Is an online-only interaction "dating"?

This is, as some of you might gather, a reaction to some assertions made in thisthread.

Assume for the sake of this discussion that the parties to the exchanges of email, IMs, & text messages both intend (at least ostensibly) to use the online ingteraction as a precursor to a 3D interaction.

No it’s not dating. It can easily be considered flirting though.

It is if they see it that way. One can have deep heartfelt conversations online, and shallow meaningless chatter in person as well as the other way around; what you communicate about is at least as important as how you do so.

I said no. I think dating actually requires some kind of physical proximity. What people are doing online is called “talking.”

What does the depth of your conversations have to do with whether or not you’re dating?

Fine, if perception is what’s important, I perceive masturbating to the idea of the cute bike messenger downstairs dating. There. We’re dating.

The written word cannot convey as much as a person’s face, mannerism, tone of voice and body language. I would say you haven’t date until you have met.

No. And I say this as someone who has used the internet to find all my boyfriends.

Isn’t that the usual argument as to why an online relationship isn’t the real thing?

That doesn’t work, because s/he doesn’t have any idea that it’s happening, much less regard it as dating. There’s no interaction.

Like… Second Life?

I voted “yes”, but only with your “if that’s how the participants see it” clause. Two friends who meet up in real life, have regular sexual hookups and are monogamous might not necessarily see each other as “dating” but a reasonable outside observer might; I would think it less likely that someone would see two online partners as “dating” when they don’t believe themselves to be.

When they do, however, I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t be dating. I agree with Der Trihs: at its core, dating would seem to be about social interaction (masturbating to the thought of someone else is not, incidentally, a social interaction) and meaningful emotional exchange. Unless there’s some basic, fundamental component to dating beyond this, either the Internet is not capable of providing both meaningful emotional exchange (which is up to the people exchanging those emotions to judge) and social interaction or online dating certainly counts as dating.

I agree that an on-line only relationship could be very intimate. I just don’t think that “dating” is the appropriate word. I not only think “dating” requires being in the same room, I kind of think that it requires going somewhere together other than one or the other’s home. I think two people can meet, “court” as they used to say, become physically intimate, and/or marry, without ever having “dated”.

Precluding long-distance relationships, no. If what’s keeping you from actually physically being in the same room isn’t logistics, but simply disinterest in doing so, then how can you possibly call that dating?

Call me old fashioned, but chatting on the computer is for times when you are either stuck in a room with a computer, or don’t have anything better to do, like, say… a date. Or anything, really. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with chatting online, but it’s not equivalent to being together. When my friends and I email each other, we may be talking, but we are not hanging out.

I met Mr. Del online, not through a dating site but on a topical/social board that I would say was somewhat similar to the SDMB in tone. ANYWAY, at first we were online friends and then it did progress to what I consider dating. We made actual dates, like “okay, let’s plan to meet online at 7 PM on Thursday.” I knew it was serious when my plans for New Years Eve were online, so I was specifically choosing online time over other kinds of activities, it wasn’t a case of “not having anything better to do.” After almost a year, we met in person. And we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary.

And I know you don’t have anyone’s word for it but my own, but I am a normal, socially engaged person who had no trouble getting dates the traditional way. Eventually Mr. Del and I got to that point in our online relationship where we stopped dating other people just like I would have if our relationship was in person. I remember turning down several date proposals with “I’m flattered, but I’m seeing someone right now” even before Mr. Del and I had met in person. So we were not only dating, we were dating exclusively.

It is? Well that would mean shallow people who have silly conversations would be incapable of dating.

Fine, I’ll do it in front of him. He probably wouldn’t mind. There, we’re dating.

Um. Wouldn’t masturbating in front of someone while they watch normally be considered past dating?

But did you live near each other? And if so, why did it take you a year to meet in person?

I picked the third option because my answer is kinda yes, kinda no. I think it really depends on the situation but I’d lean more toward no.


Doesn’t have to be, though. Say I’m not interested in dating and just want to wank in front of him. Wait, well it’s considered dating then, I think. I’m confused. Anyway, I think all the chit chat and text messaging with someone you found online is what would lead up to dating. I would say the first time you meet in person is when you begin dating. Apparently some folks consider the pre-date e-mails and flirting dating as well.

The poll offers too few choices. It’s not dating (and I answered that) but it can be more than just a conversation.

I’m not that kind of nerd. All I know about Second Life is how to spell it.

Damn it, Agnes! Take your medicine! covers all sins of omission. :slight_smile: