Hi, all, a few thoughts:
1. This community has been a lifeline for me during a painful time in my life as I have adjusted to the reality of my marriage of 25+ years ending. I have been confused, angry, depressed, lonely, manic--you name it, I've been it. I've made good friends here, both male and female.
2. I can testify that Bill is a good guy
He's one of the first people who "friended" me and let me know about scammers.
3. I still don't understand the scammers, but I believe there are online predators. The team here is very good at catching/filtering these. Usually if I get a message in my inbox that is extra flirty/complimentary and the person gives a number and asks me to contact him (or her a couple of times) off the site, it is a scam. I have learned not to answer right away. If the person's profile is still there in 24 hours and I don't have a message from a 50+ team member that the message has been erased, it's probably legit. I'm still wary of people who come on too strong too fast. The people I know the best here are the ones that I have exchanged letters with over several months. Only after getting to know them do I feel comfortable meeting on Whats App, Skype, or giving my email.
4. Chat is difficult for me. I don't think it works well with my Macbook (doesn't load properly ) and frankly, group chat seems kind of lackluster to me and not a way to really meet friends.
5. My advice is to go slow. Take your time and nurture real FRIENDSHIPS. That's always a good place to start.
6. Trust is difficult to give if you've had your whole world crash down on you and the person who was your everything lied to you and abandoned you, but love can happen again. This much I know. Stay open, don't let bitterness and skepticism consume you, and, if you are like me, don't let fear close you off from taking chances. Nothing ventured ... BUT a healthy dose of caution is a good thing. Any other women whose spouses turned out to be aging Peter Pans want to form a group for friendship and support, let me know.
7. Bottom line: There are some scammers who try to play games here, sure, but there are also real people. Decent people. Kind and loving people. You might just find someone you didn't imagine existed, someone you weren't even looking for, but whose messages make the corners of your mouth curve up and do something strange to your heart.