Can You Fall in Love With Someone You've Never Met?
Loving Someone You've Never Met
That's an interesting question; however, the answer to that question is not as apparent or straightforward. I can entirely see how you can fall in love with someone you've never met. If you are friends with someone on the internet and chat with them on messenger programs, for example, you would know what I am talking about. Although, personally, I haven't fallen in love online with anyone, I have felt connected in some ways to people whom I have never met face-to-face.
People generally get attracted to each other based on common ideas, common outlook towards life, common value systems, and similar views on important issues. If you happen to know someone over the Internet, you can sometimes feel connected if your views match theirs. Also, you might like their sense of humor—this does come through no matter what the medium, whether it's speech, chat, or text. So, face-to-face contact isn't as essential in knowing the other person. One can even argue that not having face-to-face contact can have certain advantages. You may not judge the other person for their physical looks per se, but may get in touch with them on a deeper emotional level. Consequently, I would think you could theoretically fall in love with someone you've never met in person.
But, could such a love stand the test of time? Would such a love overcome the potentially high expectations generated by an online or virtual personality? Certain personality traits may not be visible or apparent in the online domain. Would such a love, then, be able to come to terms with the reality of physical imperfections or deficiencies? These are important questions to consider when one falls in love over the Internet, via the phone, or any other medium where the two lovers can't meet face to face.
Loving Someone You Haven't Met—Living a Fantasy?
Physical Attraction When Meeting Face-to-Face
Assuming that a couple has met over the Internet or over the phone, the more interesting thing that I'd like to know is: what would be their reaction when they do in fact meet in person for the first time. You may like their thoughts/views on various subjects and like the online person you've met, but what if the person turns out to be, well, not as attractive physically when you first meet them. Can you overlook that fact and love them the same way as you did before you met?
Even though most people say (to be politically correct more than anything else) that outward beauty doesn't matter to them, generally most people value beauty in a potential partner. So, while it is possible that you can fall in love with someone you've never met in person, it is not as possible to predict whether you would in fact remain in love with that person once you've met them, especially if that person turns out to be not so attractive (based on your standards of attractiveness).
Also, when you do in fact meet a person face-to-face, you may discover many things about him/her that you hadn't quite anticipated. Perhaps, he/she has some embarrassing habits that you hadn't quite anticipated, or perhaps he/she has some irritating quality that wasn't apparent to you before through his/her online persona. So, while you can fall in love with someone you've never met, whether you stay in love with that person is quite another matter.
Discovering Their True Identity
There is also the potential problem of anonymity and people who mask their true identities online. You may have very good, honest, genuine intentions and want real love, but can you be really sure that the other person with whom you are chatting to or speaking with shares those intentions? For all you know, the other person may be twice the age he/she actually claims to be, he/she may be married and claim to be single, they may be showing you pictures of someone else but may claim that the person in the picture is in fact them. How can you be sure?
The online world is a world of escape for some people, and many just come online to live a world they can't live in the real world. So, they may just log in and claim to be someone who they are not, but you have no way of knowing that. To me, this is the biggest problem that a person who connects with another person online faces.
So, while you may fall in love with someone you've never met physically (and it is quite possible), the more important question that you should be asking is if you truly have fallen in love with a real person (who exists in the real world) or an online mirage that's a figment of someone's imagination—someone who is just in it for the fun of it, maybe just to find someone to get physical with, or someone who is not as serious about finding love as you are?
Flirting on Social Media: Avoid Falling for the Wrong Person
A lot of heartbreak can be avoided if during the initial stages of a potential online relationship you insist on seeing the person you are chatting with on cam, rather than settle for pictures, which may be of anyone and not necessarily of the person who is chatting with you. Also, look out for avoidance behavior, like committing to something that may expose their true identity and then backing out repeatedly. For example, if the person you are chatting to is repeatedly promising to meet up with you or cam and then avoids it, there may be a strong possibility that they have something to hide—something they do not want you to find out about them. Maybe that "something" is that they are not really who they've been projecting to you on chat.
So, hope for the best, but expect the worst to save yourself some heartbreak. Online love does happen and has happened for many, but so have online heartbreaks, and I certainly don't want you to join the ranks of the heartbroken ones.
Have you fallen in love with someone you've never met? If so, I'd like to hear. Feel free to share your experiences by leaving a comment below, as countless others have!
© 2009 Shil1978