I need directions about how to navigate this online relationship
July 4, 2011 4:34 PM Subscribe
I need directions for navigating this online relationship
posted by timsneezed to Human Relations (40 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I met this guy online and I’m on the cusp of falling for him. I know, red flags are flying. He lives across the country, but we both plan on moving to NY in a few months (we already had plans to before we met).
This came as a total surprise to me. I’ve always been the first to smirk at people who develop feelings online. But aside from the fact that we haven’t met there are some potentially more serious problems.
First the good things. He's not only charming, thoughtful and extremely bright, but -- and I don’t know how to articulate this without sounding insincere or crazy -- we are freakishly alike in our emotional makeup. From what I know of him he is wired closer to me than anyone I have ever met. I wrote out a list of examples but then erased them because they didn’t do justice to our similarities.
When I told my best friend about this guy he thought I was nuts, so I finally sent him a transcript of one of our less personal conversations. After reading it my friend said, “Wow, you weren't kidding. You are extremely similar." In fact this friend who has known me for eight years was having trouble telling who was who in the conversation. He also told me the guy seemed great, and I really trust this friend's opinion. He is as skeptical as they come, so his approval means a lot to me.
It’s obvious this guy really likes me. He is constantly hanging on any new nugget of info he can pry out of me. When I told him my favorite book he went out to buy it an hour later and started reading it that night. Writing that out it sounds a bit creepy, but it made sense in context. He is actually pretty cautious.
This online thing is new to both of us and we both feel it’s weird. We get closer and we’ll stop ourselves and shake our heads: “wait we haven’t met. Let’s keep perspective here.” But then we take another step closer because the connection feels so good. Last night he shared a personal story with me about his family and his relationship with his parents, something he said he’s never told anyone before. After that conversation he asked me if it changed my impression of him, and I told him it made me like him more. He said, “my trust in you just grew a lot.”
Yet my biggest fear isn’t the danger implicit in developing feelings for someone I haven't met in the flesh but that he’s simply closed off emotionally. He’s mid twenties and has never cared about any girl. He’s told me he has only had a bunch of flings with girls, and he’s never opened himself up to any of them. He said, “I’ve probably been more open with you than any girl I’ve ever met.”
I asked him if he’s incapable of loving and he said he doesn’t think he is but he hasn’t met anyone he's felt he could love. He said that with everyone he's met he's understood them too well and they seemed too limited to interest him, but with me he doesn’t see those limits. I guess it is plausible that he is simply surrounded by people he can't relate to, especially considering where he lives.
He went on to say, “I feel like it's not lost on you. Like it's worth it to be open with this person and to give myself.”
Sure, I’d like to believe that I’m the one girl he'll be able to love. But does this ever actually happen, or is it just a silly romantic fantasy?