Just what is an online relationship??..

Avatar for jayecey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Just what is an online relationship??..
10
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 11:03pm
I've been reading the posts here about cyber connections, and I just wanted to point out that there's more than one category of these types of relationships into which we may fall.

The first is simple, it's based on a connection through a dating service. Generally a few emails are exchanged, a couple of telephone calls are made and a meeting is set up asap. You can meet many people this way and in my opinion, the fact that you may meet 50 or 100 people does not mean that you're a player. I know it's not fair to akin it to shopping for shoes, but the principal is the same, you try out a date, like shoes, and if it doesn't connect or fit..next.

The second is a little more complicated and I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding how two people can form a loving relationship like this. It starts out at in a chat room, game room, possibly a dating service (as in my case), there's usually a bit of back and forth chatter. A friendship develops and you usually set up in some kind of private chat like icq or msn and take it to telephone. You message live and exchange emails on your off times. As the friendship deepens, it starts to become exclusive. You start using different tools for communicating, live talk through the computers, webcams to see each other. Live talk and cams are used when it's impossible to meet and the only reason why you can't meet right away should be because of the logistics of the distance that seperates the two of you.

You can certainly develop a relationship with someone you've never physically met. Using webcams enables you to look into their lives, see their expressions, watch how they deal and interact with events surrounding them. It's the next best thing to being there.

I can't imagine a strong relationship forming strictly over emails. I just don't think it's possible. I also don't believe in instant infatuation, an attraction yes, a curiosity yes, a connection yes, but definately not love or deep feelings. That takes a lot of time and communication. Everyone should be aware of that.

In an ideal situation, everyone would meet as soon as possible, but the fact is that forming relationships through the use of the internet is not limited to communicating or meeting someone in your neighborhood, it's worldwide and it's a choice.

Yeesh...looks like I used up my 2 cents lol

I'd love to hear other interpretations!

Hugs

Jayecey




Avatar for linds8300
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 11:16pm
I totally agree with you Jay and I don't think I could have said it any better nor do I have anything to add. Your such a smart lady :)

Lindsay

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 11:31pm
Hey Jayecey,

Coz I am on a roll tonight,I'll cash in my two cents too.

It is definetly not love in an email or looking at the pic.....just a connection that there could be something potential here..its what your eyes see and what your mind reads.......The frequency of writing to and fro and talking so much increases that first intiution of connection....He thinks like you,or compliments your thoughts,converses intellegently,looks good...so more frequency gives a kind of exclusivity.

The perfect guy may be in another continent...so just the distance should not eliminate him...after all you have felt that connection and attraction..its that saying, "I'll follow him to timbaktoo" meaning anywhere in the world.....still ofcourse,until you are in the person's vicinity and presence,or in his arms or elsewhere,you cannot know the depth of what you feel.Only eyes and touch and senses let you feel the total exhiliration...but because there is no touch,dosent mean there is no connection.Sex is after in the brain,so you can know if you are attracted or not very early.

Love has happened ages ago with letters when the couples were seperated by war,or cultures never let them meet or roam before marriage,but love did occur.Now we are moree careful bcoz of safety,but still we should give love a chance.

Hopeless romnatic signing off,

Anya

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 8:32am
Over the last year or so I have developed cyber friendships with women that I consider real - I am heterosexual, so are they! I do not believe a romantic relationship can be developed entirely on line - and even if the two meet in person if the relationship continues to be mostly in line or not in person I think that much of that is based on fantasy. When two people who have never met type and talk to each other and the goal or purpose is a romantic relationship (as opposed to just some quick thrills or sharing romantic thoughts or writings), I do not consider that a "real" relationship - I consider that typing or talking to a pen pal and if there is "cybersex" then there is that type of contact as well.

I do think on line contact with someone you see consistently in person can enhance a relationship but I think it is a terrible idea (from personal experience) to try to resolve conflicts or problems through instant messaging - so for me IM and email have inherent limitations even in the context of a real in person relationship.

With respect to amanda for example I would hope that they spend at least 6-9 months consistently in person (at least once or twice a week prior to getting engaged) - absolutely her connection to him is real - they have met - but under my personal definition I really don't count the time before they met - not trying to impose my definition on them just sharing my opinion.

For me using match.com is not like shopping - maybe because I am not a big shopper - I definitely end up meeting shoppers but I try to meet only the people using the service to find a spouse so there is more of an element of substance to the meeting - if on line is like shopping then I guess so are bars (which I don't do - the bar scene, that is)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 9:58am
I could not have said it better myself Jayecey. You are sooo right about everything you said. Everyone being different, use different areas of the net to meet people. And yes, when meeting someone on line wherever it is, it is best to meet ASAP, but in some cases you cannot do it as soon as you would like. Now, example...ME. I met Mark, who is Scotland...we have been talking for 3 and half months and although I know we have an immediate connection, I do keep myself realistic and know that when we meet things might be different. I am willing to see though. I want him here right now, but with travel to the US, it is not so easy. SO, time. I have to keep myself realistic and not live in the fantasy of the love on line. I am pretty grounded about it, though. SO, to each his/her own, is what I say. Good job, Jayecey. Thank you for posting that.

gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 10:29am
Anya, I am also a hopeless romantic. I will have to agree totally with the statement, "Just because there is not touch, does not mean there is no connection"....this is very true. I think as long as you keep a realistic idea about the over all connection you have with someone and know you need to meet to confirm all you may feel for someone, then I think it is okay to fall for someone through emails, messages, phone calls, letters, or whatever. Some of us dont need the in person automatically to know how we feel for someone. In the soul, you only feel...you cant see love, so is it not there since we dont see it? NO, I think it is real and I feel it. So sue me for knowing my own heart. lol This is just my opinion.

Gail

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Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 10:42am
But, Deena....Cant you admit that is possible for someone to fall in love while speaking on line and finally get to meet and it all work out? Maybe not you, no! But someone else may be able to do without the in person right away, and go with what they feel. It is possible. Now, you cannot see yourself doing that, or even talking with someone from another country, but that is you. Not all others. It can happen to other people though. Trust me. We all define love in different ways, and in saying that, react to it in different ways as well. Some of us may need 6-9 months to get to know someone in person, BUT...some of us know exactly what we want and it does not take us that amount of time. For you, this is what you need to do, but it is not for everyone and if someone does not take that amount of time or do things exactly that way, does not mean it will not work out. To each his own. JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION.


G

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 12:19pm
I see it as two separate issues - you can feel love and many other deep emotions in a variety of ways - through a voice, through typing, through a glance - but whether that love forms the basis for a long term romantic relationship is a question I personally don't think can be answered just by on line contact. I also disagree that those who feel love without ever meeting in person necesarily are "deeper" or less superficial, or more highly evolved, etc. - particularly since almost everyone has a different definition of love, true love, in love, etc. that is an assumption I cannot agree with. Not saying you are saying that, just sharing my opinion.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 12:22pm
No need to shout ;-). I do believe - absolutely - that the feelings you feel on line can be confirmed in reality. What I do not believe is that it can be predicted with any certainty what will happen in real life once you establish a real relationship (i.e. defined my me as meet in person and spend consistent in person time together). This is why I do not think developing feelings for someone on line that I am not going to meet in the very near future (i.e. within a week) is at all a productive use of my time. I hear your defensiveness - and I do wish the best for you and your on line friend and am happy to hear how grounded and realistic you are about it. Have a great weekend.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 12:23pm
Point taken. I understand where you are coming from. :)

Gail

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 12:19pm
Great summary. I've been having to write for my composition class and that is the topic I choose. Now if you would have posted that like 3 weeks ago I could have copied and been through with weeks of rough drafts and going back and forth trying to put it all down, lol... Thanks for helping with the differences. I also for my paper gave the definition of connection which helps alot.

Marie

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