Online feelings

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 10:30 AM GMT
    I got to talking to someone today about this situation. I've been in this position a few times, but haven't come to a conclusion and wanted the wisdom of others.

    Skip to the bottom for a short version of all this.

    Sometimes I feel a connection to someone you meet online or see online. I've gotten what I'll call crushes and infatuations just from reading their info, viewing their pictures, seeing their responses to things, etc. This applies more to facebook than RJ for me, though any sight is applicable. Facebook just tends to have more info and shows more of the person whereas online communities are not as informative of their personality.

    A friend and I were talking about an incident in which he talked with someone for a few days, not endless, "I feel a connection" talking but a few hours to get to know each other like most of us have with people on online social sites. After a few days someone made a post to my friend's profile that made the other guy extremely jealous, and he got angry at my friend for playing along with this. My friend ignored him, but it made us talk about the reasonableness of liking someone without meeting them in person or getting know each other for a long period of time.

    This is an extreme case, but my friend was telling me how fake and temporary knowing someone only over the internet is. And it hit me kinda hard because I've had very strong feelings knowing the person solely over the Internet (and moving onto phone, skype, more personal yet still remote ways of keeping contact). Are these feelings childish crushes? I've gone so far on one to tell them i really liked them, even though we had talked a few times over the past few months. I knew that it may just be infatuation, so I waited a few months to see if the feeling lasted and when it didn't, I told him and he, while not completely ignoring me, has been "scared" off. We had met, but no long conversation about each other's life had happened, no exchanging of souls, as some people say. Was this just an immature crush since we had not created a bond that would justify deep feelings? I don't really regret the decision to tell him and waiting to get to know each other would have /probably/ been a better idea, but the opportunity to do this had not popped up and I wanted to see if this would make the chance appear.

    He (the original friend) also said this was more of a physical thing, but while the guys I have liked haven't been turnoffs (understandably) they haven't always been the cream of the crop of my ideal guy pile. There have been far more ideal men that I've felt nothing for so I don't quite agree this is just a physical connection.

    I've been on the receiving end of internet crushes, and am still dealing with them. Because of them I am hesitant to tell a person I like him as to not seem stalker-ish or jumping to love too easily. One of these relationships is an ongoing one sided battle where he will not let go to the idea of us being together. It's been 6 months since I cut off contact but he will not let go. He was previously suffering from depression and loneliness when we met and I feel he kinda latched on because of this but not entirely for the fact he was lonely. Here another point my friend brought up comes into play: he said that it's a form of mental illness (possibly just mental immaturity) when there is professed love over the internet. It makes sense since they have no reason beyond seeing and short conversations with the other person, but if you believe in love at first sight or that no logical justification is needed for an emotional bond, equating mental illness with deep feelings over the Internet is insulting.

    So I understand how it can be seen as immature to like someone in this way, but that doesn't stop me from having these feelings and not wanting to think they are made of paper and will disappear.

    I apologize for the length of this, I started typing and had to work it out as I went. If you read it, you are a trooper.

    The Short Version: Is developing feelings for someone over the internet not insane and if it isn't, what do you do when you have feelings for someone since just saying "I really like you" may 'scare' them away from any possible real world relationship?

    Thanks guys. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 12:32 PM GMT
    Developing feelings for someone over the internet is not crazy. Some people disagree with me about this, but I believe you can develop true friendships over cyberspace. Often people will put into words what they cannot articulate in person. I personally am much better at expressing myself in an e-mail, then I am talking over drinks.

    If you do feel a connection with someone, and if they live close, then get together for drinks or a coffee and talk face to face. It can't hurt right?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 1:56 PM GMT


    Surreal has said it perfectly.

    We know couples that have been together for a few years now and very happy. They met over the internet.

    So there you go.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 2:06 PM GMT
    You can 100% develop feelings for someone over the internet. I met my boyfriend and a few ex's online.

    However, I do have to caution you. It is so very easy to develop feelings for someone over the internet because we get such a limited view of that person. I could fall madly in love with one of my many RealJock crushes only to discover later they incessantly pick their nose. An online persona covers a multitude of sins. You can't get a whole picture of someone without spending time with them in person.

    There is also an issue of how safe online relationships can be. There is less chance of a relationship becoming serious if it mostly exists online. You insulate yourself from risk by falling in love with distant people. People you physically spend time with make you much more vulnerable.

    So, don't be afraid to pursue something like this, but just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and you keep perspective on it.

    Best of luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 2:45 PM GMT
    The Internet is just one more means of human communication. It's the newest, so we have to learn how to use its power and its unique aspects. But neither is so very much different from some older methods.

    A thousand years ago the average person only had contact with the people they could physically see. For many that was not many miles from where they were born, and would die. And most people couldn't write, anyway.

    A hundred years ago the "pen pal" was in vogue, possible because of reliable postal services around much of the world, and higher rates of literacy. The plots of stories & movies told about the sometimes comical, sometimes happy, sometimes sad results when pen pals met: misrepresentations, false photographs, but at times also finding real soulmates.

    Sound familiar? And people fell genuinely in love with each other based on the words on a piece of paper, and stayed in love that way, if you read the correspondence preserved between people over hundreds of years.

    To me Internet blogs, email and online groups are a hi-tech version of the pen pal, and many of the same rules & pitfalls apply, but at a much faster pace, at times instantaneous with the IM, even including webcam. But what really excites me about the Internet is that we can also FIND people much easier, so that we aren't limited to those in our home town, or to those who subscribe to a pen pal agency.

    And that's a wonderful thing for GLBT, since finding each other has always been a challenge outside of modern metro areas. I met both my late & current partners online, and I always credit the Internet for making those wonderful treasures come into my life.

    How to use the Internet, what to say and do, is probably answered by someone closer to your own age than me. Remember, online is just the medium of communication, and among the factors of effective personal communication is generational understanding & compatibility. In other words, an older guy like me might not give the best advice about how 2 young guys should be talking to each other.

    But I can reliably tell you that you can make reasonably good judgments about other guys online. At least enough to go on to other means of contact & evaluation, just like the pen pals once did. I wouldn't rely upon the Internet alone, but it's a great place to start.
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Oct 22, 2008 2:50 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    However, I do have to caution you. It is so very easy to develop feelings for someone over the internet because we get such a limited view of that person. I could fall madly in love with one of my many RealJock crushes only to discover later they incessantly pick their nose. An online persona covers a multitude of sins. You can't get a whole picture of someone without spending time with them in person.



    So very true. The other thing is...if I develop a crush on someone a thousand miles away, it hurts almost as much as if that person lived in my city and rejected me face-to-face. Most of the time, uprooting your life is not an option, so ultimately...where's it going to go? Where CAN it go?

    That being said, the internet is a good place to meet friends and people who share your interests...but falling for someone without ever having met them is...a little too "heart on sleeve" for me. Though now that I've said that I'm going to end up falling for someone in Cali. Which would be good, cause I'd uproot for that, hehe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    My mom's actually getting married to someone she met over the internet.

    Most of my relationships started out online. Then again, I live in a small city where it's really the best option to find guys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 2:56 PM GMT
    Hehe, MunchingZombie's comment made me laugh re. picking of the nose. One disadvantage of meeting someone for the first time in person, as opposed to the internet, is often first impressions can be misleading.

    How many times have you thought someone was stuck-up or rude when you first met them, then found out they were just very shy? Or maybe they had had a bit too much to drink and did not make a good impression.

    It is not easy to meet another human being that you want to spend the rest of your life with. If it was the divorce rates would be much lower. So internet, bars, work, volunteering, sports teams, church, even the subway. Never discount any method or avenue to meet other people, you never know who you will click with.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Oct 22, 2008 2:59 PM GMT
    I think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Oct 22, 2008 3:03 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:09 PM GMT
    swimbikerun said
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?


    As are you - I keep imagining you spend all your time in lycra. At least the times when you haven't broken your arm in some terrible f1sting accident icon_eek.gif

    But yeah - it is possible to form connections over the net - sometimes they might be misguided, but then who can honestly say that hasn't happened in 'real-life' either?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:09 PM GMT
    swimbikerun said
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?


    No, I pick my nose incessantly. icon_biggrin.gif
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Oct 22, 2008 3:12 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    swimbikerun said
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?


    No, I pick my nose incessantly. icon_biggrin.gif

    No!!! Don't destroy my fantasy! [Places fingers to temple] MZ is perfect, MZ is perfect! No flaws, a soul like a pretty porcelain doll!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    BioMatty said
    So very true. The other thing is...if I develop a crush on someone a thousand miles away, it hurts almost as much as if that person lived in my city and rejected me face-to-face. Most of the time, uprooting your life is not an option, so ultimately...where's it going to go? Where CAN it go?


    You raise a very valid point, though again not much different from the analogy of the pen pals I mentioned above. If you choose to communicate with a person 1000 miles away, someday you might have to decide what to do about it. Otherwise, limit your online romances to manageable distances.

    I chatted online with a guy for over a year who was 1500 miles away. Our interest developed over time, and finally we decided to phone each other. We talked often over a couple of months, exchanged pics, liked what we each heard & saw, and decided to meet.

    I flew there, met him in the airport, stayed almost 2 weeks. Next month he flew up to visit me, stayed another 2 weeks. The month after that I rode my motorcycle the 1500 miles there, and so this went on for several months.

    During one of my trips to his place he proposed and I accepted, my first partner ever. We chose a place to live together, and we never fell out of love.

    Now admittedly we obviously had the luxury of the time & resources to make this happen, and not everyone does. But we did, and I think the Internet is instrumental in making it happen for at least some others, too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:21 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    So, don't be afraid to pursue something like this, but just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and you keep perspective on it.
    I think MZ hit the nail on the head here. I definitely feel that you can develop feelings for someone online but it really is just a "fantasy" world. You are basing all your feelings on a one dimensional model of just typed words. The problem with this is that in order to make it more realistic, we (I included) then fill in the rest with our fantasy thoughts. We actually create the person to be who we hope they will be. Then when you actually talk/meet/spend time with that person, you can experience a real let down because reality is NOT always the same as our fantasy.

    So keep it in perspective. It's a great initial way of "weeding out" people that you're interested in getting to know, but it's only the first phase. Finding someone online that has common interest, use of the vocabulary is appealing, their physical appearance piques our interest can lead to that feeling of a connection. Nothing wrong with that as long as you keep it all in perspective. I've met more than a few guys online, gone on a date and recognize, there is more here we don't connect with than we do, but the great thing is that it gives us an opportunity to find out without being limited to just sitting on a bar stool at the corner watering hole.

    So what do you do when you meet someone online and you develop these feelings, you ask them out for a non-threatening evening at a non-threatening location (IE: coffee, dinner, cocktail) to better access who they are. See their reactions, hear their voice. Start to develop a multi-dimensional model of who this person is and then you can better make a decision as to whether they are compatible in the reality sense.
  • D972

    Posts: 125

    Oct 22, 2008 3:22 PM GMT
    Nothing wrong with starting to develop a relationship (not a real bound one, but more so a rapport) over the internet.

    I am in a long distance relationship and it started over the internet in the same fashion you mention. I think it is very important that you move past the internet phase and do real things like talk, and actually meet up.

    If this is only an internet or virtual experience you might end up unsatisfied (really depends on what you are looking for).

    Good luck

    and P.S. you look really good with a close cut hair. LOL. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:26 PM GMT
    Hmm, maybe I'm old school, but for me, until you meet in person, it's still the internet and thus essentially 'fake' or rather fabricated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:29 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    swimbikerun said
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?


    No, I pick my nose incessantly. icon_biggrin.gif


    Note to RJ members, next August we need to buy MunchingZombie one years supply of Kleenex! icon_lol.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Oct 22, 2008 3:30 PM GMT
    I think the internet is a viable outlet to meet people as long as you keep things in perspective. We can tend to romanticize things in our minds very easily when all you're getting is internet, phone, or even web cam communication, and if there is a connection that way it's all fine and good, but you never really know if there will be a real connection until you actually meet the person face-to-face and spend some quality time one-on-one together. One of the really cool things about meeting people first online is that we tend to tear down some walls easier over the internet that can take much longer face-to-face, so you can actually get to know someone really well online before you meet them in person --- assuming, of course, that the person is being truthful with you and not just telling you things they think you want to hear. I'm always open-minded to meeting someone online, but I proceed with caution with both eyes wide open. If there is a real connection that develops, I try to meet them in person sooner rather than later.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    Yeah I remember writing that thread after I had to cut my internet crush of 5 months away. He was a great guy. Perfect for me.

    However things declined fast when I caught him in a lie and I lost all trust. It kind of brought me back to reality. I'm glad it did thou. It was getting to the point I was turning down guys who I met in person because I was so into this internet crush.

    You gotta try to keep things in check no matter how crazy they get.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI think the internet is a viable outlet to meet people as long as you keep things in perspective. We can tend to romanticize things in our minds very easily when all you're getting is internet, phone, or even web cam communication, and if there is a connection that way it's all fine and good, but you never really know if there will be a real connection until you actually meet the person face-to-face and spend some quality time one-on-one together. One of the really cool things about meeting people first online is that we tend to tear down some walls easier over the internet that can take much longer face-to-face, so you can actually get to know someone really well online before you meet them in person --- assuming, of course, that the person is being truthful with you and not just telling you things they think you want to hear. I'm always open-minded to meeting someone online, but I proceed with caution with both eyes wide open. If there is a real connection that develops, I try to meet them in person sooner rather than later.


    agree 100%
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Oct 22, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    ChrisInLDN said
    swimbikerun said
    Timberoo saidI think that the mind tends to fill in the blanks with positive attributes when it comes to internet relationships of any kind, and the connection one feels is with an idealized person and not the actual person themselves, at least until there has been some face to face interaction.

    Put much better than I might've! And MZ is good example. He comes across as so very cute and sexy but is he in real-life?


    As are you - I keep imagining you spend all your time in lycra. At least the times when you haven't broken your arm in some terrible f1sting accident icon_eek.gif

    Lol! Nah, I'm not crazy about Lycra though it seems to be a fetish with some guys. What's the dealio on this?
    And you're not the first fellow queer to accuse me of breaking it whilst fisting. Something "no one" does but funny how often it seems to come up! Things that make you go "hmmm"...
  • PRDGUY

    Posts: 641

    Oct 28, 2008 10:26 AM GMT
    As others have said, the internet is still new but as all forms of contact you can develop feelings fast, especially if you IM alot and speak on the fone!

    As for filling in the unknown with positive attributes, I believe most people believe in the general goodness of their fellow man.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 28, 2008 1:47 PM GMT
    Yes. I'm in love with my internet. But I don't think it loves me back. I don't know. It never shows me enough bandwidth to make me sure of its feelings. Sometimes, I wonder if I should just end it all and disconnect. But the smooth hard length of the internet cable always pulls me back.

    I'm hopeless. icon_cry.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Oct 29, 2008 6:59 PM GMT
    The internet is a great way to meet men and to have fun corresponding with guys all over the world
    But until you MEET them it's really just words and pictures on a page

    We all fill in the blanks when we correspond with guys online ... usually with what we want to hear
    But I'd be careful about having "feelings" grow with guys that you only have "typed" to
    If you think a guy is interesting... then meet him
    either your hunch will be right or it's going to be wrong