The Fear of Missing Out and Romance Scams

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

The Fear of Missing Out and Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

The Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.

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The Grass Is Always Greener – Except When It’s Fake!

Did FOMOFOMO FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is really nothing more than viewing the distant grass as greener than the lawn you’re standing on. It is anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a social anxiety stemming from the belief that others might be having fun while the person experiencing the anxiety is not present. It is characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. FOMO is also defined as a fear of regret, which may lead to concerns that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, a memorable event, or a profitable investment.[5] It is the fear that deciding not to participate is the wrong choice. Get You Too?

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is really nothing more than viewing the distant grass as greener than the lawn you’re standing on.

This applies to both single people and people in committed relationships. In both cases, it is about not loving what you have.

There are many emotional drivers that can contribute to placing a person in the path of a scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., but this is one that helps potential victims jump in feet first!


The married envy the flexible and free life of the singles while those that are single often yearn for the intimacy and stability of partnership. But when you are not satisfied with what you have, you are a perfect candidate for a scam.

Part of this comes from need – the need to be happier than you are. More satisfied than you are. Safer than you are – yes, a relationship can make you feel safe too!

But more often than now, it is envy of what others have, or at least what you think they have. And that also leads potential victims into harm’s way.

How FOMO Gets Single, Divorced, or Widowed People

Some people find it hard resisting what appears to be good deals. Whether it be real estate, clothing stores, retail outlets, or mattress stores. On the surface, they want a good deal, yet what is really driving them is the fear of missing out. It is not by accident that salesmen talk about quantities being limited or limited time offers. They know that the real power is not the joy of a good deal, but instead, the fear of missing out.

This happens to people that are alone too.

There can be a constant current below the surface of their mind that says they should be happy and drives them to find that ideal partner. But what is an ideal partner?

That is the challenging part and a big part of the question relates to the mental state and emotional stability.

For Men

For men, it is often a comparison of what they used to have and finding something different or better. The White Knight SyndromeSyndrome It is a group of symptoms that can consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms. plays a big role here. They want a damsel in distress that needs them to save them – because they lacked that in previous relationships. They need someone more dependent, more pliant.

Scammers know this only too well, and craft they fake females to fit these ideals and it works most of the time. They typically choose photos of young beautiful idealized women (usually stolen from adult video stars) and build a fantastical story that men fall for.

Even after it is made clear that it was a scam, men often have a very hard time accepting this, or they will jump right back in and let FOMO drive them again and again.

Men that let these factors control them are 10 times more likely to be repeat victims.

For Women

For women, it is often the opposite. They tend to look for someone that would be a good replacement but is also very much like who they had (that is if they valued that previous person). This is especially common with widows. Even divorced women will often look for the good qualities that an Ex had (at least originally) – such as reliability, safety, security, and emotional hooks like: good listener, attentive, romantic, adventurous, etc.

And just as with male victims, the scammers know what women are looking for. They craft their epic stories of emergencies and desperate need or opportunity to hook them. Women victims also tend to stay in the fake relationship much longer than men, as much as 20 times longer. But after a scam ends, then FOMO comes back into the picture to lure a woman victim back into another scam.

But there is a large difference, most women are not driven by FOMO during a fake relationship – they buy-in! At least until it ends!

How FOMO Gets Married or Committed Relations People

Do people cheat on their partners because they suffer from the fear of missing out? Very much so!

This same type of problem happens with making a choice on who to cheat with – which is a big deal.

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a very common way to think in romantic relationships and even in marriages. For many married people, it is common and really easy to justify. Even if they are sabotaging their relationship (consciously or not), FOMO will definitely drive a person into doing it.

Most married people have thoughts about “What If” at times during their lives. It is normal if these thoughts have crossed your mind: “Is this the best I can do? Is there somebody out there better for me? Somebody more attractive? More spiritual? More fun?” But if it is more than just a passing thought, it is an indicator that FOMO is planting roots.

Why Is FOMO So Common?

Many will claim that social media has set the stage for the FOMO attitude in general. The idea that you need to consistently check your newsfeed to make sure you are not missing out on anything is certainly related to obsessing over missing out on another partner who may “be better.” But the truth is that this has always been a part of the human psyche.

Beauty pageants. Movie stars. Models. These have all created a parade of vicarious desire. Anytime humans are exposed to new a opportunity the envy of FOMO has been present. People want something more or something different!

Scammers are always right there to capitalize on this too! They populate places that lonely people hang out, especially online. These can be social media groups, online games such as “Words With Friends” and an infinite number more!

Why Is This Happening?

The big issue is having too many options.

If you are surrounded by high-quality, good-looking people, it’s normal to question whether or not the person you are currently with is “the best” one for you.

FOMO will be common whenever you have a lot of options, such as a college campus, or a vast community of Tinder or Mutual users. The more choices you have, the more opportunities you have to miss out (or so humans think).

This is because dating and relationship FOMO is driven by a powerful lie and an unromantic truth. If we can debunk this lie and embrace this truth, we can stop FOMO from motivating terrible relationship decisions.

The Powerful Lie: There Is A “Best” Option For You

There isn’t.


This is really about loving what you have.

If you believe there really is a “best” option for you, you have set yourself up for failure. You’ll never win because you’ll never find it.

As one author put it, “How many people do you need to see before you know you’ve found the best?”

The answer is every person there is. How else do you know it’s the best? If you have FOMO you will never be satisfied!

If you’re looking for the best, this is a recipe for complete misery.

The best is whatever you have and love – that is all that matters! Be satisfied and love what you have. For most of the world, there is no such thing as a soul mate, but you can come close, except if you are looking for perfection. The secret is to just look for normal, make sure it is real, and be happy with that.

People that are looking for soul mates or perfect partners are ideal candidates for victimhood. What is the functional difference between looking for a soulmate and looking for the best option? As far as it impacts our dating choices and searches for a partner, there is no difference.

If you are looking for the “best” you are looking for something that doesn’t exist. Instead, you need to look for good matches. There are many people out there for you that would make a very good match. Once you find it hold on to it and love what you have,

The Unromantic Truth

There will always be someone who is better at something than your current romantic partner.

The sooner you accept this truth, the sooner you can get on with your life and progress into healthy and fulfilling relationships that last.

There will always be someone out there who may be a bit more attractive, more attentive, more romantically inclined, more adventurous, smarter, more capable, more refined, more outgoing and insightful, funnier, more interested in the things you like, and more (fill in the blank).

As long as there are other people on this planet, this truth isn’t going to change. And guess what? This truth applies to you just as much as it applies to your current or prospective partners. Embrace this truth and move on, and don’t be surprised when you find it actually really does apply to your situation.

In fact, this is a conversation to have with a partner a few times during your life together because people forget this a destroy their relationships. Especially more often now that there is a constant flood of new faces intruding into our lives online. Talk about how happy you are with your other person and ask them if they are the same.

You Have Rejected The Lie – Now What?

Just because you rationally understand why the lie is a lie and the truth is truth, it’s not going to make FOMO any easier to reject.

You need to treat this thought like the relationship destroyer it is: “Is this the best I can do?” Use the process of dating to navigate through the many options and find someone you are attracted to (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually). This person does not need to be the most attractive person in every way. Then, determine if you have shared values and goals. If you do (as far as you can tell), give them a chance in an exclusive relationship.

But make making sure that they are also REAL your highest priority upfront.

Real people will understand that scammers are everywhere. Real people will not mind proving they are real. If they do mind then just move on.

Once you’ve found a good person and committed to the relationship, then act like it.

You should be committed in mind, word, and deed. This can be really hard if you commit too much too fast. Before you commit exclusively to a relationship is the time to date around with real people in real life (not online) and get to know different people, not after you commit exclusively.

If you are only connected with someone online and it is getting serious that is a sure sign to back away. Make sure you can talk and see them frequently, in real-life settings, not just a pretend video call once or twice.

Real relationships really take time and effort. Instant online fairy tales where you find the best person who falls madly in love with you just does not happen, it is almost always a scam.

It is worth your time to give a potential real relationship a legitimate chance in order to determine if this romantic partner is a great match. And when you do, kick FOMO out of your mind forever!

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By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
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