Friday, June 29, 2007

On-Line Relationships, and a Beautiful Shawl

I was chatting with a friend online last night, and he told me his and his wife had separated. I told him I was sorry to hear it, and if he needed anything... all the right stuff to say, and I meant it. He said, no, it was amicable, and he was fine. Oh-kaaay. I thought that was odd, and didn't really believe him, until he said, "I've sort of been spending time with someone else." Oh. Well, there you are. Apparently the "someone else" is someone he met on-line, and chats with on-line, and is very happy with. You know what I think about meeting people on-line? I think about how I edit. I edit and edit on comments and blog entries, trying to get my thoughts just right, and not say something inadvertantly politically incorrect, something that could be read two different ways. I try to be soothing and funny and ooh and aah in the right spots. I try to be my very best self, the self I wish I could be when I say something stupid in person. I'm not saying I'm lying about who I am here. I'm not. This is really the best me, with most spots removed. This is what I give to people I meet online.

I was telling another friend on-line a year ago that I thought she was the most patient person. I was so impressed. In chat groups, people would say something so totally asinine, and she would laugh. I would be sitting here feeling rageful at some sexist or racist comment, and she'd blow it off. How do you do that? I asked. And she said she was actually cussing up a storm in her dining room, but then typed "LOL" and went on. So I got to thinking about relationships on-line, and for goodness sakes, you get to know someone in one way, but not in any others. What if you hook up after months of getting to know each other, and then find that they don't feel any need to close the bathroom door? Or possibly they're racist but it never came up? Or they hate cats? Does anyone - do you - know of an on-line relationship that worked? I'm really curious. I toyed at one point of trying to write a book on on-line relationships, but there are too many people involved. I mean, how do you research something that huge? The ones I have seen start have all ended with someone finding a person closer, and the other person being hurt. I'd love to hear a positive story about an on-line relationship. Leave yer comments! You may end up in a book someday!

And here's a picture Jennifer sent me of her Swallowtail shawl, the pattern by Evelyn A. Clark, Interweave Knits Fall 2006. She is using Misti Alpaca Laceweight in a kind of soft apple green. It's so pretty and springlike. I really like this pattern, too. I may end up a shawl maker in a big way. I didn't realize how much I would like it. Thanks, Jennifer! Your shawl's looking great!


AR said...

Yeah, I usually only show my nicey-nice self on line, I think most people do. I have heard about some people who have great relationships through the internet that lasted through real-life meeting.

Pretty shawl! Gotta go check it out.

AR said...

I mean, check her blog out, not actually check the shawl out. Hehe

Jennifer said...

Thanks for showing my shawl!

Actually my husband's childhood friend married a woman he met online. They will be celebrating their ninth anniversary this December, and have 4 kids. So sometimes it does work. I do know what you mean about being able to edit yourself though.

Rachel said...

Hi Carrie--thanks for letting me join your shawl KAL..I'll send a pic to you soon of my first shawl in progress and set up an email link on my blog!

But a comment about online relationships...I feel pretty much the same as you but I do know a positive story. My cousin met his wife online and they were married almost 2 years ago and just had their first baby. It appears life is good and they are very happy with each other. So it does work out occasionally!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree - I think it's really only possible to show a small portion of yourself online, however truthful and unvarnished you wish to be about who you are.

And then there are those who aren't at all what they seem. I met someone online (not romantic - it was a knitfriend) and she was wonderful. Then I actually met her and became what I thought was very good friends with her. She turned out to be a pathological liar who harrassed me and my family and basically tried to ruin me. You never know who people are until you actually spend time with them, IMHO.

And to cap it off, I'll be signing this anonymously, because I don't want my name associated with this comment that will exist on the web in perpetuity. See what I mean? :/

So, to make a short story long, I agree with you. Completely.

Anonymous said...

My husband knew someone from martial arts class. Then he began a relationship with her online. It led to lots more and destroyed us. So it goes many ways. With e-mail and IM becoming so important in peoples lives you can meet someone once and then it becomes the most used method of communication. Even though he had already met and knew her in person, he still didn't know what kind of person she was. Then later when he found out, he was destroyed and couldn't figure out how he didn't know.

Carol said...

Beautiful shawl! Love that color too. I know what you mean about the blog/comment thing. For THE ultimate (that I know of) on-line relationship story, go here:

You'll go back!

Liz said...

I do know of two couples who met online and then got married. They each have children and solid relationships. But I think that's b/c while they met online, they then met in person and continued to get to know each other in person.

And on the knitting front, I continue to be most impressed with all of the shawls! I need to spend some more quality time with mine soon!

AR said...

Hi again! Jeesh! Three comments. Hehe

I nominated you for something at my blog, come over and see!

Carrie K said...

I'm nicer online than in real life too, I'm a lot quicker with the meanish quip, sad to say.

But I do know a couple that met online, married and are reasonably happy however I met my last husband at work and was completely snowed by him. So it does tend to depend on the person. If you're a liar, you're a liar online, I'd guess, just as much as face to face.

Think of all those mail order brides in the old days when divorce wasn't all that common. Can you imagine?

Anonymous said...

I've never met anyone online in that way, but so many people cheat on the 'net & don't consider it cheating. But if he was still married when he "met" this person, it is!

I think my online self & my real self are pretty much the same. I don't think I'm so much nicer online than I am IRL. Both ways, I'm generally "if I can't say something nice..." but if someone annoys me or offends me, I let them know.

Anyway, Jen's shawl is gorgeous--the color is great.

Jen said...

I have never known any online relationship that worked out. You truely never know anyone unless you spend real face to face time with them. And even then there's nothing saying they are are who they say.

Great shawl! They're all so pretty.

Brigitte said...

You know, I don't know of anyone who've met online...oh wait, there is the sister of a friend of mine. They're married now, and seem to be quite happy together. I suppose as with anything in life, it all depends on the people involved.

N. Maria said...

First of all, gorgeous shawl!
Second, regarding relationships, I totally recommend to everyone a book titled "Lies at the Alter" by Robyn Smith. My friends daughter thanked me for suggesting it and is now getting married at 37.
OT, sort of: Really like your blog.