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Piggy-backing off of @thinkwithme’s and @Kojaksmom’s last posts: what about cyberlove and cyberintimacy going beyond sexting and masturbation? Can you fall in love with someone you’ve only known online? Can you really know them? A year ago, I would’ve said, “Ridiculous!” And then it happened and the whole world is a funhouse mirror. What’s your take?

brainyactress 7 Apr 30
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0

I had a great online relationship that lasted over a yr we never met in person but did video calls ll the time

weeman Level 7 July 19, 2018
0

To answer the question, yes, I think it is possible to fall in love and/or have intimacy with someone you only know online. Do you really know the person? Well, do you ever really know anyone? My online relationships are much more intimate than my in-person relationships. I spend more time communicating with my online friends and partners. We have the capacity for far more intimacy online, if we reveal our deepest secrets to each other while chatting, than we might have if we were sitting in a room together.

Is it love, or is it just typing? I've spent many hours wondering. I even wrote a song about it, I hope you don't mind if I share.

Eulogy

My atmosphere
If you were here
I could breathe you-
Be my oxygen
I can't pretend
I don't need you-
My flame won't flicker without you, this is my fear
My fire will fade without you but my smoke won't clear
I'm smoldering for a daydream
Reality
Such a pity
It distracts me-
All I want to be
Is this fantasy
Which enrapts me-
My blood won't boil without you, my tears ain't drying
You know I'm burning for you, but why am I trying?
I'm smoldering for a daydream
If it's okay
To stay this way
Let's not change-
Why I want something
That I can not have
It's so strange-
We're both conflicted about this, I think that's fine
I'll never be yours I know it, and you won't be mine

Our paths won't cross in this lifetime, we'll never know
Our worlds will not collide even though I want it so
Even though I want it so
Even though I want it so
Even though I want it so

sjjr Level 4 May 6, 2018
3

A friend of mine studied cyber relationships for her doctoral research. She found no notable differences in the health of online versus IRL relationships.

UUNJ Level 8 May 4, 2018

Less STD's presumably?

@LenHazell53 Well, One can assume that to be true!

@LenHazell53, @iamnemore [widener.edu]

2

I have no facts to support this, but my guess there's a certain amount of commitment phobia lurking behind internet romances. We all feel the need to be connected and loved. There are a plethora of reasons why someone would not be willing or able to connect in real life. As long as you're not misleading someone, and you're able to make a real connection with someone, I see no harm in it. It's reminiscent of pen pals from the days past.

Kojaksmom Level 8 May 3, 2018

@SACatWalker the point that I was making was having an actual relationship online without ever physically meeting this person

Sometimes it’s access. A person with significant mobility impairment may benefit from online relationships. Consider military personnel on tour. Or people with such specific interests that their peers are online around the world.

2

My late best friend met his second wife on line, fell in love and then after only meeting her twice moved to Japan and married her.
Worked out well for him.

3

Sure, it's possible to fall in love with someone this way, but take it from a guy who has done it more than once before (and never again): you're in love with a mental construct, not a real person. That's not necessarily bad, but you need to prepare yourself for that person's reality should you some day meet. Much of that reality is understandably hidden - it's human nature to only show our best sides if that is an option (social media, anyone?). If you've never met the person offline, you aren't getting the full picture of his/her life. And frankly, you may never know exactly how much of the picture you are in fact getting. Chances are things are not 100% as they seem.

If you only ever intend to have an online relationship with this person, great, but there will come a point in time where this will not be enough, and it will start to feel hollow and lonely and disconnected. It will keep you emotionally in a state of suspended animation. Eventually it will either end, or you will consummate in person and work toward making an offline life for yourselves. One of those two options is inevitable. Which would you prefer? How much time do you wish to spend living your life the way you are now? Is it satisfying enough? Are you using it more or less as a crutch to stave off loneliness?

These are all questions I didn't care to face at the time, but they do eventually catch up with you. In one case my long-distance lover and I decided to make it "real" and we lived a relatively happy life for 7 years, physically together. It can work, but it has to move beyond the online realm at some point if there is to be any hope for it.

@SACatWalker I was aware when I wrote the above that it would not be taken well by some. Nonetheless I have no desire to sugar-coat an issue. I'd prefer to speak from experience. I was keen to stick to the scenario offered, thus:

"Can you fall in love with someone you’ve only known online? Can you really know them?"

If you only know someone online, you very likely do not fully know him/her - you know what that person allows you to know. You mind fills in the blanks, usually with idealized fantasies. That's what I mean by construct.

Does that bring shame? Doubt? Trepidation? Guilt? I hope not. I consider it more a sober plea for people in this situation to make the construct real, if it's in their power to do so.

@SACatWalker Yes, as you've just mentioned, you need to meet them in the flesh to know for sure if the person is really who he/she says. You can't know if it's only online. That's basically what you just said, right? And that has rather been the thrust of my point all along, here. You just backed my argument up significantly with about 4 of your own statements. I struggle, therefore, to understand what exactly you disagree with or why you insist my point of view is shallow. I've never said online relationships aren't "right." Your argument now makes less sense than it did; I doubt it's because I'm daft.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Before we met in person we were a perfect match and anxiously anticipated our joint real life adventure. We decided to meet. Three years after being together in person we both had built up some ideas of how we had missed the mark. Neither of us could have figured this out without spending actual time with each other. I had some problems with her spending habits and controlling ego. She had misgivings about some of my facial expressions which I couldn't conceal when I felt something wrong, or if I failed to act on something that might need a little deliberation.
The other end of this would have been a long time of never knowing if we could have made it together in person if we hadn't tried. Filling that empty hole in our hearts was good even if it was temporary. We know now.

1

It is not my cup of tea at all.

And that's fine we could understand

@SACatWalker No offense. I'm just way too busy raising kids alone and working 2 jobs to travel. Plus, I'm an "in the flesh" person. I've tried online before but it is just not fulfilling. I know others who are perfectly happy with it. I guess I'm just wired differently. P.S. Thanks for likin' my name.

2

There is a distinction between an emotion (love, infatuation) and a relationship.

I could become infatuated or interested in someone on-line, but I would much prefer a real world relationship to a virtual one. I prefer reality to fantasy.

@SACatWalker : And what is emotional infatuation without the relationship? Superficial.

5

Brainy,
I love a woman that lives several hundred miles away. While we had met in person and knew each other enough to say hi talk about common interests, it was during a year long email, facebook and text chain that we fell in love. We are not in contact anymore and maybe the love would have faded. But for now, I hold onto those few beautiful months and the thoughts of what might have been.

phil21 Level 7 May 1, 2018

I believe that sometimes "love" relationships have a certain ingrained life of their own. Some may span decades, others may only last a day (and sometimes only hours). However, I also believe that it's the process that is most important - and the emotions that are stirred up and that may be enjoyed and savored. However, while it may be nice to once in awhile think about one that has come and gone and of what it might have been - there is also the anticipation for those relationships that are still coming and haven't arrived yet. Everyone is different and differently flavored. Enjoy!

0

Can you know them? We can only know ourselves! We can only draw conclusions for the probability of who someone else is.
Can you fall in love............? Yes, if we agree with a generic definition of love. I'm saying this, thinking both of you have shared more about who you are outside sexual desire.
My take? Sexting or cybersexing is a ritual to attain something. Sexual gratification the immediate reward. Developmenting a relationship to have mutual gratification of all other needs, longterm rewards.

2TuffTony Level 5 May 1, 2018
1

It's the 21st century people. They have devices to sexually stimulate each other over the Internet. STD free!
LOL ! But definitely not my style, and I suspect cybersex in a real "relationship" is of interest to only a very small percentage of people. I try not to judge, but I crave a real body, sensual massaging, tender loving kisses all over, hugging and loving with real emotions and responses. Even cold feet or an occasional fart are part of the that real humanity, and I will never get tired of it. 🙂

Well said. Me too.

1

Can you fall in love this way? Absolutely, although it’s quite a bit more difficult now than say, the MySpace era...
Should you? I’m always iffy about this one because I’m not one to want to look at this kind of thing skeptically, but at the same time, my natural predilection toward trusting first has taught me that trust is a precious commodity, not to be handed out liberally. The hopeless romantic in me (read: sucker for love; glutton for punishment; self masochist) wants to believe it’s still possible.
Anyway, hope that distinctly decisive answer was helpful.

0

Be careful however that what you describe as love is not simply you projecting onto another your hopes and desires.I frequently found that the more I felt in love with someone the more unrealistic was the union.

The question is -Did you enjoy it and did it not do any damage to either of you?

@mkeaman Failing to recognise reality hurts all.

2

That image illustrates it perfectly. I heard of a gal in NYC who has cyber dates every night without leaving her home. She makes dinner and eats in front of a camera and monitor while her date does the same from his place (they just saved $60-80). They talk, laugh, watch a movie, enjoy popcorn and wine and maybe even have cybersex all online before saying goodnight for the evening. Very interesting. Maybe I'm lucky in that my rural Internet connection isn't quite fast enough for that. But it may have its advantages at times. Hmmmm... maybe anything is possible.

mtnhome Level 7 Apr 30, 2018

What a novel idea? It would surely do - in a pinch! LOL

@mkeaman I suggested it months ago and a party but people just do not seem interested.

@FrayedBear It can be lovely! I dated a guy who lived 3000 miles away, and we’d Facetime while cooking the same recipe and then conversing over our respective meals. Sometimes we’d Facetime while watching the same movie on Netflix. You do what you have to do to build a relationship.

@UUNJ Private messaged you.

3

Well I have met a number of couples who met online and got married.

lbusche Level 7 Apr 30, 2018

I also know some couples who met online and got married. It worked well for them.

1

I have said that when face to face, we get to know people from the outside in. On-line, we get to know people from the inside out.

Even with long time friends, face to face interactions seem superficial to me. We talk about what's going on, what we did, where we're going. Rarely do I speak from the heart about substantial stuff.

On-line, I'm spilling my guts about deep feelings and deep thoughts to total strangers! Ha ha! 😀

dare2dream Level 7 Apr 30, 2018

I think @Irascible said similar recently. Do you think @dare2dream your anonymity has anything to do with it initially? IMO however what is happening however is that you are simply communicating correctly. Did you read #MagicPudding? You may enjoy it.

@irascible In face to face you have the advantage and have seen my photo. I've written elsewhere about a platonic phone relationship with a woman I never saw photo of for 7 months. She then died several months later leaving me grieving the loss of the myriad pleasures that I hoped that we could have exchanged.

@FrayedBear : I never read the Magic Pudding Group. I'll give it a glance. Thanks.

In my case, no, I don't think anonymity has much to do with the way I communicate and the way people get to know me. I'm not afraid of opening up face to face. It's just that in person, we talk more about the immediate and not so much about the important. In person, I look for long pauses to interpose. They rarely come! 😉 On-line, I get to ponder, edit, and respond at my convenience.

@dare2dream Perhaps a lesson in assertiveness would improve face to face communication?

yes, @FrayedBear I think you're right. 🙂

@dare2dream I live amongst very rude Lutherans who believe their right to ignore others pre-existing conversations and so interrupt. They have to be told!

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