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Online love

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Dreamsexual

I'm not interested in meeting real people online or in real life.

But I like the idea of a romantic relationship with an online AI :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, James121 said:
2 hours ago, James121 said:

Do you think it could ever have become serious at the point it was an online only relationship?


Serious as in, it’s unlikely you are actually going to see meet this person for some time (maybe months) but you consider yourself ‘off the market’ and happy in a relationship.

Philip's answer applies to me also, pretty much.

 

I've had two very happy solely online relationships that lasted well over a year each, even though we knew we could probably never meet each other due to distance and finances. Like I said previously, these relationships were very loving, intimately satisfying, and emotionally rewarding. For me personally, touch just isn't an important aspect of love. I'd much rather have the love with no touch than give up the love because touch may not be possible. Oh and yes, we were completely monogamous and totally committed to each other during the course of those relationships. Monogamy is easy when one person fills all the needs you could possibly have, even if they're on the other side of the world. 

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Dreamsexual
2 minutes ago, Ficto. said:

Monogamy is easy when one person fills all the needs you could possibly have, even if they're on the other side of the world. 

True :)

Though it makes it hard for those of us who are naturally predisposed towards variety/change (poly-) or who could never really get all their needs met by a single (or any number) of people.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
3 minutes ago, Dreamsexual said:

Though it makes it hard for those of us who are naturally predisposed towards variety/change (poly-) or who could never really get all their needs met by a single (or any number) of people.

Wouldn't that make it easier because you can have multiple options at once? And if one person isn't meeting a specific need then another could meet that need for you? :o 

 

Whereas when all your love and desire is tied up in one person things can go a bit haywire if they get a bit grumpy for a week or so or whatever and you have no one else to turn to!! Hah, as an innately monogamous person I always thought poly would be easier, but maybe that goes both ways. Like how people with curly hair almost always seem to wish for straight hair and people with straight hair almost always seem to wish for curly hair :P The grass is always greener on the other side, as they say!!

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Dreamsexual

You make good points! :)

But the downside is having to find multiple people rather than one, or having to move on from someone to someone else ... Swings and roundabouts! :)

For me in my state this isn't so big an issue since I'm not looking for real humans anyway, but for others it might be an issue - esp since the cultural 'norm' is towards mono rather than poly.

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anisotrophic

For what it's worth, I dated a handful of other folks -- all *not* online-first relationships.

 

(And I had sex with a couple more than that, 'cause I'm sexual.)

 

(Many of those people also interacted online. And attended our wedding. Which is to say, online and in-person lives were not distinctly different realms.)

 

The relationship that started online first was the one that lasted.

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Online me is a much more honest and open version of me, truthfully. I mean, in getting to know someone I want to be close to, anyway (inclusive of friendships, not just romantic relationships). It's essentially the same me that you get in person if you know me really really well. So it's a type of communication that allows for something genuine as opposed to an overly nervous, self-conscious, closed-off me who's obsessed with self-preservation.

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ByeYall!

Seems like the younger ones are more open to online relationships than older folks like myself. I didn't grow up talking to others through the internet, so its kind of awkward for me even though I try to be open and wouldn't shy away from an online relationship. 

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11 minutes ago, MiseryInvictus said:

Seems like the younger ones are more open to online relationships than older folks like myself. I didn't grow up talking to others through the internet, so its kind of awkward for me even though I try to be open and wouldn't shy away from an online relationship. 

I didn't grow up talking to people on the internet, either. I didn't have regular 24/7 internet access until I was 24. I did, however, grow up expressing myself -- my inner world, thoughts, emotions, etc. -- through written language. I don't think age has much to do with it, other than if someone older is technologically inept.

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Dreamsexual
21 minutes ago, Ceebs. said:

Online me is a much more honest and open version of me, truthfully

I can understand that.  I'm not sure if my online self is more really me or not.  Is there a 'real' me?  Questions for another time ... :)

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You'll get lost down a nonsensical philosophical rabbit hole of confusion if you think about the "real you" too much. In my experience, anyway. Sometimes it's best to... be.

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Phoenix the II
29 minutes ago, Ceebs. said:

Online me is a much more honest and open version of me, truthfully. I mean, in getting to know someone I want to be close to, anyway (inclusive of friendships, not just romantic relationships). It's essentially the same me that you get in person if you know me really really well. So it's a type of communication that allows for something genuine as opposed to an overly nervous, self-conscious, closed-off me who's obsessed with self-preservation.

Are you in my head?

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Just now, Phoenix the II said:

Are you in my head?

Nah, I'm in my kitchen. :P 

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Phoenix the II
Just now, Ceebs. said:

Nah, I'm in my kitchen. :P 

I don't remember a kitchen being in my head... Hmmm

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ByeYall!

@Ceebs. I think I'm pretty good at expressing myself in writing, a little laconic, but there is always the face and the body language that is missing in internet communication. It takes more time to figure people out when you can't see them in my opinion.

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Just now, MiseryInvictus said:

@Ceebs. I think I'm pretty good at expressing myself in writing, a little laconic, but there is always the face and the body language that is missing in internet communication. It takes more time to figure people out when you can't see them in my opinion.

That's certainly true, yep. It's inadequate in certain ways. When it comes to getting close to someone, you have to make an active effort to take advantage of the many different ways of using technology. The way things are now are, of course, much more conducive to genuine connection and allowing for a full picture of your life than the internet of 10 or 20 years ago. And obviously it's not all just about writing. People still have their voices and photographs and whatnot. The biggest problem I've encountered is when you want to communicate something that is almost solely body-language based. Like with sex. Or other close non-sexual physical contact and affection. There are ways to navigate that effectively though, if not as fully as one would obviously prefer.

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Traveler40

I think online cuts down on so much inner noise that it’s an advantageous start for some who may need that.  It also allows for intimacy, honesty and an otherwise harder to hit openness.

 

Naturally gregarious, it would never have occurred to me that I’d find my most significant life connections online, but that’s what happened.  (And I grew up playing games on telnet - the original chat rooms?!?). 

 

Anyhow, I find it ironic to have met both my husband and lover online and suspect it may be due to hitting levels of depth faster which I look for in men.  I also think writing reveals more about a person than they may not otherwise share.

 

For me, there’s this tendency to intentionally throw men into the friend zone in person in order to keep them safely back until I can first figure out exactly what I think, then how I feel. Yep, ever the logical and rational one here on the path to letting go....online helps further that process more rapidly.  

 

No, I’d never keep an online only relationship. I can’t imagine how that would be fulfilling for me. Chemistry, touch, physical entanglement is always a goal.  Expressing love through touch....there’s nothing better IMO.

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ByeYall!

@Ceebs. maybe I'm just old fashioned? Who knows. Relationships seem hard enough for me anyway so to add in another layer of complexity makes it  almost impossible.

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6 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

No, I’d never keep an online only relationship. I can’t imagine how that would be fulfilling for me. Chemistry, touch, physical entanglement is always a goal.  Expressing love through touch....there’s nothing better IMO.

Same, yeah. I'm fine with that for as long as needs be provided there's occasional in-person contact and plans for something different eventually, but yeah... online-only, forever, nah. That would drive me absolutely insane. It's really difficult when you feel intensely for someone and need more than online can provide, not gonna lie.

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mashandgravy

I believe that online-only relationships have the potential to be meaningful and fulfilling but I don't think I'd be capable of that personally. I've been an avid internet user since the age of 12 and never made a friend online. I think I need to be able to see them in the physical world, at least occasionally. I do like the idea of online dating because I can put stuff like my orientation and desires out there from the very beginning without it being awkward. The coy way people talk about dating with people they know irl can be really confusing for me.

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ryn2

I think the added wrinkle that might rule it out for me is that part of how my introversion presents is... I find spending even limited 1:1 time with many people draining. This has nothing to do with how much I like them, or even enjoy the time we do spend together, and it’s not universal - there are a few people I find neutral or even energizing.

 

I would not be able to sustain an in-person relationship with someone whose presence drained me.

 

The catch, though, is that in most cases I can exchange emails, texts, etc., with those same people fine.  I can even IM/text with them constantly.  One of my current best friends in the universe falls in this category; he and I have been friends for two decades.  Two other past close friends fell into this category as well.

 

So, I could conceivably develop a very close online relationship with someone and then meet them and... uh oh.  I’ve had that happen with friends.  Sometimes it has no real impact on the friendship, especially if we live far apart and probably always will... but it would be a major problem in a relationship that wasn’t destined to be online-only forever.

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Snao Cone
1 hour ago, Traveler40 said:

I think online cuts down on so much inner noise that it’s an advantageous start for some who may need that.  It also allows for intimacy, honesty and an otherwise harder to hit openness.

I can definitely see the reasoning behind this. Better friendships start online for me. 

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Homer
2 hours ago, Ceebs. said:

Online me is a much more honest and open version of me, truthfully. I mean, in getting to know someone I want to be close to, anyway (inclusive of friendships, not just romantic relationships). It's essentially the same me that you get in person if you know me really really well. So it's a type of communication that allows for something genuine as opposed to an overly nervous, self-conscious, closed-off me who's obsessed with self-preservation.

That's an interesting take. I assumed that it would be much easier to put on a facade online. You can only hide things in real life for so long (distance would change that a lot though). I prefer the real deal, even though I have to settle for maintaining relationships through different technical devices. Then again, I'm not a people person and putting on a show doesn't come with any benefits, particularly if you're someone like me. You're going to get 100% Homer either way. (AVEN gets maybe 90% because of ToS, but you get the idea :D).

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@Homer I certainly agree it's easy to put on a facade online, yup. If that's what you want to do, it's incredibly easy. But if you're actively trying for openness and honesty with someone in an attempt to forge a meaningful connection, I find it to be a medium where I express myself better during the getting-to-know-someone stage. As I say, it's essentially identical to the me that you get offline if we're already really close. It takes me a looooong time to get to that stage when initially meeting people offline.

 

So yeah, it's all about intent. But if I want to be close to someone and complete honesty is my goal, it's easier for me that way.

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I also have difficulty being too inauthentic, actually. I can be very brief and closed-off with someone and not at all interested in sharing things about myself, which will paint a rather shallow and incomplete picture, but I... I dunno, outright inauthenticity doesn't sit well with me. I have great difficulty pretending to be someone I'm not. It makes me too uncomfortable for my own sake.

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Homer

I get that. Mostly because I suck at forming adequate sentences in real time. (Even mostlier I am surprised that there are people who don't immediately bolt when they actually meet me.)

 

The only thing I really don't get is actual online dating. Like, forums are fine, but dating profiles just have this "SALE: 50% off of leftover bread from yesterday" vibe to me. Can't help it.

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InquisitivePhilosopher

@Ceebs. Same (about online being a more easier medium for me to reveal oneself to others than in real life). And I've read this is common for many introverts, too (to feel more comfortable expressing themselves, online). The times I tried being more open and honest about personal things to my friends or adults in real life, when I was a kid, they turned out to not really take the time to understand and listen to what I was saying, how serious and upset I was feeling, etc., and decided to try to minimize and brush off the abuse I was going through, as though it was easy and no big deal when it really was; it's been more helpful to discover a more variety of people, online, who've been through what I have and who understand my feelings.

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2 minutes ago, Homer said:

The only thing I really don't get is actual online dating. Like, forums are fine, but dating profiles just have this "SALE: 50% off of leftover bread from yesterday" vibe to me. Can't help it.

With ya there, 100%. I've never used a dating site or app and have no idea how to "advertise" myself. It feels very weird. I would never bother, ever.

 

I don't mean that in a judge-y way though, if it works for other people, that's great. I just can't, personally.

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Snao Cone
8 minutes ago, Ceebs. said:

I also have difficulty being too inauthentic, actually. I can be very brief and closed-off with someone and not at all interested in sharing things about myself, which will paint a rather shallow and incomplete picture, but I... I dunno, outright inauthenticity doesn't sit well with me. I have great difficulty pretending to be someone I'm not. It makes me too uncomfortable for my own sake.

It takes too much effort for me. Plus, if I feel good from interactions or attention, I want it to be because of myself. It's one of the many forms of my vanity. 

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Homer

Well for me... I got smacked in the face after trusting people, big time. I'm shit at letting go, these events still haunt me years after they happened and I know that it's affecting the way I (am able to) approach new relationships.

 

In theory, I can log out here and never come back. (In practice, I know that's just lying to myself :D) However it's a nice option to have, something that doesn't really work in real life. Unless there's some distance, of course.

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