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Opening Arguments

The gal pal blues

Of all the questions swirling around the Manti Te'o hoax mystery, this is the most interesting one: How do you fall in love with someone you've never met?

“People probably think this never happens,” says Dr. Gail Saltz, a TODAY contributor and psychiatrist who specializes in relationships and sex. “The huge change in our social activity based solely on the Internet has made this a phenomenon that does happen.”

Although some people may find it easier to be intimate online than in person, Saltz cautioned that online relationships that don’t progress to the face-to-face kind are “gravely, gravely limited.” Among the things they lack are sex, physical intimacy and non-verbal communication through body language, she said.

No kidding, "gravely limited." I've fallen in love with people I shouldn't have because they didn't love me, which is a form of narcissism. And a lot of us have done some serious flirting with people we've never actually met. But I don't see how you can call it any kind of love if you've never actually met someone and experienced at least a little intimacy, even if it's only to experience a hint of chemical reaction from across the room. This is the part of the story that makes me lean toward "Te'o perpetuated a hoax" instead of "Te'o was the victime of a hoax." Someone who calls an online-only acquaintance the "love of his life" is way beyond naive or sheltered and getting into seriously-disturbed territory, even in this era when new forms of communication are screwing up our traditional views of human interaction.


Sun, 01/20/2013 - 3:12pm

Nobody at the great religious and educational institution called Notre Dame bothered to teach Manti Te'o about the fundamentals of life, best expressed by Molly Ivins: "The First Rule of Holes - when you are in one, stop digging!"

If Te'o wants to be believed he has to shut up and produce some proof  to back his already conflicting public statements.  I would start with a copy of the cell phone bills that show he had all-night telephone connections with the now acknowledged fake girl friend.  Otherwise his own words prove his complicity in the fraud.



Harl Delos
Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:42pm

Perhaps it's because I've paid little attention to this story, that I don't understand.  There's fraud involved?

Merriam-Webster says fraud is deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.

Whether or not the girlfriend existed, doesn't the existance of a "mark" make him ineligible to play for Notre Dame as an amateur?

Christopher Swing
Mon, 01/21/2013 - 11:25pm

This effective non-story is a great distraction from the real woman who is actually dead after being intimidated by Notre Dame players for reporting being sexually assaulted by one of them.

Lizzy Seeburg, actually dead, yet we know more about this guy getting trolled on the internet. Handy.