Commonly Asked Questions
How can this be happening?
Who knows? This is a whole new area of psychological bonding. All I know, is it DOES happen, and happens often with many people. It is real. Which brings us to our next question.
How can this feel so real?
My own opinion is that 99% of who we are resides in our mind. This interface is a total mind meld that supercedes artificial barriers such as race, age, economic status, physical appearance, etc. People get to know the inner
person much more quickly than if they met in the Real World. Therefore, when the connection is made, the feelings seem to be much more intense.
Am I going crazy? Does anyone else feel this way?
Have no fear, you are in good company. If caring about somebody else intensely is crazy, then yes, you may be.
Are you alone? Hardly. The more you talk to others who are out there surfing the chat rooms and playing interactive games, the more you know it is literally, everywhere. All ages, all occupations, male and female.
How can I ever explain this to family and friends?
Quite simply...you can't. Not unless they are in Cyberspace and have experienced this phenomenon. I have given
up trying. I only discuss it with my cyber friends. I, myself, would never have believed this possible five years ago. So,
don't try. They will send you for therapy.
Is this addictive behavior?
In a word, yes. It can be. It has a powerful effect on the mind and my guess is that it actually alters your brain
chemically. Love or lust is a powerful aphrodesiac and a basic instinct in the human species. If you find you can't
stop, you suffer withdrawals when away from your computer, and it interferes with your personal life... you are
Does anyone ever meet in Real World?
All the time. I have been amazed over and over again on the services where I play to learn of how many people
actually do meet in the Real World. On-line leads to email, exchange of photographs, then to phone calls, and finally to an actual face-to-face
meeting. With few exceptions, it seems to progress that way.
What are the odds of this working out?
Well...that's hard to say since there is not a lot of hard data available yet.
This is an area currently under study and books will most certainly be written on this very topic. I do know of many on-line
relationships that have worked out, but also know a few "horror stories" as well. As in any relationship, it depends
on the people involved and we come in quite a variety.
If you are married and have an on-line relationship, are you cheating on your real-world spouse?
There are two schools of thought on this question. One is simply that it is not really cheating because there is no
physical relationship. It is just text on a screen and therefore cannot be viewed as being unfaithful. The other way
of thinking is more complex, in that, if you give your mind to another, then you have given more of yourself than if
you had physical contact. Giving your love and emotions to another can be viewed as the ultimate act of cheating.
Take your choice. Whatever works for you.
Do you ever feel as though you have had a real affair after meeting another and having
Most definitely. Particularly in the beginning when the experience is new and unique for you. It can feel as real as
a Real World affair. It can create feelings of guilt when you are with your Real World partner and make you feel
as though you are sneaking around behind their back. In time, if the on-line relationship continues and grows, the
feeling of cheating sometimes goes through a role reversal. You begin to feel as though you are cheating on your
on-line love when you are with your Real World partner.
Can an on-line love affair affect your feelings in the Real World for your spouse or partner?
Yes. Many people have a hard time reconciling their strong emotions for their on-line love with their feelings for
their real-life partner. It can sometimes lead to a drawing back from the real world person in your life. It can be
detrimental to your real world relationship and change the way you relate to that person. It is something to think
about before you get too deeply involved with an on-line affair.
Aren't those marriages affected by cyber-relations shaky and in trouble to begin with? Wouldn't
they likely fall apart with or without the on-line affair?
Not necessarily. Some are. Some are not. People with problems in their marriage may find the cyber-love hastens
the demise of the marriage. It may be the catalyst that finally brings everything to a head. But, I know of people in
long-term, stable and loving marriages who have found their on-line relationship changes their feelings and causes
problems where none existed before. This can be very unsettling, because most have felt that it "could never
happen to them." Marriages have been know to break up over on-line relationships.
What should I do if I find this affecting my Real World relationship?
Each person has to deal with that question individually. Depending on how important your Real World partner is to
you, you may have to choose between him/her and your on-line love. Many people who care very much about their
marriage, still find it hard to give up their cyber-relations. Some people have to literally "pull the plug" on the
computer, while others can juggle their feelings. People have different ways of coping and for rationalizing.
Is there such a thing as Cyber Infidelity?
Absolutely. When two people meet online and begin a relationship, they often vow to be "faithful" to each other
online. However, it is a vast cyberspace out there and relatively easy for people thousands of miles apart, with
many time zones separating them, to be online without each other and to meet new love interests. Many people
find they are initially "like a kid in a candy store" and want to sample everything they can get their hands on. If
their online love finds out...(and often they do)...it can be devastating emotionally. It is very painful to find the one
you love online has been with others in the same way he/she has been with you. The promises people make to each
other online are usually given and taken very seriously.
Oddly enough, most people in a cyber relationship whose online love has a Real World significant other, don't get as
jealous of the Real World relationship. It is the cyber cheating that causes the most pain. The two worlds have a distinct
separation in the minds of many.
If two people meet in Real World as a result of their cyber relationship, is there ever any jealousy
in the Real World over continued playing in the computer?
Yes. Many who have met their cyberlove and turned the relationship into a Real World one, become very jealous
and suspicious of their partner going back into the computer. There is the underlying fear they will meet somebody
else in cyberspace, begin another online relationship, and ultimately move on. This may or may not happen. But its
no different than people who meet in the the Real World, have Real World affairs, and go in and out of different
Real World relationships. Trust is the key issue.
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