Is it possible to fall in love online?
The cyber bug, not being content with being my generations “thing” – has now become a worldwide way of life. It seems like just as you have a love life, a work life, a social life and a spiritual life – the new “life” is the cyberlife. And its not just people of my age or younger, more and more mature adults have quickly grown to appreciate the attraction of the internet and the wide range of activities you can do. These days you can pretty much do everything online. You can shop online, book a holiday, make dinner reservations order a takeaway, make friends, you can Skype and communicate with people all over the world, sell your tatty much loved junk, watch TV, listen to the radio, do your banking – but can you really do LOVE online?
Online relationships are quickly becoming unavoidable. They’re about as common as receiving e-mail in the online world, but, when it comes down to it, are online relationships about as virtual as the net itself? Can real, hardcore, emotions actually exist between two people who have never met before in the “real world.” Is it possible to have a relationship online?
Sure, people say “love can survive any distance” – but isn’t that usually the saying when a relationship becomes long distance? When two people get together, whether it be a holiday romance or otherwise, these people actually know eachother, the distance is just a hurdle. Online relationships however, are based on “loving” the person that you think you know. It’s the same old story, and I don’t mean in a whole “he/she could be a paedophile” when he/she is telling you that they’re 16 and live in Birmingham. I’m talking about personality traits, their life… their REAL life. How do you know when you’re online, exchanging e-mails, on MSN, talking in chat rooms – that you are getting the “real” mccoy. And how is it to be part of the ever growing trend of online relationships?
Love. Whether you believe in it or not, whether you’re a cheerleader for love or whether your view is that love is just endorphines that make you happy in the same way that chocolate does – either way, we all need love. Most of us know how to love, and know how to be loved in return – “you’re nobody’s somebody until somebody loves you” (the co dependency anthem of single people everywhere). And we all know how it feels not to be loved, and we all know the feeling of heartbreak in some sense of the word or another.. so should we really open ourselves up to that feeling to somebody we’ve never even met?
It’s easy to get emotionally involved with somebody you’ve never met, its so easy to fall because there is none of the bad stuff… they don’t know your bad habits, you can switch them on and off when you want to, they don’t know about your past history.. all they know is what you tell them and you know what they tell you, which is pretty much always positive stuff (for example, I wouldn’t tell a prospective partner that my favourite thing to do a Sunday is to sit in my PJ’s with my hair looking like a birds nest, pluck my eyebrows, deal with any problem blemishes and eat a jar of Nutella while crying over some Sunday movie or another. God I hope David Beckham isn’t read this.) You have to sell yourself – its like marketing a product and you’re that product. And because of all that, a perfect relationship is formed, somebody who’ll talk to you, who’ll be there when you need them to, who has the same interests as you.. someone who lives hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away from you. Having an online relationship allows you to be judged for more than just your age/race/sex/disability and so on – all those “physical” aspects which may prevent you from finding “somebody” offline.
Although that’s not just it, we can’t help who we fall for..whether they be online, offline, married, single, the same sex.
There have been so many online relationships that actually lead to marriage – infact one particular Online Dating Site promotes it in their adverts, par example – my friend’s dad actually married a woman from Canada who he met online, he now lives with her in Canada. This proving that online relationships can lead to something.I’ll admit. I was quick to judge when I started to write this piece. I couldn’t write this without writing mentioning the phrase “online relationships” and I realised.. relationships can’t be looked at as one, there are sub categories of “relationship” that I hadn’t even looked at.
As defined by www.dictionary.com, there are numerous types of “relationships” –
Relationship:- The condition or fact of being related; connection or association. – Connection by blood or marriage; kinship. – A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other- A romantic or sexual involvement.
Relationships can range from someone you talk to once or twice a week, someone you talk to all the time, someone you class as a really really good friend and then there is the type people see straight away – the whole boyfriend/girlfriend scenario. Until I stepped back and actually looked at my own online “relationships” and saw that what I had written, which in my opinion was the truth, was all the negativity that I associated with online relationships and that admittedly many other people do. I find that although it has become more socially acceptable to “date” online through the variety of dating sites that are at our disposal, on a whole there is a stigma attached to it. When it comes to meeting people via the net, its much like reading a newspaper or watching the news, you only seem to hear of the bad things, never the good. And as much as there are bad online relationships out there – there are also good – those are the ones that you never hear of. My online relationships vary, from people I’ve never met, probably never will and don’t intend to, people I’ve grown close to over the years and have never met, but who I talk to like my closest friends and who know more about me than even my closest friends.. to the “online” relationships with people who I have met.The point I am making is that more and more people are interacting online, and therefore most of us have some kind of online relationships, some more than others, as they’re becoming more and more impossible to avoid. But LOVE, real love, doesn’t it need more than e-mails and chat rooms, Facebook conversations and Skype? All physical factors are missing from this “relationship” – can your online lover hug you when you’re upset? Does he/she wake up next to you in the morning? Fall asleep next to you watching crappy late night TV programs? Hold your hand when you’re walking down the street? Wipe your eyes when you need it? Stay up all night with you talking about nothing? – and I mean real talking – not typing/on the phone. Can they kiss you, (cheesily enough as it sounds) make love to you, hold you? No. Do we need/want those things from “love” – the average person does, yes. I bloody well do.Doesn’t “love” deserve reality?