Do Internet Based Relationships Ever Work?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by panthera, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    Ok, could use some advice.
    As you folks know, after many years (too many!) of living under an assumed name, abroad, I can now pick up what's left of my life and live where I want, as I like again.
    Sounds good.
    Is good.
    But picking up the pieces, reopening old lines of contact is the easy part. The hard part is deciding what aspects of the last few years I want to hang onto.
    Case in point: After being so screwed over in my last relationship I am alone. Have some good friends I have sex with occasionally, but otherwise things have just been too tough for anything to work out. About 5 years ago, in a period of desperation, I posted some serious "looking for potential life-mate" stuff on German web sites. Thought I had taken them all down, but now - after several years of hearing nothing, got an email from a man who thinks we might have a basis to get to know each other.
    Turns out the provider had accidently "re-activated" my posting...
    Last little bit of background: My first love was a San Francisco cop. He was murdered - and the best relationship of my life died with him. In the 24 years since then I had a 15 year relationship with a man who just got more and more difficult, followed by a disaster. A basically nice guy, who turned out to have The Mother from Hell. She manipulated a DA into believing I had committed some pretty nasty crimes - it took me the last five years, an honest DA who didn't appreciate being manipulated and all my money to finally get that one put straight. Am living in Germany under an assumed name, and have only been able to return to the 'States since this last summer. Everything has been expunged from the records, but my trust is - as I keep saying - pretty much gone.) Should I return, I won't be working as a teacher.
    I am trying to decide whether to stay in Europe or return to the 'States. My parent's health is shot to hell (to some extent do to the stress of my problems) so wherever I live, there will be a lot of taking care of them involved.
    My profession is solid, but the legal costs of getting my life back have put me into bankruptcy. Not complaining, it was worth every penny.
    So - now, with major trust issues and only bad experiences in my last relationships, should I try to get to know the man, or just forget it?
    Obviously, everything he has written sounds good, or I wouldn't have this quandry.
    Used some of the devious ways of checking people out I had to learn to survive the last few years to check him out, everything he has written is true and accurate.
    I am tired of being alone, have said "no" to so many men over the last years - I can't keep on rejecting everybody. On the other hand, how would you folks feel (the uncurable 100% straights, please pretend the shoe was on the other foot...) if someone you wanted to get to know was in such a situation? Obviously, I will be honest with this man - but equally obviously, it will be years before my life is "normal" again, whatever that is.
    All opinion very welcome and thanks,
    Panthera
     
  2. Matthew

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    Hi Panthera, unless you're set on being single for the rest of your life, you're going to have to test the waters again at some point. And just because you agree to date him or to let things develop doesn't mean you are making an irreversible commitment to have him in your life. Even if he turns out not to be right for you, it might be good 'practice' to get together with him. You've got one life to live - I say take it slow, but go for it.
     
  3. davidjh7

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    Trust isn;t something that can be really earned. A person can do their best to be honest and trustworthy, but trust has to be given. You've lost so much in your life, and you don't want to take the chance of finding something good, and losing it again. That's certainly understandable. As far as coming back to the US, or stayin in germany--where is your heart? Where is the home you long to be? If it is where you are, stay there. If it is back in the US, be there. Fight for what you truly want. Be where you want to be. You have paid a high price for that choice, and you should make it based on what is right for YOU--nobody else. as far as the guy, you can take a chance, and meet him. He may, in person, not be all that, orthe chemistry might not be there. It also MAY be there, and it may be something wonderful, but conflicts with a desire or need to be back in the US. If you DON'T ever meet him, then you will always wonder "what if", and your heart will punish you with regret. Nothing you do will be without risk, or consequences. THe best you can do is follow your heart on this, and do the best you can under the circumstances. It is totally unfair that you have been put through all this, but you not only survived, you prevailed. You can be proud of that. It probably wouldn;t hurt to correspond with the guy. Maybe knowin him can help you make your decisions for the rest of your life. It's a touh choice, I know, but today you have to do what is right FOR YOU. You have earned, and deserve it. Do what you need to do to find your peace, and bit of happiness. GOod luck, and peace to you!
     
  4. burrito

    burrito New Member

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    I am deeply saddened to hear that your life took a turn toward hell. But I am glad to hear that you are able to talk about it. Consider this post a chance for some healing, some honest healing about reconnecting with people anonymously. I understand that your heart desires more. Who's doesn't? It is the will of life and it is the will for love.

    I ask you to consider this potential interest with as much enthusiasm as you are prepared to give to it. I understand that you have felt needed and I understand that this need has created a void within you. Pace yourself. Build yourself up again with each day. I caution that you look to the future too quickly. Pay attention to every detail in every day. Live for the moments. If this relationship is to be then let it take its course. Good luck.
     
  5. Dr Rock

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    didn't read the post; the answer to the question in the title is no
     
  6. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    Thanks for the many good words. I am taking this one really light - not pushing, not demanding too much from me.
    I don't know - do you folks think it would be cool to like send this guy a couple questions? Stuff like, if you smoke, forget it?
    I wonder but what Dr. Rock may be right here...
     
  7. KinkGuy

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    Taken slowly and with attention and care. Yes. My S.O. and I have been together for 9 years next month. We met way back when, in an AOL chat room. Go figure. Just keep your wits about you.
     
  8. AlteredEgo

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    Perhaps you meant that you had some bad experiences. The actual answer to that question is yes. The post you decided to ignore is so much deeper than that question, however, and almost seems to make that question irrelevant.

    I know several happy couples who met each other online, including one that got married two years ago, and has now been together 9 years.

    Panthera, the question really is, how do you get to the point where putting faith in another person doesn't make you violently ill after all you've experienced. You just have to decide. And cry. That's what I do. I find it increasingly difficult to trust the men who try to incorporate themselves into my life, because every time I do, I get badly hurt. However, if I go through life protecting myself from every potentially negative permutation, I'll also protect myself from a lot of really fulfilling and beautiful experiences. I'm determined not to do that. I'm determined to live my best life.
     
  9. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    Just take things one day at a time. Do you want to be near your parents or do you want to stay in Europe? If you want to come back to the states would the german guy want to come with you?

    I have known relationships formed on the net that have worked and ones that have failed. I think it's about the same as in other relationships, some work some don't. If the relationship is supposed to work it will, if not it won't.
     
  10. headbang8

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    The best relationships start when you're not looking for one. Call it fate that the ad was re-activated.

    You've had some bad breaks in your life, Panthera. But they seem to have made you stronger. I concur with most of the other posters on the thread.

    You seem secure enough in yourself not to throw your heart recklessly at any bozo who comes down the pike. Your life has taught you that. Know that if you have to spend the rest of your life alone, you can. Love is a bonus.

    Take it slowly, enjoy your moments with him, and leave it at that for the short term. If there's a deeper bond, you'll know soon enough. Your life experiences may lead you to mistrust your feelings. That would be a mistake.

    Couple of things I noticed about internet relationships amongst my friends. I suggest that you turn the relationship 3D as soon as you can. Meeting each other online is fine, but you can create all kinds of misunderstandings if you try to deepen the relationship through emails and webcams and such. Besides, half the pleasure of a relationship is tactile; the simple physical comfort of being in the presence of another human being.

    The question of returning to the USA is tricky. One can understand your desire to care for your parents. Is it active love, or the guilt that springs from a sense of duty? Life has withheld happiness from you, and much as you love your parents, caring for them during a long decline could do the same. There are loving, caring alternatives.

    And, of course, there's the question of life in the USA for a gay man in 2006. Regular readers of this board will know my opinions on life in the USA; Europe is an attractive place to live, especially for a gay couple.

    Take care of yourself

    HB8
     
  11. burrito

    burrito New Member

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    Many of these posts have reminded me of my relationship with my wife. Our relationship began quickly and developed while we were apart. We talked over the phone, over email, over the phone some more, more and more. Shit, we probably racked up a few hundred dollars every month in phone bills.

    Our relationship grew because we trusted each other. As our love grew the distance seemed shorter. We became such close friends that no distance seemed to be an obstacle.

    How many obstacles do you want in your life? No one wants obstacles really. Parents. Bigotry. Racism. Misperceptions. Bias. Hypocracy. The list goes on. If your research about this guy is as good as you say it is then perhaps you already have your answer. Why did you take the time to actually research him? Perhaps something in his words struck a nerve that you needed to be struck.

    Love is complicated enough. People scrutinize each other for various reasons. I do it to test a person's core being. I need to know that a woman is strong. Capable. Willing to face challenges. She has to be vibrant. I am too passionate for anything else. But I know this about myself. And now I have her at my side. I consider myself lucky. She's smarter than I am and much more capable than I thought I would be.

    Is this German capable of giving you what you need? He may not be the one that will be at your side for the long haul. But for the moment it is the first voice that has interested you. Flirting is fun. But do you want an email fantasy or a person that you can snuggle with? Cuddle and kiss?

    I wish the best for you. Be smart and be as free as you can. Germany may be your next destination. Instinct. Soul. Let these guide you. Good luck, again.
     
  12. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    Wow, some good thoughts and wishes there. Thanks a lot folks!
    We've made a date for next week - I am still getting over the cold I brought back from Wyoming - and, sheesh, I feel like I'm 16 again.
    Ridiculous.
    Again, thanks for the good advice - I need it, I appreciate it. Hell, I even sometimes take it.
    Will keep you all posted...
     
  13. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    actually, i haven't had any experiences with "online dating"; i personally can't understand the concept. however, i have been Connected to the Internet® long enough to observe many, many people attempting it.
     
  14. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    My younger daughter met her husband online when he was a Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune. They've been married 4 years now and have a 3-year-old boy.

    If she had it to do over again, she wouldn't change a thing. If I had it to do over again, I'd shoot her.
     
  15. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    Dr. Rock, don't waste your time on it. My experiences were universally negative - which is the root of my current problem. Oh, to find a quick fuck it's great. But to find a potential life partner, nee...

    I suppose my thread name is a bit misleading. Of course it is not my intention to "virtually date" this man. I had, several years ago met quite a few men through internet based dating services.
    They were all, without exception, a waste of time.
    Some still lived in Hotel Mummy.
    Others weren't interested in getting to know me, they just wanted to fuck me (this was the second largest group.)
    The largest group had lied through their teeth to get to know me, so I would fuck them.
    I withdrew from all these groups - therefore my surprise and my asking all of you for help when, after several years, I was again contacted.
    This man, to the extent I have been able to check, is, at least:
    single
    not living with mummy and daddy
    financially stable
    no criminal convictions
    no kids
    Is well thought of both at his job and in the Vereine (culture groups) he belongs to.
    Did I spy on him? Well, shit yes. After 100% negative internet based experiences you bet your sweet bippy I did. If it had been possible to find out even more without breaking into his house, I would have.
    What I am trying to do is to prevent myself getting hurt unnecessarily. Unnecessarily means I don't want to read any "there is no safety in life" comments...Please. After all I've been through, that one ranks with "water is wet". "Fundamentalist christians define their love of their god through hatred." The butter side always falls down...
    Otherwise, any and all comments are needed and welcome.
    Thanks!
     
  16. nouveau

    nouveau New Member

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    If your honest with him and he still accepts you, then great. If you think you have a proper shot at a good life with this guy, then stay in Europe (imho).
    However, I'm quite wary of internet relationships. I had a (as serious as you could expect) relationship with a girl in America, for years. We were supposed to hook up together when she came over here to live and it would all be wonderful. Instead she got tired of waiting and went off and married some guy (and is now knocked up). So caution is needed.
     
  17. black_hung

    black_hung Member

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    I put a profile on two gay "dating" sites. I got lots of great shags from these sites but not a relationship. The men who use these sites tend not to be looking for a relationship,just a fuck. However I made two good friends on these sites so it wasn't just a fuck fest for me.
     
  18. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    The best relationships start when you're not looking for one.
    Headbang hit that one on the head. When I met my current partner, I had just come out of the relationship from hell. Actually we split the year before but he wouldn't let it die (stalker). Anyway, my plan was to pack up my Mustang and move to Manhattan and become a hooker. I figured nobody would want me if I did that and my heart was certainly cold enough at this point....and then BOOM! The most wonderful man dropped into my life. Seemingly outta nowhere. My online luck was pretty much the same as yours. They told me what I wanted to hear so I'd fuck them. My thing about finding a mate is like this: when the universe is ready, you'll find one and not a moment sooner. I didn't fuck my partner as soon as we met. We got to know each other and then one night he leaned over and kissed me in my car and the rest is history.

    About you moving back to the states, nobody can tell you what to do. That's a decision you make wholly on your own.

    As far as your past troubles, I'm a little younger than you but our lives read the same on the Richter scale although the details are different. Just remember, today's a fresh day.
     
  19. panthera

    panthera New Member

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    Sorcerer,
    That's a pretty good way of putting it and I thank you. I hate to think that you have been through anything near as bad as your were, I am truly sorry.
    I haven't said too much here the last few days because I wanted to get folks opinions. Well, not said too much for me...
    Basically, I am happy here in Germany. I have built some true friendships the last few years here. I fit in well with the culture (my family were pretty much all first/second generation German/Italian/Scottish imigrants) and it is a joy to be able to teach and nobody gives a fuck that I am gay.
    I also like the the fact that, if I did find a man whom I wanted to marry, our relationship would be recognized as such by society.
    Now the down side. My parents were hurt very badly in a nasty car crash last year. They are by no means ancient, but their health is shot. My brother just isn't someone who can be relied on to help them out; all their friends are ancient. And the climate where they live is both higher and much less friendly than around "Brokeback Mountain". Sort of howling winds and blizzards and winter from early September to late April or worse.
    So going back would help them alot. Since there is no way in hell I want to teach in Wyoming or Colorado - sheesh, the christians are now having a shit hemoerage about the opera Faust for crying out loud - it would mean either starting up a business or finding something to do which is probably not too well paid but lets me be there for my folks when they need me. I personally have gone from a millionaire to bankrupt the last few years - nothing left, nothing to lose in the financial sense. (But I was able to by back my freedom and get my name cleared; it was worth every cent.)
    I figure the next two/three years will, to be blunt, either see them recover or go into a decline. If my being there will give them that extra chance to pick up the pieces, I am willing to do it.
    Now this man enters my life and it looks like he might just be for real. So...enough from me, as you folks have clearly seen, things have been tough for so long that I just don't have much perspective here. Any and all comments appreciated and needed. I don't PM people without being asked too, so to all of you a big hug and kiss (or firm handshake and look in the eye as your preferences dictate.)
     
  20. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    To me the subject line of your post and the actual post itself don't seem to agree with each other much at all. Do internet-based relationships ever work? Yes, of course they do. I had a girlfriend for 3 years I met on the internet. My cousin Dennis is getting married to a girl he met on the internet. If that's the only thing holding you back, go for it.
    But from reading your post it's obvious that this isn't even your primary concern. You have a lot of other things going on in your life right now that need sorting out, and it sounds like maybe you're cautious about entering into a relationship based on all of that and the fact that it is internet-based seems highly incidental. If you feel ready for a relationship, and that really is the most important thing, then I would say again, go for it. Be completely honest and unfront with this man about everything that is going on in your life right now, and chances are he will understand. On the other hand, given that this relationship is internet-based and still in its infancy, he might be scared away by too much personal revelation. Just make sure you aren't keeping things from him that are going to screw things up later on down the road if this is something that you actually want to persue. And make sure you are right with yourself, have all your shit in order and are ready to handle the emotional highs and pitfalls that come with a new relationship on top of everything else you have to deal with. No sense overwhelming yourself if you don't have to.
     
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