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Internet Romance

We are living in the age of technology.  People are using computers and the Internet for nearly every aspect of their lives - to manage finances, to search for jobs, to go shopping, and even to find romance.  Internet dating is becoming an increasingly popular method of meeting romantic partners, but there are certainly many things to be aware of when taking this route to love.

Many Internet users feel that there is less pressure when meeting potential dates through the Internet than than there is when face-to-face, since they are being judged solely on personality, rather than appearance.  It is also easier for a shy person to interact over the Internet because he/she can select the desired level of anonymity.

These same factors that make it seem easier also make it more dangerous.  Since every person is free to hide secrets about himself/herself, or even distort the truth, many will never know if they are truly learning all of the important details about the other person.  Online, anyone can lie about their appearance or other traits.

With these missing details, many begin to care for what is essentially an imaginary person.  Many people who are looking for Internet romance tend to assume a complete familiarity with their "partner", but may not know important information.  It is easy to get swept into a fantasy world, because everyone wants so badly to be part of a happy couple, so many people fill in the gaps with their imagination.  This can present a great disappointment when the couple finally meets each other.

Another side-effect of the ease and anonymity of online communication is that individuals may reveal a lot of personal information that they would not disclose in a real-life situation.  If you decide to participate in online dating, please be careful not to become too personal until you learn a lot about the other person, because you could be taken advantage of.

There have been many success stories, but it is always important to be very cautious.  You may have found some real compatibility but before you get too far you should try to fill in some of the mystery with 3-D reality. Exchange pictures, talk on the phone and figure out a way to meet in person.  But, be sure to meet in a safe, public place, and be careful about the amount of personal information you divulge.

Please visit, "In-Person vs. Cyberspace Relationships," and see our Cyberpsychology page for links to other articles about Internet Romance.




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