Have you ever heard of “instimacy”? Here’s a cautionary tale about feeling instantly intimate with someone you just met online. Whether you’re making friends or trolling for your next “intimate” relationship, you should first learn about the concept of positive projection.
The online environment makes it far too easy to project everything you really want and need in a friend or partner onto the person you’ve just met on Match.com or Facebook. When you start doing that, you have suddenly ventured into the danger zone!
It’s really all about expectations. The higher your expectations or need for a friend or partner, the wilder your imagination can get pretending that this person, who you really DON’T KNOW, is going to fulfill all of your wildest dreams.
Trust me, I know of what I speak! My first and only experience with E-Harmony was probably fairly typical. I hadn’t joined, I was just dabbling. I filled out their enormous questionnaire and a few hours later they contacted me to say that they had found the perfect match!
OK, so I was feeling desperate! I started communicating with my “perfect match” and things were going great! We e-mailed, talked on the phone a few times and then decided to meet.
The first thing I noticed as he rushed up to my front door was that my gay-dar went off loud and clear! Is he gay??? I decided I didn’t care, I just wanted to get to know him as a person. We spoke for hours and had a great time, except that I felt certain that he was gay. We set up a lunch meeting for the next day.
But the next morning I didn’t hear from him and later, when I tried his cell number, I could not get anything but voice mail. In fact, I never heard a peep from him again. I never even knew if he gave me his real name.
On Monday, I went into work and asked a gay male friend of mine if a man could be 53 years old and still not know that he was gay. He said, “Yes, and the hardest part is when they finally come out, they will ask if you ever suspected it. And you can’t really say, “well duh!”
There’s your cautionary tale on internet “instimacy!” After that I have always insisted on being in the same room with a real person after only a couple e-mails and maybe a phone call. I want to feel another person in the room with me and see what happens to the projections then!
LATE BREAKING NEWS from Sharon and Mariann: We just heard that LifeBytes…Real Stories has been voted one of the top 51 Dating Advice Blogs at: OnlineDatingSites.net Thank you Shawn!!