The Online or Text Relationship, Is it Real?

With the recent news of Notre Dame football star T’eo hoax online girlfriend, I wondered how many others have fallen for the same “scam”? In this digital age, many of us have almost grown up conversing online and through text messages. Does having an online “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” discount the entire relationship? Does it make it any less real? T’eo stated that over the course of their conversations it turned into an emotional relationship - and I believe that part is very much real - emotions are the basis for any relationship - whether online or in person.

Is dating online doomed to be a failure?  Are you taking any more of a risk than meeting someone IRL?  Throughout the course of my online life (almost 20 years now) not only have I met great friends from all over the world, I’ve also met guys that I’ve wanted to “date”.  Sure there comes a time when online must become real life to validate the entire relationship - technology can only let you get to know them in so many ways.

It’s really not until you’ve met them in person that you realize the super romantic guy behind those long poetic emails is really five feet two and is a close cousin to a leprechaun.  Or that he picks his nose and flicks it.  No longer does Lady and The Tramp scream cute romance when you realize your online soul mate slurps spaghetti like the dog in the movie.   And his laugh can break windows - and your ear drums too. Technology can definitely help open the door to a potential romantic relationship but it is no substitute for the ‘real thing’.

I admit, I reconnected with my beau online - our entire first conversation happened over the course of nearly 24 hours of conversing on Facebook before we went out on our first date the very next day.  But I knew him from 20 years ago - so I knew he was “safe” - or at least I assumed he was.  Looking back, I took a risk.  But no bigger a risk than if I met someone in a bar, started chatting and met him for lunch the next day.  Relationships are inherently risky - but without risk, we can’t ever love.

The beau and I have been together now for nearly a year and the better part of our relationship was shared over non-stop daily text messages.  Every morning I’d wake up to a text something like this:

Although I never called him my boo … but you get the message ;) Other than our weekly Saturday dates, our entire relationship was based on our text conversations.  Did it make it any less real for us? Absolutely not.  But I didn’t really get to know him the same way I could have if we spoke on the telephone.  I couldn’t hear the tone of his voice or how I can almost feel his witty sarcasm when he jokes.   There is just a certain connection we lose when we rely on technology to create and build relationships.

I’ve been home this past weekend, alone, as the beau has been at his parents house all weekend.  I had things here to attend to, so I didn’t make the visit with him.  However, throughout the weekend, he has been texting me.  I haven’t heard his voice since Friday - and I will tell you, I miss it.  I miss having that personal, face-to-face, breath-to-breath, eye-to-eye connection with him.  Next time he goes away for the weekend, I’m going to tell him to call me before bed, because hearing him brings a closeness that I just can’t “feel” via text.  And I love that close feeling being in a relationship brings.

Have you had an online relationship?  Have you every dated someone remotely, or long distance online?  How did you make it real?  If you could do it all over again, would you?



Founder of Inked Weddings and an 11 year veteran of the wedding industry, Erica has seen it all - and has a growing collection of her own personal Ink. She lives in between New York City and New Jersey with her beau, geek-in-training tween son, a newborn rock star to be, a rescue dog and two finicky Russian blue cats. Loves coffee, high heels, Helsinki and has a penchant for bad boys who are secretly superheros. Connect With Erica on Google+

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