All I can say is, cheating through a computer is ridiculous, but unfortunately it happens.
And like I mentioned of other stuff happening, they can also be messing around with someone not on-line and totally stabbing you in the back.
It is another way of getting another chatter to talk to you, but it is considered to be rude unless you have no choice to, which is usually when no matter what you have said in the chat, everyone is still ignoring you even though you have not typed anything rude or insulting.
If that doesn't work usually it's best to address someone with a question.
For example, to ask someone a question you may want to use this format to do it and to talk to others the same way: Person's name: Your question Most of the time you will get someone's attention this way.
Try not to yell, this is where you either type in all capitals or use text editing to increase the font size and bold type of your message.
In IRC's you can only type in all capitals, there is no text editing.
Considering that this relationship maybe over a long distance the chances of you meeting the other person are almost next to none.