am relatively open with most of my identity (name, e-mail, picture). But I am also pretty open about why I'm here and I'm a pretty good judge of character so I know who to PM, chat with, etc. I never expect the other person to give their personal information to me and I won't necessarily go out and just ask for it since we all have varying degrees of comfort with our privacy. Frankly I am really honored when someone does give me their information.

I am not sure I understand the question in the second half though. Are you asking how we would react to either scenario? Neither would really bother me but I would wonder why they gave me a fake last name instead of just no last name. I would much prefer them to say "I'm not comfortable giving that to you" than "here's my fake last name".

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Old 09-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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I feel I am a pretty good judge and can tell pretty fast if the person I am talking to isn't real, at least I think I am. I think its a give and take and is built slowly over time. If the person I am talking to in the first 10 mins is demanding my phone number,,,,ummmmm that is a pretty big red flag. As to my name, well I have no prob with giving my name, email, yahoo. I am not going to rush into anything and I may be naive but I am hoping that with me being a very open and honest person, that I shall get it back. It is the only way to be, I would so hate to have to say to someone I have been very close with after 6 months "Oh by the way,,,,my real name is" kinda takes away from the whole closeness, respect and trust thing!
If not, the signs are there,,,,,you always have to ask yourself if he really into me? or is this clinginess normal. We all have little hairs on the back of our neck and gut feelings,,,,,,now we need to listen to them!!!!
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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I think that it really, really depends on the parties involved. I am relatively open with most of my identity (name, e-mail, picture). But I am also pretty open about why I'm here and I'm a pretty good judge of character so I know who to PM, chat with, etc. I never expect the other person to give their personal information to me and I won't necessarily go out and just ask for it since we all have varying degrees of comfort with our privacy. Frankly I am really honored when someone does give me their information.

I am not sure I understand the question in the second half though. Are you asking how we would react to either scenario? Neither would really bother me but I would wonder why they gave me a fake last name instead of just no last name. I would much prefer them to say "I'm not comfortable giving that to you" than "here's my fake last name".

james

I guess the big question is when. I've come to learn the hard way that I'm not always such a good judge of character, so I'm not always comfortable in being too forthcoming. Have also learned the hard way just how easy it is for someone to find you with just a little bit of information, so I have become a little gun shy. So far, I've been fortunate to avoid having a major disaster. Hopefully, that will continue as I become a little more willing to take a risk, given the potential reward. This site has been an education for me, but I'm still learning.

As to the fake last name - came up because I was clumsy in setting up an email account. Had typed in a fake last name as a protection when the account was set up before I came to this site. Never really an intent to deceive, but I can certainly understand how the person on the other end would have taken it. Took me about an hour to figure out how to do it (did I mention clumsy?) but I have managed to replace the fake last name with just an initial. Don't think there's any problem in being uncomfortable releasing info, but I can see where the other party might be terribly upset at being misled and might jump to the conclusion that it was my intent to do so. Thanks for the idea.

So now my question changes - If the outgoing name on my email had been John S instead of John Smith (both fakes) would the reaction have been different?

Note: There had never been any prior discussion of names. It was simply assumed that the outgoing name on my email was accurate. I assumed that hers was also, but would not have been shocked, or bothered at all, to have learned otherwise.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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I feel I am a pretty good judge and can tell pretty fast if the person I am talking to isn't real, at least I think I am. I think its a give and take and is built slowly over time. If the person I am talking to in the first 10 mins is demanding my phone number,,,,ummmmm that is a pretty big red flag. As to my name, well I have no prob with giving my name, email, yahoo. I am not going to rush into anything and I may be nieve but I am hoping that ith me being a very open and honest person, that I shall get it back. It is the only way to be, I would so hate to have to say to someone I have been very close with after 6 months "Oh by the way,,,,my real name is" kinda takes away from the whole closeness, respect and trust thing!
If not, the signs are there,,,,,you always have to ask yourself if he really into me? or is this clinginess normal. We all have little hairs on the back of our neck and gut feelings,,,,,,now we need to listen to them!!!!

Again - I guess i depends on how well you think you can judge people and how well you've gotten to know them. Certainly, six months time would be excessive, but how do you know? And what do you do if the hairs on the back of your neck don't start to stand up until after you've given out the information?
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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maybe just take it slow... make sure you protect yourself and your feelings most of all. There's no rush! Make sure you are sure you want to share.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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I
The question I have is: When? At what point do you expect the other person to share his or her personal information with you? At what point do you offer to share yours?

The corollary question: Do you assume from the start that the name the other party is using is his or her actual real name?

Final question – a hypothetical: You have met someone in here and a relationship has developed. At this point it is strictly chat and email. You are not security conscious and have always used your real name. Your partner is security conscious and has been using a false last name and has decided it is the appropriate time to make you aware of that.

Situation 1 – He or she tells you and tells you his/her full name.
Situation 2 – He or she cops to the deception and is still not willing to reveal his/her full name but indicates he/she might be willing to do so in time.

How do you react?
Penny is completely correct. I think that women are a little more security conscious than the guys, simply because it's female instinct to do so. Most of us use nicknames on sites like this or in chatrooms, but I've always signed emails with my real first name, or told it to people who have asked.

As for last names, it's not something I disclose to people I've just met....in fact, I've been seeing a guy for three months now in r/l and I don't even think he knows my last name. He's told me his, but the subject never came up about mine, lol. Not that I care if he knows it, though. I trust him enough not to use it against me.

Many people use fake names on their email addresses because they are paranoid their spouse will locate them....it happens when you're on a site for married and flirting people. It has nothing to do with deception....just safety. To give a person a fake name while talking to them though is stupid....just say nothing.

It all comes down to trust. Do you trust that the person isn't going to call your spouse should you not meet their expectations of you? Do you trust that they're not a psychopath that will call your job and harrass you there? I've met people from online and been able to email them at their work email, call them at their job, ask for them by first and last name, have even been to their homes when their wives were away....it all comes down to trust.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:37 PM   #8
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Penny is completely correct. I think that women are a little more security conscious than the guys, simply because it's female instinct to do so. Most of us use nicknames on sites like this or in chatrooms, but I've always signed emails with my real first name, or told it to people who have asked.

As for last names, it's not something I disclose to people I've just met....in fact, I've been seeing a guy for three months now in r/l and I don't even think he knows my last name. He's told me his, but the subject never came up about mine, lol. Not that I care if he knows it, though. I trust him enough not to use it against me.

Many people use fake names on their email addresses because they are paranoid their spouse will locate them....it happens when you're on a site for married and flirting people. It has nothing to do with deception....just safety. To give a person a fake name while talking to them though is stupid....just say nothing.

It all comes down to trust. Do you trust that the person isn't going to call your spouse should you not meet their expectations of you? Do you trust that they're not a psychopath that will call your job and harrass you there? I've met people from online and been able to email them at their work email, call them at their job, ask for them by first and last name, have even been to their homes when their wives were away....it all comes down to trust.

I think you've hit the nail very much on the head - it does come down to trust. But it also comes down to wanting to be trusted. I absolutely understand if you are reluctant to give me your last name, so it surprises me a little if it bothers you that I want to withhold mine. I've only recently come to learn that it's possible to offend someone by doing so.

Of course, in my case, I accidentally (and it really was accidental!) inferred that I was providing my name. By making the change from a last name to a last initial on the outgoing name, at least I can avoid that in the future. Live and learn, I suppose.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:38 PM   #9
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I too have proven myself to not always be a good judge of character.. and even after time when I thought I could trust someone, I've found that i was wrong. I have yet to get to any level that requires me to give out a last name or address... my email is yahoo so it's easily expendable. As for phone numbers.. well.. that's been so darn rare it isn't an issue either. There's always a choice there.. either get yourself a prepaid cell phone so there are no bills and the phone can be tossed ... or you do the calling and block your number. I once asked a person, after chatting for some time, if his name (first name!) was really what he said it was .. and he was sincerely offended. I found it funny at first because of all the false names i've run across in the years I've chatted in various venues online... and he had also .. so it should not have been that big of a surprise. I guess the problem was that he thought we had developed a level of trust, and I was still leery. The point of that lil tidbit of information is .. be kind how you ask if they are real He's actually the only stranger I've ever met online that I know I can trust whatever he tells me to be true. And one out of hundreds .. well ... I will always be cautious with others!
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:54 PM   #10
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I too have proven myself to not always be a good judge of character.. and even after time when I thought I could trust someone, I've found that i was wrong. I have yet to get to any level that requires me to give out a last name or address... my email is yahoo so it's easily expendable. As for phone numbers.. well.. that's been so darn rare it isn't an issue either. There's always a choice there.. either get yourself a prepaid cell phone so there are no bills and the phone can be tossed ... or you do the calling and block your number. I once asked a person, after chatting for some time, if his name (first name!) was really what he said it was .. and he was sincerely offended. I found it funny at first because of all the false names i've run across in the years I've chatted in various venues online... and he had also .. so it should not have been that big of a surprise. I guess the problem was that he thought we had developed a level of trust, and I was still leery. The point of that lil tidbit of information is .. be kind how you ask if they are real He's actually the only stranger I've ever met online that I know I can trust whatever he tells me to be true. And one out of hundreds .. well ... I will always be cautious with others!

I guess we all live an learn from our mistakes. I was clumsy in allowing another party to make an assumption. But, at the same time, I really was surprised at the extent to which offense had been taken.

I think it's very interesting the range of caution that's used in here. Some people will fabricate completely fictitious personas (something I find deplorable). Some will quickly open themselves up to you (something I find reckless). I think most of us look for a middle ground and let the extent of trust offered depend on the person, the situation, and the nature of any relationship that might be developing. And I think most of us recognize that and are willing to accept caution from the other party.

I guess the real lesson is that people are different.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:58 PM   #11
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I guess we all live an learn from our mistakes. I was clumsy in allowing another party to make an assumption. But, at the same time, I really was surprised at the extent to which offense had been taken.
Just so you know....when another person makes an assumption about you, that is in no way YOUR fault. It's theirs....therefore the offense is theirs as well.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:09 PM   #12
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Just so you know....when another person makes an assumption about you, that is in no way YOUR fault. It's theirs....therefore the offense is theirs as well.

No - When I set up a yahoo address, I put in a full name. To someone else who hadn't even thought of doing that and who had set up her email with her full (real) name, it was a reasonable assumption that the full name I used was real. There was no deceptive intent on my part, but I can see where she would have been upset that I had not offered the same level of trust that she had.

Of course, you're right - It's not my fault that she made an assumption. But, had I thought about it (and I now have), it is more appropriate to make sure that the name going out does not include a full name, so that there is no ambiguity.

I've lived and learned. I was hurt by losing someone over this who had become a good friend and might have become something more than that. I was hurt even more by the knowledge that I hurt her, something I never intended to do. All I can do now is make sure that I don't repeat my mistake.

Thanks so much.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:18 PM   #13
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To meet someone on a site like this.....knowing full well that there are murders committed daily where people who met on the internet decided to meet in real life....and she was SO SURE he wasn't an axe murderer.....it is STUPID to put your real name on your email.

I have no less than four email addresses.....all used for different purposes. My first name and last initial ONLY are on ALL of them. There was a time when the one I used for chat friends had only my chat nickname on it. Strangers you meet on websites or in chatrooms should expect no more than that from you. One should NEVER assume that the name on a person's email is their own....nor should you even assume that the name they use online is their own.

I say we just put our social security numbers on our sig lines on M&F, let other people ASSUME it's a correct number.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:23 PM   #14
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To meet someone on a site like this.....knowing full well that there are murders committed daily where people who met on the internet decided to meet in real life....and she was SO SURE he wasn't an axe murderer.....it is STUPID to put your real name on your email.

I have no less than four email addresses.....all used for different purposes. My first name and last initial ONLY are on ALL of them. There was a time when the one I used for chat friends had only my chat nickname on it. Strangers you meet on websites or in chatrooms should expect no more than that from you. One should NEVER assume that the name on a person's email is their own....nor should you even assume that the name they use online is their own.

I say we just put our social security numbers on our sig lines on M&F, let other people ASSUME it's a correct number.

Of course, you're right. But it's also possible to empathize with someone who really hadn't thought things through and who really had trusted me. I agree with you - my actions were merely sensible and hers were foolish. Doesn't make me feel any better about having hurt her.

Now - what did you say your SSN was?
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:25 PM   #15
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Of course, you're right. But it's also possible to empathize with someone who really hadn't thought things through and who really had trusted me. I agree with you - my actions were merely sensible and hers were foolish. Doesn't make me feel any better about having hurt her.

Now - what did you say your SSN was?
987-65-4321 Go for it.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:25 PM   #16
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I think you should open up when he's on top of you...
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:26 PM   #17
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987-65-4321 Go for it.
I have some papers for you to sign. Where should I send them?
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:11 PM   #18
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I think you should open up when he's on top of you...

Say when!

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Old 09-19-2008, 06:30 PM   #19
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Would never use my last name or anything else that would hit "too close to home." But absoluletly everything else I've said in here in posts and in private conversations is 100% true. I'm getting too old to remember my lies! May as well stick with the truth, and either that will lead to freindship or more or it won't.
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:44 PM   #20
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Would never use my last name or anything else that would hit "too close to home." But absoluletly everything else I've said in here in posts and in private conversations is 100% true. I'm getting too old to remember my lies! May as well stick with the truth, and either that will lead to freindship or more or it won't.

I have to agree with you in general. I have eventually been willing to share my last name, but prefer to keep that private at first. But everything else, without exception, has always been 100% true for both of the reasons you suggest.

First - a friendship worth having is not going to develop based on deceit.

And - of course, we are all getting too old to remember any lies we might tell. Hell, I'm getting to old to remember who I really am any more, let alone any fabrications I might concoct.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:33 PM   #21
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I have no less than four email addresses.....all used for different purposes. My first name and last initial ONLY are on ALL of them. There was a time when the one I used for chat friends had only my chat nickname on it. Strangers you meet on websites or in chatrooms should expect no more than that from you. One should NEVER assume that the name on a person's email is their own....nor should you even assume that the name they use online is their own.
I agree with this, and do the same thing. All but one of my personal e-mail addresses show pseudonyms, and the one that doesn't shows my first name only. Guess which one doesn't get used here?

That said, I also trust my instincts about who I should or should not divulge personal information to. There are a handful of people here who know my first name, but only one who knows my full name. That's not fear of stalkers so much as the way that I control who has access to me and who I communicate with. Even in real life I'm choosy about who I want to be friends with, and this place is no different. I also have the added security of a very protective private-investigator friend who will gladly check out anyone should I want him to...because, after all, my good instincts are great, but it never hurts to have a backup.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:35 PM   #22
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When u really need to talk and are sure u can trust someone.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:25 AM   #23
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When u really need to talk and are sure u can trust someone.

But trusting someone means more than just trusting that it is safe to allow them to know you. It means that it will always be so in the future (not a bell you can un-ring). It also means trusting that they will not accidentally allow their spouse to have access to your information. There are just so many things that can go wrong, even if neither party ever intends that.

But I guess, like so many things in life, the reward of the relationship involves some amount of risk. I guess we all just have to decide in each situation whether we are ready to assume that risk.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #24
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The question I have is: When? At what point do you expect the other person to share his or her personal information with you? At what point do you offer to share yours?

The corollary question: Do you assume from the start that the name the other party is using is his or her actual real name?
I NEVER, NEVER push anyone for information of ANY kind, and I rarely give out my own personal information, even my real name, it just feels safer to me. If someone becomes closer as we email back and forth I may give them my real name but there are very few that I give my phone number and other private information to and I think maybe I have only given my phone number to two people from here...a male and a female. I think you both have to feel safe, I have found that guys give their real name right away, but I don't, I just don't feel safe, I need to get to know them better.

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Final question – a hypothetical: You have met someone in here and a relationship has developed. At this point it is strictly chat and email. You are not security conscious and have always used your real name. Your partner is security conscious and has been using a false last name and has decided it is the appropriate time to make you aware of that.

Situation 1 – He or she tells you and tells you his/her full name.

Situation 2 – He or she cops to the deception and is still not willing to reveal his/her full name but indicates he/she might be willing to do so in time. How do you react?
#1. Cool if he wants to tell me, I would never ask or push for personal information, even if I did share all of mine....some people just don't feel safe and I wouldn't want to make them feel pressured to do anything that they were not comfortable with.

#2. Again I wouldn't care if he did not want to use his real name, or give out personal information, he has a right to feel safe, but I won't be giving out too much personal info either. What I care more about are the guys (I know there are some women too) who are players and have a number of women on the go. I dont want to step on any toes or feel used by a guy or hurt someone in directly or be hurt myself. If he's trying to be safe...great for him...smart guy and it shows he has respect. If he's doing it to keep the fact that he is a player and has many women convinced that she's the only one...he'll get caught out eventually and he's not the person you want to share inforamton with any way.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:53 PM   #25
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#2. Again I wouldn't care if he did not want to use his real name, or give out personal information, he has a right to feel safe, but I won't be giving out too much personal info either. What I care more about are the guys (I know there are some women too) who are players and have a number of women on the go. I dont want to step on any toes or feel used by a guy or hurt someone in directly or be hurt myself. If he's trying to be safe...great for him...smart guy and it shows he has respect. If he's doing it to keep the fact that he is a player and has many women convinced that she's the only one...he'll get caught out eventually and he's not the person you want to share inforamton with any way.
Interesting take on it. I guess it's because I've never had an interest in assembling a stable of women, so to speak, that the thought of concealing my name for that purpose would never have occurred to me. I think you are right - it would only be a matter of time before someone doing that would get caught out. Given my ability to juggle things, I think I might last 15 seconds or so. Life is too short for that, don't you think?
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