Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Perils and Promise of Cyber Love?

A friend of mine seems to be madly in "love" with a woman from a very different culture and many years his junior whom he's never even met, although he did see her once from afar but exchanged no words with her at the time, and with whom he's communicated only by text, voice messages, and, for the first time last night, an extended voice chat on Facebook Messenger.

It remains to be seen whether the feeling, or anything even remotely approximating it, is mutual, although there's some suggestion that there's at least deepening disclosure and, perhaps, affection coming from the other side.

I place quotation marks around "love" above because I seriously wonder if it's possible to love somebody under the limited circumstances I've described, and if it's wise to think that, just from this kind of circumscribed interaction alone, one has probably met the person of one's romantic dreams and that they should get married.

I have severe doubts, even though I've arguably played a major role in bringing this developing situation into fruition and now feel more than a twinge of regret ambivalently mixed with hope that things will end up for the good of all concerned.

A case could be made, I suppose, that people can get to know one another surprisingly well from a distance through the technological miracle of modern electronics, perhaps even better in vital ways than they likely could under intimate pressure to put their best face forward in close physical proximity with the desired other.

That is, maybe the two parties involved have revealed more about themselves to each other much more quickly this way than they would have over a much longer period were they spending time with each other in person, and that whatever they're coming to feel for one another is realistically based on deeper knowledge and understanding of each other through this modern means.

But then again, there are things about a person and our compatibility with them that we can only really know by spending time with them in person, whether in or out of bed, and these things, although perhaps not all-important, may be important enough that we shouldn't rush headlong into feelings of "love," much less thoughts of marriage, without them. Yet, how can we deny the heart what it's bent on feeling, and to what extent should we even try?

In saying these things, I probably sound like the naive, wishy washy, and abysmally socially inept person I unquestionably am. I've been around a comparatively long time, but my wisdom and commonsense fall woefully short of my longevity, and, as paradoxical as it may sound, the longer I live, the more uncertain I seem to become about virtually everything involving human relationships and almost everything else.

So, I guess the best I can do is sit back and watch the unfolding melodrama with as much empathy and caring as I can for my friend and the other person, whom I know very casually, and, if asked, offer the best advice, however inept it might be, that I can and hope that all concerned live happily ever after together if possible and separately if need be.