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.