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Thread: Wisdom from the Experienced

  1. #1
    Rozie Guest

    Wisdom from the Experienced

    I'm not sure how this thread is going to be received, but I feel compelled to start it, as it seems that we are reading of many more LDR's that began online and ingame and have not weathered the transition to real life. That could just be my perception, nevertheless, I feel some kindred with these people, because my own AGR began in a role playing game and involved a distance of 1200 miles. Our age gap of 25 years has its own set of problems and maybe someday I will write a thread similar to this one about some of the things I have learned about navigating such terrain, but I have really been thinking more about LDR's than AG's these days, as we approach our one year anniversary of sharing a home.

    I might be full of it, but I do think I've learned some things along the way and I'd like to put some of my ideas out there and invite others who have also successfully closed the internet and distance gap to chime in with their thoughts.

    First thought...A game is not real life. Period.

    I love games. I really enjoyed my days of Sims, SWG and FFIX. We will probably play another online game together at some point. Right now RL keeps us too busy. Games gave me a chance to connect to other people at a time when I really needed connection and I don't regret a minute of my online gaming. But games are seductive because they allow you to reinvent yourself and your world and while you are doing that, so is everyone else. What you think you know about other people you play with, is only as honest as the player behind the avatar.

    I used to defend games as a legitimate way to get to know people. I still harbor some belief that there are moments when players true heart and compassion come shining through. But now that I have come to know some of the people in RL that I gamed with years ago, I've also come to learn that some of the most altruistic guys in game, were in RL really conniving and much of the gallantry I saw was really more about bright minds with too little time on their hands, putting on a great show in order to hook up with women.
    I'm thinking in particular of this "friend" of my YM who played relentlessly to build a character, then sold the character in real life to an acquaintance in RL for $500. When he realized that the guy hadn't reset passwords and that he could still access his character, he logged into game and stole back premier gear and items so that he could use them to build another character for sale. He sat at my dining room table and bragged about this a few weeks back. My YM and I were speechless. He won't be back in our house again. But this same guy had stayed up many a night helping my YM and myself beat our limit break quests and collecting rare and valuable items. Based on what we knew of him in the game, we would have thought he was a better person than that. He's a good looking guy in real life...strangely none of his hookups have ever turned into anything more.

    Second thought...I'm damned lucky!

    I'm lucky because my guy turned out to be genuinely who he presented to me and what's more, I was disingenuous. I subtracted ten years from my age because I didn't want people to think they were playing with someone old enough to be their parent. I told people my son was in high school, when he was actually away at college so that the age change fit. I'd never heard of AG relationships, so I thought that a 15 year gap would still make me way off limits to these men...apparently not. I lied about my profession because I didn't want people coming after me and I told people that I was very happily married, when nothing was further from the truth.

    In fact, he's damned lucky too, because when you strip away the deceit I turned out to be someone he could still care about. My point here is pretty much the same...you just really don't know what you have until...

    Third thought...You must meet in RL before you call it anything other than an online connection.

    I have so much more to say on meeting in RL, i.e. how, when and even who warrants a RL meeting (and its probably not the guy who says he loves you sight unseen), but I'm gonna take a break and see if others have anything to add or stories to share.

  2. #2
    ElizabethC Guest
    Hi Rozie,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Being that I'm in this exact situation (online AG LDR), I guess I have some input here. This is probably going to be a long reply. I can get wordy. Sorry about that.

    I really do agree with everything you said, right up until "You must meet in RL before you call it anything other than an online connection."

    Don't get me wrong... I do think there are plenty of people who proclaim and profess "love" for someone they met online when really it's not. It's infatuation, attraction or something -- not genuine love. But you don't just find this happening just online. You can find this in "real life" relationships, too, right? I thought I was "in love" with my first husband. We definitely had a good friendship, but we tried to stretch it beyond that and it didn't work. It wasn't love. The marriage didn't last. When I was young, I experienced infatuation that I thought was love (although I hope I'm over that part of my life!).

    Having met a number of people in the past (on a strictly friendship basis, nothing romantic), I do feel you can make real friendships online. Just as in real life, I find that I have made both acquaintances and true friends online. Sure, people can pretend to be someone they aren't online, but I've experienced this in real life, too. I had one close friend, one of my best friends (all in real life), turn into a completely different person. Well, it turns out that she was a completely different person all along, but had hidden it and it wasn't pretty. I guess the difference is that it is just easier to pretend online, so maybe it happens more frequently?

    I enjoy gaming, but also go for long periods, even years, without really playing any games. However, having also used a game as an 'escape' from a bad relationship, I can also see the seduction that you speak of. It can and does exist. I escaped into a game in order to escape from my life. I also pretended that things were okay and that my marriage wasn't over with my in-game cohorts, but I did this with my "real life" friends, too. But other than that, I was just myself and I've met other people who, over the years, have also turned out to have been just themselves as well.

    I hadn't a clue in the world that I'd fall for someone I met in the game, and that he would feel the same for me. But it's not like he has professed his love for me exactly.

    When we first "met" 3 years ago, I joined the guild he was in and we just gravitated to each other. But I was still married then and before I divorced -- as well as for a full year afterward -- he never was anything other than a good friend. He never once even flirted with me. Not a hint of what we were feeling for each other was ever expressed until about a year ago.

    We even stopped playing the game we'd met in because we had become bored with it... and it turned out the only reason we had both still been playing was to have an excuse to hang out with each other. For months on end, we'd both log on and then not even play, just chat, watch TV, surf, etc.

    When the walls came down, our 'relationship' went to a whole new level. We weren't together and didn't consider that we were in a real relationship, but we opened up to each other in ways we never had before. Plus, we no longer needed the pretense of the game to spend time together. Since then, I got an extension cord for my headset, installed Skype and we talk whenever we can. We watch movies and TV shows together. We have our favorite sites we visit and talk about whatever is on them. We chat together with some of the other people we used to game with, none of whom still play the game either. Sometimes we have what I like to call 'cooking class' where he teaches me how to make some new dish, because I never cook and usually my cuisine is limited to what I can make in the microwave. He has walked me through installing new hardware for my computer, through formatting and such. We even sometimes play games together and just started playing a new one. Not because we need it for our 'relationship', but because we like playing games. We turn to each other when either of us is down just needs a shoulder to cry on.

    I feel like I know him and he knows me more than either of my two ex husbands when I first married them. A bad reflection on me and my choices, I know -- but I also know I'm not alone there.

    However, I still say don't consider what we have a real relationship. It's more than a friendship, but it isn't conventional and I don't know what to call it. I say 'relationship' above, because we have expressed deep feelings for each other -- not pie in sky and both of us are reluctant to say love, all things considered. We've both agreed that we are at least "falling in love", but we are trying to tread cautiously. Usually, I refer to him as my best friend. I never call him my boyfriend. I've referred to him as my "SO" in a thread or two here, generally in order to avoid having to explain everything.

    Because of circumstances I'm not going to get into right now (I have posted about it in threads long ago), we haven't yet me IRL and I don't know yet when we might.
    Last edited by ElizabethC; 08-06-2009 at 01:46 AM.

  3. #3
    Rozie Guest
    Third thought...You must meet in RL before you call it anything other than an online connection.
    Elizabeth, thanks for your input. My intention is not to make anyone feel badly for their online/ingame relationships and I truly believe that these are real relationships and are of value. But I think a distinction between fantasy and reality really has to be drawn. Just because something is working well online is no guarantee that its going to work well in person. Just because my YM and myself made a great team in a game, just because we learned to anticipate each others timing and style of play and enjoyed some fascinating conversation, didn't mean that we'd share the same synchronicity in real life. I agree that the online relationship gave us a foundation on which we wanted to build...it was afterall why we decided to meet and I'm OK with calling what one has online a friendship. But I sure wouldn't make any long term plans or or future committments with an online friend, until I had a chance to really "flesh" them out.

    So where I was going to go with that statement is kind of where you are Elizabeth with your man. You are building on what you have until you finally can meet and at this time that's all you can do. Its all many of the people here can do, but to you and all those in your shoes I would caution not to build it up to be more than it is until you actually get the chance to make it happen. I'm astounded by how people can put all their eggs in this basket...hours and hours spent devoted to this one person that they have never laid eyes on and then be so surprized or devastated when reality turns out to be much different than they expected.

    I've had a chance to live with my guy for a year now and in that time I have not been working. I think in a way what we've been experiencing is still sort of a fantasy life. We've experienced some pressures but nothing to the degree that we will when I get back into the thick of working. I'm honestly a little worried, because I 've had the chance to see some things that make me wonder whether he's really going to be able to handle the demands of my job without losing patience. I'm going to be the first to say that I'm not 100% convinced that we knew each other well enough to make this commitment to live together...we'll see how it goes when "real life" takes over. The honeymoon has been great, but that's sort of what its been.

    Anyway, what I've learned is that you really have to take your time with these relationships, let them develop then take them to the next level, i.e. an in person, real life friendship before you call it love and invest your heart for all eternity.

    Fourth thought...Once its become real, long distance becomes even harder.

    Honestly, the distance was way harder than the age gap. Honestly, I couldn't do it again. Its going well and I am happy, but I realize that I took a tremendous risk and have many moments now in which I question the decisions I made back then. I think this had about as much chance of turning out badly as it did well. Again, I feel extremely lucky!

  4. #4
    Fae's Avatar
    Fae
    Fae is offline Senior Member
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    While I did not meet my husband by gaming, I did meet him online, here at ageless and we had a two year LDR.

    His posts are what first peaked my interest. Yet for two months I carefully read those posts to see that he was consistent with things he mentioned. During that two months I also visited the chatroom here, which he was active in as well. But even in the chatroom, I never really talked to him, instead I spent my time paying attention to the details he spoke about (again looking for his words to be consistent about his life), as well I watched to see how he interacted with other people in the chatroom. Watching to see if he hit on any and all women that were in the chatroom, watching to see how he spoke with other men ... did he dismiss them or did he carrying on a normal conversation with them. After paying attention for two months only then did I speak to him at any length (other than just being polite by saying hi or to answer a question if he spoke to me).

    Needless to say we enjoyed talking with eachother. He wanted to speak by phone right away. I was not comfortable with that happening immediately. So I gave him my standard reply ... all in good time. It was probably about six weeks later that we started talking by phone. He wanted to meet right away, again I was not ready for that, so yes, he got the ... all in good time reply. It was another six weeks before we met, him flying to where I live to meet for the first time. We were very lucky that we were able to fly to see eachother about every 4-6 weeks. (very lucky!)

    After being a 'couple' for a year, we of course had the talk about how to end the LD part. Because I had children still in high school it didn't take us long to figure out that he would have to move to my state. This time it was him that was hesitant to make the move after only a year. As much as I disliked waiting for another year (which was when he thought he would be comfortable in making the move) we continued to meet every 4/6 weeks and we waited until he was ready.

    Before we met in person we did discuss that we had feelings for eachother and that possibly we could be in love with eachother ... but we would not know until we did meet and spent sometime together.

    For us the key was how slowly we built our relationship. And when we were setting up our first meeting, we agreed that even if we did not feel the chemistry that we would still treat eachother as good friends.

    I can honestly say that even with all the time we did spend together and the six months that he lived in his own apartment when he did move here ... there were many things I still didn't know about him until we lived together. For some reason that surprised me. But looking back on it, the time we spent together was always more like being on vacation. We would take time off work so we weren't really faced with the true reality of our lives.

    Heck, I don't know if I brought up any good points or not. That was my goal though. lol

  5. #5
    ElizabethC Guest
    Rozie, I wrote most of this before I read your response. It's not entirely related to what you just said, but some is. A lot of this is just my thoughts about meeting people -- not just romantically -- online. Some of it is probably a bit off-topic, but related to my thoughts about meeting people online.

    I've thought a lot about the 'online' verses 'in real life' thing and I think the term IRL gets used too frequently and incorrectly. Some of the people I have met only online I consider to be real friends. Some I talk to over the phone and others just online. Online doesn't inherently mean 'not real'.

    If people think they can act any way they want to online just because it isn't real, well, I think that's entirely wrong-headed and encourages bad behavior. If you do something mean to someone online, it's not some fake person you are doing it to... there is a real, live person on the other end. I've seen this in-game a lot. But then I've also seen truly kind acts in-game as well. One guy in my old guild's account got hacked into and all of his character's (very expensive) armor was trashed. Well, so many people in the guild banded together to help him out and help him restore his stuff. One person acted badly, but about ten acted really well.

    I think the excuse that it's 'only online' is a terrible cop-out.

    As for someone 'professing love' for someone they have only met online... I would have to say that I don't think this can be dismissed entirely as something that can't be valid, either. I've mulled this over a lot in the last few years. A year ago I was saying that I wouldn't say I was in love with my YM and that I didn't think you could say that until you physically met the person. Over the last year, I've changed my mind about this. I believe it is entirely possible. That doesn't mean it's always the case, for sure.

    If it's not really love, but rather an infatuation or manipulation or some such thing, I don't think it's much different than the same thing happening 'in real life'. In fact, I don't really see how it's different at all. Some jerk pretending to be all gallant online to get women is the same as some jerk pretending to be gallant 'in real life' to get women.

    If it's pie-in-the-sky-love-at-first-sight, well... that happens 'IRL', too. But if it's an affectionate bond that grows from actually getting to know a person... well, that's something else, isn't it?

    I agree that there are special circumstances when it comes to romantic relationships -- and I do fully agree that actually meeting is key, and you can't tell if the relationship really has potential until you do -- but I don't think it precludes the ability to fall in love. Online 'relationships' transferring to 'real life' can fail for any number of reasons, be it one or both parties turning out to not be who they pretended to be, the realization that the 'love' wasn't love but rather infatuation, or any number of factors. It could be that the two just aren't compatible with each other.

    But 'real life' relationships transferring to living together or marriage also have their pitfalls -- including all of those I just listed.

    My ex and I are good friends now. He was dating a woman for about a year and a half to two years and wanted to move in with her, but she didn't want to live with someone without being married. So they got married. They moved in together and... she turned into a completely different person. That marriage did not work out. Sadly, it also ended up having a really bad effect on my daughter as that woman was terrible to her toward the end (I almost bought a plane ticket to the east coast just to strangle her).

    I'm SO tired of the argument, "How do you know he really is who he says he is? He could be some psychopath?" Well, how do you know some guy you meet in the bar isn't some psychopath, or someone abusive, etc. etc.?

    People meet 'in real life' all the time and run off and get married because they are pie-in-the-sky in love. Sometimes it works out and others it does not.

    Now I've read your reply and have just a few thoughts, although I've really already been long-winded here!

    I wonder if any two people can be really sure about living together before they make the commitment to do so. I don't think it has anything to do with whether the relationship started online or not. It's just the nature of relationships.

    However, because most online relationships are LDRs, I can see how the living together stage might end up having to happen earlier than it otherwise would -- which can put a strain on (or end) a relationship.

    I know that the relationship I have may never evolve and it may just end. That would be painful and terrible, but I've survived breakups and divorces. I get to spend a ton of time with my YM and I know that might not always be the case, so I am trying to enjoy what we have -- and what we do have is amazing. If it is possible that it might turn into a real relationship, it's worth it to me to take the risk. I'm not planning on changing my life for him or moving out there to be with him (or vice versa) because we aren't there yet and that's certainly not something we'd make any plans or decisions about until after meeting, probably many times!

    Well, this is long enough, I guess. I've said a bit more in defense of meeting people online. I do think there are pitfalls, some different than those involved with meeting people in person, but some the same.

  6. #6
    ElizabethC Guest
    A few more things, because I don't think I said enough... :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozie
    Anyway, what I've learned is that you really have to take your time with these relationships, let them develop then take them to the next level, i.e. an in person, real life friendship before you call it love and invest your heart for all eternity.
    I think this applies to all relationships, though... not just online ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rozie
    Fourth thought...Once its become real, long distance becomes even harder.
    I believe it, but oddly, I'm looking forward to that being my challenge!

  7. #7
    Ellethe's Avatar
    Ellethe is offline Ex-Marcy'd
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    hello folks

    Dev & I met in a role playing game online. We were LDR (and international ta boot). We successfully made the transition to irl and then finally to being together. We have been together(... hmmm gotta do math here LOL) over 6 years and married for 4 years (5 in Feb!).

    It is NOT easy to do this. It is hard to do it. On the other hand, it has been altogether worth it for me.

    Here are some of the things I've learned along the way:

    A toon is not a person

    When you are online, it is easy to over-romanticize not only your relationship, but your partner and yourself. The toon comes to symbolize your partner to you and vice versa. It is essential that you come to grips with that as soon as you decide that you want to move it out of game into the real world. Get honest with yourself and then with him. If your toon is young, thin, and redheaded... but you are older, heavier, and brunette... clear that up immediately and encourage him to do the same. You do not want to be heartbroken at your irl meeting because your expectations were askew.

    Remember that real people fart, forget to put the toilet seat down, and don't spend every waking moment thinking of and longing for someone else. These things come from the separation and while they have some element of reality it sure ISN'T actual reality.

    Drama is a part of online, but you don't want that in your home... with your children... or pets.... or family... or friends... you get it

    Expectations and Communication is NOT just about sex

    Make sure that you are talking about your goals, politics, rules, lifestyle, finances, and EXPECTATIONS for your partner in addition to how much you miss each other and want to be together. It is those things that keep you together and build commonality, not just a successful raid or hot cyber. Don't get me wrong I think the later also help build connection, but they aren't the things that get you through a marriage. How much time is it okay for your partner to be online gaming? Can your partner have online g/fs? Can you? How do you feel about money? Who's going to make it? How are things going to be split as far as chores, work, dollars, responsibility, & debt? How do you feel as parents? Do you share similar philosophies? Who's going to be in charge? (especially important if you have step children involved) How important is socializing with others to you? Or extended family? How do others feel about you as a couple? These things matter folks... A LOT!
    Psycho hatchet wielding midgets deserve to die

  8. #8
    Rozie Guest
    Wow! I am humbled by these responses because there is some real wisdom here!

    His posts are what first peaked my interest. Yet for two months I carefully read those posts to see that he was consistent with things he mentioned. During that two months I also visited the chatroom here, which he was active in as well. But even in the chatroom, I never really talked to him, instead I spent my time paying attention to the details he spoke about (again looking for his words to be consistent about his life), as well I watched to see how he interacted with other people in the chatroom. Watching to see if he hit on any and all women that were in the chatroom, watching to see how he spoke with other men ... did he dismiss them or did he carrying on a normal conversation with them. After paying attention for two months only then did I speak to him at any length (other than just being polite by saying hi or to answer a question if he spoke to me).

    Needless to say we enjoyed talking with eachother. He wanted to speak by phone right away. I was not comfortable with that happening immediately. So I gave him my standard reply ... all in good time. It was probably about six weeks later that we started talking by phone. He wanted to meet right away, again I was not ready for that, so yes, he got the ... all in good time reply. It was another six weeks before we met, him flying to where I live to meet for the first time. We were very lucky that we were able to fly to see eachother about every 4-6 weeks. (very lucky!)


    Fae, I love your description of how to slowly and methodically figure out if someone on line is even someone you'd like to get to know better. This is really a critical point and if you don't mind, I am going to borrow and rephrase your thoughts...

    Fae has learned...How a person behaves online in a public forum is invaluable in deciding whether you want to pursue a more private relationship.

    It doesn't matter how old you are, how pretty you are or how provocative you are, if you do the internet chat/game chat thing, at some point you are going to be hit on by some guy. You are going to get the smiley face wink and a pm out of the blue, or ingame the wink and the /tell. Its all very enticing, but beware of the guy who does this and tries to base this connection on nothing.

    Fae, one of the reasons I felt safe to pursue a friendship with my YM was that I met him through another gamer who knew him in RL. Almost all the people in the guild knew each other and some had been friends since childhood. Its hard for me to remember the exact timeline but I started playing with my YM's friend in Spring of 2002 and didn't move to the game that my YM played until Fall of 2003, never spoke with any of them by phone until the point at which I decided I wanted to meet them in 2005. I was really slow!! But no one ever pressured me. Once the veil came down, i.e. my confession about the untruths I'd told, we actually started to talk on the phone. I wanted to meet them but this certainly wasn't going to happen without feeling like I had a better grasp on who they were and who he was.

    Chatting online is so incredibly slow and you are shielded from sooo much. As you chat with one person you have no idea who else they are carrying on private conversations with. There is a running log of everything you say and I might be naive, but I really do think its easier to keep up a charade in a chatroom than it is on the phone (although the occasional chat "mistell" can be enlightening.). We never did webcam, but in retrospect that's a technology that I might recommend. I agree that its another way to strip away some of the layers of fantasy before one rushes off into a RL meeting.

    Anyway, the point that came across loud and clear in your post is that if you are looking for a genuine relationship with someone, be it friendship or more, you have to go slowly and watch carefully from a sort of detached point of view.

    Whew...I'm running out of breath and I haven't even acknowledged the posts from the E's. I'm sort of wound up...My son's work at his recovery has me taking a hard look at my own life and I'm in sort of this frame of mind of "Well, if you do dumb things you are probably going to get dumb results" or as they say "garbage in...garbage out."

  9. #9
    joesbabygirl's Avatar
    joesbabygirl is offline Senior Member
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    I really didnt like this thread. Ive thought about it for days, and Ive had conversations with others who didnt agree with alot of points in it.

    I looked at your profile Rozie .. you have 7 friends here. Can you really tell me that if one of them posted something that was going on in there lives that was horrible, saddening, stressfull .. that you would have no feelings, that you wouldnt feel sad for them, horrible for what they are having to go through.

    I read TexasRose's post, I was so sad for her. Someone posted that while they read it, they cried for her.

    I have connections with some people here ... on some level I care for them, I respect them, Im interested in what is going on in there lives.

    Do these relationships have less value than one I have with a friend Ive had for 30 years .. with my step-sister whom I love ? I dont think so, they are just different.

    Odds are, I wont meet anyone that I have connected with here. It doesnt mean I wouldnt like to, I just dont have plans to.

    I came here looking for support, with a very unusual situation I found myself in. And I found alot of people in the same situation. It happens, all the time, its real .. because the feelings are real.

    Its just my thoughts, my opinions.

  10. #10
    Ellethe's Avatar
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    *confused*

    What exactly was said in this thread that makes you believe that anyone has discounted online relationships as less than real?

    Everyone in this thread started their relationships online? I know for 100% sure that I consider them VERY real. I am almost as certain that everyone else posting does too (almost, but I don't want to speak for them ).
    Psycho hatchet wielding midgets deserve to die

  11. #11
    Rozie Guest
    I agree that there are special circumstances when it comes to romantic relationships -- and I do fully agree that actually meeting is key, and you can't tell if the relationship really has potential until you do -- but I don't think it precludes the ability to fall in love. Online 'relationships' transferring to 'real life' can fail for any number of reasons, be it one or both parties turning out to not be who they pretended to be, the realization that the 'love' wasn't love but rather infatuation, or any number of factors. It could be that the two just aren't compatible with each other.
    Elizabeth, I completely agree with everything you've said here and I'll be open minded enough to try to believe that some people actually can fall in love online. I'm skeptical though, and maybe its because I didn't experience that and wouldn't even allow myself to slip into that frame of mind. I also remember boldly defending the notion that love can happen online and if someone were to go back and look through pages and pages of my old posts, they could probably dig up one that contadicts what I am saying now. I guess I'm looking back at our relationship now in comparison to our relationship then and what we thought we had, that now seems so insignificant...it was only a connection.

    We welcomed the connection, we built on it, but neither of us allowed it to be regarded as anything more. I'm sure the word love was used, but I have to repeat that until we had really spend significant time together, it was not what most of us would have called real love...certainly not something on which to base an entire future.

    I don't know if you guys remember an individual on this board who admitted some insecurities and conflicts within their gender identity and consequently had difficulty with forming intimate relationships. This person developed this ingame character that fell in love with another character and the acting out of this love affair tormented this person, because they so wanted to meet the other person but that meant divulging all this gender stuff that was so painful and threatening. I think fantasy is an amazing thing, but when one starts to blur the lines between that and reality, I think it can become dangerous. Everyone here told that individual to get some good mental health counseling and to deal with the gender issues in RL before trying to turn their game encounter into a RL relationship.

    That was a pretty dramatic illustration but its clearly in the same vein as the all the middle aged women who are in failing marriages and find comfort in a YM in a game, then start fretting about who's going to live where when they get married in RL. I just don't buy it and I'm going to stand by my statement that a game is not real life.

    BTW, I am really happy that you are participating in this thread and I wish more people would. Making that leap from an online relationship to an in person relationship is scary and hard and not without its risks. Online is really so much easier in some ways...so much safer. Hang in there everyone, just guard your hearts.

  12. #12
    Rozie Guest
    I really didnt like this thread. Ive thought about it for days, and Ive had conversations with others who didnt agree with alot of points in it.

    I looked at your profile Rozie .. you have 7 friends here. Can you really tell me that if one of them posted something that was going on in there lives that was horrible, saddening, stressfull .. that you would have no feelings, that you wouldnt feel sad for them, horrible for what they are having to go through.

    I read TexasRose's post, I was so sad for her. Someone posted that while they read it, they cried for her.

    I have connections with some people here ... on some level I care for them, I respect them, Im interested in what is going on in there lives.

    Do these relationships have less value than one I have with a friend Ive had for 30 years .. with my step-sister whom I love ? I dont think so, they are just different.

    Odds are, I wont meet anyone that I have connected with here. It doesnt mean I wouldnt like to, I just dont have plans to.

    I came here looking for support, with a very unusual situation I found myself in. And I found alot of people in the same situation. It happens, all the time, its real .. because the feelings are real. Its just my thoughts, my opinions.
    Joesbabygirl, please let me clarify some things. First, I find TexasRose's experience very sad a well. This post isn't directed at TexasRose specifically. Her experience is just one of many going back over the years that I've been here. If this is painful to you or to her because you think I am aiming it at her, I'm not, but I do hope that when people read her thread and this thread, they can see themselves in them and steel themselves against what might not be a great outcome.

    Please feel free to count yourself among the experienced and chime in with what you specifically didn't agree with. Its a discussion.

    You mention that the "feelings are real". I am trying to say that although they might be real, they are not necessarily the same feelings that one is going to have when they actually meet their online friend in person. I am not trying to invalidate your feelings or anyone else's...just making the point that what happens online in a fantasy game is not necessarily how its going to go down on terre firma.

    I hope I don't offend you if I say that yes, I would value a friend of 30 years more than I would value a friend made here. Geez, maybe that's why I only have 7 friends here.

  13. #13
    Rozie Guest
    Ellethe, I can not tell you how strongly I agree with your statement "A Toon is not a person." Would be nice if some of the guys would chime in here. I'll be the first to admit, my toon was sexy and so was my guy's. In the months prior to meeting him, every time I talked to him on the phone I had his avatar in my head. His RL voice fit his avatar perfectly...on some level it was very seductive. I'd not seen an upclose picture because he was self conscious about his appearance. I have so much more to say about the sending of pictures, but quickly, let me say we were each very different than our toons. And despite finally getting some pictures from him, he looked very different in RL from the poses he'd sent me. I remember that very weird feeling so clearly. Hearing that voice that I loved and trying to cement it to this man that I didn't know except in the context of his conversation.

    We continued to call each other by our ingame names for days because our real names seemed so strange. It was actually in the long gap between our first meeting (as friends) and meeting up about six months later for the purpose of dating, that the real feelings began to develop.

    Expectations and Communication is NOT just about sex

    Make sure that you are talking about your goals, politics, rules, lifestyle, finances, and EXPECTATIONS for your partner in addition to how much you miss each other and want to be together. It is those things that keep you together and build commonality, not just a successful raid or hot cyber. Don't get me wrong I think the later also help build connection, but they aren't the things that get you through a marriage. How much time is it okay for your partner to be online gaming? Can your partner have online g/fs? Can you? How do you feel about money? Who's going to make it? How are things going to be split as far as chores, work, dollars, responsibility, & debt? How do you feel as parents? Do you share similar philosophies? Who's going to be in charge? (especially important if you have step children involved) How important is socializing with others to you? Or extended family? How do others feel about you as a couple? These things matter folks... A LOT!
    I think these are awesome questions that people need to be asking before they dive headlong into a relationship with their online guy. I especially liked your question "Can your partner have online g/f's?" I like it because it defines what one thinks of the status of an online relationship. I've known guys with a girl on every server...I choose not to worry about such stuff because, not to beat a dead horse, I think its what happens outside the game that counts. But if a guy were to proclaim his undying love for you in game and make references about how "real" it was, then turn up with another life in another galaxy...I'd run for the hills. Couples who play together, stay together.
    Last edited by Rozie; 08-07-2009 at 04:15 PM.

  14. #14
    miejan Guest
    Hmm
    this is interesting.
    I met my LDR through WOW. And yes i havent met him yet in real life. I have met my ex husband online previously.
    Now when i met Illya, yes i use his toons name here but dont when i talk to him. He was just a toon and a person in the game. Even when we just chatted. I was talking to the Toon. But when it became more than that. Photos sent. Voices heard. Dreams shared. Pains felt. I became one emotionally with Dillon the person not Illya the toon. There is a complete difference. I am sharing my self with Dillon the person. He is a real person on the phone or on the vent or im or even in the game chat. Just because I havent touched him in person doesnt make him toonish or less real. I have many friends this way. Whom I consider extremely good friends even tho we are online. And if i meet them in real life. And i have met a few. We pick up just like we were old friends. You are very familiar with them. To say some one cant "fall in love" with some one online is a little extreme to me. I think they can. My opinion of course. But falling in love is just as much emotional as it is physical. And alot of your physical is controlled by your emotional. If you truly love some one for their heart. I mean really do. It doesnt matter what they look like. And i have done that. I honestly believe I love Dillon for who he is and not what he is. And i honestly believe what I feel is love for him. So maybe in the long run life may be too much for us or soemthing but that would happen in a real life relationship too. No matter what happens. Dillon will be in my life some how. Maybe not romantically but i have made the most incredible friend in the world online.
    I guess what I am trying to say is it is all in the perspective on how you look at the person you are talking to online. Dillon and i dont play wow much any more. But we talk constantly. As dillon and chris.
    So how much more real can that get?

  15. #15
    Rozie Guest
    If you look at a relationship, between 2 people who " like " each other. Usualy its based on looks, maybe a hair style or something else superficial. When it begins, isnt it all rainbows and roses .. the honeymoon stage. where your days and nights are filled with butterflies and goosebumps.
    Isnt that fantasy ? This perfect person ( who has not shown any flaws ), this person who becomes your world ( because you dont want to see the bad ) the person you have decided to spend your entire life with ( no one knows the future ).

    Im just saying, most people will dream of the perfect future with there SO, because isnt that what we all want.

    I didnt say my friend of 30years wouldnt have more value, i didnt say the people here have less value. I just said they are different.

    I found it strange, still do .. that I can put my entire relationship on this site. My thoughts, fears, wants ... and I cant tell my mother.

    Is it because people here are more open minded, more accepting than she is. Because I can honestly say she loves me more than you guys : )

    Im just trying to get across that just because its different, doesnt mean its less real ... we all dream, and hope, and wish. Whether or not our SO is with us everyday in person, or only online ... they are with us, and we want to someday, somehow, get to them ... and if we make it out to be better than it really will be, dont we all do that anyways in the beginning.
    You know, there was a time just a few years ago where I would have agreed with you that online and in person relationships have the same value, they are just different. I don't feel that way anymore. I think they each have value and they each involve real feelings...each can hurt and each can heal. I agree that they are very different. In fact that is really the point I am trying to make. The difference is exactly what makes us all want to end the online thing. I think most of those who are currently in an online relationship are there because their circumstances are preventing them from meeting. I think most people realize that the goal is to get to really be together. The value of an online romance is that it hopefully leads to more.

    You do what you have to do...I get it...I even did it.

    But some of the things I have gone through in the last five years affect my outlook, as much as your current situation affects yours. I spent a LOT of time ingame and on the computer. Had this not gone well, I think I would be pretty pissed off at myself. I do know that I was not content to wait forever for this man; we had to be making some forward progress because frankly, an online relationship doesn't come close to an in person relationship. I could wait for as long as it took, within reason, but I felt that there needed to be reciprocal movement on both ends to close the gap. I was not willing to sit there and let love be unrequited.

    One of the things that my YM and I both felt after my move is that we suddenly had so much more time. We didn't have to keep checking the computer, logging into game, watching inboxes and caller ID and missed calls and TM's. We could actually enjoy life without angsty anticipation and apprehension. Had I gone through all that and it turned out badly...yes, I'd be pretty pissed that I had wasted all that time at this time in my life.

    I don't think it is unusual at all that you can put your whole life out here along with your deepest, darkest secrets and stuff you can't even tell your mom. It the anonimity of this place that allows you to do that and again, its exactly the unrealness of this place that allows you to do that and allows people to answer back without worrying too much about how their opinion is going to be recieved. Its probably not so much that people are more open minded here (maybe more open minded about you than your mom is) but we aren't invested in you and we don't love you the way she does, so there is a freedom that you get in people's responses to you. Clearly, in my mind, your relationship with your mother is more valuable than any relationship you have with anyone online.

    Again, hang in there...no one is discounting what you have, but by the same token, don't blow it into something that it hasn't had a chance to become yet, either.

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