Member Rara Avis
But... but Doreen! You told me you loved me!!!
Actually, I think there are some good points here. Since our local "Love on the Internet Poster Child" isn't available to speak right now (he's with some girl he met on the 'Net...) maybe I can second for him. I might know a bit more about this than some.
...I've seen many 'loves on the net' here go bad.
Absolutely. But I think the thing that you might want to keep in mind, is that just as with "real-life" relationships are a precarious adventure in the first place. It often takes a considerable amount of time, patience and effort to realize a continuing relationship, be it romantic or otherwise. Just because something doesn't work out that was developed on the Internet, doesn't make it intrinsicaly unworkable. Like Rebecca also said, there have been many that have "worked." (One of Sharon's daughters married a man she met online, the poster child I was speaking of earlier is currently involved in a growing relationship with a woman he met on the Net, and there are many more. I room with a married couple who met through the Internet.
So look at it this way: What's the difference? Will you have a better chance of meeting your "soulmate" if you go to a bar and randomly pick a person, or if you go to an event that relates to something you enjoy, where you can find others who share your interest? I'm assuming you'll suggest the event (unless you really enjoy going to bars, LOL). Meeting on the Internet is much like going to an event where you're doing something that interests you. You're visiting places (ie: Passions) and meeting people who share interests in those places. In my op, that's a much better start than the random draw of a bar, or meeting someone on the street.
And there are potential advantages of meeting someone on the 'Net as opposed to a face-to-face meeting. If something that is important to you (and I assume it is, because that's why many of us are here after all) is someone's personality, intelligence, humor, etv., then you have the oppurtunity to witness and experience that without the potential complications of physical inhibitions. Many people who might normally be shy when first meeting someone, might be more comfortable doing so when they can be behind a computer screen. This allows them to bypass the uncomfortable feeling of having to "meet" someone. Relationships - at least in my opinion - are based much more on what's inside someone's head and heart than what they look like. "Meeting" on the 'Net is a good way to see that and not be concerned with appearance or physical attraction. As Severn said in a recent poem she wrote - Internet years are longer than dog years. I wholeheartedly have to agree. Bypassing the rest, you have to rely on the meat of a person, their thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams. Many of the things that you grow to love about anyone you meet. And in doing so, I think bonds form much quicker and sometimes stronger than when you meet someone face-to-face.
Of course there is a flip side. Trew made a good point in that there are things you can't get in an online relationship. You can't see the other parts that bring you to love a person (speaking mostly from a romantic view here - I think that when speaking of a friendship level [which should e the base of any romantic relationship as well] you can love a person simply for who they are). Appearance, mannerisims, and more, all things you don't know about until you actually meet. If there's to be a completion to a romantic relationship, I feel that meeting is obviously inevitable. But that doesn't mean it will work. Chemistry plays a part, as I said, appearance plays a part. (I don't care how many puctures you see, that is still NOT the person. It's a two dimensional still shot, capturing a moment in time. It cannot capture many of the things we consciously or unconsciously love about a romantic partner.) There is much to consider!
I think though, that meeting and starting a relationship are wonderful things. Friendship (in my belief) is the basis for any lasting romantic relationship. And if the friendship you develop on-line is strong enough, and you do decide to meet in person, you'll be better for it. If things "work," then you have a firm base to go from for furthering your romantic relationship. If things don't "work," then you've lost nothing, and gained a friend. No losers there in my opinion. Just remember that people are still people: Relationships don't always work in "real-life," they don't always work online. People don't always tell the truth online, but neither do they do so in "real-life."
As with all things, only time will tell.