Hi! I'm new, and need some perspective

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Hi! I'm new, and need some perspective
12
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 3:22pm
Hi everyone! I've been reading some of the discussions, and I am glad to know I am not the only one out there.

I started chatting on line about 4 or 5 months ago. I never intended to meet anyone, and I only talk to a few people still, and there is no intention on meeting. They all live in the U.S., and I am in Canada. But over the last few months there is one guy that I have been talking to almost everyday, and the relationship has grown more with each conversation. We talk on the phone, and IM each other. I am pretty sure that we will meet soon, maybe in January. I am being cautious, as you never can really tell what a person is like until you meet them. Just sensible, I suppose. I don't feel any red flags coming up. Nothing out of the ordinary. I suppose I am wondering if this has ever worked for anyone else out there. I have a 4 year old, so I need to be sure that we would both be very serious about this. We have talked about whether or not we are being realistic about this. I said that it depends on what we expect from each other and the relationship. I have no problem moving to be with someone, as long as I could still have a means to support myself. (work visa, etc...) I know that people have met online, and have worked through all the little things, I just haven't met any! lol If anyone has any advice, or a story to share, I would really appreciate it. Thanks, J

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 4:44pm
I think it is important to remember that this is not a real "relationship" but a pen-pal /pen-friend. Anything that happens online is not exactly reality.

Second, I think you would be very smart to ask important (and non-romantic) questions- find out about his character, his values, his life's goals, his morals, his religion, financial responsibility, his family. Working out the "little things" isn't being realistic-- it's working out the MAJOR things that matter.

You can never tell what a person is really like even AFTER you meet him, so you have to be aware of the pitfalls of a long-distance relationships after you have met. Each 3-4 day "minivacation" is usually 2 people on their best behavior.

If you have no problem moving to be with someone- what will you do about your child? Will you bring the child with you? What about the child's father? The grandparents? Aunts, uncles, your friends, Godparents, school? Are you willing to leave your family and friends to live with a man?

The internet can be a great tool for intruductions. But personally, I am very wary about carrying on long-term/long-distance "relationships"- and in your case, you have to consider someone besides yourself, that is- your child's best interest.

That's my 2-cents.... anyone else have happier advice? :-?

Take care

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 5:14pm
Thanks for the advice. I have thought about all the things you mentioned. My son's father is gone, for good. That's a good thing. The rest of his family is England, so again not a problem. I am also the type of person that loves to travel, and would move around to different countries on my own. So again, not an issue. And yes, my son stays with me no matter what! And almost all of my friends have left the city in search of other things, like careers, or relationships. So I wouldn't be leaving anything behind but my parents. And I think I need a break from them! lol

We talk about all the things that are important, such as money, like spending habits and such, and goals in life. Expectations that we have for each other. The way we do things around the house, the way we like things done. All that stuff. We are very compatible so far.

I was wondering what you meant by not being reality online. I do agree with you, there is too much to hide behind to be 100% trustful. But I also know that there are people out there that are genuinely real. I am one. And I am not a naive person, either. I have never had a problem getting a date, but what I am wondering about why this attraction is so strong. And I think it may be because for the first time it is not sexual, it is more intellectual. I guess I was more hoping for some stories that people could share, good and bad. I'm not a silly girl, so I don't worry about getting trapped into something. A move would not take place for a long time, if it were to even happen. But it is out there on the table. And if I did move, I would not sell my house for a bit. I don't think that would be wise. lol

Again, thank you for your advice. It gives me some things to think about. J
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 6:18pm
Hi and welcome

While some ongoing cyberconnections can be taken offline and flourish - many of them do not. While the person on the other end might be genuine and "real" the interaction online is not so real. As for me, I have never carried on with someone online long enough to develop feelings as I only interact with men who live locally and we meet very quickly after the first contact. However, I have heard of situations where attraction does develop online yet in real life there simply isn't any chemistry.

Even if there is chemistry, the relationship that takes place via the computer and telephone does not reflect in any way how the two of you would interact offline and face-to-face. I can give an example that is closely related to what I'm trying to say.

I live in Canada and during an overseas vacation I met a man from the U.S. There was an instant attraction and we spend everyday together for 3 weeks. We even took a three day trip together. After we had both gone home, he invited me to visit him at his home town.

While I was there he spent more time engaged in his hobbies and extracurricular activities than he did with me. He also spent more time with his friends than he did with me. I learned that his favourite food is Thai, which I don't like at all yet he still insisted that we eat dinner one night at his favourite Thai restaurant. I learned that he likes to sit in the front row at the movies and I like to sit in the back. Rather than compromise and sit somewhere in the middle he said that if I don't sit where he likes to sit I can sit alone. I learned that he found it a turn-on to grope me in public. I could go on but I think you get the idea.

The man I knew while on vacation was smart, well-travelled, well-educated, funny, fun, kind, adventurous etc. But, when I saw him on his territory he presented a very different side. Even while knowing the man in real life, I did not *really* know him. The truth is that the environment in which we first knew each other was an artificial one - much like cybering.

And by the way, there were 2 more occasions where I met someone on vacation and when I went to visit them in their home towns the feelings were not the same. And there was one occasion where I met up with someone in my home town. None of them were oafs like the first guy but having to also deal with family, work, general stress, obligations, responsibilites, different interests, tastes, etc. put things in a new perspective. The same feelings just weren't there.

So while you interact with someone without even having met them it is important to stay grounded and keep in mind that when you do meet, things might not turn out the way you expected. I'm not trying to be a downer. I really do hope that things do work out but - don't make any long term plans yet. This is especially true when a child is involved. Moving from town to town is fine when it's only you but as I'm sure you know - children need stability. You do sound sensible as I read your post so I'm sure you're not going to make any hasty and drastic life changes.

jhoover

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Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 6:27pm

I know of one person who met her husband online while he was living in a different state.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 8:08pm
That was very good jhoover- exactly what I meant but couldn't find the words for when I said online is not reality:

"Even if there is chemistry, the relationship that takes place via the computer and telephone does not reflect in any way how the two of you would interact offline and face-to-face"

And to fooz28.... if you do move away from your parents and home, I hope you'll get your own home first(and job, and friends and life aside from him) rather than move in with this man. Then date him for 10-12 months before making a bigger commitment to him.

Take care

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-10-2003 - 8:32pm
I have met approximately 50 men in person through on line dating sites over the last 2.5 years - my impression is that if you seek someone with romantic potential it is best to meet ASAP before you believe that you know the person in any meaningful sense because that raises unrealistic expectations on both ends. It can work but when it does I believe it is because it would have worked anyway. My best advice is to meet asap - you are right to keep your head on straight until that time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 12:54am
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I think that in any relatonship you need to spend time with that person in their environment, whether or not they live in the same city. I totally agree with everyone there. And everyone has the choice to end it when things don't seem as you thought they were. It happens all the time. I think I like the fact that we can talk about these things before we meet. We both like to sit in the middle of the theater. lol And if he did turn into a jerk by spending more time with his friends on a visit, that would be the last visit. I'm not rushing into anything, although the heart does what it wants, right? As I said, I am not desperate to meet someone, and I have not given up on other opportunities, but I was hoping to hear of some good things that happen over the net. lol Maybe there are none. I actually think it's a bit safer over the net, being that it's based more on verbal, than physical. They can't follow me home from the bar, and I am obviously a bit more cautious. lol As you can tell. I have heard of the bad stories, too, which is why I joined this group. Again, to get some perspective on the whole thing. Thank you again guys, and if anyone has anymore to add, please do. Good and bad. lol I would love to hear more! J
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 8:49am
What I disagree with is that typing or phone calls gives you relevant information - much easier to hide true feelings or biases or anger or depression or lies when you are not face to face and there is no eye contact or body language. Who cares where he likes to sit in the theater or if he is not very religious, or wants three kids - those are just facts about him - you need to get to know him and to do that you need to be in the same room with him, face to face.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 3:10pm
Ok, well then, my next question is what are some of the things to do when meeting someone for the first time. For the FIRST meeting, I don't want to be surrounded by work, or family. I don't want to be distracted by outside things on our first meeting. I am planning a trip by myself, way before I met him, and was thinking of inviting him along. Yes, I realise that it would not be "the real world" when meeting him like that, but it's only the first meeting. I want to see if there is any chemistry there, between just the two of us. (yes, seperate rooms) Then I would probably visit him in his city, if there was still the same attraction. See if I would enjoy the same things he does, and how he handles himself in his own environment. Then, if all is still well, I would probably invite him to my hometown. Again, this would take another several months before it actually happened, so still more time to think about things. This would not happen in a couple of months, as we both have other priorities. I don't think that is such a bad idea, but I would like to hear what you guys think about that. Please remember I am not an idiot, and if he does turn out not to be the man I thought he was, I will not be torn apart by grief. I'll move on. It's not a big deal, just like any other relationship. I don't need a man to make me happy, but it is always nice to have another person to love in your life. Thanks J
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 3:22pm
My typical first meeting is in a public place and is a one hour cup of coffee or one hour lunch and once in awhile a dinner if we really click on the phone. I would never ever plan a full day or longer with a stranger and I would never go in his car (I don't drive). To me the person is a stranger until we meet and the first meeting is like any first meeting with a stranger - safety first. I don't do long distance but if I did I would do the exact same thing - get a hotel room and probably not tell him where it is before I meet him, meet him for one hour and if it goes well spend some more time.

I think it is a huge mistake to plan a trip where you inivte him along - that is for when you have been dating in person and consistently for at least a month or two.


Edited 11/11/2003 3:23:32 PM ET by deena33

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