Monday, August 4, 2008

things I know about On-line relationships

I don't know where this is going today. I just feel like writing and this subject was written about by a dear friend. It caused me to sit and ponder a bit about this. I began chatting on-line wayyyyyyyyyy back when chat was new and there was no voice and things were slower. ICQ was big then and Cheetah Chat was working on getting voice. People were whatever they wanted to be and to be who you really were was something rare. It made me almost a freak as what you saw on-line was who you met off line. Eventually, I did meet many people from on line and yes, I had ummm shall we say, too many on-line relationships. I was lonely and searching and yet not sure what it was I was searching for.
Who the ladies were is not relevant and their names I would never reveal. The fact is that I learned early on that these were not just names on a screen somewhere out in Cyber-land. They were real people with real lives and real sad and happy times. They too were there, searching, sometimes without a clue as to what it was they truly needed. Some became life-long friends and some were simply seasons changing in their lives and mine. Yes, a few I fell totally in love with and we met and enjoyed one anothers company for the time that we were allowed too. Sadly, some of those friends I did not ever meet.
How real are on-line relationships? They are real enough to bring life and love back into what is sometimes a very dry desert. They have the ability to give to you sometimes more love and more friendship and caring than those that you know outside of the net. They can cause you to forget what you should be doing to spend time with them. They cause you to get up hours earlier than normal to spend quiet times with them. You think about them when you are away and pray for them when they are away. They are in your heart and your mind and capture your soul as if you had known them since another lifetime ago.
And... they can hurt you and be hurt by you as if they had been sitting right beside you. Loves I have never forgotten nor ever will. Life changing touches that stir your heart and make you want to be nearer to them. You can feel their hearts and you know them and they know you sometimes better than the people you live with. You open your heart and tell them things you never tell nor have told anyone else. And strangely, you give to them trust that is often very hard fought by those that surround you out side the net.
The on-line dating services are a clear visual of how real and how huge the attraction to finding someone to love is today. Testamonies of people that have met and fell in love and yes, married are all over the net. They seem to last as long as a "traditional" marriage or relationship. Online love is todays electronic version of yester-years Pen pals. The net is now an extension of our homes and our lives and truly... our hearts.
And then there is one more reality that makes it as real as it gets. This year I lost two of the most beautiful friends I will ever know.They had been with me since the very first time I logged in and said hello. They were dear to my heart and the friendship we found and the caring and love we shared was as real as anything I have ever known. The loss of them hit me hard and I cried for days. It was truly the same as losing a family member. They were family. Their passing on will be with me forever and the memories will always be mine to keep. One of them was known through out my family. When she died, my Father cried with me. That my friend, is REAL.
I have hurt and been hurt, loved and been loved, cried over and cried for. I have met and know some of the most beautiful people the world will ever know. I have been blessed more than any man, especially this man, ever deserved.
Do I reccomend on-line love? Do I think it is a healthy way to fall in love? Does an on-line friendship always become Love? First of all, if you can fall in love or want to fall in love out side the net, then I say, don't be afraid if it happens on-line. Healthy relationships come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. The net is just one of those avenues. You have to be careful AND use your head. You need to truly know all you can about this person before you meet them. Sometimes people aren't always who they say they are. There is a danger in this on-line AND off-line. As far as do they all become Love? Well, sometimes they become intimate and it is easy to Love others here. But no, not all become love. I think that all become a caring relationship, much like your family, if you talk to them long enough. but their are many I know and have talked to for 12 or more years that have remained the truest of friends and will remain that forever.
I will say that I am still here today, Bipolar and all, because of someone that gave me love and understanding when I was ready to call it quits for this round of living. For that love and giving i will always be blessed and feel thankful for.
On-line relationships can be so fabulous and can give to you a peace and a love that will stay with you forever. They can also hurt your heart and soul in ways you can not even imagine. Treat those you speak to here with the same respect as you would any person you know off-line. Protect your heart and expect anything to happen here. love with a fury and passion and remember that seasons do change sometimes and lives are changed with them. Do not be unkind to people you know here. You do not know what battles they are fighting while they talk to you.
On-line relationships... I have had ummm a few. They have been soooo beautiful. My only regret is that I have hurt some along the way. For that, I am forever sorry. It is REAL hurt and REAL sorries. just my thoughts. Always I am... Darrel.

3 comments:

rin said...

I agree, but it seems that it is tougher to get friends online nowadays. Especially with the social networking way, eg. Myspace Friendster.

I used to be able to get pen pals a lot easier in earlier days and those who responded to me seemed to be able to correspond with intelligent conversations instead of a brief generic messages they leave on my Myspace or Friendster page.

But it's true isn't it, that we do tend to tell a lot more things to people we don't see. Somehow the invisibility serves as a protection . But I suspect it's a false sense of protection and usually it ends up hurting us more because we reveal more.

Sorry for babbling I'll be gone now.

Darrel said...

you in no way were babbling. I appreciate that you read this and your wonderful insight to the write. I say babble on anytime on this site. Thank you very much. And yes, sadly, hurt is very often the end result of a trusted friendship here. The fact that we can not see what the other is doing as they talk to us leaves us open to that hurt. But we learn that time in between a responce often means more than one chat leaving you to say "Hmmm, maybe I am not their "one and only."

Bette said...

hey Big D -- glad to be one of your online friends!!

Hope we can work on our project soon -- if my schedule allows!!

Liz

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