Online relationships have got a pretty mixed reputation, with good reason. Some online relationships are absolute disasters, others are triumphs of communication and love. It’s important to take a realistic view of any online relationship before you start shopping for travel insurance.
The great side of online relationships can be the utterly unexpected people you meet. Friends can be made all over the world. There’s no lack of these good quality relationships, whatever else may be said about the perils of online romance. These are the healthy online relationships, and, not at all coincidentally, they’re also the ones most likely to lead to productive results.
There’s one caveat- These are real relationships, with no strings attached. There’s nothing forced or fake about them. They can go on for years until both parties are prepared to take further steps. Ironically, they’re also often more honest relationships than the standard “social norms” of people in constant contact in daily life. There are no peer group issues, usually, which also helps produce a much less stressed relationship.
There’s another side, and it’s not too pleasant. Some online relationships are a bit too public or too much within a group to have a chance to flourish. Online bullying can create issues where a person is more likely to back off than get into a serious relationship. Some online environments are too “social”. They’re more like a nightclub where you can’t even hear each other speak most of the
time. Relationships of this kind can be mirages.
Then there’s the absolute nadir of online relationships- The manipulative, too-enthusiastic approach from a total stranger. Few people fall for this these days, but it still happens, mainly to the people deliberately looking for someone online. These relationships are fake from the start. Some are deliberate set-ups, others are simply created by malicious people.
It’s understandable that people looking for relationships would naturally encounter the negative side of online relationships more often. After all, that’s what usually happens when people go looking for relationships in traditional social venues. It’s a way of setting yourself up for disappointment.
The risks are real enough. People in online relationships which have gone sour have got into practically every known possible sort of trouble.
The usual results are pretty grim:
• Terrible disappointment
• Loss of money
• Fake marriages, annulled almost instantly
• Sexual assault
• In some cases, injury and death
Not very encouraging, is it? These things do happen. They’re real risks. However, in all fairness, these are also the minority of cases. The most likely result of any online relationship is just that- A relationship.
Now the good news
All relationships have ups and downs. That’s actually one of the great advantages of online relationships. People can get to know each other on a level which they might never have in “real life” relationships.
Living with someone is done by the clock. An online relationship is based on directly interacting with that person, not a domestic situation or outside work hours dating basis. You can spend more time with someone online than in person, in many cases.
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