More people than ever are now entering into internet relationships, that is, a relationship with a person they have met online. This may open up a whole new world of possible partners, but it also brings a lot of perhaps unexpected problems and even dangers.
One of the first and perhaps most obvious problems is distance. You may be lucky and find your new partner lives close by, but the chances are out of the whole world of people on the internet they will live further away, perhaps even in a different country. If you are taking this relationship anything near seriously then you will want to meet your partner at some point in the future. Although it may seem a long way off right now, do think about it because if it’s going to be impossible perhaps there is no point in trying to continue the relationship. If you think it can be possible, then it could be a good idea to start taking steps towards it now, for example saving up money to pay for transport.
Another thing to bear in mind, is that at the end of the day, this person who you have fallen in love with may not be who they say they are. The chances are you will be pretty certain that your girlfriend or boyfriend are exactly what they tell you they are, but please do take the necessary steps to make sure. There are a couple of simple checks you can make. Watch them on their webcam, they may not have one right now, but they are not very expensive and it’s a price worth paying to make sure your relationship is going to work. This means you can be sure what they look like and can hopefully tell that they are roughly the age they said they are. Secondly send them something in the post, you will be sure that they got it when they can tell you details about what you sent. This confirms that they are being honest with you about where they live. Take the time to talk to them on the phone, and if possible talk to their friends and family as well, this will help you find out a lot more about them.
Even after you have confirmed that your partner is who they say they are there are still many things that you can’t tell about them over the internet. You can’t see all their little habits, which in person may annoy you. You also can’t see the way that they act around other people. How do they act around their friends? How do they act around their family? What would they do if you were around them and they got upset or angry or stressed? Do also bear in mind that even if you go to visit your partner, the chances are the visit will be like a holiday, and very different to how things would be in everyday life where there is work to do.
Internet relationships are very hard work to keep going. There is one very important thing that you must do. Don’t let your relationship take over your life, make sure you still spend time with your friends, keep up any hobbies and clubs. If you let the relationship be everything and then it ends you will be left with nothing at all. Another thing to bear in mind is that while it may seem like you can chat to your new partner for hours on end, eventually after months or years you will run out of things to say.
Online relationships will generally become a lot more serious more quickly than normal relationships. This is because when all you can do is talk you tend to share a lot more than you would if you were with your partner in real life, doing things like going to the cinema or hanging out with their friends. So even though it may seem that this relationship will be forever, do try and remind yourself the only reason it seems this serious is because it is an internet relationship. It can be all too easy to fall in love online, where someone can act however they want to, and tell you all the good things about themselves and none of the bad. In my opinion no one can ever truly be in love until they have met in real life. Never, ever, plan to go and see your partner for the first time and live with them forever without coming back. Be sensible, think long and hard, and if you decide to try and make the relationship work then be prepared to put the effort in.