Internet Relatonships

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.

I don’t mind if people undertake online relationships, I just wish that they wouldn’t use the SDMB to do it.


Contestant #3

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.

Yer pal,

Geez, Satan, your post makes so much sense I can’t do a thing with it.

Have a little consideration, big guy.

You are unique - Just like everyone else.

sigh Nice to see this often-quoted but misunderstood and poorly conceived figure still continues to worm its way through the public conciousness.

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.

Only humans do inhuman things.

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.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

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.

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 . . .

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.

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

—The dragon observes

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.

I’m not flying fast, just orbiting low.

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.

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.
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.

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

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.

If you’re an optimist, you haven’t been paying attention.

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.

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.

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.

Markxxx wrote:

What universe do YOU live in?

(And how can I get there? :slight_smile: )

I’m not flying fast, just orbiting low.

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. :slight_smile:

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


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.