In Love or E-Love: When is Online Dating ‘Real Love?’
(ThyBlackMan.com) For many, online dating no longer carries the stigma it has in the past. Picking up someone on the ‘net is just as, if not more, common than meeting a new boo at the local bar. Whether finding love or finding lust, sites such as eHarmony.com, Match.com and Blackpeoplemeet.com are just a few portals that provide the platform for people to meet and eventually date. Add Twitter, Facebook and all the other sites people are also using to get more than their “social networking” on, and you have an estimated 20 million singles using their MacBooks and PCs to find love, according to OnlineDatingMagazine.com.
While finding a mate online continues to rise in popularity, the concept of love may not be as concrete as it appears. The love rules online are noticeably different than more traditional methods of dating. Knowing the difference between being in love versus e-loving — a relationship reserved just for the computer — can be essential to your heart. Considering that 69 percent of the black population is single, is finding love online worth it? Whether already in a online relationship or simply thinking about it, be sure to consider these five areas to find out if you are in a real relationship or just e-lovin’?
Online dating can put effective communication into practice more frequently, because people are less likely to be shy behind the protective veil of their computer screens and because they’re more interested in finding out about someone they’ve never seen. Before you fall head over heels with someone over the Internet, beware. The type of communication put in practice when dating online may be a disadvantage later on in the relationship. Conversations are not always natural — the time allotted for a response when dating online makes it easier to rethink and even rewrite a response, making someone seem a lot more clever and/or thoughtful than they are in real life. Before you crown him or her the “great communicator” have a phone conversation first.
People really take the time to present and package themselves online. When you are in love with someone, you fall in love with them at their best and worst, not just with their most recent profile pic. When smitten online, remember that things are not always how they appear. It’s natural for people to post pictures that show them at their best, but without seeing someone in person, it becomes hard to gauge things like body language, mannerisms and the other small details that may become deal breakers. When you are in love with a person, you have had the chance to see their many faces not just the best one they want to put forward.
Meeting and dating someone online? Cool. Maintaining the relationship online? Not cool. Keeping a relationship confined to e-mails, texts or AIM stagnates growth and may be a sign that you are not the only person your object of affection is dating. Online dating is meant to be a relationship starter, with a bit more revealed as time goes on. If the relationship stays online, you may be in love, but the other person is definitely just e-loving you. Real love needs more than the satisfaction of turning on the computer.
4. Comfort & Pride
Although everyone understands the popularity of falling in love online, not everyone understand why or how it happens. How comfortable are you with sharing with the public how you met? Don’t be ashamed to admit you met in a chat room. Public perception rarely matters when people fall in love through traditional courtship; don’t let it matter in your relationship. Taking comfort and pride in how your love came to be should be part of what makes your relationship a joy.
How deep can lovers be online? The deeper you become to each other, the closer you are to being put in the “real love” category. Humans innately have a set of perceptual and interpretive processes that allow us to efficiently identify desirable potential partners. But what happens when we go online and forfeit most of the sensory channels that drive this refined process? The answer is situational. You could try and come up dry. Or online lovebirds could end up getting married like the estimated 120,000 people whose online chats lead them down the aisle last year.
Have you found real love on the Internet?
Written By Lauren Williams