Digital Dating: Are E-lationships The New Relationship?

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Can electronic relationships be real? Furthermore, can they help or hinder real life relationships?

I’ve never had a real relationship (you know, the official “Boyfriend/Girlfriend… let-me-update-my-Facebook-profile).  For whatever reason (insert your judgment here) that may be, I’ve come to accept it, or maybe, just accustomed to being on my own.  It’s a safe place.  I know how I operate.  I can leave the cereal bowl in the sink.  I can sleep in on Sundays, not shower, look like crap while drinking coffee and not have to worry…about another human being.  As out-going and social that I am, and a pro at interacting with people/making new friends…I absolutely am terrible at interacting with the same person for an extended period of time.

youve got mailEnter the digital dating world.  It’s like the best of both worlds — interaction (perhaps on an semi-intimate level) with another human being where I can be my flirtatious self and have an on-going dialogue without the physicality (there may be, should be, a future post diving into details on this).

Perhaps I’m afraid the reality (meeting in person) will be a disappointment.  I create these scenarios in my head (seriously, it’s like an ongoing Lifetime movie, except with better hair/makeup/outfits and no police).  Why would I risk the chance of reality not meeting my perception?  SCARY. So, I continue on developing e-lationships with people (near and far, from texting to Twitter).

In that sense, I’m like an e-lationship whore. A Digital Slut.

loveDo I think that my e-lationships are real? Absolutely.  It’s probably more real than any ‘actual’ relationship I’ve had.  It is like the virtual wall that allows me to let my guard down and be who I want to be/who I am.

Do I think that my e-lationships help or hinder (potential) real-life relationships?  Yes, and no.  Yes, I think it does hinder…to an extent.  I’ve had recent electronic interactions with a guy for a few months.  Totally sets the bar high, definitely leads me to have amazing scenarios play out in my head, still gives me the butterfly feelings.  Will anything come of it?  I would like something to happen, but in reality…it probably won’t.  How does it not hinder – it allows me to ‘practice’ my relationship skills, from communicating (I shut people out real fast), to flirting (oh hey now, even when I’m NOT intentionally flirting, guys think I am), to becoming comfortable in who I am virtually and who I am in real-life.

Perhaps, one day, one of my e-lationships will develop into a REAL-ATIONSHIP. Until then, I shall continue on providing Lifetime with potential movies.  Starring: Me. As I sit here typing this I sigh, thinking “I’m like the real-life version of the movie ‘Her‘ (from the opposite-sex perspective). Excuse me, Hollywood…call me. Better yet, single guys…call me.

What are your thoughts on the digital dating world? Do you or have you had an e-lationship and has it helped/hindered?

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