Internet Relationships: Do you love me, really?


For some reason, I have the feeling that we ought to really enjoy this ability to communicate through the Internet while we have it. A lot of the economic and political agendas that are currently dominating the airwaves might intervene in our free communication at some point in the future, near or far. This discussion isn’t about that, but I wanted to start out this way because I have a few questions for y’all, if you don’ mind:

How many of you count your internet friends as being among your best friends in the world? I ask this, because, I wonder, are friendships that you make online as strong as friendships that you make in person? What about love relationships? Is it possible to love someone that you have never even seen, except through pictures or maybe, if you’re lucky, on video? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling that the Internet is going to be inaccessible tommorrow, but I do have the feelng that you and I do indeed have a limited time to ‘take it to the next level’. Know what I mean? Do you feel it too?

In a recent argument with an RL loved one, the person I was engaged with brought up a topic that this person often brings up, “Those people aren’t your friends, you’ve never met them, they could be pretending to be anybody!”

Is this a valid point? How can we tell if the people that we meet over the Net are ‘being real’ with us; are sharing with us aspects of their true selves, and not just bits and pieces consciously designed to cutivate a certain personality? Is it true that, to truly know somone, you have to interact with them in the physical?

And for those of us who are coming at these questions from a spiritual vantage point ,what does this say about the Oneness of Humanity? Could it be possible that the Internet is preparing us for a time when we will be able to again communicate outside of the physical, without using electronic means? Without using any means except our mental and spirital skillsets? Are the relationships that we are forming with each other real, I suppose is the final question.

I think this question is important because many of us spend quite a bit of time online cultivating friendships and while we are doing so we are spending a correspondingly lesser amount of time going out to bars, relaxing with friends in their homes or ours. Is there a healthy medium? Is there a way that you have found in order to ‘weed out’ those who are not ‘keeping it real’, or who are presenting those in your shared circles of interaction with a facade?

In my experience, consistency of behavior and presentation over time augments my original intuitive ‘feel’ of a person, words do indeed speak volumes and, with the written word, it is less possible for individuals to control unconscious patterns of speech and meanings, as well as to divert attention and dissemble, as is so prevalent in the ‘Real World (RL)’. So, we can go back and look at emails and im conversations a day or week later, and compare them to things people said earlier or later in order to determine their level of truthtelling and consistency. But what is more common, in my experience, are individuals who profess feelings, but who soon seem to lose interest, or move on to other circles once the original level of interactions moves past the introductory phase of the relationship.

Not that there is any thing wrong with this, people are genuinely curious and I’m not against assuaging one’s curiosity by finding out about people, adding them to your circle of acquaintances, and moving on. I engage in that to an extent myself, always leaving the option open to ‘reopen’ the friendship gates and deepen an acquaintance into a true friendship, if the opportunity and shared interest arises.

Love occurs online, and I’ve read statistics that seem to point to an increasing acceptance of online romance sites as a viable introduction to a possible RL connection. This is one of Match dot com’s major selling points these days. Trends such as this seem to show that significant percentages of people find friendship and love online possible. Does your experience reflect that as well?

Have you found a friend that you know will be in your life forever? Have you found a soulmate? A twin flame? If you have, I know that, during the course of your relationship, you have gone through a lot of ups and downs, doubts and setbacks that, at times, probably left you wondering if what you were feeling was even real, or if you were projecting feelings into a relationship that isn’t even a ‘real’ relationship at all. And, as I’m sure you are aware, there are many people in your lives – some of whom have none, or limited, Internet experience – who will tell you that you cannot fall in love with someone you met over the Internet. Do you find some part of yourself believing them, despite your feelings of friendship or love for this person? Do your past experiences on the Net cause you to doubt the possibility of ever finding someone ‘real’ online?

I’ll bet some of you have stories about experiences you’ve had online when some person or another has been ‘outed’ as not being who or what they say they are. I’m sure you also have stories of deep friendships made with total strangers, or old friendship renewed. If you’d like to share any of those stories feel free, names witheld or shared, to protect or reveal the guilty!

Advertisements

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: World Spinner
    1. really? good stuff! thanks for droppin’ by, ever since i heard the match dot com commercial saying 1 n 5 relationships begins on the internet ive been thinking this topic probably is getting a lot of play.

  2. of course i love u, i really do. and, hey, even IF U DO LEAVE MYSPACE, i’ll still love you! and u can find me there whenever you need to love me or abuse me or whateva! hugs and love to you my friend. and, yeah, i’d go to jail for u 2!

    peace & harmony,
    elaine
    ‘freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!’

    1. ha ha ha hi elaine woo hoo u found meeee!!! as u c i’m putting the myspace blogs that r still relevant over here but i’m glad to c u still going strong on myspace. do u have a FB???? n i love u tooooooooooooooo!!!!!

  3. Reading this entry brought quite a few situations to mind, two of which seem, to me anyway, interesting enough to share. The first is a story about reconnecting with a past acquaintance through blogging. The second is an unfinished, ongoing story of Internet Personality Shenanigans.

    I was bullied a lot as a child. One bully was a girl I sometimes considered to be a friend. She transferred into our very clique-oriented middle school in third grade. The rest of us had known each other since kindergarten. Some of us had gone to day camp together even before that. I saw this girl’s arrival as an opportunity to make a new friend in a world where almost nobody could be trusted. My intentions were both altruistic and predatory. On the one hand, I knew she would struggle and suffer socially if left on her own. She was a stranger in a land of cliques. She was a Muslim among Jews and Christians. She had a strange odor. Her hair was always a mess, and frequently dirty. She needed someone to be nice to her. On the other hand, I needed someone to be nice to me. Predictably, our classmates were cruel to her. I befriended her, and gave her the tour, showed her how to navigate the treacherous social climate, and introduced her to the key players.

    This girl, LDJ, was a natural-born leader. In no time she went from pariah to queen using my advice, and her two fast fists. Sometimes she made people treat me with respect; usually, she threw me under the bus. She broke my heart over and over, but always apologized, always wooed me back into her fold.

    One day, her little sister prank-called my house over and over. My mother, who never cared for the way I handled my bullies told me to answer hte next call, and end it. My mother said if the little girl called our house again, she would take me to the basement and whip me. I answered the next prank with a loud, vulgar, violent litany of vitriol and bile. My rant went on for ages. When I was done speaking, the line was quiet. I was about to hang up, when LDJ spoke. I was stunned to hear her voice. She told me she was going to beat me up first thing in the morning, and disconnected.

    I knew I couldn’t fight her. I had never been in a fight; she had been in dozens, and never lost. I had lots of bullies, but no one ever actually hit me before. They just menaced me. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was so much bigger and stronger than nearly anyone else in the school, that no one really wanted to fight with me. They just wanted to look tough by getting away with being mean or threatening to me. LDJ would fight me though. She came prepared for her physical disadvantage against me. She wore cup hooks on her fingers. I feared for my eyesight, my pretty face (though I didn’t know it was pretty at the time), and wondered if I might die from blood-loss. My toughest bullies came to my side and gave me their rings to wear; even they thought this was just all too much.

    At the time, because my middle school was in the midst of asbestos removal, our classes were held in a wing of a neighboring high school. Our school was kept separate from the older (and notoriously troubled) high school students by an atrium at the end of our corridor. The boundary was defended by three security guards at all times. I knew I needed to get their attention, but they seemed to be acres away.

    I hatched a clever ruse. I suspected that LDJ had to defend her little sister against me, but didn’t really want to hurt me. I suspected that if I never hit her with a closed hand, she wouldn’t hit me wit one either. So, I slapped her, and only lightly. Each time I slapped her, I stepped back. She followed, and slapped me hard. When we got near the end of the hallway, I reached back, and slapped across her face as hard as I could, letting the momentum throw me to the floor. I screamed bloody murder, and the guards found her standing over me. She was suspended, and nearly expelled. I still laugh about it when the memory occurs to me. We were never friends again.

    When I wrote about it in my LiveJournal a few years ago, I named her. I used her first and last name in the story. A commenter also used her full name, and called her a skank. Consequently, if one Googled her, the very first result was, “Bullies suck, and LDJ is a skank!” Unfortunately for her, she was in the middle of cultivating positive PR for a design firm she started. She also claimed to have no memory of the incident. I found that hard to believe, since my LiveJournal is not personally identifying, has no real names besides hers, and no photographs, yet she was able to determine that I was the author. She looked me up, and called my house!

    For a brief period of time, we were friendly again. I removed her name from my journal. However, I could never trust her. I could never get past the mistrust she earned when we were children, even though she seems to be a different person as an adult. For about two years, we motivated each other toward professional and personal success. Still, I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eventually, my number changed and I just neglected to update her. I have since moved twice. I doubt we’ll ever speak again. I just don’t want to. Occasionally she reaches out to me on MySpace, a site I no longer visit. I see the email notifications, and ignore them. The internet can be a strange land. Because of it, for a brief moment, I was reconnected with my childhood fair-weather friend. Though the internet makes it easy to keep tabs on each other, it also makes it easy to be distant.

    More recently, within the world of an online game I play, I was introduced to the “good friend” of my closest internet friend, Laz. Let’s call his friend S P. Laz and S P went through an emotional time together about a year and a half ago, when their favorite simulator, one they’d helped make into a real community, was closed. Once that was survived, they lost touch. Recently, the owner of that simulator launched a new venture, and all of the old crowd reconnected, including Laz and S P. Now, Laz and I are inseparable, and so to associate with one of us is, inevitably, to associate with us both. With unclear motives, S P has decided to get close to me. She is a pleasant enough woman. She is bright, articulate, humorous, and charming. She is incredibly likable. She also lies. She lies a lot.

    I don’t know why she lies to me. There is nothing to gain or lose by impressing me, or failing to do so. My relationship with Laz has no bearing on hers. To be sure she would know this, I emphasized how much it pleased me that they were able to pick up their friendship where it left off. S P enumerated positive changes she detected in his bearing which she believed I inspired. We had a few nice chats along those lines. I was curious about those changes, and about the community they once shared. S P and I made plans to meet alone and have a long talk.

    Later that night, unsolicited, she told me that she’d lived in Spain for two years, and she began speaking (deplorable!) Spanish to me. She’d seen me practicing my (incredibly child-like) Spanish on some poor Spaniard I’d convinced to let me brutalize her language at her. S P insisted on having a conversation with me in Spanish. It became increasingly obvious that she was using an online translator.

    My in-laws are Puerto Rican, and according to them, my Spanish is about equivalent to that of a native-speaking 8 year-old. I’m sufficiently conversant, but by no means fluent. My vocabulary is decent, but limited, and simple. My grammar is laughable. (My upstairs neighbor back home used to literally laugh when I spoke to him. It’s okay. His English was hilarious too.) Despite this, S P could not understand me. I said, “Que si, En realidad, mi esposo es de Puerto Rico, y yo puedo practicar con su familia.” Without knowing any Spanish at all, you can probably parse out that it means, “Yes, in reality, my husband is Puerto Rican, and I can practice with his family.” Some online translators, which are not very “smart” would translate it to, “That yes, in reality, my spouse is of Puerto Rico, and I I can to practice with your family.” That is the literal translation, but that is not correct. The longer we spoke, the more bizarre her responses got. In Spanish, the word ‘su’ means ‘your/yours’, ‘his/hers’ or ‘their’. Translators almost always turn it into ‘your/yours’ because they cannot interpret context. She kept having this problem. Also, her sentences made some sense if you literally translated them one word at a time into English, but the words simply did not flow properly in Spanish. I showed the log to my husband, who is far more proficient than I, and he was very confused by her Spanish. My Spanish is Castilliano, which is supposedly what she was speaking. His is admittedly Caribbean, but he still should have been able to understand. At one point, she accidentally copy/pasted “Type text or a website address or translate a document.
    Cancel
    Listen
    Read phonetically
    English to Spanish translation”

    I never asked her to speak Spanish to me. Other acquaintances told me she presents herself as fluent in Spanish. What a crock! Sometimes you really can get to know a person online. Other times, they will always present you with a character, and only ever that character. We have another mutual acquaintance who claims to have known S P online for 14 years. This acquaintance has come to realize there is no S P, not the way she has been presented. They exchange email; the IP address is for a city in the midwest, yet S P insists “she” is located on the west coast. I wonder what she is escaping when she is online.

    1. hey i know who you are! šŸ™‚ what a beautifully written rendition of ur childhood tale n how it relates to the present, and ongoing internet based relationships. Love is defined so differently by so many different people and depends totally upon their life experience. This is a great example of that! šŸ™‚

  4. I personally do not believe in being anything other than who I am at all times. I’m too old for stupid games and if I want to pretend a different world with myself as a different person, I will write a short story instead, or lie down and exercise my imagination of different lives and worlds while waiting to sleep.
    I have been on the internet many years and I have seen almost everything that people do to each other there. Recently I had one person who had been a gaming friend for a couple of years, remove me because we disagreed on abortion.
    That’s his choice and I respect it. If I don;t like what people post I simply limit what I see, if we are playing games together on facebook. In my time I have made friends, some who I feel very close to but have never met. Being an insular person happy with my own company. I find this form of friendship non invasive and pleasant, since online friends don’t call to bully you to go out if you don’t want to.
    I met my husband who I love very much online. It took him months to win me over enough to come meet him. I flew half way around the world on a feeling and a whim and it was worth it. It certainly started me on my recovery from a severe case of agoraphobia. Love took me to a place I never thought I could ever go and helped put me on the road to recovery from a debilitating phobia that no amount of therapy seemed to help.These days I am able to go outside, go for a drive, and go out and socialise with people in crowded places by myself without needing to be drugged out of my mind first on relaxants and other sedatives,
    I’m not cured yet but I am on my way.
    I may be one of the few lucky ones out there who waded through the dross to find some gold.

    1. What a wonderful tale, THANK YOU so much for sharing your experience. It dovetails with my own, our lives are what we make them. We can transcend all limitations, self-imposed and other, if we truly desire it. Your story is an inspiration and I’m honored you decided to write and share it here. Bless!

  5. Hi everyone šŸ™‚ i was recently in an Internet relationship. More like a friendship. Im 16. He’s 23. I met him on twitter on 16th March, 2012. We became best friends. Talked day and night on iMessage. Laughed and cried together. He was the most amazing person I’d ever know. He still is. Maybe. We then talked on whatsapp. Then texts and calls. We would barely call because im like real shy. And his voice was manly you know im not used to it. I go to girls school. I did have a relationship in past but it was over because he was a jerk. Just flirting. When i met this new guy on Internet, he seemed to be perfect. He’d do things to make me happy. He’d often propose me and other cute stuff. I never told him but i used to cry a lot. Maybe because i was falling in love. And knowing that im never gonna meet him (we live in the same country though) made me even cry more and idk what was happening to me. Then one day on July 2012, i saw his tweet that broke my heart. (Kind of but i ignored it) the tweet was “Spending quality time with ” and the timing was about 2 am. I knew there was something going on there. He was nice but not like he used to be. He started driving me away. He started saying not to mention him in my tweets and started ignoring me. He made stupid excuses to stay away from me like his exams are going on when they werent. Then one day in November 2012 he asked he wanted to see me. I was looking like a mess that time i didnt send any pic and he got mad he was like i dont think its gonna work. He said he never loved me more than a best friend. And he said hes never met me and he can’t fall in love over chat. I was so pissed. He was just playing and flirting with me all the time. I was a time pass. And not to mention that guy have had 2 previous bad relationships where his exes dumped him. They were long term relationships. 3 and 4 years. I never judged him by his past or his face. Because all of my friends think hes ugly. I dont. I never made him feel insecure. But he just kept getting mad at me that night. He never trusted me. He was like hes scared hes gonna fail this relationship too. Then he brought up age issues. He’s 7 years older than me. He said his mind and body dont accept this. He pretended to be a nice guy. Since then my life’s changed. I never knew this would happen. Or this fast. Like he wasted an important year of my life. He never called or text again šŸ˜¦ I did try talking to him. He said im being offhanded its never gonna work out. He didnt even consider that relationship šŸ˜® he said were “just friends” because of me. because i didnt talk on phone much and idk other reasons :/ we’ve been fighting for 6 months then but i guess i have to let it go. He called me immature. Insecure. Little. Kid. I wish hating him was as easy as saying it. We tried to be together in February 2013. I tried to be “just friends” with him. I couldn’t. I tried but i end up saying “.. I dont need you anymore. Bye.” 3 days before his bday. I even asked his address during the convo to send him his sketch i made but he didnt tell šŸ˜„ so yeah. I did it. I stayed away from him. I met some more amazing guys during our relationship but i chose him (the internet guy) over real ones. I chose him over EVERYONE. But he didnt. He spent time with that bitch who lives in house. I swore at him and now its been a month i talked to him. Im gonna be 16 this month on 25th. I dont know if hell wish me or not. I dont know what to do. I just keep crying. Im losing friends because of him. Im getting boring. I dont feel like doing anything. I’m a boring person these days. Im having exams right now but its the usual thought in my mind. Why couldn’t he love him. I guess this story doesn’t tell if everyone on Internet is fake. But maybe some people on Internet shows “fake” emotions. Some people do that in real life too. So there’s no way we can get into another’s mind to see what they’re gonna do next. We can’t make them stop. No matter what. Real life relationship or Internet relationship. Heartbreak is a heartbreak. It can’t be heal. And btw it was a first love kinda thingy cuz i never had that strong feelings for anyone ever before.

    1. Hi Masooma, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your story here. It will help other people who have experienced similar things. People can say anything, but it is their actions that matter. Consider yourself lucky to see how this type of person can act. How they can seem so caring and loving and yet their actions don’t match their words when it comes down to it. Now that you’ve had an experience like this you know what kind of signs to look out for if you ever meet a guy like that again.

      You are young. You will meet other people. Your life is ahead of you and love awaits. The emotions are intense right now, but they will pass and you will be the wiser for the experience. Don’t be hateful, just keep it moving, enjoy those who prove their words with their actions and live your life to the fullest. Many blessings.

  6. I today have just ended a 9month online relationship. I met him in a chat room and in the beginning he seemed so perfect and he made me feel so important, even changing his sleep schedule so we could talk. In January he said I couldnt live past april without coming to meet you. April came and still not here. Always telling me he was going to go get job to come see me never ever did. Then he changed his sleep pattern back so we had hardly any time to talk, then playing xbox with his mates ( yes hes in his 40’s) was more important than talking to me, i felt so unimportant and he kept saying his life is so busy and gets in the way, but whats so busy about playing xbox and drinking and not working?? We used to talk on the phone alot but that faded also. He would get mad at me and reduce me to tears over the phone yelling at me and calling me childish and immature and so on.. This man was never ever wrong and would never let me have my say. He wouldnt talk to me for days then would call and tell me how much he loved me and missed me and how important i was in his life. I was so confused it was like a yo yo I can now see that he was just saying what he knew i needed to hear in the beginning to suck me into his little web of lies but by the time i realized i felt stuck, i had developed feelings. Well today when he abused me for no reason i ended it… over done.. he tried telling me he had met someone local anyway and he was glad he was free from me.. I know hes not a nice person but that doesnt explain why i feel so down and hurt. I hope this feeling passes

    1. Unfortunately your story is not unusual. It is easy to ‘fake the funk’ with true love on the internet. The words can be said, the connection can be made, but the lack of real presence, of the solidification of a relationship through shared experiences makes it easier for one end of the relationship to move on to other things once they get disillusioned or bored with the relationship. It is difficult to say it in this way, but it seems to be true. A real connection can always be discerned by the co-resonance of the individuals involved, the need to become One. Distance only makes the heart grow fonder when the connection has been solidified by psychic cording in the first place. The difference in orientations of people contributes. Not every person can give or even receive love. Finding out who those people are can be the hard and painful work of a lifetime. Many blessings to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s