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As I quietly observe the ordinary couple walking hand-in-hand in the shopping mall, occupying their other available hand with their iPhones, I began to wonder as to whether or not physical intimacy was being dangerously replaced by online intimacy? Have we completely lost the importance of genuine face-to-face interaction? Or has our online couple status increased our relationship longevity?
Questions… for which I have no answers as I have limited to no exposure on #RelationshipGoals and real life dating. So here’s some insight supporting and opposing digital presence in romantic relationships.
My girlfriends and I often discuss the impacts of physical online dating.
One girlfriend went into a complete emotional frenzy after her boyfriend didn’t reply to her messages for two whole days. Would that equate to the end of the relationship? Or does he simply have no access to any form of wifi and internet data—or worse, had she been ghosted?
AH! The "ghosting" angle that has tested many faint hearted folks. Ghosting someone refers to when an individual randomly decides to cut all forms of communication or contact with whomever they are conversing with; this typically occurs in two-party relationships—either intimate or strictly platonic.
Another devastating aspect to overcome in the pursuit of finding romance, I could go on about the psychological and social causes behind ghosting, but that just wouldn’t be enough. It’s aiding to the restlessness nature that most people possess—if I cut out the online interaction, that too should cancel out the desire for physical interaction?
How about the couples/partners that don’t possess any digital footprints. Are they any safer than the rest of us?
Here’s another view to put into perspective:
Sandy and James have been vibing (going out, but not publicly exclusive) for five weeks. It’s a new situationship and they have been on a total of three dates together. Sandy and James met through mutual friends at a house party. James said all the right words and remarkably, the two noticed that they had a connection. “He has to be the next one!” thought Sandy. They exchanged numbers and went their separate ways.
Upon being smitten by this mysteriously charming man, Sandy began her usual post-meeting-a-guy investigation, and to her surprise, there were ZERO traces of James on social media. She even went as far as searching for his name on their mutual friends accounts—still, nothing. They did, however, continue talking through iMessage. Ashamed by her findings, Sandy could not bring herself to ask James as to why he wasn’t on any social media platforms.
“Perhaps he’s just really private,” she wondered. But that wasn’t the case at all. His online anonymity allowed for him to move through social spaces without being clearly identified.
As this newly vibing couple moved into week six of dating, their situationship took a turn for the unexpected. Whilst Sandy was mindlessly viewing Instagram stories, she spotted her vibe counterpart. James appeared on Michael’s Instagram story (Michael is Sandy’s college friend and one of their mutual friends). The Instagram video contains James and another woman caressing and pecking one another over drinks at a bar. This sight sent shockwaves through Sandy’s heart and left her feeling infuriated and #shook over what she had seen.
Crunchline: Does online presence assist or antagonise dating?
Does online absence give room to potential infidelity and secrecy in a relationship? Does online presence expose and disintegrate real life relationship values from conveying? How should we get to know and interact with our relationship patterns?
Is blended dating the new norm? If so, is it helping or threatening our love lives?