blogging gobbledygook and such

I was listening to the usual radio station I listen to while driving to class today. The morning show was discussing about Internet relationships. The callers were splitted into the usual camps of cynics and believers, saying that it doesn’t work, it does work, it’s not real, you can meet your true love online, etc etc… Now, I felt very strongly about it, but I wasn’t going to waste my phone bill calling in to put my two cents in. That’s what my blog’s for, right! 😀

And this is my two cents: Internet relationships are no different than any other kind of relationships. It is no different dating a person you met online than it is dating a person from work than it is going on your one and only date with the person your parents have arranged you to marry. It is no different. Every single situation is the same, in that they’re all different, and all relationships involve some sort of risk.

I do not believe that an Internet relationship is riskier than a relationship with someone you’ve met before you dated. Dating a guy who you’ve known for many years does not make it less riskier than dating a guy you’ve known just as many years but only through the Internet.

I’ve had Internet relationships. They have failed. But that doesn’t mean Internet dating doesn’t work for me. It just means I haven’t found someone long enough. Since I don’t believe in the concept of The One, technically it has worked for me because I have found Some One; he just didn’t stay as long as I hoped. And since I don’t believe in The One, I know there will be Some Other One I will meet and share something special some day.

To an extent, I can understand people’s scepticism of Internet relationships. They’re mostly sceptics because of the element of anonymity of the Internet, which allows you, should you want to, to create any personality you want to be. You can be someone totally unlike your real self in real life, and you could fool everybody if you wish to. After all, many people who tried Internet dating have experienced how the person they knew online is not the same person they met in real life.

Well, to me, a person in real life has the capacity to put on a mask and be someone he or she is totally not. If you wanted to, you could play the bitch, when you are really not that kind of person by nature. If you wanted to, you could play the goody two shoes, while inside you’re a conniving, manipulative two-faced bitch. Is this not the same thing, except it happened in real life? So why are people still so sceptical of online relationships when people in real life can be just as unreal??

My point is that, whatever that can happen with Internet relationships, any other type of relationship will have that possibility and probability too. Just because the Internet is the latest and most convenient tool of communication, it is maligned and made fun of. People think it’s a joke to find potential partners on the Internet, yet there are many married couples who have met their spouses through the Internet. Sure, there are probably more failed Internet relationships than there are successful ones, but isn’t it the same with any other kind of relationships? Arranged marriages, speed dating, matchmaking, childhood sweethearts… they all have their share of success and failure stories too. What makes the Internet relationships any different?

I feel very strongly about this issue because even though I’ve had Internet relationships which have failed, I never think of them in anger or bitterness. Despite what had happened between us, I can see that the guys I fell for over the screen were good, and kind, and sweet, and wonderful, and that was why I fell for them in the first place. For me to dismiss the idea of Internet relationships is an insult to the guys I’ve liked, and to some extent, an insult to myself. Because I truly believed that what feelings we had for each other was genuine, as genuine as it could be with any other relationship. And I appreciate that these guys have opened up their hearts to me and allowed me to experience, even if it was only for the briefest moment of time, what may not be true love, but something very close to it, and it was memorable enough for me to look back into that time of my life with fondness, mixed with bittersweetness.

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Comments on: "Internet Dating Is No Different Than Any Other Form Of Dating" (9)

  1. I believe in Internet dating, not from experience, but in theory. Like you’ve said so beautifully, all relationships involve some form of risk. I don’t think it matters how two people meet, be it online, blind dates, etc… I think for a relationship to work it depends on how compatible the two people are and how hard they are willing to work to make things last between them.

    Some people grow apart from each other, some form unbreakable bonds. I don’t think it reasonable for a person in search of love or friendship to limit their chances by only one source. Broaden your horizon and broaden your chances as well.

    sulz: exactly! if you dismiss one way of looking for love, you’re just limiting yourself to what possible ways you can encounter love. while this doesn’t mean you won’t find someone, it means that you could be missing out on many experiences with people you could have enjoyed getting to know.

  2. I met my wife online back in 1998. Ok.. technically I met her MOM online, who told me about her daughter, whom I then called on the phone. So I actually met Samantha over the phone. But, if it wasn’t for me and her mother discussing my whacky profile on AOL at the time, I wouldn’t have met Samantha.

    So, I’ve been with Samantha 10 years now, and we’ve been married for 7.

    The thing about the internet is it enables you to meet people you would’ve otherwise probably never met. Samantha was in a city approximately 60 miles from me. I had never been out there before. Once I met Samantha, though, I made the drive many times over a year’s time before she moved in with me.

    I had dated a few local people before all of that, but they all had something really wrong with them (drug users, highly promiscuous, etc). It probably had something to do with the general “culture” of the area. The internet enabled me to reach beyond that. I even “online dated” (never met in person) some people. I kinda miss those days. LOL

    Anytime I hear things like “only predators and freaks are online”, it makes me mad. But, I haven’t been in any chatroom or other “live” online conversation place in years because those same people have almost made it a reality. I can’t even go in them anymore without getting insulted. Sheesh.

    Wow.. that was a bit much. Maybe I should’ve blogged my reply with a trackback. LOL. Long story short: I believe internet dating has the same risks and benefits as other forms, but it can potentially have more benefits as you can get to know someone before meeting face-to-face in a neutral location.

    sulz: it was not much at all, i’ve had longer comments than this. besides, i don’t mind. 🙂 yeah, your personal experience and reasoning makes a good point about internet dating. you just have to use some common sense and be careful when you date people on the net, but that works just the same when you date people from work or from anywhere else. just because you’ve seen the person and relatively know them ‘better’ than someone online does not make them any more safer than someone you know online.

  3. […] different from their physical counterparts? This blogger makes what we think is a wise argument- a relationship’s a relationship, no matter how it […]

  4. Sulz, if in real life someone puts on a mask, one can always read this expressions, his eyes, his tone, the nuances in his voice. Ofcourse not everyone can do this, but when we get impression of people this is how we get them. Instinctively we feel someone is lying, putting on an act. it is not easy to put on an act in real life, although not everyone reads people well.
    On the internet lying and putting on a mask becomes easy.
    Recently I met someone who was a blogger friend in real life and in fact this lady stayed with me. She trusted me she said and well, I trusted her from reading her blog for over a year, so I am not against internet relationships. But things can go horribly wrong and in a way I feel that blogs are better than social networking sites. On a blog one puts forth one’s ideas and from that one can tell a lot about a person. On a social networking site it can be all a lie. So can a blog be ofcourse… 🙂

    sulz: yeah, i definitely see your point. in my mind, i’d think that i would be able to tell if a person is sincere or not through their words, if i am getting to know someone online. after all, people can analyse a person’s personality and ideology just through words (critical discourse analysis)… but then again, better people than me have been fooled in relationships, and that does not make them fools for believing, anybody can fall for something that they believe is the truth.

    i guess time is very important in establishing a person’s sincerity because i don’t believe anyone can fake it that long!

  5. lovelyloey said:

    I can’t. Because I study CMC and I know all the sort of deceit (intentional or not) that goes around. I agree that the internet can spark the start of a good relationship if they take it to real life, but to hold the entire relationship online just lacks the sense of rootedness that I feel is important. Oh well. Maybe just me. 😛

    sulz: what’s cmc? well, of course a good online relationship has to take to real life as part of the next level, but i never reached that point with the guys i was involved with online. that’s like the equivalent of moving in with your boyfriend or something in real life typical modern day dating, haha.

  6. I think that one of the things that worries me about internet dating is the isolation. By that I mean, you’re usually getting to know the individual only as they relate to you, rather than seeing them with their mates, their family, their work colleagues and so on. All of those are important clues to the kind of person you’re dealing with. That’s not to say that relationships which begin on the internet can’t work (and I too know several which have), just that I think there are some important differences which can make it more harder (though not impossible) to get to know someone really well.

    sulz: i know what you mean. to me, if you aren’t careful enough in your typical face-to-face relationship, deception can still occur in front of your very eyes, and we’ve heard of people leading double lives and stuff. while i do admit that probability is far less than a person online being entirely different in person, the possibility is still there and that was what i tried to point out. again, it boils down to how smart we are in handling our relationships, how truthful our loved ones are to us and we to them. 🙂

  7. Hi Sulz very interesting topic. Can’t say that I know much about internet romances myself. With the people I have met online though I have worked out over several weeks who I click with friendship wise.

    There are some who never respond to my praise of their work or come over to check me out ….bit like the people in the church where we used to work who barely knew who I was when we left and could not understand why some people cried

    and then there are the ones where we chat on and off for a while and we have a break then we start chatting again…those are the acquaintances, like in life

    Then there are the ones who always watch for your posts and email you if they don’t hear from you for a while….much like friends in life.

    What I really wanted to say though is that when we worked at the church as vergers for 8 years one of my roles was to help arrange the church for funerals [also did sunday school and cheche and some gardening in the columbarium] and I can’t tell you how many people said they never really knew their sister brother best friend etc etc.
    They found out so much about them after they died. So either those people wore a mask or maybe the other people did not really try to get to know them but whatever the reason it goes back to what you said about masks and who really knows people anyway.
    I think it boils down to how much we ourselves are willing to open ourselves to others really… and off. Great post.

    sulz: exactly! you got what i’m trying to say, that people we know in our lives can be totally different than who we think they are. just because we see them every day, act a certain way, talk a certain way, does not mean they are really like that all the time.

    as much as i try to be me in my blog, i know i am different offline. while not entirely different and opposite of how i think i am portrayed online, but at the same time there would be some unfamiliarity in the way i conduct myself. it’s not two different sides that do not go together, but rather two sides that make me who i am and complement and resemble each other.

    thank you for the compliment! 😀

  8. lovelyloey said:

    CMC = Computer Mediated Communication. Heh.
    Well, your analogy is pretty true, and some Anglo people will tell you that you’d never really know a person (boyfriend) until you move in with him; all his piggish tendencies will show and it’s time for a re-evaluation 😀

    sulz: wah, you have such interesting classes; i’d definitely take that if they offered it in my college.

    haha, he may be piggish, but i’m far worse. 😉

  9. I really agree with your thoughts. I would consider myself to be in an internet relationship for the fact that he believes we can’t be gf/bf because we’ve never physically met. I wonder if there’s a term to classify what we are. I really want him to see that internet dating is no different that any other form.

    sulz: it’s kinda like when you live in with your bf/gf, and do all the husband wife stuff… even though it feels like you’re married, you really aren’t in actual fact, are you? i guess that’s how your significant other sees it. 🙂 i hope it works out for the both of you in real life when you finally meet!

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