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  #1  
Old 09-16-1999, 11:37 PM
Omniscient Omniscient is offline
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Well, as of late I've been struck by how many people here have and seem to be encouraging developing online relationships. Now, I'll first state that I have no quarrel with cybersex, porn, webcam chatting, and the like. I am however very skepitical and critical of developing online relationships. Several of our regs have related horror stories of their own and friends. But, everyone seems to have an experience of their own. So everyones hearing bad stories, but has their own stories with no signs of regret of hesitation to do it again.

I read about a year back (I wish I could recall the source, but I am certain it was a very mainstream periodical) an in depth study of online dating. Basically it broke down the social and intimate signals that are lost and falsified in that environment. The point being that the human interaction that is needed to develop a healthy relationships is missing online, and can't be replaced by technology. Things are slightly improved when incorperating phone calls, but the physicals keys that relate so much between couples is missing. I believe this assessment, I can't understand how you can understand someones moods, and emotions without seeing facial expressions and hearing voice inclinations. Emoticons don't cut it.

I would like to hear everyones impression of online relationships, and if you have a story please relate it.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-1999, 12:28 AM
Contestant #3 Contestant #3 is offline
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I don't mind if people undertake online relationships, I just wish that they wouldn't use the SDMB to do it.

See:
http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000214.html



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  #3  
Old 09-17-1999, 01:33 AM
Satan Satan is offline
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I will offer myself as Exhibit A here.

First off, there are a lot of lonely people online. I think one of the drawbacks in interpersonal relationships started online is the fact that one or both people have the kinds of problems which led them to spend all that time holed up at home on a computer instead of going out and doing stuff.

But obviously this does not account for everyone online. I'd like to think it doesn't account for me, and I know it doesn't account for Heather, whom I met here.

Ultimately, like any meeting, what happens afterwards is up to the individuals. An insecure mess will do the same things in a relationship whether (s)he met his/her mate online, in a bar, or in a church.

Before the internet, 50% of all marriages ended in divorce. I don't think the internet could make that figure much worse, even if it doesn't make it any better.

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  #4  
Old 09-17-1999, 03:21 AM
WallyM7 WallyM7 is offline
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Geez, Satan, your post makes so much sense I can't do a thing with it.

Have a little consideration, big guy.



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  #5  
Old 09-17-1999, 05:06 AM
pldennison pldennison is offline
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Quote:
Before the internet, 50% of all marriages ended in divorce.
*sigh* Nice to see this often-quoted but misunderstood and poorly conceived figure still continues to worm its way through the public conciousness.
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  #6  
Old 09-17-1999, 05:42 AM
Momotaro Momotaro is offline
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Humans have so much problems with face to face communication to begin with that looking for a stable relationship on the internet sounds like looking for trouble. I'm not saying it can't happen, though, but we rely on so much more than just words in our dealings with each other. I don't understand how someone could ascertain compatibility on that deep a level using only a written medium.

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  #7  
Old 09-17-1999, 10:33 AM
Gaudere Gaudere is offline
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I tend to avoid them myself, to the point that I discourage online flirting because I don't wish to lead someone on. There's just so much you can't learn from the net; for all I know they guy I'm talking to is 13 years old. It's easy to misread someone based on an email or MB post. I know I've posted something with no ill intent and it came off sounding defensive and angry. It's just not the same as talking face-to-face.

Every net-relationship I've known of has flopped almost immediately after they met. It's very easy to imagine someone is perfect when you don't have their little personal habits to deal with, and you can interpret their emails in the best possible way.

That said, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with meeting somebody this way; it's just not for me and might be a bit harder at first. If you can make it work, good for you.

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  #8  
Old 09-17-1999, 11:00 AM
handy handy is offline
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I have advanced far enough to accept that anything said online is worth as much as if it were said in person.

Found that out recently.

When a spouse is having an online relationship, for which they describe as innocent, because they think its an online relationship and the net must be 'innocent' they are lying scumbags. PS: Im not married.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-1999, 11:06 AM
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Ah, but how dull my workdays would be without sparring with ARG and flirting with Ukelele Ike--nodding sagely at David B and shaking my head sadly at Kelli's travails.

I mean, I might actually have to turn away from my computer and look at the ever-growing pile in my In-Box, ready to topple over and crush me . . .
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  #10  
Old 09-17-1999, 11:44 AM
Narile Narile is offline
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I have seen many Online Relationships fail (Including my own) but I've also seen a number of them succeed. I know of at least five couples who are now quite happily married after meeting online, and six or seven more whom are still dating after several months. I'd say that the success to failure ratio is about one in five.

My Online Relationship lasted 4 years, I met her on a MU*, we talked for about six months, then I flew to NY to meet her. After that, She or I would fly/drive to visit the other once every three months or so. After two years of this, she moved to Ohio to get her Masters at the college I attended. The relationship lasted until she moved back to NY after getting her degree. We both decided that we didn't want to do the LD relationship thing again. Was an amicable breakup.

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>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry....unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

---The dragon observes
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  #11  
Old 09-17-1999, 07:49 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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I've gotten involved with (read: done the horizontal lambada with) two women I met on line.

In both cases, the big honkin' problem was the DISTANCE. If you meet someone on line and the two of you get really interested in one another and want to turn it into a Real Life Romance [TM], the chances are VANISHINGLY small that the two of you will live within driving distance of one another. Which means (with Narile's case as well as my 2) you have to hop on an airliner and get together for a weekend. Airliners aren't cheap, so you won't be able to do this every weekend. Not getting to be together and go out on a more regular, more casual, less let's-get-as-much-nooky-in-as-we-can-before-our-weekend-is-over basis, can and will strain any feelings that have developed between you.

Once you get on that homebound airliner on Sunday night or Monday morning and leave your new sweetie's embrace behind, you're pretty much right back where you started before you got together.

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  #12  
Old 09-18-1999, 11:15 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I could never really see meeting people via the internet. OK if you're gay I can see. A lot are closeted, or isolated in areas where few, if any, gay people are. But straight people can walk up to anyone and ask them out.

Even though I can't see it, I think using the internet as a TOOL is fine as long as it isn't your ONLY means of meeting people.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-1999, 11:24 PM
TVeblen TVeblen is offline
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Internet relationship? Fuggedabowdit.

Real life account coming...my ex was a real mover, a howlin' prowlin' promiscuous roboromancer in the quietest, most sincere
disguise there was. We are talking art form, here, really, really GOOD at deception.
The deception was hard enough to detect in person, and the whole net world proved to a happy hunting ground. Picture a shark in a pool of chum, only the chum don't have any survival clues.
Yeah.
I am blessedly free of the insanity now, but the predator continues to wreak havoc and hurt on the unsuspecting.
The net is great for fun and chatting. But it is NOT meeting people. Relationships take propinqity and time with each other. And frankly, even w/ my flawed track record, even if I were looking--which I most emphatically am not--I'd want an honest chance for my bullshit detector to come into play.
Pull a Dorothy, click your little ruby shoes and look nearer to your own backyard if it's romance you're after.
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  #14  
Old 09-21-1999, 01:31 AM
WallyM7 WallyM7 is offline
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Sounds like you took a bit of a beating, TV.

But you seem to have come out of it okay.

I'm curious about whether these deceptions were confined to the net.

Or did they start there and progress to real
encounters?

You'll be well within your rights if you tell me to mind my own business.

It's just that I wonder how how a situation like that developes.

I'm glad it turned out okay for you.




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  #15  
Old 09-21-1999, 01:44 AM
Cessandra Cessandra is offline
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One of my best friends (the one responsible for my meeting Carl, actually) has met her last three or four boyfriends on the 'net. All of these relationships ended badly. The most recent one actually broke up with her in an email (though he lived less than half an hour away, but what can you expect?) Yet, the other day, she tells me that once again she's found Mr. CyberRight!
I personally don't get it. Having a person-to-person conversation (even over the phone) with Carl, I can predict what he's going to say, how he means it, and how he's going to react to my response. But online? Even after a year's worth of talking on ICQ, I can't even figure out if he's glad sad or mad most of the time. Yeah, this is a great way to begin a relationship.
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  #16  
Old 09-21-1999, 05:49 AM
Satan Satan is offline
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I think the point is being missed here - maybe by me, but here goes anyway.

We're talking about meeting people on the internet.

Afterwards, all bets are off in terms of how the relationship works. If it's someone close geographically, you may date like usual. It's how you met them that differentiates them from the rest here.

Same thing for distance relationships. There were long distance relationships before the computer.

Comminucation from then on in either case does not have to be exclusively online! It isn't for me... If you meet someone on line and continue to use only that medium exclusively to communicate, you have problems!

I ain't rich but I can afford a phone call to Michigan a couple times a week, and a flight every couple of months. But we use the net to talk more for less in addition to the rest.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-1999, 04:56 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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I know it's fashionable to say that we like people for their minds, and that the Internet is nice because we can get to know the 'real' person without being distracted by insignificant physical details, but the reality is that we generally care a *lot about the physical stuff.

I met my wife online, but it was a local BBS and we met in person almost immediately. She had met all kinds of other people online as well, but knew she wasn't interested as soon as she met them. This being a local BBS, that happened usually within a day or so (we were always having 'user meets', softball games, etc). If she had met these people on the Internet over a long distance, it might have taken a plane ride to find out that she wasn't interested. And no, it's not as simple as a person being ugly or fat - it can just be the way they carry themselves, personal hygiene, bad habits, or a zillion little signals that you get about a person when face-to-face that you just don't get over the internet. That guy who talks like Shakespeare on the net may turn out to have 20 gold chains, pick his nose, have a green tooth and leer at every woman that walks by. You just never know.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-1999, 07:43 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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Markxxx wrote:

Quote:
But straight people can walk up to anyone and ask them out.
What universe do YOU live in?

(And how can I get there? )

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  #19  
Old 09-22-1999, 08:51 AM
lovelee lovelee is offline
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I suppose I'm one of the success stories.

I met my boyfriend online, and we're past our 4-year dating milestone. We were "introduced" by a friend of mine who knew us both (and was actually trying to show off to my boyfriend by proving that he knew cool chicks that actually made use of their computers), and, by strange coincidence.. we were both from the same town and even went to the same elementary school, though not at the same time. Of course, he wasn't in town when we started talking (why make things easy?), but when he returned we started dating.

And we haven't stopped yet. We're currently living in sin, thank you very much.

It does make an interesting story when people ask us how we met.

lovelee
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  #20  
Old 09-22-1999, 10:01 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Are we missing something here? Every relationship, Internet or not, is supposedly founded on trust and honesty, and is usually a bit of that and a bit of role-playing, conscious or unconscious, by the participants in it. The Internet just gives more scope for the "when I was in college, I played varsity football, just missed All-American by *that* much" school of creative writing/public relations.

Good people will find good people; the Internet gives them a vastly greater geographic scope to do so. And losers and fakers will continue to play their games, again with greater scope.

The Internet gives more opportunity to magnify the problem, but it certainly didn't create it.
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  #21  
Old 09-22-1999, 02:57 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Yes, but there are a lot of good people who are incompatible with other good people, and one of the ways we figure that out is through physical contact (I'm including just visual contact here as well). You pick up a lot of little clues about people when you're with them in person that you just don't get online.

Hell, everyone on this board seems like an absolute gem of a person. So unless I've hit the motherload of great people, I'm not getting all the information I need to judge you. Maybe you converse like Mother Theresa with a Ph.D in rocket science, but I'll never see you lose your temper and yell at little children because you're not about to talk about it here, y'know?
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  #22  
Old 09-22-1999, 06:30 PM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Someone said

Quote:
Before the internet, 50% of all marriages ended in divorce.
To which pldennison replied

Quote:
*sigh* Nice to see this often-quoted but misunderstood and poorly conceived figure still continues to worm its way through the public conciousness.
Phil, what is the correct way to interpret this statistic? I had always taken it at face value.

Thanks...

------------------
"Where there is clarity, there is no choice. And where there is choice, there is misery. But then, why should I speak, since I know nothing?"
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  #23  
Old 09-22-1999, 07:50 PM
TVeblen TVeblen is offline
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Wally: thanks for your kind words. Yes, I am fine and no, it's a legitimate question that relates to the discussion. I thought hard before posting it in a public forum, and knew it could raise questions.

I'll try to keep my response very on-topic so it doesn't sound like some vomitous Mary Worth soap opera.

Yes the relationships did start online and then become full fledged affairs. The first affair I discovered by accident; I was home at an unusual time and accidently intercepted a phone call. BTW, I was numb but the woman was shocked, guilt ridden and yes, heartbroken. You see, the Ex had done a masterly job. He had proposed marriage, picked out a ring, planned Christmas with her, etc. She had no idea, and absolutely no reason to suspect lying on that scale.

I never blamed her in the least, and tried to get her to see that she was the sinned against, not the sinner. She was devestated, though, and I'm sure she'll carry the scars and disillusionment for a long time.

BTW, the Ex travelled frequently "on business", which was one huge factor in his success in deception. That is a huge factor in considering the net's role in this.

The second affair showed up at the door after I had booted the Ex out.( Incidentally, I supported us both, so I could kick him out without guilt or indebtedness.) This one he had met in a chat room dedicated to, shall we say, slightly offbeat sexual practices. No, no sheep or Sheland ponies (that I know of) but folks who stun me, at least, with their blithe disregard for AIDS, etc.

This net honey was shocked, yes, but it's worth noting that she pursued the relationship. As a bizarre footnote, she called ME a few months later, bemoaning that the affair didn't work out. That little conversation really taxed my ingenuity and manners. It would make a great thread, though: is cluelessness a disability?

To wrap up, Satan and previous posters found the crucial factor: distance vs propinquity. It's possible to become AWARE of someone on the net, but the only--repeat, only--way to know if the relationship is viable is to spend time together. There is simply no getting around the factor of distance.

I shared this tedious saga of the Ex as a worst-case example. His type of romantic predator is rare--I hope! At worst, the net made his deception easier, and probably last longer. I am fine: it was like living in prison and not knowing it until, poof! doors swung open. I applied for, and miraculously got, a promotion at work so I'm financially better than I've ever been. I'm too busy, with honest problems and stresses, to look back much.

But it genuinely bothers me is that the Ex is still out there, cruising the net like a shark. He and the minority like him prey on people who just want love and to believe the best of others. Mixing metaphors here, I wish there were a way to hang the historical leper's bell on him: unclean! unclean!

If you haven't committed hari kari by now out of pure boredom (ever see "Airplane"?), this situation is why I responded to Chief Scott the way I did. Someone who proudly praises his love on line and invites her to "listen in" is nowhere near the danger zone. Happily slinging BS and actually living together are literally separate universes. I hope that all works out.

Anyway, that's the scoop. Sorry for the length of it.

Veb
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  #24  
Old 09-22-1999, 09:26 PM
WallyM7 WallyM7 is offline
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Good for you, Veb. Hold your head up high. You'll always have yourself.

He has nothing.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-1999, 10:11 PM
GentDave GentDave is offline
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I'll just throw my experence in here. I've never tried dateing on the net, because I was married before I really started using it. However, I've made a number of freinds on the net, and when I've met them in person, they seemed very much like person I knew on-line. If I were looking, I would stay away from the sites that are only about meeting people, the chances of finding someone compatable, and in your area, seem very small. Instead I would find places that cater to special interest groups. That's one of the benifits of the net. People with interests that are somewhat unique can find each other. Since, very often, most of the people in the special interest area are people you could get along with, the only challenge is finding someone near-by, your age, etc. I belong to another group with about 1000 members, the 20 of us in my area got our own sub-group together, and we already have 1 fairly successful relationship in the group. It's a little like meeting people in real life. It's sometimes better to just do the things you like to do, and meet someone that way, than to go to singles bars to actively try to meet someone. It wouldn't hurt to know a little amature psyc. either. I've become interested in personality types. A good site for this is: www.keirsey.com
I'm sure most of the people here would be "Rationals" on the tests they give there. It turns out that most of the aspects of personality can be judged by talking to someone on the net. The one thing that is hard to judge on the net, but easy to judge in person is extrovertion/introvertion, but this is actually the least important factor in determining personality, of the factors that Keirsey lists. So if you had a good idea what sort of personality you were looking for ahead of time, you could save a lot of time. Well, that's my 2 cents. :-)
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  #26  
Old 09-22-1999, 10:14 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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El Mariachi Loco(regarding the 50% divorce rate statistic):
Quote:
Phil, what is the correct way to interpret this statistic? I had always taken it at face value.
Well, if 50% of marriages end in divorce, then Mickey Rooney and Liz Taylor, between them, have probably saved a significant number of regular posters, here, from ever getting a divorce. Too often people interpret the 50% divorce rate as "half of all people will get divorced." With a certain segment of the population marrying, divorcing and re-marrying multiple times, the number of humans who will get divorced is significantly lower.

It is not the same thing to say 50% of all people who marry will get divorced as to say 50% of all marriages end in divorce. The first statement indicates that half of the people who marry will suffer a divorce. The second statement indicates that every person who divorces and re-marries more than once will "free up" another person to marry and stay married forever.

Let's apply the "50% of marriages" rule to Mickey and Liz. Let's say that each have been married eight times with seven divorces. (I don't know what their actual totals are.) In order for them to participate in a 50% rate, 12 other couples have to have married and never divorced. Since many of the multiply (multiplee?) married tend to marry and re-marry each other, the number of "just folks" out there who never divorce is much higher than 50%.

The odds actually get better when you consider that among people who do get divorced, the majority have a single failed marriage in their youth followed by a single successful marriage at a slightly older age. In other words, by figuring the number of people who get divorced only once (and who often marry another once-divorced person) the number of multiple partner marriages truly becomes an offsetting figure and marriage begins to look like a much more stable situation in our society.

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