This has been in the news lately with the Manti T'eo situation. I don't really understand it. Can someone who has had an online relationship explain why this was your choice instead of a real life actual relationship? Why do you choose to engage with someone you have not met instead of someone you have?
You know, I'm going to guess that most people involved in long distance relationships feel quite confident that they are in a real life actual relationship. That's a wildly offensive characterization.
Considering how many people meet their SOs through some sort of online medium these days, many of whom have some period of time living in different locations, acting as those these relationships are all some sort of playground fantasy-pretend relationship is ridiculous.
Agreed. I know plenty of people who initially met someone online, progressed to things like phone calls and/or Skype, met in person, and have gotten great relationships
out of it. I don't think most people are choosing to have a "just" online relationship
at all. In fact, it's generally advised that if you click with someone online, you should try to meet as soon as it's feasible, both to rule out complete deceptions like what happened with Te'o and just to find out if you have chemistry in real life. (For example, I carried on an online flirtation for a few months and thought I was really clicking with a guy, and then when I met him, it was just...not there. It was a sad situation all around, but better to find out earlier rather than later.)
The Internet has enabled us to connect with people from places we'd never have visited in the old days and opens up the dating
pool substantially if people are willing to travel and/or relocate eventually. (And heck, sometimes you meet people from your own area that you've just never happened to run into before.) I've made great platonic friends online as well as met people to date. Edited to add: and sometimes you click with someone romantically even if you're not looking for that, and even if the site is not specifically a dating
site. For a while in college, I dated a guy I initially met on a MUD and then met in person.
I really don't know anyone who is actively looking for a just-online relationship
. They are looking online for someone to eventually have an in-person relationship
with. There's a big difference. And indeed, if one of the people refuses to meet, that's often the first red flag that dishonesty is involved.
Te'o is an odd case in that, as far as I can gather, there was a great deal of pressure on him to have a girlfriend but not a lot of time for him to actually...have a girlfriend. I think the relationship
with Kekua gave him a way to get his parents and teammates off his back without actually investing a lot of time. In the old days, people pretended to have pen-pal girlfriends/boyfriends in Canada when they wanted people to shut up.