Will you have dinner with me tonight?

@Porcospino (17772)
Denmark
January 18, 2012 4:40am CST
I am a member of a social networking site in my country and one day I read an unusual offer. A man started a discussion in one of the groups. He wrote that he had some problems and that he really needed to talk to someone and he asked the members of the group: "Is there a person (a man or a woman) who wants to have dinner with me tonight? We will go to a restaurant and I will pay for both of us. Please respond, I really need to talk to someone tonight!" A few people responded and wrote:"It is a nice offer, but I live too far way from your city" or "Sorry, I can't help you, I have plans tonight" and he didn't find a person who wanted to have dinner with him. What do you think about his offer? Would you have responded and have agreed to have dinner with him if you both lived in same city? Why/why not?
4 people like this
18 responses
@Aja103654 (5658)
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
He sounded really desperate and unstable. If I was one of the people in that group, I would decline him at all cost. He's a stranger, we can't simply trust him and have dinner with him. It's not wise to hang out with a needy person in a very critical situation, if we agree to go to dinner with him, he will probably get attached to us and won't leave us alone. Even if I had lived next door to him, I would still decline his offer. He needs time for himself, to sort things out and figure out what he needed to do. This sounded like a pick up line to get a date easier, and it might not be safe for us to go with him.
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
Yes, I think desperate is the right word. When you are willing to talk to any stranger from the internet about personal problems, you must be in a pretty desperate situation. Personally I couldn't imagine making that kind of offer. You never know who is going to show up, and you don't know whether it is a person that you can trust or not, it could be anybody. I would definately prefer to talk to a friend, but maybe this man doesn't have any friends and he made the offer because he feels that talking to a stranger is better than talking to no one at all. I think you are right when you say that he could get attached to us and refuse to let go of us when the dinner is over. That is something that we have to consider before we decide to share that dinner with him.
1 person likes this
@Aja103654 (5658)
• Philippines
29 Jan 12
exactly! Thanks for rating me by the way. It's not a bad thing to refuse him. You are probably doing him good for doing so. So don't put it into your conscience whatever happens to him. He is a grown up so he must figure out his own problem. You can give him advice, but never let him take advantage of your kindness.
@neelia_lyn (2004)
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
I wouldn't go because in the first place, I don't know the man personally. Even if he sounded nice when chatting, I would still not accept his offer. There were people who have become victims because of trusting people they only have met through social networking sites (facebook for one).
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
Unfortuneately you are right about that. Sometimes the meetings with people from the internet end in a bad way. Some time ago there was a case in my country where a woman was killed by the man that she had met online, and other bad things have happened as well, so we have to be very careful when we decide to meet someone from the internet. I met my own husband on the internet, and my story is happy story, but we have to be very careful, because sometimes people are very different when we meet them in real life.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
Wow, you did meet your husband through internet? Yes, some good things could also happen but still being cautious is important. Thanks!
2 people like this
• Vietnam
18 Jan 12
It depends on how well you have known him in your group. If you and he have known for a while, and he also a reliable person, you can help him without a hesitation. In case you don't know him well, you must think carefully.
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
In this case I didn't know him at all. I don't think that he was a newbie, but I had never seen him in the group before and I had never had any kind of interaction with him. Maybe he was just a lonely person who needed someone to talk to, but it is hard to know his intentions when I had never really talked to him before. I think it would be safer to chat with him online or exchange emails with him if needed someone to confide in or someone to talk to about his problems.
1 person likes this
• Vietnam
18 Jan 12
That's right! You must identify first. It's safe for you to stay at home, maybe chatting online with him is also one way to reduce his sadness.
2 people like this
@parascevi (314)
• Greece
18 Jan 12
Propably i would not accept his offer and i would not even respond to him.Maybe i am wrong and the man just wanted a company to spend the night but i would never jeopardize my safety
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
I understand what you mean. This man could be totally harmless, maybe he is just shy or lonely, but when you don't know him at all it is hard to predict what kind of person he is and whether it is safe to meet him or not. I think that no one actually accepted his offer (unless he received a private message from someone) so I think that many of the other member have the same thoughts as you and me and would be worried about their safety if they agreed to meet him.
@dheckerz (473)
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
It depends, this person might really need someone to talk to aside from his close friends. But nowadays, we don't know if people are just pretending to be a good guy. But if you really think that this person needs someone to talk to and you are willing to lend an ear, I would suggest that if ever you'd be going out with him make sure that it is on a crowdy restaurant. You can ask a friend to come along with you and just stay on separate table so that he won't be oblige to pay for the biils. In that way, if this is true then at least you were able to help him by listening to his problem.
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
Yes, when we meet people online it is not easy to know if they are the person that they say that they are. Some people are honest, and it is possible that this man is just someone who is lonely and needs a person to talk to, but it is also possible that he hides his real intentions. I think it is a good idea to bring a friend, it is safer than way, because after all I would meet a person that I only know from the internet and I don't really know much about him. Meeting at a private place like his home would be out of the question, that is too risky, but a public place with a friend could be okay I think.
@enelym001 (8333)
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
Well if you have been talking for him for quite a long time and have interacted with him so often that you may have known a lot about the person too - I think that it would be okay. But it would be better if you would meet the person bringing a friend with you. Coz nowadays, there's a lot of crazy people that it's actually hard to trust someone who actually desperately seeking someone to talk with him personally. He can talk by calling anyone or chatting.
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
I think that chatting or talking on the phone would be a better option than meeting him in person. That way he would still be able to get help or advice. It can be risky to meet strangers from the internet, because sometimes bad things happen. That is why I think that chatting is a safer option when you don't know the person at all or you could bring a friend like you mentioned.
1 person likes this
@cearn25 (3460)
• Philippines
18 Jan 12
I won't be accepting that kind of offer from a stranger or a person which I only knew from the internet. Definitely not because we don't know if that person is just fooling me or just playing prank. Well, basically if he really need someone to talk with, he must console it with a friend.
3 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
I when read the discussion that he had started I also thought about that: Why a stranger? Why didn't he call a friend instead? But maybe he doesn't have any friends that he can talk to. I feel sorry for him if that is the case, but I still wouldn't feel comfortable going for a free dinner with a man that I had only seen on the internet. I had not even chatted with him and I basically didn't know anyhting about him.
1 person likes this
@much2say (39158)
• United States
18 Jan 12
Me, personally, I would not have taken the offer - sorry to say. First of all, I don't know what kind of social networking site that is, but his offer sounds like what someone on a dating site would offer . . . and I certainly would not meet someone in person until I felt I had enough communication going to know I had an inkling of trust in this person. I'd have to ask further what he wanted to talk about and perhaps offer to chat about it online. But never would I even think of meeting someone in person like that! And besides - I'm married and have two little ones - I would never go out to dinner with an online stranger!!
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
I am married, too and dinner with an unknown man would not be something that I would consider, but even if I had been single I probably wouldn't have done it. The site where where the man posted that discussion is not a dating site as such. I guess that some people use the site to look for a date but it is not the main purpose of the site and there are discussion groups about lots of different topics. When I read the discussion that he started it crossed my mind that he might be looking for a date, but I don't know, maybe he was just lonely and looking for a person to talk to.
@much2say (39158)
• United States
19 Jan 12
Possibly so! I think that some people go through alternate routes to find a date - even though they may not actually say it's a "date" - you just never know. Or like you said, he may be a lonely fellow looking for a person to talk to. But surely, if he had common thinking as most online folks, that no one would take such an offer - too risky - and it's actually risky for himself! I know talking in person is ultimately the best way to discuss things - but ah, to propose it to strangers online - who can tell what anyone's true motivation is. Hope the guy worked his issue out!
1 person likes this
@fakeboss (26)
• China
18 Jan 12
actually,we do can have dinner with someone eventhough we are not in the same city,same country,same land..... we can have dinner together through the internet....... well, maybe the time differnce will make it lunch and supper or breakfast........and anyway....... we can have dinner together through the camera and chat i would do that
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
The internet has given us possibilities that didn't exist in the past. Today we can have online meetings through chat and webcam, and that is a big advantage when we aren't able to meet in person because of the distanse. Of course we have to consider the time difference when we want to have online meeting with people from other parts of the world, but it is still a great thing that the possibility exists.
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
18 Jan 12
Here's an idea... Instead of going out with him in person, how about having dinner on line... I travel a lot because of my work... There are times when I have to go on a business trip for few days & I can't be home to have dinner with my girlfriend & my daughter... My girlfriend has Skype on her laptop... There were times when I connect to Skype through either iPad or my laptop & my girlfriend would bring her laptop to the dinner table... I would set up in a small table in my room with my iPad's camera facing me so I can see them & they can see me & we would have dinner "together" that way... We still would carry on a conversation... You, or somebody from your social network, might be able to do the same thing... That way, he could have a dinner companion without somebody having to physically be there in person... I don't know, just a thought...
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
That sounds like a good idea. I haven't used skype much, but it creates a new way of communication and interaction when you aren't able to meet in person like in your case. I know that my mother and my brother used to do the same thing while my brother was in Thailand, and it worked very well. If I experience the same situation again (someone asking for company or a person to talk) I think that I would suggest an online meeting instead, because I would feel that it was safer than meeting an unknown man in person.
@TrvlArrngr (4058)
• United States
18 Jan 12
That is a tough one. Maybe I would but would bring another person and pay for them so that I would not be alone.
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
18 Jan 12
It sounds like a good idea to bring another person. I would feel safer that way, because I don't know much about the man that I am going to meet. He could be totally harmless or he could have bad intentions.
1 person likes this
@cotruelove (1038)
• Denver, Colorado
19 Jan 12
I'm looking at this in two ways. First, as a good Samaritan. What if he was the Christ, what would I do? Second as the person I am, how would I do it. Firstly, if the man was new to the community, he possibly didn't know anyone and due to circumstances didn't feel it was appropriate to discuss it with the group he was in. I've had someone do this exact thing to me, and here is what I did. I told him to be prepared to pay for four people at dinner if I was going to meet him. Of course, he asked me why four people. I informed him because I wasn't going to meet him, when I didn't know him without protection to guarantee my safety. Surprisingly he agreed to it. He never knew where I lived or how to contact me except through the internet. It was a lovely dinner and my two male friends (well qualified as bodyguards) had a great meal too, although they sat at a different table. The man needed the company of a woman who was not judgmental of his occupation and not interested in how much money he made. He was lonely and only in my area for around 90 days, which seemed to be about the length of time his occupation kept him in one place. While he talked to me at the dinner, the one friend with me checked him out through the internet and some other resources he had access to. By the end of the dinner, I knew all about him and what he did for a living. But I wasn't interested in him after that not even as a dinner companion. I know he picked up on it and it made him sad, but truth was we had nothing in common. It pays to have good friends who watch your back like I have. Thanks for the discussion!
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was interesting to hear from someone who has been in that situation. I understand why you wanted to bring some friends, we have to think about our safety in that kind of situation, and it sounds like you found a good solution. You were able to meet him and talk to him, but you didn't come alone and didn't reveal your private information like your address. I think that it is best way to meet an unknown person. I also think that the man that I wrote about didn't feel comfortable talking to the group about his problems, maybe because it was something very personal that he wanted to discuss.
• Denver, Colorado
20 Jan 12
He may also have been afraid to reveal too much personal information to the group for his own security. You just never know what the other person is thinking, but security in my mind is always the issue involved.
1 person likes this
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
19 Jan 12
Hi Porcospino To be honest, right now, I can understand this person better. There are times when you do need someone to share... maybe the good time or the bad time or even just a shoulder to cry upon. To me, I would have agreed to meeting this person if I was a friend, had been actively participating with him/her. I mean, may not be be comfortable with a complete stranger but still... Travel many a times is a constraint as you point out and if it is in the same city, or that the person can come to mine... why not give this a try? At end, there is only one of the two possibilities - I enjoy my time with him and return with a satisfaction that I could help or walk away if things arent heading the right way.
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
Yes, sometimes we need a person to talk to person, a person who is willing to listen to us or a person to confide in when we have problems. I think that this man didn't have an offline friend to talk since he was looking for a person from the internet instead. Personally I wouldn't go out for dinner with him. I am married so I couldn't go out with another man, I am sure that my husband's wouldn't appreciate that. If it had been a woman I might have considered it, because that would have been a different situation. I think it is very nice of you that you are willing to help, most people would have rejected the idea.
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
19 Jan 12
Well, this is quite right and applicable to many including me - I too am married and would not dare to think of a date or an appointment at a hotel/restaurant with a 100% stranger lady or girl. This is why I mention, I should know that person more. Most of my friends from MyLot - I keep telling about them to my wife too as I do believe and trust them. So my wife too can accompany me if she wants.
1 person likes this
@KOSTAS499 (1625)
• Greece
20 Jan 12
I do not trust strangers on the internet. It would have to be verry public place and I would watch my food and drinks. IF I went!
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
21 Jan 12
I understand that. I think that we should be careful when we meet strangers from the internet. I have met some of my online friends in real life and some of them have become very close friends, but I meet always people from the internet at a public place, because you never know what kind of people they are and how the meeting is going to turn out. I would say that most of my meetings with people from the internet has been a positive exprience, but there are a few exceptions, so I am always careful when I meet an unknown person.
@myfb2009 (8304)
• Malaysia
20 Jan 12
Porco, it is depending on the invitation was coming from whom. If i had known that person for quite a long time, then i will surely accept that invitation. Another thing is, since i am already married, i prefer only to accept invitation from another lady only. I hope to get invitation from you in future, to have dinner together. Hope you are doing fine over there, my friend...Have a nice weekend...
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
20 Jan 12
Anytime Just let me know when you are coming, and I will introduce you to some of the local dishes from my country. I also think that it depends where the invitation came from. If it was from a person that I have had talked to online for a long time, I would accept the invitation. Like you am I married, so I wouldn't accept an invitation from a man only from a woman.
@tatzkie23 (773)
• Philippines
19 Jan 12
Maybe i would if i personally know this person, but if not. I think i rather not go out with him. It's really difficult to trust somebody you really don't know. He might do something bad, right? I hope that if ever somebody is serious about going dinner with him, i hope she/his ok.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
20 Jan 12
That is true, it is hard to trust him when you don't know him at all. You don't know what kind of person he is. Maybe he is just shy or lonely, but we don't know that and he could have bad intentions. I also hope that the person didn't get into trouble if someone chose to go out for dinner with him. I don't know how the story ended, no one accepted his invitation in the discussion, but he might have received a private message from someone.
@moneywinner (1866)
• Brazil
19 Jan 12
I don't know, but probably not. There are so many crazy persons in this world that you never know what type of person this guy can be. Of course that he could be a very nice guy that was only needing a friend to have dinner with him, but who knows, right? For safety, I would pass the invitation too.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
He could be a nice person who just needed a friend to talk to, but he could also have other intentions, that is hard to know. I am not sure what happened, but I think that he didn't find a someone who wanted to have dinner with him, and I think that many people would be worried about their safety if they accepted that kind of invitation.
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
19 Jan 12
hi porcospino n ot in this day and age would I have dinner with someone I did not know at all. I might think he was just lonely and needed a friend but again maybe he could be a stalker . I had trouble with a stalker , went to dinner with him and refused to marry hin or accept his ring. He threw it on the floor then came arou nd and was shoking me. had not two big burly waiters pulled hin off me I would h ave suffocated. he went to prison for that. no I would not take a chance these days at all.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17772)
• Denmark
19 Jan 12
That sounds like a very scary experience I am sorry to hear that you had to experience something like that, it could have been very dangerous if the waiters hadn't been there. I have met a stalker myself. He never tried to harm me physically, but he wouldn't leave me alone and didn't take no for answer. I wouldn't accept his ring, and he wouldn't give up. I agree with you, the man that I mentioned could be harmless, maybe he is just lonely and needs someone to talk to, but he could also be stalker or he could have bad intentions. That is hard to know when I have never met him in person.