I have a boyfriend who I really, really like. I talk to him for hours and we have SO much in common. The only thing is I met him online and we haven’t met in person yet. Whenever I talk about him to my friends, they make fun of me. I think I love him, and I can’t stand when they talk bad about him. What should I do?
Long-distance relationships are hard enough, and only knowing your boyfriend through the computer makes things even more complicated. As much as you might like your boyfriend, the relationship isn’t the same as it would be if you knew him in person. No matter how much you talk, no matter how many different ways you communicate (Skype, IM, Facebook), you’re only getting to know one side of him.
Your friends shouldn’t make fun of you, but there’s still a big stigma around dating online, and for good reason. You know that saying that there’s truth in every joke? The thing is, that this guy is a virtual boyfriend. When it comes down to it, someone’s web presence is always the best version of themselves. Think about your Facebook profile. You put a lot of time and thought into that, right? And you leave out your quirks? Bad photos? etc? Keep that in mind!
But your boyfriend might be cool, so I’m not saying you should dump him tomorrow. If he brightens up your day, great. If he is your real boyfriend, you should be able to introduce him to your friends. If he’s your real boyfriend, you should be able to tell your parents about him and even bring them with you to meet him. Right?
You wouldn’t meet him alone, I know you’re smarter than that. Even if it’s just on Skype, you should totally have your family and friends meet him! But as long as they keep thinking that he’s just some dude on the internet, without a face or personality, they’ll probably keep having their doubts. As do I. And if he won’t show his face to your friends and family, then gURL, we have a problem.
And if you meet another boy — in person — who knocks your socks off, run with it. Real life is always better than the internet.
send in your questions for heather to firstname.lastname@example.org.