Thursday, 24 July 2014

Online Relationships

This post was originally posted on my other blog which will soon be removed

I don't know what to think about online relationships. I mean, my first boyfriend was a guy I met online, but he lived just half an hour away so we saw each other every week and we were together for nearly 2 years. I wouldn't call that an online relationship though; we only met online. I started talking to my second boyfriend through Facebook but we had many mutual friends, he used to go to the same high school and he also dated my friend. So that relationship started online but we saw each other regularly in person. However, I met my current boyfriend in person, we got to know each other, entirely in person and now we're together. To me, it felt so much more romantic and more exciting reading his body language and his signals, rather than what he said in text.

I know how it feels to fall for someone who you met online. I nearly got into an entirely online relationship seeing as he lived a few hours away but things just went sour for many reasons. I also thought about how we would never know when we were going to meet, I didn't know how my parents would react if they found out I was having an online relationship, or how my family and friends would react/think/say. They would probably believe that I was so desperate for a boyfriend, I resorted to online dating which wasn't the case as I don't go online to date. I think many things come into the equation when it comes to online dating, that wouldn't come with a relationship you have in person and I think that's why online relationships can get quite confusing.

When I come across people online who have been dating someone completely online, texts and phone calls, I think about the lack of intimacy that you would have in a face-to-face relationship. To me, I think it'd very much feel like being in a relationship with a computer, or being in a relationship with someone who's in jail. I'd feel so restricted and slightly stupid for keeping loyal and faithful to someone I had never met in person.

I also know people change online. They become more confident and you're always talking. But I've met people online (through mutual friends) and they talk so much online but when you finally meet them, they're actually very shy and quiet. I'd hate to be in a relationship with someone for a long time, finally meet them and the chemistry isn't there at all; no communication, no connection, no nothing. It's quite a risk to take and in my eyes, that risk is a huge waste of time.

Being online helps many people find love, but I always think back to the life we had without computers. People would meet each other in person and I feel people should go back to the old fashioned ways when it comes to dating. I believe the internet has alienated us from people in general when out in public and we rely on hiding behind technology to make connections, friendships and relationships. We're social creatures, it's in our nature to talk and meet people so why have we stopped?

Another thing is how people view online daters. I, for one, view online daters to be very shy, insecure people who can't find anyone in person so they resort to online relationships. I know that's a poor generalisation but you have to admit, the vast majority are people who can't get a date in person for a number of reasons. The internet allows them to hide away and most likely, make them even more shy and insecure when it comes to face-to-face interaction. I know this is very easy to happen and without you even realising. I was on the internet almost every day, talking to strangers because I had no-one and nothing else to do as I'm not in college, but in a part time job. I then found that I had become socially retarded when with people and it knocked my confidence to the ground.

But if these online daters find who they're looking for, it has a repercussion; they become addicted to their means of contact with this person, either it be their computer, tablet, phone etc. Inevitably, pushing others in their day to day lives away. If anything, they're pushing their chances of meeting someone in person away for someone they've met online, who they know very little about and probably wouldn't have much chemistry with in person.

Online relationships have become more and more common because we rely on the internet so much. I think the internet is good for meeting local people who you could meet easily and regularly, but shouldn't be used for an entire relationship. Soon there will be 'e-marriage' (if there isn't already!) which is just ridiculous. Good luck on the wedding night!

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