I sometimes act and think as if my well being depends upon others. ~ vincenzo ©

solitary

Is finding online love better than no love at all?

I have been on my own for several years with my ups and downs. In real time I feel secure when meeting someone new. I can observe gestures and actions, listen to the texture of the voice and decide whether that someone might make a good match before deciding to step out. However, the rules vastly change when it comes to interacting online.

A close relation once recommended I get to know a lady a few years ago and so we began to correspond with each other. We chatted daily and eventually talked on Skype, but without the visual aid of a web camera. I did not own a computer at this time, so I relied upon a nearby internet cafe. This went on for a period of 3 or 4 months. We had developed a regular pattern of communication and all seemed a matter of course.

The day came when we finally met face to face as she picked me up at the airport and an unexpected dread filled my heart. Weeks of preparations and anticipation made the anticlimax more striking.  Until that moment, it never occurred to me we could possibly be mismatched. I blindly relied upon my close relative’s recommendation without question.  For someone who usually explores the terrain before advancing, this was not a great feeling.

Even though I already knew what I needed to be said, I stressed out for days pretending everything was fine. Days later, I worked up the nerve to sit down with her and confess my misgivings. The news devastated her as she felt we were the perfect match.  I felt sickened with remorse for having awakened her feelings. Alas, our dream vacation ended even before it started. It is most humiliating and disagreeable having to turn someone down after communicating at a distance for months.

The problem with online communication is you run the danger of fashioning a person after your own fancy, only to discover you lack the necessary chemistry or compatibility needed to advance further. What then?

Looking back, I believe online contact with stranger needs be treated as starting point while establishing strong limits. It is wise to keep the exchanges light, keeping the intervals of contact brief and spreading them out over a long period of time until you decide to meet face to face. Even though your intention may be to establish limits with someone in your head, what really determines the degree of attachment or involvement is the frequency and amount of time you as a couple interact together. You may call it a friendship or whatever you like, but the pacing is what determines the true emotional state.

Too much, too soon is a sure sign of codependency. It sends the message that the relationship is not only advancing too abruptly, but that the couple may have formed an additive attachment to each other. ~ vincenzo ©

To the artist, each entry is a love letter that provides a sacred space for contemplation. It is twofold: what you plan to send and what no one but yourself will ever read. ~ vincenzo ©

We add to life a distress of our own making when we place our sense of wellbeing in others’ hands. ~ vincenzo ©

Writing is not just another way to communicate. It is the deepest and most soulful. ~ vincenzo ©

May those who walk alongside of you, see you from the inside out. There is no greater compliment. ~ vincenzo ©

Most of us were born into an inhospitable world. I know I was. It rarely consults us or adapts to our preferences. Moreover, it often assumes a posture of inflexibility, judgment and/or indifference. These insular traits hardly ever get questioned, though no-one can deny their deadening effect. Jesus expressed this fallen state of humanity when he referred to the people as like sheep without a shepherd.

Acts of kindness however, beautify life. They are a source of blessing when they come from a place of strength. It’s never about yielding our sense of well-being into someone else’s hand. It is about showing generosity of heart, even in the face of possible indifference. It’s never in vain to show thoughtfulness and care even when someone doesn’t value it. Love avoidance doesn’t make caring expressions less valuable. The failure of someone to respond is often a sad reflection of the wounded self. ~ vincenzo ©

Written expression has an indefinable mystery impossible to simulate in verbal communication. It would be unfortunate after meeting someone through written correspondence to switch exclusively to verbal communication thereafter. Verbal exchanges tend to be strained and a lot more guarded. ~ vincenzo ©

Although a new friendship can die for lack of spice, the number one killer is giving too much, too soon. According to life coach Rhonda Britten giving too much, too soon is the biggest error committed by both genders. She says,

“The worst part about giving too much is the other person probably won’t just drop you. At least then you’d be free to start over. Instead, they will keep you on a string and not take you seriously, and you find yourself in ‘crazy love’ relationship. ”

It is easy to crush a promising relationship by following natural impulses, so what should you look out for? Here are some thoughtful questions cited by the above author:

Is your sense of contentment consumed in making the other person happy?
Do you over-identify, pouring your self into his or her problems to the point of ignoring your own?
Is he or she pulling away while you keep looking desperately for more ways to engage or connect?
Are you so wrapped up with the euphoria of this new relationship that you’ve forgotten your friends and family?
Are you lacking motivation to pursue interests on your own?
Here is my favorite:
Have you confused the sensations of uncertainty for love?

Britten says watching your pace is crucial from the start. She recommends two easy-to-follow ideas: 1. Maintain a slow pace enough for both persons to consider the compatibility factor, communicating as friends. This pace conveys an essential message of having a life of your own. (and) 2. Think of at least three interests in your life unrelated to your new friend, where you are proactively cultivating your own garden.

Another counsellor, Tracy Cabot says a relationship that starts on too high of a romantic pitch has nowhere to go but down: “If you give too much of your time too soon, the other person takes you for granted. You’ll know whether you’ve given too much too soon because you’ll feel cheated: The best way to give is intermittently. Give just enough of yourself to let the other person see how wonderful you can be, then back off a little to see if the other person is responding, then give a little more.”

~ vincenzo ©

When you believe you are undeserving you open yourself to unsuitable company who hoodwink you through false assurances.
~ vincenzo ©