The Internet allows us to make friends and meet people we wouldn’t otherwise meet who share our interests.
Why do people fall in love online?
There are no barriers online. Since we can’t see the other person, it’s easier to ask and answer personal questions. The more we reveal about ourselves, the closer we feel to the other person. And sometimes, we fall in love.
Still, remember that you don’t know all that much about the person! On the Internet, we can’t show or express a lot of aspects about ourselves, such as how we act every day, talk to people, or interact with our friends and parents.
How can I know if the other person is sincere?
You can fall in love online, even deeply in love! But how do you know if it’s an authentic relationship? The person you see in your imagination may be very different from the reality. Here are some ideas to help you:
Ask yourself a few questions about the other person:
- “Do I know who I’m talking to?” That’s hard to know if you’re writing to each other so you can’t hear the other person’s voice or see him/her on a webcam.
- “Do I really know the other person?” The Internet can foster lies and half truths. The other person is telling you what he/she wants to tell you!
- “Am I keeping my safety in mind?” Safety first! Don’t give out personal information: name, address, phone number, photo, etc.
Ask yourself about your own needs and wishes:
- “What place does this virtual relationship have in my life? Is it preventing me from experiencing things in real life with the people around me?”
- “Why do I feel more comfortable talking to a lover online rather than face to face?”
- “Am I comfortable with the advantages and disadvantages of online love? Not seeing the other person? Not meeting him/her in person?”
Set up a meeting in person
Actions speak louder than words. You’ll have a better idea of who the other person is when you see how he/she acts with you, his/her friends, his/her parents.
- Tell someone where and when you’re meeting
- Choose a public place
- Ask a friend to go with you
- During the meeting, ask lots of questions
Don’t meet someone who...
- Refuses to show you his/her face
- Doesn’t want you to talk about him/her to other people
- Doesn’t accept it if you say no
- Pressures you because he/she is absolutely determined to meet you
- Pays way too much attention to you
Exchange photos... but don’t go too far!
A photo can help you get to know the other person. On the other hand, avoid sexy photos as much as possible: you don’t know what the other person will do with them! And remember that people tend to show only their good sides in photos.
Set up a video meeting
A video meeting is a good way of getting to know the other person better: you find out how he/she looks and talks, and his/her attitude, facial expressions, energy, and personality. However, you also commit yourself a bit more with a video. You deepen your bond with the other person, become more vulnerable, and run a greater risk of experiencing rejection.
If you doubt the other person’s honesty, you can talk to him/her directly or do some research to find out if all his/her information adds up. Listen to your intuition: if a little voice tells you there’s something weird about him/her, it’s probably true! Make sure you have people around you whom you can talk to about this relationship and your questions.