Is Online Love/Relationship Possible? Answered: A lot of people struggle with the burden of carrying on a relationship online. Being in a relationship where you can see and touch your partner has its own good dose of turbulence let alone being in one where you can’t even get a hold of the other person when it truly matters.
A lot of people wonder at the possibility of a relationship with someone you’ve never met physically or living away from your partner thus having to communicate with them only online. While some people have happy-ever-after stories to tell about their online relationships, many others have tales of woe. Consider this one below:
John is flying to the Los Angeles Airport and even though the flight has been ongoing for the past 30 hours, the butterflies in his belly are not calming down. His heart is almost exploding with the thought of wrapping Loretta, his online lover cum fiancé, in his arms. They have been dating online since two years and the distance, from South Asia to California is what has kept John away from physical touch with his beloved.
Their love story which began with a simple “hello” on Instagram is culminating in diamond rings on their fingers. You may be thinking: Oh! How sweet! How beautiful! But that is only one side of the story.
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John and Loretta tie the knots few days after he arrived California as they had agreed to online. They both feel that their two years of knowing each other and interacting via audio and visual means are enough and can pass as courtship. They believe that there is nothing they have not learned about each other. Loretta knows John’s shoe size and he knows that she loves to sleep to the voice of Frank Sinatra. They both know the names of each other’s favourite foods and sports like the back of their hands. So what else is left?
John has no idea about Loretta’s spendthrift nature or that she has a horrible body odour. At the beginning, he feels that these can be overlooked but the stench seems to grow worse so much so that he could barely stand within a metre of her let alone touch her. Loretta on her part disdains John’s overcareful nature. He was always very particular about how clean the house was and how she doesn’t prim herself up or give enough attention to their daughter, Valerie.
Overtime, John’s absence from his wife, Loretta pushes him closer to other women. When Loretta found out about his infidelity, she sued for a divorce. A few months later, they go their separate ways and John gets custody of their 1 year old daughter.
Is This Love?
Some people ask, “How do I get over the illusion of being in love with someone I met and only know online?”
Luckily, this is no big deal. Getting over someone you met online shouldn’t be difficult at all. This is because you were never in love in the first place. Yes, you may think you are in love but you aren’t. Read on to find out the reason for this opinion.
It is not possible for a person to fall in love with someone they are yet to meet in real life. Of course you can have lengthy chats over long periods of time and might have known yourselves for ages and even had video conversations but that is not all there is to being in love.
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All these online interactions are great for building strong connection and preparing the ground for real love to take root. Indeed, online conversations are an excellent tool for deciding if you both are compatible or good for each other and whether you even like each other in the first place. Through this medium, you can weigh the probability of the both of you being in a real loving relationship.
However, it is still not the real deal. Until you meet the other person and get in physical contact with them, you’d never really know for sure that you are in love with them.
This may appear to be a hot take in the view of many people. But consider the situation critically: how is it possible for two people to be in love if they have not even as much as touched each other before?
Do not get me wrong. This is not about the sex but simple contacts like hugs or a mere handshake. Even the smell or the air around that person could be a deciding factor on whether or not you really want to get intimate with them for real. You can’t get all these through Facetiming or chatting.
How is it possible to be in love with someone when your lips have never touched, held their hands? After all, a kiss is sometimes the magic that convinces you that the other person is the right one for you or not.
Falling in love requires that both parties spend a great amount of time together. Facetiming is not adequate as it allows both parties to only show the parts or aspects of their lives that they feel are desirable or that will interest the other party. Such scheduled meetings give each person the opportunity to get into whatever costume or false garb that they want to project.
They do not get to experience each other’s bad sides, weaknesses, how they feel when they lose an opportunity, what they look like when they wake up in the morning.
Yes, meaningful conversations can be had on Facetime and chat platforms but true love grows where the parties are in their natural state–unprepared and vulnerable. Necessary qualities such as spontaneity and authenticity which make physical relationships tick are barely existent in online relationships. Receding hairlines, bad hair and dirty nails can be covered up quickly ahead of a scheduled facetime.
Dating is a not so easy hurdle to bypass, therefore, many people choose to hide behind the smokescreen of technology. This way, they circumvent the fear of revealing their vulnerabilities. They are afraid that the other person would dump them when they see their not-so-great sides. On the flip side, when a person sees all your vulnerabilities and accepts you notwithstanding, you can count yourself lucky.
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Do Online Relationships Work?
Statistics show that at least one in every five romantic relationships began with the parties meeting online. Many people are steady looking for love on the internet. However, this does not mean that online dating would culminate in real love but if it can, what are the factors that can help make it happen?
Factors Determining the Success of Online Love/Relationships
Certain factors have been pointed out to be instrumental in ensuring that relationships that commenced online can graduate to sustainable and thriving physical relationships. Such factors include:
1. Meeting Point: Research has pointed to the higher probability of success of a relationship commenced online where the parties involved meet on a platform that caters for people with common interests.
Some dating sites on the net require that the parties furnish information about what their interests in a relationship or partner is. Such information would be used to match people who have common interests and relationships emanating from such pairings have a greater chance of succeeding in the long run.
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2. Investing Time in Getting to Know Each Other Well: Online relationships affords the parties involved the rare opportunity to test the workability of the relationship before physical interaction. It also means that parties in s relationship are focused more on spending time with each other and having meaningful interactions.
They are spared of the distractions that characterize physical relationships. Online conversations have also been shown to promote sharing of thoughts and active listening both of which are important communication skills needed for the growth and stability of relationships. People tend to share more and listen more attentively online.
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3. Willingness to Surmount Possible Challenges: It is certain that problems and challenges will beset couples in a relationship. It is important that parties in a relationship understand this and prepare their minds for it. It is even moreso for online relationships where novel challenges are bound to rise up when the parties finally meet in person.
There is important then that both parties plan a way to overcome these challenges and be committed to achieving their set goals in line with the plan. All grounds must be covered: from how to split the cost of travel to where you will both settle and issues concerning property, no stone must be left unturned. The views of both parties should be heard and duly considered and whatever resolution you both come to must be followed to the later. When you have both expressed adequate willingness to do these, you only have to start implementing when you meet physically.
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4. Communication Style is Key: How you and your partner communicate and settle conflicts is very important. If your relationship must thrive beyond the computer or phone screen, you must strive to understand each other’s viewpoints.
Rather than second-guessing or assuming, ask your partner questions in a polite and kind manner to find out their position and the reason they took such a position in a given matter. The role of communication in a relationship whether online or offline cannot be overemphasized.
Keep in mind that these factors are not foolproof and their existence does not necessarily gurantee that your relationship will thrive. However, we believe that they will be of great help to you as they have been to many others in carrying on a successful online relationship.
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In the end, online dating is not bad altogether. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, it is a wonderful way to begin a relationship but you may not truly fall in love unless you make out time to be with the other person physically. Unless, you take this step, you may just be living a fantasy. It’s cool if you just want to be someone’s Whatsapp buddy or interact with them only when you feel like but if you really want to build something strong and longlasting with them, you must take the bold step of love and action and meet your partner in person.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.