I recently ended a 6 week online correspondence with someone (we both did, actually). He and I enjoyed talking about our respective lives and began to get close and I know we both developed a friendship for each other. As time went on I realized he was not ready for the kind of relationship I needed and seemed to be more of a casual dater who, perhaps wanted to be more serious with someone but It wasn't me ( distance was a factor), or perhaps the timing was off. Do you believe it is possible for two people who have invested time in online correspondence to become friends, in spite of the fact that they have discovered that their original hopes for a dating relationship will not be realized? I think that, once the initial hurt from the transition subsides, that friendship IS possible. What are your thoughts and experiences with this all too common situation?
I was told once that ambivalence is present in all levels of loving relationships. I don"t like the thought and wish that feelings in general could be drawn in more defined colors, but the more I live the more I see it is…

Well Lulu, if we agree that love and friendship are based compatibility but are defined by its intensity, I would say that the answer lies on what both of you expect - not so much from life itself but rather from each other. Six weeks online is quite a while and losing this common ground seems like a waste. Also can"t help thinking that a personal contact (half-way each if distance is an issue!) could lead to a clearer outcome.

But maybe I should add that those are my thoughts, not my experience… :oops:
It is an interesting subject and I can understand the views of Lulu and Denise. I would add however that it also depends on the person, bearing in mind that there are three types of adult relationship, namely romantic, friendly and sexual. In an ideal partnership, all three would be present but many couples often settle for one or two of these. In some relationships the passion and/or the romance subsides but can still survive on friendship, so I believe that a once romantic relationship can change successfully into a friendly one. I have also known men who seem incapable of having a woman as a friend without the romantic or sexual aspect getting in the way. I therefore conclude that it depends on the people involved and their expectations for the friendship. Talking to each other honestly would be a good idea.
Graham 1. Thanks for your post on the subject my friend. I needed to hear your advice, as it is what I was just dealing with myself! What an excellent topic too!. Have a great day everyone!
I cannot imagine my relationship without friendship in it. Somehow it"s also hard for me to picture a real good friendship between opposite sex without developing into intimacy, at least at emotional level. Therefore, I believe it"s possible to have an online friendship, but only for short period of time. Distance should not be an issue if the relationship is deep enough - we are all moveable. However, can online dating develop into deep relationship? - Not so sure, because what we write and tell my not truly reflect who we are and what we really meant. At the same time, the two people don"t really know each other well, so some degree of judgmental may sit in before the other can explain. It"s sad…

I also believe everyone here starts out with good intention and hope, but sometimes one may not realize if he/she is actually ready or not. If one retreat, understandable; but for the other not feeling hurt is not easy. Sad, again…

Lulu, I think you are doing fine. I read your blog, you are truthful. Somewhere a lucky man will find you.
Being open to people, new ideas, new ways of doing things.
I agree it depends on the person and their needs. I do enjoy a good topic.
I have witnessed online relationships slide very quickly from 'friendly correspondence' to 'extreme closeness' to 'explicit closeness' in a matter of weeks. You are lucky that you didn't reach this point, but think of it in 'not online' terms. Six WEEKS is not even a whole season. If you were dating a man in real time, would six weeks have seen you deeply involved yet? Perhaps, perhaps not--I don't know what time frame works for you

I know that for me, six weeks would have me still in the trial phase--how is this working out? Who is this person? We would have had a few dinners out, quite a few quick snacks, probably a number of phone calls, some texts, and met for activities like walks on the beach, all with a lot of face-to-face talking allowing me (and him) time to make a lot of observations.

Is he courteous to strangers? Patient with wait staff? What is his tone of voice like when he speaks of people in his life? If he's divorced, how does he explain the end of that relationship? In short, how does he approach life and is that similar to the way I do?

On the phone, you miss a lot of this; in email you miss almost everything, unless the person chooses to reveal it. The other danger with email is that I may say "black is black" and you read "black can be grey sometimes"--we *interpret* email. No amount of emoticons can fully deal with this. That's what tone of voice, gesture, and expression tell us face to face.

For this reason, I think a person should move even more slowly when developing online relationships than they would in real time. You're working with only partial data, and the tendency is to 'fill it in' from your own side--add what is missing--and you may not even be aware how much of that is going on.

The problem is that the immediacy of the online environment makes people move faster--they send 20 emails in a day and that *seems* like intense, deep, meaningful communication, and it may be--but it may not. There may be huge pieces left out.

For example, not long ago a friend got involved with a woman who "forgot" to mention that she was still married because she "felt divorced". For my friend, a practicing and committed Christian, this was a deal breaker and a very painful episode ensued. How did this very important fact not come up? It actually had--but when he asked the question, she didn't answer it, and there were 10 other questions in that email which she did answer, and that 'detail' slipped aside.
I have had two on line relationships form and not work out. notice I did not say fail. I am still friends with both of them although some people would find it hard since we have more intimate knowledge than friends normally would know. I think this says a lot for our maturity also.
As for getting to know some one in six weeks. I know more about these women than I knew about my first wife and I lived with her for twelve years. It is far easier to talk about things on the internet than face to face. I do agree that you have to be carefull not to put in things you want to be there. But it does reduce the shyness element. Of course it is no substitute for actuall meeting. But it does weed out the undesirables. There are those too that can lie just as well face to face as in an Email or on the phone, either way you take your chances. As for staying friends after well that is your option. But then I have no trouble becoming friends or staying friends if the other person wants this. I also have no trouble staying friends with my ex's. Why not, some times things just don't work out.
I am enjoying these posts, thank you for your well thought out thoughts. I am in total agreement. :)
Good day all. I am a new member to this site and I am finding the Forums quite interestings.

I just wanted to add a brief commnet about relationships and friendships, either online or in the flesh.

You can't be friends with someone you still want to kiss, and I don't mean in the "Hi Gramma/Grampa" way.
Kozsi, Welcome to the site; it is always nice to hear everyone's input in these forums. Keep in mind that these forum posts are usually opinions that are based on personal experience. That being said, I respectfully disagree with your statement that you can;t be friends with someone you want to kiss. In my experience you can be friends IF both partners are open-minded and honest about their expectations. I also believe that this type of friendship is rare, and certainly not possible with every relationship. Good luck to you in here, I hope you find what you are looking for ..
I agree damarus in that a kiss does not make or break a relationship. It does depend on your viewpoint or, as you say, your expectations.
Graham, thanks for the moral support ...... wanna smooch? lol
Love to Damarus! Nothing wrong with a romantic dance with a lovely lady!
Graham1 wrote: I agree damarus in that a kiss does not make or break a relationship. It does depend on your viewpoint or, as you say, your expectations.

In my experience, a kiss can make or break a relationship and it can ruin a marriage, too. It all depends on what the intent is behind that kiss and what happens next. In a friendship, it changes things. It may be that the people involved can handle the changes, but often it spoils things.