The psychology of cyberspace and online relationships is significantly different from those that take place in person. The main difference involves the worry and risk associated with such a relationship. Dating someone in-person offers visual cues and ways of knowing the other person. Online dating is completely different because the person on the other side of the computer screen can be anyone or anything.
The idea of transient and long-term online relationships also come into play. The two people find reasons not to meet in person and reasons why their relationship should continue in an online format. They consistently date, but meet in chatrooms or use online instant messenger programs for contact. It becomes easy for both sides to say they’re involved with someone, even though they’ve never met. At one point though, one person in the relationship often becomes discouraged and gives up.
Text relationships are a new idea in the world of dating. This involves two people sending each other text messages through mobile phones. The idea here is that each person has the opportunity to say what they want without fear of the other person judging them. However it also has a darker side as more and more people are using these messages to date several people at once or find someone only for a sexual relationship.
Resources on online relationships include:
- Being Smart About Online Relationships : discusses the safety tips of dating online instead of dating in the real world.
- 5 Tips for Online Relationships : gives easy tips for online dating.
- E-Mail Communication and Relationships : looks at email as a useful tool of communication.
- Conflict in Cyberspace : focuses on resolving conflict online.
- Communicative Subtlety : explains how subtlety works in an online chat format.
- Text Messages to Say I Love You : uses text messaging as form of romantic communication.
- Avoiding Online Misunderstandings : discusses how and why conflicts rise in the online world.
- Online Dating Less is More : describes the right way of setting up relationships online.
- Psychology of Dating : focuses on psychological ticks or cues used in dating.
- Online Dating Research : study focusing on the people involved in online dating.
- The Psychology of Cyberspace Relationships : compares online dating to personal relationships.
- Conflict in Cyberspace : offers ways of avoiding and resolving conflict.
- Tips for Safe and Successful Online Relationships : gives tips on safe cyberspace relationships.
- Watching Out for Yourself : focuses on safety in regards to cyberspace.
- Online Flirting : looks at how flirting happens online.
Email communication in relationships has also grown and works similar to text messaging. Both halves of the relationship can discuss topics that they might be too afraid to bring up otherwise. It’s the chance to talk about the other person’s sexual history, the things they like in the bedroom and even their past relationships. Knowing those things goes a long way towards forming a relationship.
Transference also comes into play in regards to cyberspace romances. The idea is that people take the feelings they have for someone else and transfer it onto an online friend. For example they’re fresh out of a relationship or have unrequited feelings for someone they know and place those feelings onto someone they haven’t yet met. If often leads to heartbreak or despair.
The world of online dating often involves forums, websites and chatrooms, concepts that are also known as multimedia chat. The concept of subtlety works here as knowing and sharing less is often part of the dating game. Those who reveal too much face the risk of someone labeling them in a negative or derogatory way and risking their chances at forming a real relationship.
Group dynamics on the web relate to how different groups work together. This is similar to the idea of peer groups found in high schools because there’s usually a group more popular, especially on forums and in chatrooms. They control the conversation and the flow of information, letting in only a small amount of people. It’s frustrating, but it’s also one of the many ideas associated with cyberspace relationships.
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