Spending so much of our lives these days plugged into the Internet has some distinct pluses and minuses. Just as we have access to people and places that we otherwise would never know or experience, so too are we tied to the very machines which make this possible. Although it seems counterintuitive, the quest for a social online persona frequently leads to an antisocial lifestyle. While dating sites and Facebook may help you sift through potential mates before you begin to plan that first date, online relationships have considerable potential to cause more harm than good, and may even prevent you from finding the real thing.
1. It’s Easy to Forget the Consequences of Your Behavior
Since your online romance only exists via Internet waves, you aren’t required to take responsibility for your actions. The anonymity of presenting yourself through a well-constructed profile image acts as a buffer between your picture-perfect online reality and the real-life nitty-gritty. Since the relationship between the two of you does not extend into the physical world, you are free to make any suggestions or promises without the pressure of ever fulfilling them. As a real-life relationship entails being a physical part of each other’s daily lives, you two learn one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and work through them. Online relationships make no such demands, and as each person is allowed to put their best foot forward at every turn, rarely is anyone portrayed in a realistic light. Any relationship that develops out of this environment will only be a shadow of the real thing unless and until you bring it into physical existence.
2. Keep it in Perspective
Meeting others online can be a great way to expand your social life if you can find a way to develop those relationships beyond the internet world. Developing a romantic online connection with someone should always be kept in perspective. Admit to yourself why you are choosing this type of relationship over the real thing, and if you find it’s just for some harmless flirting then knock yourself out. As long as you are being honest with yourself, and him, regarding what you are looking to get out of this online relationship, both of you can enjoy what there is to enjoy about one another and allow it to run its course. When it comes to romance though, why invest so much time and energy in a façade when you can have, and deserve, the real deal?