Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Say you met someone online and....?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) November 15th, 2012

Say you met a person male or female online, and you chatted a lot together and of course had fun online for ages then decided to meet. But, you were aware that, that person spent most of their time online had very little social life, and also used online as a method of sexual gratification. And in fact had no real life sexual encounters.

When you finally met, would you be afraid to go to bed early , and leave them on line?

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31 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

You last line confuses me a little. By finally met, do you mean meet for a relationship and sex? as in that they would maybe have sex with you and then go online for more sexual stuff?

The answer to that would be no, anyone who goes online to do sexual stuff is doing so because of the lack of real life sex, once they had the real stuff, you could stop worrying about them going back online while you sleep.

Having said that, it would depend on the nature of the person too, some want it all.

Shippy's avatar

@poisonedantidote Thanks yes it should read *finally you met, moved into together, would you be afraid to go to bed early and leave them online.

ucme's avatar

I have no desire to meet any online folks, unless the bear from the Ted movie counts, just ordered one off amazon for crimbo…good times.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@ucme That movie rocks and then some.

I’d question the necessity or the desire to meet someone who had such “qualities”. As per @poisonedantidote, it would depend on the nature of the person in the case of both parties…the person wanting to meet them and the person who er…leads that kind of life (I guess that’s the best way of putting it).

Shippy's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster loll good point!! hangs head

marinelife's avatar

I would not expect them to change their behavior. To do so would be unrealistic. They would probably not be good partner material.

josie's avatar

Sounds a little creepy to me.

Bellatrix's avatar

If they don’t socialise with people offline, I would be concerned about why that is. I understand some people are shy, but your description suggests they are more like a hermit than shy. If they are used to getting their sexual gratification only online, I would be concerned about how well they will be able to make the transition to having a real partner and I would think they would continue with that online behaviour to some level. My concern would be more about their ability and willingness to participate in a real relationship than what they do online when I am not about.

snapdragon24's avatar

@Shippy, is this happening to you?

Unbroken's avatar

@Shippy Is it something you feel comfortable discussing as a give and take, like we did this together, is it something you are still interested in doing, do you have any issues if I do it? Or some such…

To me this is like you hooked up in a bar, and the partner still goes to the bar, can you really trust he’s at the bar. How would you handle that situation? Does it work can you apply it to the internet situation?

Kardamom's avatar

The whole idea of online relationships baffles me. I want to meet, know and get to know better, people in real life, in my community. People who share similar interests and ideas and ideals. I would prefer to meet/know real people in the community/city in which I live. Online relationships, even ones on Fluther ,no matter how nice, are not really real. They might be good/great and useful, but they are one dimensional. You need to meet/know people in real life. I can’t imagine in a million years, hooking up with someone I met online. To me that is completely un-real.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Kardamom, I think it’s a valid way for people to initially make a connection. My own feeling is that if I was single and ‘met’ someone online I would want to really ‘meet’ them in person very quickly but I don’t see much distinction between making that first contact online or in a bar or anywhere else. It’s what people do after that connection is made that matters.

trailsillustrated's avatar

The online porn thing to me, is creepy. I know people like porn and there’s nothing wrong with that; the idea of alot of it is… creepy.

ninjacolin's avatar

??? you mean you’re worried they will have internet masturbation sessions without you?

Well, if you didn’t make it a rule upfront that masturbation/online sexing is cheating then you can’t really expect them not to have a case. But you’re going to want to tell them soon, like right away, that you don’t think you can live with it if it’s going on.

I’ll tell you what you can’t do though: You can’t expect them to change for you over night. If it is something they want to work on because they would rather try to give it up and keep you around, great. But keep in mind that again it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to change it over night. Even if they say: “Okay I won’t ever do that again.” Don’t hold them to it. Habits are hard to come by.

Now, on the flipside, if you value that person so much that you would be willing to learn to become more accepting of it, then.. well, get sexy with them and make it a thing between the two of you.

But if neither of you are interested in attempting over time to conform to the desires of the other, then I can only see it ending in split-city. Just try to keep in mind that people can’t break habits very easily and sometimes people make false promises out of fear.. It’s better to push for honest communication about what the facts are and what you both really want rather than intimidating someone into quick decisions that they can’t hold up to.

Kardamom's avatar

I also would never attempt to meet someone at a bar. I don’t drink and I think it’s very superficial and un-realistic. I would rather meet someone in a real life situation. Somewhere where I worked, where I went to socialize (not ever at a bar) where I went to do my regular activities, where I went to school, where I shopped, where I went to social events, where I went to exercise or whatever. I don’t do online dating, because I think there are so many unknowns from the get go. Dating is hard enough without putting distance (real or imagined) between you. Call me old fashioned. or just concerned, but real life meetings and get to knowings are the only way for me. I would never consider online dating. Even if that meant I would end up alone. I’m not so bad company.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @Kardamom to a large degree.
The internet is full of dysfunctional people that can’t stand and deliver when called upon to do so. I do not consider any online fraternization to be a real “relationship.” Real relationships are about relating, face to face & over the phone, not just across a computer screen where people can make themselves out to be whatever they want. Usually more in line with their fantasy ideals rather than the reality of who they really are.

While there are plenty of genuine types there are also scads of phonies, I’d beware and be very conscious of projecting any fantasies onto an online pal until you have spent many months getting to know each other IRL.
Internet dating fantasies abound and they are almost always an illusion.

wundayatta's avatar

I really wouldn’t be worried about this.

When people who have only known each other online meet in person for the first time, it is generally pretty intense. There is no room for thinking about going on online.

Now, all cases are individual, and if the person who is shy is pathologically shy, then I wouldn’t be surprised if they back out of an in-person meeting altogether. If I recall, you asked a question about that, too, so maybe that would be a worry.

If a man has problems, then it is an overall picture of problems. It’s not just online behavior. It’s lack of previous relationships. It could be living at home with parents. Maybe not being employed. There could be many of what people around here like to call “red flags.” Warnings. This man has issues. Is he seeing a therapist? Is he working on his issues?

In any case, there is no reason to expect that things will change. However, if the online relationship is the only online relationship, and the person that was online is now here in person, then there is no other online relationship to go to.

My experience is that I went online because I didn’t know how to meet anyone any other way. My goal was to make a real connection, not just to whack off, either individually or in mutual masturbation scenes. If this man’s goal is a relationship, then that’s what he wants. If he is using online as a way to relate without relating, then an in-person relationship will be highly threatening, and he will back out of it.

The person coming to visit must know the online person well enough to decide what is likely to happen. I used to ask myself these kind of reality check questions. Do I know enough about her? Does her story hang together? Are there holes—things she never talks about? Have we discussed her other relationships? Do I believe what she has said?

The first time I ever did this, I felt like I could be walking into a situation where I might be disappeared. I had this idea I would get into her car, and instead of taking me to my hotel, she would take me home and shackle me into her basement. Ok. I was crazy at the time, but I don’t think it was that unreasonable to fear the unknown. My picture of it may have been extreme, but I just didn’t know.

But come on, I told myself. She’s an academic sort. She’s divorced. She’s older than I am. She’s lonely. She’s worked in places I’ve vacationed in and is knowledgeable about it. She understand education policy. On and on. It was a story that held together. I knew who her children were. Her ex. Her former lovers. Her political attitudes. Where her family lived. I knew her excitements. The sound of her voice. I knew a lot that probably couldn’t be faked.

So the story held together, and I felt it was reasonable enough to meet her, although I’m not sure I would have if I had known I was manic at the time. But it seemed very urgent and important to me, and I was away on business. Yeah. Just imagine me explaining this to my wife, later. But I was depressed by then.

Anyway. You know. It is normal to feel anxious and to wonder, and to imagine all kinds of fears about meeting someone you’ve known only online or over the phone. You understand that you have been filling in many many details about this person that aren’t available with the bandwidth of the internet. When you finally meet them, you could find you’ve been fooling yourself, or worse, he’s been fooling you. But I doubt it. Especially if it’s been longer than a year. Or even a few months.

When you have these fears, I would run over in my mind what you know. Tell yourself the story. Look for holes. If there are holes, then the next time you talk, ask about them. My theory was that I should put myself in the worst light. If she still wanted to see me knowing all the bad stuff, then I wouldn’t have to pretend to be something I wasn’t.

It turned out in the end, we were meant to be friends, not lovers. That was probably best for me, anyway. We’ve known each other for years now, and I can say anything to her, and she doesn’t judge me. We only saw each other the once. My wife doesn’t want me to see her again, naturally.

Buttonstc's avatar

Let me get something straight here because I think I read that you’d be living together with this person? After only knowing them through the Internet? (or perhaps shortly thereafter?)

Who is moving to whom. Is he moving to come live with you or are you the one doing the moving? (you’ve previously mentioned moving in the near future so I’m just double checking here)

If you’re the one doing the moving, that is such a risky (and expensive) move. If things don’t work out long term then you’re the one who has sacrificed the most. Where would you live then?

There have been so many heartbreaking accounts of people who have moved significant distances to marry or live with someone they’ve met over the Internet. And they do this fairly immediately and sight unseen. That’s incredible. And their subsequent disillusionment is equally incredible to them. The obvious preventative to this is a healthy measure of common sense.

People can tell you anything and be anyone in a fantasy online or telephone relationship (and they frequently do) but when real life presents itself everything is drastically different.

If he wants a relationship with you then let him be the one doing the moving. And having him moving in with you right away is also a recipe for disaster. Let him get an apt. nearby, find a job and then you two can date and get to know each other like normal people in the real world.

If after a year or two it works out, then great. If it doesn’t work out then you just go your separate ways. No harm no foul and nobody’s life has been upended.

From your description of him and the type of interaction between you two, he doesn’t strike me as having any of what a real relationship would require. So he likes having virtual sex. Big deal. Is that something that’s worth uprooting your entire life for?

Be honest with yourself and take off the rose colored glasses. Are you really imagining building a life together with a fantasy?

If he’s that infatuated with you then let him do the moving. Or are you so desperate that you’re willing to throw common sense to the winds.

It’s one thing to be “used” in an online situation (as I strongly suspect that that’s basically what’s going on here) because you can end it and go on with your life with relative ease.

But, after moving a significant distance, all of a sudden it’s not so east.

I’m sure he’s really good at telling you what he knows you want to hear but actions speak louder than mere words. Let him be the one doing the moving. Then, you’ll really find out the reality of this situation. I’m sure he has all sorts of valid sounding reasons for why he can’t be the one doing the moving, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

Please don’t be so desperate that you put yourself in an untenable situation.

Shippy's avatar

I had initially asked this question tongue in cheek. I guess though it is a reality in a way. The actual question I mean. A lot of your answers have got me thinking, and I appreciate your input. But also need to maybe mention a few things, as perhaps the scenario seems simple.

I for one have never sought love over the net. I never found it to be a realistic way of meeting a person, simply because I cannot smell them, touch them get a sense of them. The person I met, we were friends for six years. Or more, then I was a busy person and had a life. I always understood he had a social phobia though. Social phobias are common, and as we know the net is filled with people suffering depression, social phobias, anxiety,or other things, I am no expert. I myself sought the internet as a way of connecting to the world, due to depression amongst other things.

I have never been desperate, in the sense that I have always had propositions in real life, but have never wanted a relationship. Until now. The reason being is, this person, has been with me through thick and thin. He has seen me at my worse and best. He also knows me very well, probably better than anyone. @Buttonstc I agree I did try to get him to move, but I don’t think social phobics find that easy?

Plus I am better off being in the UK for my own personal reasons.

I have never been one to go out a find a man either in bars or anywhere else, simply because in all honesty I am not interested.

So the reason am ‘uprooting my life’ is because here, where I am there is no life for me anymore. As many of my posts previously stated. I have known him nine years now, so no, its not a case of ooh, someone loves me let me move. I am not that person. You raise some great points, though. I think that moving in immediately would not be a great idea. My main focus there is to get well. (I suffer Bipolar and currently have no support here whatsoever). Plus I had to sell to settle debts. But I agree, moving in together, for a girl that lived alone for 16 years by choice, is a shock to the system, never mind anything else.

I do have this uneasy feeling of , some people could be only able to have online relationships. It’s a feeling that worries me. I have been married, engaged twice and had two long terms relationships. Plus many in between. I am fifty so… !! Plus , I have had friends, some moved overseas some passed away over a short period of time. But I have been active n society as a normal person. I feel he hasn’t. But hey, I am not perfect. So my question probably meant, how long could I keep his attention, and could he finally close the lap top to the fantasy world? I am open to ideas any, so thanks all…. keep them coming if you can!

Bellatrix's avatar

Thank you for the additional information. To answer your final questions – I don’t think you can. I don’t think you can solve his social phobia and change who he is. Only he can do that. You may be able to encourage him to seek serious help and to walk with him as he takes baby steps. It’s good you have had such a friend, wherever he is and in whatever medium.

Shippy's avatar

@Bellatrix Thank you, yes, I have never had such a wonderful friend and you are right, I need to help him, in ways too, as he has helped me so so much .

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I think that because he has known you for nine years and been there with you through thick and thin that it should tell you a lot in that he is clearly very loyal and in my opinion that would translate into him leaving the lap top world behind with apparent ease if you were in the UK.

I am sure you do not have to worry about struggling to keep his attention as you have done it with absolute ease for years and you know each other inside and out and I bet he has a huge list of things he would love to do with you and places to take you that will take decades to work through.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta Thanks for your feedback. No he is not doing anything to solve any of the issues. Although there is help readily available to him. That part I am battling with personally.

Buttonstc's avatar

So, are you still planning to live with him or will you be getting your own place ?

To answer a few more of your recent Qs, I honestly think that the prognosis is pretty doubtful in terms of him changing significantly.

And, have you considered that you may end up becoming an enabler of sorts to his isolationism ? I think that is far more likely a scenario than the reverse since, with you there, he has even less reason or need to interact with others.

Will you be happy with that type of extremely limited life? Just the two of you squirreled away like hermits?

If he’s not willing to make an investment of time and energy in therapy, it’s pretty doubtful there will be much change. After all, simple inertia makes it so much easier to stay locked into the fantasy world of his screen monitor.

Are you also under the impression that you’re the only one that he has developed the same type of relationship with?I hope not because that’s highly unlikely. It’s also highly unlikely to think that he’s going to be able to forsake virtual sex just because there’s a real live person in his life.

What does he do for work? Does he have a job? Is he a just a social phobic or an agoraphobic as well?

It’s great that he was there for you during a troublesome period in your life, but that was in a cyber connection not real life. And if he basically lives in the virtual world presented by his computer, then obviously has plenty of time on his hands for doing that.

But what happens in the real world ? The one where the rubber meets the road ?

Anyhow, these are just questions that I hope you are asking as well, both of him and of yourself. You’re an adult so you’ll just have to do what you feel is best. But for your own sake, please don’t get so caught up in the excitement of the situation when you finally meet that caution gets thrown out the window.

One of my oldest and dearest friends in the world is also bipolar so I have quite a bit of familiarity with it and my friend has to constantly be on the alert for getting so caught up in the excitement of something that it throws him totally out of whack. And the effects of it can last for months. It’s a constant vigilance to maintain healthy balance. In everything.

Whatever you do, take care of yourself. And maintain a healthy skepticism and loads of common sense.

ninjacolin's avatar

If you have nothing better to do and it’s feasible, then for sure you could go on an adventure and move somewhere where you at least have a friend like him around to start off with. But you have to really be prepared to continue on and enjoy it if it doesn’t turn into something dependable in a romantic sense.

A trap with this, though, is that you might easily use “Adventuring” as an excuse when really the only thing you want to move for is that romantic opportunity. If you can’t be honest with yourself and separate your intentions, and if something goes wrong between the two of you then the move might feel like a complete disaster even if the only thing that goes wrong is that relationship.

Chances are though, even if there’s no romance to be had with this person, there’s still a chance for an enhanced friendship from the move.

rooeytoo's avatar

My husband and I met on the internet. We communicated via chat and emails for several years before we decided we were becoming more than cyber friends. So I came to Australia for a 2 week visit. I extended that to one month after arriving and determining he was not a serial murderer or psychopath. We decided we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. So at the end of the month I went home and put my business, etc. on the market. He came to visit me a few months later and shortly after that my property sold and I moved to the other side of the world, lock stock and barrel. He would have moved to the USA but I really wanted to give Australia a try, so that was my choice. Now I did it with the idea in my head that if things didn’t work out with us, I would have one hell of an adventure and experience a completely different way of life, at least for a while. If I didn’t like it there I could come back to the USA or if I liked the country I could seek a life of my own there. It never crossed my mind that he might have had other similar relationships. I didn’t, so I assumed he didn’t either. I have been here 15 years now and since we have worked together for the last 10 or so years, if he had any other things going on line, I probably would have noticed by now. Neither of us has any social phobias although we both are sort of loners, we enjoy the company of ourselves and our dogs.

I guess a lot depends on what your expectations are. If you look upon it as an adventure that you can get out of if you choose, then do it and have fun. If you are basing your whole life on it, then it’s pretty risky, but really, aren’t all relationships risky to one degree or another???

Shippy's avatar

@Buttonstc Excitement is the last thing I feel. I am moving really out of circumstance. But thanks for the good points mentioned I am more aware now. @everyone primarily I am moving for my own benefit, but the more I hear of the UK NHS the more worried I am becoming because that is my main reason, my friend is the bonus, and yeah I reckon he will be OK in real life he is very dedicated and loyal. I realize he suffers from Avoidance PD.We can be two nuts together!

Shippy's avatar

@rooeytoo thanks! yes I think we can both hermit together, as of late (last two years) I been one too. That’s kind of a joke, but at this point sounds good.

Shippy's avatar

@Buttonstc Definitely getting my own place. No question.

wundayatta's avatar

I think that if you know a person online for a year or more, or even six months or more, you will most likely find that they are exactly who they appear to be online, when you meet them in real life.

On another board, I gave a popular answer about internet pretending. Probably half a dozen people came to me to ask how they could stop pretending. Most of them had started out of insecurity. They didn’t feel people would like who they really were, so they pretended to be someone, usually of the opposite sex, and established these long term relationships that ended up causing trouble. They wanted to know how to come clean. How to stop pretending.

There are a few people who do this, but I don’t think most people do it. I think most people are exactly who they are.

What that means, too, is that they are exactly who they are to you. So it’s not that he hangs out online because that’s what he likes doing. He hangs out online with you, because he likes you. And if you are there in person, he’s not going to go hang out online. He’s going to be with you, because you aren’t online. You’re real, now.

If he had multiple lovers online, he would probably tell you. It wouldn’t be a surprise. And if he didn’t tell you, you would notice because he would often be unavailable and not be able to tell you why in a convincing way. So you know the answer to this question already. We don’t know, because we aren’t involved. But if there is something bothering you, then that’s your sign. If this is just theoretical, then you must trust that you do know him. How many years has it been?

And you know all about online relationships, short and long. You know when people are being fake or real. You’re just getting a little bit of jitters because of the big changes in your life. You will be fine. He will be exactly who he is. I’m not saying he will be fine because we know he has issues. But his issues will be the issues you know.

Paradox25's avatar

Personally I’m not a fan of online dating, and I’m saying this as a very introverted guy. I actually find online dating to be more difficult than just putting yourself out there like at work, school, etc. At least at work or school you can talk to others in person, it’s easy to make conversation in those situations, and sometimes they even talk to you first so if we hit it off then it’s a win win. Most online dating sites, like Match.com are nothing but competition fests for women (yes I tried match), and that is something I don’t find enjoyable. As far as to what you’ve mentioned I’m not sure how to answer that. Not everybody dates alot and many people have very big gaps in between their attached periods (I’m talking many years here), so does that make them ‘weird’? No one can answer this for you, and in the end it’s going to come down to you getting along with each other, not other’s opinions of the guy and the situation.

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