Soul Mates In CyberSpace

Filed under: Dating Online |

Now is your moment. You’ve massaged your profile till it zings, uploaded your most flattering photos, and viewed a thousand other posted hopefuls in your search for The One—or at least for some fun. You’ve had some responses and sent some yourself, and maybe that little touch of thrilling possibility you felt with the first few hasn’t tickled your fancy lately. Maybe you’ve wondered whether this online dating thing will work for you at all.

Suddenly it happens. Somebody out there connects with your computer, and you feel that hopeful prickle: this is more like it! Then you wonder: now what? Is it possible to build a real-life relationship in cyberspace?

Yes, of course. And no. At least, not entirely.

The truth is, this computer you’re staring at is a window. Through it, you can see people on the other side of the world as though they were no farther away than your own backyard. You can talk all you want, swap tales and jokes, share photos and your favorite music, lend books and borrow tools. You can collaborate with coworkers thousands of miles away, you can volunteer for charitable projects with other caring people, and you can explore your hobbies and interests with other people who share your passions.

In the same ways that you’ve always been able to make good friends, find dates, and develop relationships. You have the same ways to mess it up. And some fantastic tools to help you get it right and make it work better than ever.

Now, this is not the same thing as being separated from someone you know well: a boyfriend or girlfriend, a long-time lover, a husband or wife. You two have already shared experiences, situations, pleasures, and pains—you have a history to remember and build on. This new person is uncharted territory for you.

The first, gigantic difference is—unless you happen to live in the same city or are rich enough to hop a jet for a first date—there’s no pressure to have sex before you’re ready. No pressure to perform. No anxiety about measuring up. No need to say no, maybe, or yes, or to regret it either way.

The second huge difference is one that’s often cited as a negative aspect of online dating: reliance on photos for first impressions. This is supposed to amplify to absurdity the importance of looks. Let me ask you: When was the last time you scanned a club or a singles bar, elbowed your buddy in the ribs, and said “Wow! Look at that one! So . . . so average! I gotta get me some of that!”

Nature programmed us to seek mates that look like they’ll produce physically superior offspring. Luckily, nature also gave most of us brains enough to realize that looks can be deceiving—in real life and, especially, in cyber life.

In fact, misrepresentation seems particularly easy on the Internet, and predators abound. Sure; but don’t forget-behind every cyber creep, there’s a living, breathing body somewhere. Deceit online is tied directly to deceit offline. And online, at least, you have several layers of protection available. You’re still behind that window. You can draw the drapes whenever you want. But if you try, you can also get to know people well, and even intimately.

Use ALL the tools. Letter writing may seem old-fashioned, but what do you think e-mail is? Snail mail is slower, but it’s tactile, sensual, physical. It can be held, reread, smelled, slept with . . . kept in a special place. It can carry photos, pressed flowers, locks of hair. E-mail is more spontaneous, easier to do, and it may even have spell check. It can carry .gifs and .jpgs and .wavs. And it doesn’t even need a stamp.

Of course, you simply can’t be a sociable single, let alone a serious mate-seeker, without the telephone. But your computer is even better. If you have cable access, you may be able to get a digital phone line that allows unlimited long distance calling for a very low monthly fee. Better yet, voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) lets you to talk with people via your Internet connection-even dial-up-virtually anywhere in the world. As long as you both have computers and install the same VoIP software, you can be on opposite sides of the earth and talk all night, for free.

If you and your date both have webcams, you can add live, real-time visuals to instant-message chats or conversations. Hey, it’s almost like being there! Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), MSN Messenger, and Skype all offer video capability. You probably need to have Windows XP or Apple iChat AV version 2.1 or later for this to work.

Online dating lets you relax, take your time, and get to know your date without the anxiety, self-consciousness, and noise and smoke of the singles-bar-and-club scene. Once you’ve discovered that you truly like this other soul, that communicating with each other makes you both feel good, you’ll want to get together in real space. Of course, you’ll observe all the proper precautions: meet in a public place, make certain that friends and family know your itinerary, and so on.

Now you must flesh out your relationship. In the end, you’ll never really know someone until you’ve seen them stub a toe, spill a drink, get cut off in traffic, or deal with a crying child or naughty puppy. You’ll want to know how this potential partner treats you when you have a splitting headache or you burn the toast. Not to mention truly essential stuff—the kind of thing that can drive you crazy—like toothpaste-cap handling and blanket hogging . . .

But you have an advantage. You’ve already met, talked, traded jokes, learned whether you both hate beets or love to polka. Maybe you’ve argued politics or confessed a secret desire to join the circus. And you’ve discovered that you really like each other, enough to make plans.

Now you realize that dating in cyberspace can really work after all.

About The Author
Carol Parker lives with her family in the Philippines. We recommend you visit her website to learn more about the modern and traditional uses of online dating for optimal safety,enjoyment, pleasure, health, and wellness. Please visit her website to learn more about online adult dating: