“Do you have a relationship with God?” He asked.”I do” she responded.”Tell me about this relationship” he told her.
“Well, I talk to God. At night when I’m praying… and during the day sometimes”
“Have you ever seen Him?”
“Do you get to spend time with Him?”
“Well, no but when I’m praying I feel like I am spending time with Him. I may not be able to see Him but I feel His presence and I feel loved”
“I have a similar experience with my girlfriend. I have never seen her, we met online three years ago. Yet, I feel like I know her. I feel like I’m spending time with her when we text and I very much feel like I love her. Most importantly, when she tells me she’s in love with me, I believe her.” This conversation that took place between two of my peers over a seminar helped me understand a little bit more about online relationships. I have noticed on my day-to-day interactions with other people that the stigma attached to meeting your significant other through the Internet has decreased significantly over the last couple of years. Yet I can’t help but notice that this does not stretch to people who maintain their relationship online and never actually meet in person.
Why is it that we’re so unwilling to accept that people can develop relationships and fall in love without ever meeting in person? Does physical contact make a relationship legitimate?
In the process of writing this piece, I have stopped to think about ways in which I receive love from others. That “good morning” text that lets me know that I’m in somebody’s thoughts at 6 AM. The “good luck” email before a job interview. The day I couldn’t attend my grandmother’s funeral because I was out of town, but my friends went even though they never met her. In none of these interactions was I in the presence of these people, yet I dare to call them interactions because these acts made by others changed my day and had an impact on me.
I dare not to say that I have any authority in this topic as I have never experienced first hand an exclusively online romantic relationship. I dared to write about it because I feel like we can all grow when we decide to be curious and explore the unknown.