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How 'real' are online relationships?

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:46 PM
  • 27 Replies

My daughter, Kyra, is a college student and plays an online video game where she has made friends. We are close and she shares quite a bit with me. Recently, she told me that one of the guys in this group, Chris, is moving out here to California from Wisconsin to be with her. On the plus side, he is not planning to stay with her. However, he is married. He has told her that his wife started seeing her ex about 10 months ago and the marriage was failing. His new relationship with Kyra was the catalyst that precipitated their mutual decision, last weekend, to end the marriage. Kyra, who broke up with her boyfriend of 5 years over the summer, is very happy and excited. I'm not so happy. I'm concerned that she is jumping into something too soon; I was hoping she would make friends at school. But, this is not what I am really upset about. Chris and his wife had booked a trip to Japan a month from now and Chris wants Kyra to go in her place. I told Kyra that I don't think she should go on a trip like this with someone she hasn't even met in person. She says she has known him for 8 months. This leads to my subject: How 'real' are online relationships? Now, perhaps when she meets him, 10 days from now, the situation will change. And, perhaps when I meet him in 2 weeks, I will feel differently. But, right now, I feel anxious and scared. When she told me about the trip to Japan, she thought I was going to be happy for her. She is disappointed that I have reservations and she told me that it started her thinking. But, later, she told me she talked to Chris and he reassured her. Swell. By the way, Kyra is turning 21 soon and Chris is 30.

by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:46 PM
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by Becky on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM
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This is terrifying. I don't mean to freak you out any more than you already are, but he could very well be telling her exactly what he thinks she wants to hear, and he could be the exact opposite of what he is portraying. Anyone can say anything online- how can it be confirmed?

I hope for her own sake that she rethinks all of this. She shouldn't even MEET him without having someone with her.

You know, maybe he is the best guy in the world. Maybe he is being perfectly honest with her. But who's to know? I know she's 21 and can legally make her own decisions, but if she were my daughter, I'd be on her constantly to reconsider.
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by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:12 PM

When I first ready the title I though, well I think friendship wise they can be. I work from home & a lot of good friendships were made. 

What you are talking about. NO!!!!!!!!! 

I don't mean to say that online relationships can NEVER work. But this was started from a marriage that then is broken but not over. Planning a trip to another country and is going WAYYY too fast. 

by Ronna on Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:54 PM
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an online relationship is only as real as the person who is sitting there at the computer typing.  It can be true and honest but there are too many weirdos out there.   I'd be hesitant to let my daughter go to a foreign country with a man she's only known online.  It's just too easy to portray something you are not - and of course that's a two-way street. 

I've had relationships that were real and honest with men online.  Actually chatted with one guy for 3 months and when I finally met him, it felt like we had known each other a long time.  Thankfully we were both honest when we met online.  But it's too easy to be someone you are not online. 

I'd encourage your daughter to meet this guy and develop a relationship the old fashioned way - and THEN if things go well, they can take that trip together in the future. 

by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

 A good friend of mine pursued relationships on line.  The first one was a scam.  I advised her that transferring money was a big negative and she could find herself in the middle of something illegal on top of losing money.  Thankfully she ended that relationship with only money lost.  The second relationship turned into a marriage and they are happy.  He was from England and they met several times in person.  They married and she moved to England.  They are very happy.  She was over 50 - and fortunate that this was not a scam as well.  We still stay in contact.  Relationships do happen online- but it takes time to get to really know one another.

I would have a fit if my daughter did this.  They need to meet and get to know each other if they think they are that serious.  Going out of the country so soon is just a bad idea.  21 is very young.  You are very right to be cautious. 

by Platinum Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM

I met my husband online. But I'm in my 50's, and like to think I'm a little more realistic than a 20 year old. My question would be why is he packing up and moving to CA? Does he already have a job lined up? What type of work does he do? Maybe you, or someone you trust should accompany her on a couple meetups with him. If she refuses to hear you on this...I would think she's not able to think rationally and like an adult. I think the push for Japan so quickly is probably because it's already paid for and all lined up and reserved (if it's true at all).

by Jeanine on Aug. 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM
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 I would be worried too.  A married 30 yr old playing games on the computer and hooking up with a 20 yr old is not cool!  I would be looking into the court system to see if he is in there, assuming he is giving his real name etc.

by Lisa on Aug. 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

that is scary...CAsey did go on a trip with her ex BF and his family once but they had been "dating" on line for 2 years before she even met him in person.

by Pamela on Aug. 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM

I've seen both sides...I have friends tell me some really horror stories about friends & love interest they've met online.  And I know of some great friendships & love interest that started online.  For myself I met a very dear friend online (she deceased now) I was trying to find information on my son's illness and I posted on a group. She reached out to be via email because her son had the same illness...we ended up talking on the phone everyday for years, and we visited each other...

i have two former co-workers who are married for years and now have children to men they've met online...

I know it can be scary, but just as  with everything you have to use caution...

by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 7:39 AM

omg run away from him too many losses or uses online

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I had an online relationship for 3 years with a man.  We both were married.  I left a year into our relationship and ended my marriage.  NOT because of the online relationship.  Eventually online became in person dating, he lived a state away.  He remained married, kept telling me the marirage was just for habit and status because of the church they were involved in and their families.  But I eventually got some information on his wife and started doing online searching and found that thier marriage was indeed a real marriage, at least in her eyes.  And he seemed pretty "happily married" from the pictures and her commments.  

I couldn't understand how he could spend so much time with me, HOURS and HOURS on the phone, comupter, visits and she not be suspecious.

Anywho, my point is, the man could be lying or telling the truth, you just don't know.  Many online relationships go on to be successful.  He is only telling your daughter what he wants her to know at this point.  She will have to really look into his life once he gets to her and she can really see how he lives, just like in any other relationship.  

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