Hi again everyone. Hope you are all well. For some months I have been grappling with the question above. This is mainly aimed at those who were, like me, engaged in an online relationship with a rat...but never ever met them in person. Mine sent me a FB friend request in 2013 but I only started noticing him liking my posts in 2014. We slowly started chatting through public comment replies but later started sending private messages to each other. As I’m sure you all know, the love-bombing doesn’t take long to start and the “golden period” was in full swing before too long. I’ve enjoyed writing poetry since I was a child so have quite a vivid imagination at time. During the “golden period” I felt like a princess and saw my rat as Prince Charming...the only man to ever fully understand me and be willing to hear me out...no matter how trivial my discussions were. He was patient, emphatic and understanding. Only after the devaluation period did I realise that he had only been mirroring me...enjoying the same sport, music, general interests and he loved me reading my poetry to him. This in turn inspired me to write several poems about him. I’m sure many of you had rats who would fill your heads with dreams of a romantic life together, being with each other 24/7 (which started sounding a bit like possessiveness after a year or so). Of course I was the person he thought of as soon as he opened his eyes in the morning and before he fell asleep at night. It was like something out of a romance book....all the compliments and loving gestures. Of course I slowly realised that he was pushing for us to meet and eventually get married (as soon as possible for his own safety). He also told me that he did not want to be forced to join the military services and that he would have to go if I didn’t speed up the process. No pressure of course. My mind would always wander back to the romance of it all...walking along a deserted beach hand in hand and kissing in the rain. So much in love. Even though I was so “in love” with him (or rather “addicted to him”) as time went on and he kept pressing for us to meet and marry (of course being very polite when doing so....after all he only wanted to finally have me in his arms so he could love me and look after me in person), I started thinking about the realities of us actually meeting. Our minds can play tricks on us (with the unmistakable help of the rat of course) and we conjure up romantic scenarios of how we will be when we are together in the real world. My rat and I have a 17 year age gap. I am in my late 40s and still consider myself quite attractive (or so others tell me) and look after my body (although do suffer with the common middle age problems such as backache etc.) I am quite short at just under 5ft 3inches) My rat was over 6ft 3inches. As romantic as the thoughts on my head were, I began to wonder just how comfortable I would feel walking arm in arm or holding hands with a man who could fit me under his armpit. Despite him always saying he would just go down on his knees and kiss me that way so that I would feel more comfortable (as if I’d have him do that out in public), I just couldn’t get used to the thought. Although I tried to not let it enter my mind I couldn’t help but think how uncomfortable I would feel walking around in public with someone who, besides making me look like a midget) was basically young enough to be my son. I know I’ve walked past the odd couple where there is an obvious large age gap...and wondered why they were together...especially when the male seems to look like an Arab or similar. I’m sure there are many couples with huge age gaps who are perfectly happy...but I’m sure many others (don’t want to appear sexist...but mainly the men) are scammers with ulterior motives...such as those mentioned on this site. I hate drawing attention and often say I would love to be able to walk in public and not have anyone see me. If I am walking around with a towering man who looks much younger than me...what would others be thinking? I know I shouldn’t care...but that really bothered me. My rat would tell me how he would just kiss me in the middle of the street or start dancing with me randomly in a shopping mall. He made it sound like something out of a romantic movie...but I just kept thinking to myself, “I don’t think so!” In dreamland it seems so good...but in reality.... He would also tell me how he would make love to me out in public as if that was something normal. I in turn was thinking of my back killing me and how I would never be able to show my face again in my city if anyone saw us. I think these rats watch far too much porn...and I also wonder how many of them actually do any of the things they will do when they finally meet “the love of their life” in person. In a way I’m glad I never met my rat because being the type of person I am, I don’t think I would have felt comfortable doing half the things he wanted to do with me...especially in public. He also told me that “age is just a number”....but in “my” real world, I don’t think that is completely true. Would really love to hear your thoughts about large age difference in relationships (specifically with these rats). Wondering if anyone feels the same way.