I mean “virtually” two ways:
- As the dictionary defines it: “nearly, almost” as in not really; and
- Via the computer and/or phone; not face to face.
My neighbor and I were once again comparing dating notes. She’s dipped her toe in the dating water a bit the last 6 months, going out with a handful of men. Currently, she is emailing two men she met through Chemistry.com. Both are interesting, intelligent, witty, and engaging. She finds the email veil allows her to get to know their personalities without the distraction of determining if she is physically attracted to either one.
However, while it is important to enjoy getting to know how a guy thinks and communicates — at least in writing — we all know that it takes more than discourse to create a love interest.
I have fallen for guys because of their emails or then through their phone calls only to have the attraction dissipate when meeting face to face. Sometimes it is my not finding them appealing, or they have irritating habits that quickly surface. Or they are not drawn to me, or I have some twitch that sends them packing.
A Kansas-based friend of mine communicated with a man in Scotland via email, then in nightly hour-long VOIP conversations. They even frequently sent care packages to each other. After six months, he took 2 weeks vacation to come meet her. Because of his limited funds, he asked if he could crash on her couch in the small 2-bedroom, 1-bath house she shared with her 2 daughters.
Although they had exchanged pictures, of course the 3-dimensional person looked different than either expected. But because they had built up a bond through the ether, they were at least not repulsed. However, as each day of his visit progressed, she became less and less enamored with him. Since this 38-year-old man lived with his parents, he didn’t bother to pick up his wet towels from her bathroom floor, nor help with any dinner preparation or clean up. After dinner, his rear became wedged in her recliner while she and the girls cleaned up. Other irritating, self-absorbed habits quickly emerged so she was ready to send him packing in less than a week. The “real” Scot was quite different than the “virtual” one.
If he isn’t in person as you’d hoped, it’s easy to think that all the time you spent communicating with a guy is wasted. Perhaps you are honest and say, “I’ve really liked how we communicated these last few weeks, but I’m not feeling the spark to think we have a romantic connection. Would you be willing for us to remain in contact as friends?” Many men see this as the kiss of death and may say “yes” but not initiate nor respond to any contact in the future.
During those weeks of emailing, you have, no doubt, enjoyed yourself, so it was a form of entertainment. And you may have learned something about yourself as you responded to his questions. Maybe he asked, “Who do you think the best US president was?” and you hadn’t really thought about it. You spend a little time ruminating before you respond, then are pleased with your answer and supporting arguments. You’ve uncovered something you didn’t know about yourself!
And of course, maybe he’ll accept your invitation — or offer his own — to be your pal. I keep in touch with over a dozen guys I went out with who are now my pals and I treasure each of them. So even if you have the attitude that you don’t need any more friends, don’t totally discard an interesting guy so quickly, even if there is no romantic spark. And you never know when a romantic spark may be kindled once you get to know each other’s hearts better.
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