Do you think it's possible to fall in love with someone without having met them?

Me, I think one could and could not. They could to a limit, But not completely.

However…

I do think that you can to a limit.

Suppose two people start talking online, and from there they open up every door of communication possible for them. I’m talking about e-mails, snail mail, cards, talking on the phone, photo exchanges, IMing, talking on the net, hell even video conferencing,…and do all of that every day, every week, every month, for, say…a year or so.
The only thing they never do, is meet, face to face.

I think that, under those circumstances, then yes, you can fall in love with someone to a limit. Maybe not all the way, but certainly feel love and be “in love” with them. I think if you get to know as much about a person as possible and communicate with them as much as you can without actually meeting them, that you can fall in love with someone without ever having met them, in a way.
But that’s just me. What are your thoughts?

I think it’s a valid kind of falling in love, sure.

Sure. I don’t understand what you mean by “not completely,” though. Aren’t you either in love or not?

I feel certain that if Russell Crowe or Brad Pitt or even Hugh Grant ever met me, they would each individually be in love with me instanteously.

I’m just that loveable. I lure men to their doom.

Back to reality,

I think the not meeting face to face, but all that chatting and communicating can lead to a wonderful thing called a False Sense of Security along with a big fat dosage of * That What Is The Hardest To Obtain Is Most Desireable * followed up with the finale I Never See her/him Behavor Poorly, Fart, Or Be a General Grump Over Something Retarded, IE, They Are Perfect Until a Test Drive Called Dating. (Not to mention you haven’t had to deal with the exciting vortex of poo called In Laws, old drunk college pals, ex’s and co-workers that s/he love that you discover are buttheads too late into the game. Y’know, the general interfere in any relationship in life that keeps you from spending time with Mr. or Miss Wonderful.

However, you must meet face to face to find out if it is anything or not or you will be haunted and hounded the rest of your life with ‘what-ifs’ and ‘I shoulda’s’.

If this makes any sense, I apologize.

Assuming that one or both parties isn’t a lying sack of excrement who is misrepresenting one or more aspects of their life, and both are being open and honest with each other, I would say, sure.

There are fairy tales that involve some prince or another falling in love with a statue or painting of a fabulously beautiful princess, going on a quest (usually disastrous because he disregards the advice that Obi-Wan gave him), eventually finds and marries her, and they all live happily ever after.

An online relationship has a lot more going for it than our fictitious prince, but then again, he’s fictitious, and so’s the princess, so this is a totally invalid analogy which you may safely disregard.

I agree with Shirley.

I’m not going to tell anyone that they’re not in love with the person they’ve never met, but privately I’ll be very skeptical . . . and will wonder about their stability and/or maturity. “Like” can definitely happen without meeting, but love requires face time – which is why it baffles me that some online dating sites (and some people on online dating sites) treat meeting as optional.

No, I don’t think it’s possible. You may fall in love with your “image” of the person, but cold, hard reality could intervene once you meet.

Been there, done that. Have the wedding band to prove it.

My Lady (Faeriebeth) and I met online some years ago, and the scenario unfolded just as the OP describes. We met at another online community based on a series of books we both read. We chatted, e-mailed, IM’d, eventually phoned, lots of letters, etc. I knew she was THE ONE roughly a week after chatting with her for the first time though.
We met IRL after 4 months of online stuff, and I asked her to marry me 3 days later. We were engaged for the next 2 1/2 years, and have been married now for 5.

We both lucked out…aside from being very compatible, we also find each other physically irresistible. But as I said, that was pure luck…though the romantic in me likes to think of it as karma. I wish it could work out as well for everyone, both online and IRL.

I thought I loved my husband (Demo) before actually meeting him (we did the email, text, phone, video thing.) I thought I loved him when we did meet face to face. I had no idea how much I would love him, and how much that love would grow each year we spent together.

In some ways, that parallels the way I feel about my children. I thought I loved them before I met them (while I was pregnant.) I thought I loved them when they were born. I had absolutely no idea just how much I would love them, unconditionally, for the rest of my life.

So, I’d say yes, it is possible.

I tend to think of falling in like or in love as relative levels of sacrifice. If I like somebody and think of them as a friend, I will gladly sacrifice certain levels of something to make sure that they’re happy. For example, I’ll offer friends crash space for dopefests, rides to same, money, the lending of camping equipment I’m not using right now… So, I think I could easily make friends online, and fall deeply into like.

In order for me to be in love with somebody, I fall back on the Heinleinian definition, in which the sacrifices I make don’t just make the other person happy, they are absolutely necessary for me to make in order for me not to feel like a worthless piece of carp. Er, whatever. Anyway. If somebody that I feel I fall in love with has a need, I have to help. If they need lots of money, or a car, or a place to stay pretty much forever, or somebody to hold forever, and I’m okay with that, then I’m in love with them.

So, in re: the OP, I feel that I could easily fall in love with an online friend; I’d just have to figure out how important it is to me to help my online friend balanced against my need to not get my knees broken by my jealous, paranoid wife from rural Wisconsin, the state that put Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Gein and the Bates Hotel on the map.

I think it’s entirely possible. I was very upfront with my current SO when I first met him online. He did the same. We presented our good and our bad parts of ourselves, but we fell in love anyway.

Although it is important to note that our love was more ideal when we only talked online. When we met in person, it felt like we were more real, more of a couple when we actually went on dates. But it may be different for other people.

Um, are you me? This is exactly what happened to me and my wife… So of course, since we base our opinions on our own experiences, I believe you can fall in love without having met in person. The timeframe of Stonebow’s is almost exactly the same as ours: corresponded about four months, met in person, proposed that weekend, engaged for 2 years, married for 3 1/2. Never. Been. Happier.

My wife and I fell in love via snail mail. She started out as a customer. I was in Canada. We got to be friends because of mutual interest. And it developed from there. It progressed to phone calls and constant, huge letters. We had not met, and it seemed pretty darned real that it was happening to us. After 8 months, I flew down to meet her, and our feelings were confirmed. Four months later, she flew up to see me, and again four months later. I returned in December, and for the last time on April 30th 1998. We were married nine days later.

I like Stonebow’s comment: “Been there, done that, have the wedding band to prove it.”

I know I can’t fall in love with someone without seeing them in person. I have no idea about the rest of the world, though according to the way this thread is going, apparently it can happen.

Well, Pythian Habenero, I feel compelled to rationalize. When we discovered that we had the same interests and abilities and were good with language and liked the same music, it was one of those things where you just have to see where it takes you. Even though she was a thousand miles away (just like the doo-wop song!), this woman was somebody that I really, really wanted to know, and she felt the same way. We had no other means but to tell each other everything about ourselves in letters. It became apparent that we really had a lot in common, and what are the odds that you ever find the right one? What if she’s it? I had to find out. And I was right. She was the one. Coming here to start a new life and get married was the best thing that ever happened to me.

You have to be sure beyond all doubt that it is the right thing. You both have to want to pursue it. I don’t mean this quite the way it looks in print, but we’re not stupid people. We wouldn’t do anything that we felt was dangerous or impractical or impossible. We got to know each other, and wanted to know each other better. If you get presented with an opportunity like that one time in your life, you have to take it. I know that if I hadn’t taken that chance, I would have kicked my ass every day for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, the risk is worth it.

Worked for me. I met MisterGypsy online, and we were friends for months. Daily chats, which turned into thousand dollar phone bills. Never saw his face (even a picture) until after I’d agreed to move in with him and marry him, and we never met in-person until the day we picked up the rental truck to haul me and my junk across country to live with him.

I couldn’t stop looking at him, at first. Damn, he’s handsome. A couple of years later, I still think that. Our baby is seven months old, now. We’re still happy together, and we still kiss each other half to death every day.

So, yeah, you can fall in love without having met. We did.

Wait, are you me?

:stuck_out_tongue:

No, my story is different but follows the same vein – met my wife in a chat room we both frequented, corresponded for about a month, did the long-distance back-and-forth thing for three months, moved in together, and married shortly thereafter.

That was six years ago. Gets better every year.

The most important factor is what Penchan said. If you see both the good and bad and are brutally honest about both your good qualities and shortcomings, it’s very possible. If you’re living in a fantasy world, which happens constantly on Teh Intraweb as we all know, then any relationship you find that way is doomed. Then again, I have the school of thought that if you practice that on the Net, you’re more than likely failing at relationships IRL as well.

Uh, isn’t that kind of what happened between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning? She writes a poem about his poetry, he responds in a letter, they write more and more, he comes and visits her, BAM! engaged, father disapproves, they run away to Italy. Obviously no internet or video conference, but love before meeting.

Ooooh, good one, MPK. I was trying to think of pre-technology couples that would fit the OP, and the best I could come up with was mail order brides, which obviously don’t.

She wins!

I know someone this happened to. They met in an online writers’ group, decided (over the course of a couple of years or so) to collaborate on a novel, which was a romance novel, and while writing it they fell madly in love.

They didn’t meet for some time (I’m not sure how long–possibly a year?) and it was more than a cross-country thing. She actually left the country to go and live with this guy she had never met.

(However, I do not know what happened to the novel they wrote together. Too bad; that would be a good story to tell at book signings.)