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I'm in a long-term online relationship
I have known my partner online for nearly 7 years now. Obviously, online relationships are real for some of us. For me, online is as safe as face to face. People can lie about their criminal history, sexual history, age, profession, income, location, living arrangement, marital status... ANYTHING... online or face to face. You just have to monitor your safety no matter where you are. Ask questions, ask more questions, be involved with the person you care for, make sure they're willing to give you peace of mind by showing you what you need to see, make sure they follow through, don't let them off because you like them. Demand security, don't settle for excuses. I can speak for my own relationship with my partner, so I can definitely say that these generalizations are false. We share good times, bland times, horrible times... we dont have some 'sugar coated' fantasy relationship. We sit through eachothers negativity, we dont 'just turn the computer off' like people keep saying on this site, because we're emotionally BOUND to eachother, we care for eachother, and we have for a long time. Anyone who says ALL online relationships are fake and never count as anything is straight out wrong. They're just biased and inexperienced. And another thing... somebody said there is no body language online. There is voicechat and webcam which obviously show tone in the voice and facial expression. Apart from that, I personally know for a fact that there is an undertone or unspoken (or untyped =) ) language. Inexperienced people who don't KNOW the person they're talking to very well would of course say there isn't such a thing, but I know there is. If you know the person, you know their way of typing... if they type slower than usual, you notice, or faster, or their sentences are short and seem lazy... there are many things like that, that indicate the person's true feelings, even if they're typing otherwise... just like tones in the voice. It's as easy for me to get an idea how a person I know online is feeling as it is for me to get an idea of what a person I know in reality is feeling, as far as unspoken language is concerned.