“People. Falling for each others’ pretensions, fakeness and whatever various faces they can put on to wear. And then they call it love. What a fantasy. What a blasphemy. Humanity bores me.” ― C. JoyBell C.
How do I know this your internet relationship is bulls**t? I know because I had one. I know because I thought it was real. I know because I thought it was right and I thought it would work out. I thought he was what he presented. I believed his lies and I believed in something that was never to be
I don’t say your relationship is bulls**t to be mean or judgmental. I’m sure you are thinking to yourself, “No, my relationship is different. We are soul mates. We get each other. We are meant to be together. This is true love”. But unfortunately, my friend, you’re wrong, just plain wrong.
How do I know? I met a guy online that lived in another state. He was way attractive and very charming and very flattering. I blew him off for months, but he kept pursuing me. I would laugh at his flattery and roll my eyes at his professed words of admiration.
He wouldn’t take no for an answer. He kept at it and at it and eventually I suppose his supposed attentions wore me down and we agreed to be exclusive.
For the next six months we talked day and night via email and skype. One day, out of the blue he ended things. Two weeks later I surreptitiously found out he had another girlfriend the entire time we were “together” and he had broken up with her on the same day!
Something about him was nagging at me so I started doing a bunch of research and what did I find out? Not only was he using a fake name, he was using the fake name so he could hide the WIFE and CHILD he had back home. I felt like an utter fool. How had I allowed this to happen?
It happened because I wanted to believe in a fantasy and in something that exists in the movies and not in real life. I didn’t know this man. I gave him trust he didn’t deserve. I let the image of a person who represented what I wanted him to be win out over common sense.
Even when I agreed to be exclusive with him I knew I was being stupid and I knew I was taking a chance, but I did it anyway. The question is why do we take chances on people we don’t know and why do we believe in things that we know we shouldn’t?
Can a LDR work?
I’m not saying online relationships can never work, or that every person out there is a big fat liar like my guy was. However, in order for online relationships to have the remotest chance of success you have to actually spend time together and I mean a lot of time together.
Anyone can be on their best behavior one weekend a month when you meet at some exotic location and order room service and stroll through the streets of some quaint little town. Anyone can show up for an hour a day via a video chat and smile and act as if the outside world doesn’t really exist.
Anyone can create a fiction of a relationship that exists in fantasy and not reality. If you do this, be prepared for the fall and be prepared for the heartache that ensues when it all falls apart.
The internet has made it increasingly easy to connect with others and share our lives which can be a good thing. The internet has also made it increasingly easy for predators or sociopaths or miserable, unhappy people to take advantage of others.
If you’ve ever watched the show Catfish on MTV then you know what I’m talking about. People can be insecure and feel unloved and they can use you when you don’t even know you’re being used.
With my online experience I’m pretty sure he used my attention to feed his ego. Looking back I think he relished it and craved it and I fed right into it hook, line and sinker.
Why a LDR?
Did you know that over fourteen (14) million people consider themselves to be in a long distance relationship? Did you also know that only ten percent (10%) of those will end up in marriage?
There are many reasons for couples to be long distance and I’m not talking about relationships where someone has to deploy or moves temporarily for a job, or goes off to college. I’m talking about those relationships that exist mostly, if not only online and/or where the couple has not ever met or may only meet occasionally.
We all want to belong. We all want to feel loved and accepted for who we are. Some of us have a hard time connecting with others, especially us introverts so when we meet someone who seems to understand us we often do things we shouldn’t do in the hopes that our needs will be met.
We can disregard common sense in our pursuit to be loved and feel loved. We throw caution to the wind in the hopes that this supposed prince or princess will be the answer to our prayers. But, this is not reality.
The online fantasy you have created is just that – fantasy. Real relationships take work. Real relationships take two people spending time together. They take getting to know the other persons quirks and moods, their flaws and their strengths
Real relationships exist between two people who see each other through good times and bad. I know you’re thinking that this person is “there for you” and “understands you” more than anyone in the world. Honestly, I have a friend like that who lives in Germany that I’ve never met. But, he is just a friend.
I know a number of people that are involved in online only relationships. Many are still married. Most are looking for someone to connect with. The problem with these relationships is that they are idealizing the other person.
Sure, that woman is sexy and amazing because she doesn’t have to pick up the kids from school or clean up after they barf. That guy is always on his best behavior and is always listening to you in ways that your partner doesn’t.
Emotional support is so valuable and so necessary. People lie and cheat and go behind their partner’s backs to get it. But, this type of support isn’t real. This type of love isn’t real.
True intimacy comes when you are struggling and you allow your partner to see who you are and you are able to put your own needs aside sometimes.
Don’t be suckered in by the fantasy. Don’t turn away from your partner and to an affair. Don’t get too far into something that you can’t get yourself out of.
If you are considering an online relationship or you are in one then start making plans. Make plans to spend time together as much as possible. If things go well after that, then make plans for one of you to move at some point.
Don’t do what I did and waste precious moments of your life on something that isn’t real. Don’t give your attention and energy to someone who can’t give you more than a surface relationship.
However, if you just be aware that you are doing it. Come to accept that perhaps you aren’t ready for true intimacy. Do some work on yourself to address this issue. If these are the reasons you do it, then I understand, because I’ve been there too.
Whatever you do, just don’t kid yourself. Be honest with what you are doing, what you have chosen and why. Just be prepared for the heartache that is likely to ensue and when you get there I promise I will never say, “I told you so.”