Is it worth pursuing "friendships" online if you're not gonna meet in person in your lifetime?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 10:33 AM GMT
    I ask this 'cos sometimes it's the reason I don't want to engage in an in-depth one-on-one messaging with anyone here anymore. Yes, it can be filling sometimes but never to a satiety level I crave... it's just emotionally draining. Please advice, not preach. Thanks.
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    Jul 23, 2008 10:41 AM GMT
    ZiMpLuS saidI ask this 'cos sometimes it's the reason I don't want to engage in an in-depth one-on-one messaging with anyone here anymore. Yes, it can be filling sometimes but never to a satiety level I crave... it's just emotionally draining. Please advice, not preach. Thanks.


    I think you should choose wisely and let go easily.

    I went to NYC gay pride this year - rode on a float with HMI (Hetrick Martin Institute). I met this kid the both of us were in the Blue Group. We really had fun together all day, and things went pretty damn well, but unfortunately, he live in Maine and he's not much of an online person. However, he told me something very interesting. He said "But that's the fun of it all. You meet someone, enjoy that time, and you move on."

    Ever since then I haven't had problems with "not making a deep connection" because I've finally fully accepted that things just aren't going to always work the way you want them to. I always believed that you can't make friends with everyone... but I just never accepted. J

    Just enjoy what you have on whatever level you get to and carry that with you. I'm looking to make new friends now, since most of my older friends from high school and before have moved on... so hopefully I'll have a new set as I go through the years and "hit or miss" so to speak.
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    Jul 23, 2008 10:49 AM GMT
    In Random Dubai (as my mates and I call this dustbin), especially, that is such a dilemma! 'Cos the average expat tenure here is just 2 years. This city is so transient that it's hard to not be depressed by that reality. But if it's any consolation, at least I have a bed to sleep in anywhere in the world. Guaranteed. Though I am not in that position yet where I can afford to travel.
    I have no problem keeping contacts with people you've met in person first before keeping in touch online. This is more about people who you meet online first and keeping it that way for until God knows when.
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    Jul 23, 2008 10:59 AM GMT
    ZiMpLuS saidThis is more about people who you meet online first and keeping it that way for until God knows when.
    It's the same concept, just applied differently.

    There are people I haven't met for 3-6 years now lol (yes I've been online since 14, don't ask lol), people from Massachusetts, Canada, California, etc, that I have a great online connection with.

    You just learn to enjoy the connection you have with them until you find them or they find you.
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    Jul 23, 2008 11:01 AM GMT
    ZiMpLuS saidIn Random Dubai (as my mates and I call this dustbin)
    Dubai looks like a beautiful city . . .
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    Jul 23, 2008 11:05 AM GMT
    blind2limits said
    ZiMpLuS saidIn Random Dubai (as my mates and I call this dustbin)
    Dubai looks like a beautiful city . . .

    Not all that glitters is gold. Very applicable here.

    NNJfitandbi saidWe bring both too much and not enough of ourselves to the Internet.

    At the same time? Please elaborate.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 23, 2008 11:08 AM GMT
    I don't think the two are really the same, do you?
    Friendships online can be fun and you get a new perspective especially with guys from different parts of the world
    But it's never the same as having a friend here where you can meet face to face any day of the week
    It's the samething to a lesser degree when you meet someone who tells you that they met the most fantastic guy...someone they want to live with forever and ever
    ... and when you ask him where he is he says Dubai icon_rolleyes.gif

    Sorry Zim....
    didn't mean to pick you but just looking for an out of the way place
    ... from here
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 12:14 PM GMT
    GQjock saidFriendships online can be fun and you get a new perspective especially with guys from different parts of the world...

    That's what forums are for...what I mean is you know, the real one-on-one e-mail exchanges. Sort of, "Ngyah...what's the point?"
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 12:39 PM GMT
    Well online friendships are limited in some ways. But I don't like putting arbitrary boundaries around my behaviour. If I can be a friend with someone online and help them out in tough times and celebrate with them in good times, then I see that as more positive energy in the world, and god only knows we always need more of that.

    I think back to the 19th century when people communicated via letters. Tchaikowsky's patron was a wealthy Russian woman who provided him with financial and moral support. They never met in person only through letters. Would anyone argue that was not a positive and true friendship?
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    Jul 23, 2008 1:25 PM GMT
    I do the online friend thing. And like all friendships, some live, and some die.

    Next week, while in Europe, I'll finally meet an online friend. We met through a car-forum, and have been talking with each other about cars for almost ten years.

    About two years ago, we both discovered that the other was gay, and starting talking more offline. It will be really cool to finally meet, in person, this fellow that I know, respect, and trust.

    I'm sure a good time will be had.

    My buddy in Philadelphia...we talked...gosh, 2-3 years, before I finally met him this spring. And we had a *blast* together, and our friendship is even closer.

    So yeah...I think it works, and I think that its worth it. Sometimes you never know how things will work out.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 3:50 PM GMT
    Someone - I think it was Douglas Coupland - wrote about the concept of "Europals," ephemeral friendships cemented in the Doctrine of Mutually Assured Disposability.


    (BTW: Is that cold war reference still funny? I never can tell.)
  • maximumrisk

    Posts: 799

    Jul 23, 2008 4:02 PM GMT
    I have met some really great guys online around the world and I know that I probably will never see anyone of them, but I enjoy the times I can share my stuff with them and viceversa. I even think its better over the net, since you can have gay friends without the problem that one might have the hots for the other.

    Does it always have to lead to a meeting? What if it doesnt work, is the friendship over then?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 4:05 PM GMT
    I am sure it is nothing but a dream to meet some of the men here ( myself included). But if you don't have dreams, how can you have dreams come true?icon_question.gif
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jul 23, 2008 4:38 PM GMT
    I wonder about this sometimes too. I get a lot out of some of my online friendships. Would I like to meet these guys? Of course. Should I drop them if it's unlikely that I ever will meet them? I don't know. I don't really want to yet. And even if it takes a few years, maybe we will meet up. I'm meeting a guy I've been talking to for a few months now in a couple of weeks. Another guy that I talk to travels a fair amount, so it's not unlikely that we'll meet. I like to travel too, so maybe that'll be my excuse to go somewhere (in the US) that I wouldn't have gone otherwise.

    Meh. (Online) life is what you make of it. Go in with eyes open.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 5:02 PM GMT
    UncleverName saidMeh. (Online) life is what you make of it. Go in with eyes open.

    <<=== Me mouth wide open and magnified!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 5:05 PM GMT
    First of all Zim, like my Mom says, "never say never". Who knows with what certainty that you will never meet people you become friends with online? Chances are you won't meet most, but fortune and circumstance can always change things. My relationship with my closest friends and my family is pretty much limited to being online/over the phone since 99% of them leave no where close to where I do- doesn't change the fact that I still love them and think about them daily. I have cousins that I've never met that I communicate with online- I still see them as family, as being online as a way of bringing us together, which wasn't possible before. If you find someone worth being a friend to, and a REAL friend, not an acquaintance, then go go ahead and pursue it.
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    Jul 23, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    I've met three R.J. guys in the flesh so far - after communicating by phone and Forums first. I intend to meet a few more of the guys I talk with - sometime in the near future. Meeting a guy in the flesh and spending time with him after a period of e-mails or calls takes the friendship to a deeper level.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:19 PM GMT
    To me, online friendships go as deep as the level of the connection established. And any deep connection is worth keeping. For online friendships, there is the conscious effort to remember the distance issue, and that reality alone already sets some limits that both parties are aware of. Because of this, the idea of distance eventually becomes a non-issue--the connection is not dictated by geography.

    In the past, the usual complaint was "why do you live so far away?" Now that the internet has become a strong part of our lives, the question is hardly asked, at least in my experience. We already are aware of the distance, and behave accordingly.
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    Jul 23, 2008 8:23 PM GMT
    Never say never Zim. Life is full of infinite possibilities!
    So yeah, I think its totally worth it.


    icon_cool.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:38 PM GMT
    Yes, and no. While it's always nice to have someone to connect with outside of the real world. There is always that chance of them disappearing off the face of the Earth, to never be heard from again. In the long run, I believe it's worth it, because I have "met" a lot of cool guys on this site... and a bunch of childish losers too though. So it's your choice whether you wanna pursue them or not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:43 PM GMT
    Yes, it's worth it. There's always a chance that you'll meet the person at some point, even if it's years later. If it's becoming emotionally draining, maybe pare down the number of online friendships to the most fulfilling and interesting ones.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:44 PM GMT
    You have to be on the same page and keep it into perspective. I have a ton of on line friends on a sports forum on another site. We will never all meet but the friendships are fun. It's been worth the time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:44 PM GMT
    stay open to the possibility Zim! it may not happen at the speed you'd like, but who knows?!

    friends come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, this includes electronic versions too icon_biggrin.gif

    i've met swimbikerun already, and hopefully i'll meet more RJers in the future.
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:47 PM GMT
    I don't care if my friends are virtual, imaginary, and/or real. Your my friend, and I won't say I will never meet you. Who can say. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.

    Anyway, correspondence isn't all that necessary when you have the forums, which are fun.

    Much love,
    Terry
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    Jul 23, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    Well is your life richer or poorer, knowing or not knowing, someone via 3-D or internet? I have met some terrific men here and hope to meet in person someday. If not, I am still a better man for their friendship.