Happiness… Or Drama… Is Only a Click Away
Social networks are quickly becoming a very common way for people to find one another and connect. It’s fun to see what other people are doing, and people are finding old friends and lost loves all the time. So, what’s the danger? How about those in committed relationships searching online for past loves? Can publicly socializing and flirting online be dangerous? If you are single, the decision is all yours to make. If you are currently in a relationship, you may want to also consider your partner when it comes to befriending old lovers on social networking sites.
As social networking explodes, many relationships will be confronted with a new set of challenges that were virtually nonexistent a few years ago. Married couples would never just casually phone members of the opposite sex for a private conversation or go hang out with them one-on-one. It would be considered inappropriate and unwise to do so. Now many couples will search out and friend past flames on Facebook and have private chat sessions with each other thinking it is totally harmless. You can chat with your ex-lover on your lap-top while your spouse is in the same room! An innocent exchange can turn into an attraction or even a Fatal Attraction very easily. It can be very powerful. If you friend a former lover, even if you are not actively sending them personalized email, you are passively reminding them of your presence with every wall post. Even if you aren’t seeking contact with your former lover, you will passively receive a reminder of their presence every time they post. Can we be trusted to
maintain appropriate boundaries? I believe one doesn’t have to have physical sex to be in an affair. An emotional affair results any time that you are communicating intimate feelings, thoughts and life events that are not being shared with your spouse.
We tend to idealize the former relationship and fantasize “what could have been” without realizing that what we have is better than the fantasy. Looking for old loves online can feed our fantasies with the potential development of love, creating erotomania in lots of desperate individuals. These are the people I worry about the most. Due to their loneliness they often misinterpret a little casual flirting as a deep romantic relationship. They have an illusion that they have made a strong connection for a significant long term relationship. The are devastated after the other person moves on, they are can’t understand what has happened to the relationship that never existed in the first place. They are almost impossible to
console. This is very sad.
Nancy Kalish, author of the book Lost & Found Lovers: Facts and Fantasies of Rekindled Romance, says that most people begin looking for these lost loves fairly innocently, just for curiosity. In her estimation, these online romances pose the greatest risk to real-world relationships.
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