There has been some discussion around ‘Guys and gals… just friends?’ over on Gush and someone mentioned/tangented to a query about guy she ‘likes’ but has only ever had contact with online.
Very early on in my msn days (which is the only chat thing I’ve ever really used) I made the descision to not ever build a relationship (not talking about ‘friendship’) over the very imperfect IM communication means. A couple of reasons, the biggest being that people communicate differently in person.
I do my utmost best to be honest and within my personality when talking to people (mainly who come through gush related activities) online – yet its a totally different field to when it comes to relating in person.
I know perfectly that I usually communicate better when I’ve had time to think things through. I have joked in the past that my fingers do the talking (on my poor overworked keyboard, not through hand expressions – although I’ve been known to get carried away with that too ha). Due to my absoultely terrible aural awareness ie: I have trouble when it’s just hearing something, I need to see (one of the reasons why I don’t like phones because it takes SO much concentration). I like msn as a means of a communication in that I find it easy to work with, I also realise how horrible and inefficent it can be.
I’ve met more people than most whom I initially met online and there is this strange tension of familiarity (sometimes over familiarity) and the knowledge that you really have no clue about this person. I find that you’ve often communicated on a reasonably deep level but have utterly missed the ‘get to know you’ phase – at least in the way it works normally. It is no small consequence that we must wade the stinking waters of small talk (nb. sarcasm) before we often hit more intense areas.
There are still some people that I originally met online – and now know and have hung out with in person that I get really stuck in working out how to hmm. I guess show myself as me. They know me but don’t know me – vice versa.
So, despite all the potential awkwardness, I am not adverse to building friendships via online means – they are restrictive and incomplete but still doable, still can be important, still ‘a God thing’ (oh yeah), still friendships.
Relationships through the online are a totally different field. You shouldn’t go there.
You cannot truly love someone you’ve never met. You can be in love with the idea of them. You can be in love what they present, how they make you feel, what they input into your life questions (if it hits that point). But it’s not a good nor a safe ground to work on something that you intend to last.
I don’t think it’s impossible that something might be able to eventuate after you get to know this person OFFline. Personally when it really comes down to it, I’d rather not. It means the potential of merging two completely different worlds (unless they happen to be someone a lot closer than you first thought) with very little in common except a computer, a lot of spare evening time – or time you don’t have.
The whole matter of me wanting to be really good freinds with someone before I go to the relationship thing I guess is part of it.
I am in no way discrediting some of you who I happened to first meet online, because to tell the truth there are a number of you whom I now count among the people I value the most.
I simply do not think it is wise to pursue a feeling that has no proper grounding – however much time you’ve ‘spent together’ (time not in the same room) – it’s a huge farce.
The curious thing about my offline friendships – those who never came through the internet. I often find it quite difficult to ‘converse’ with them online (not all but many).
I appreciate the face to face far more.
The other ‘stopping’ factors in pursuing a relationship online.
>Safety – self explanatory
>You don’t get to see them – not to be superficial or anything but you can’t expect to marry someone who you aren’t attracted to, it would make things VERY awkward
>Distance – Yeh you might want to pursue the long distance thing, again I’d rather not there’s the whole having to learn to ‘relate to eachother’ again and the fact that someone’s got to completely change locations eventually. I’ll leave the likes of this to Laura 😉 *NB. this relationship did not start online – but is the ‘distance thing’ which is all cool.
>It’s just stupid, trivial, shallow, meaningless and self-focussed.
Just don’t consider it…
it also saves us who happen to be modding forums from dealing with ridiculous, gag worthy, flirt spam. “Who want’s to deal with it this time?”
(by the way, letters are more romantic then emails and who’s going to give out their address to someone they’ve never met… okay so maybe too many people do that too)