How do I tell my family about my online relationship?

Most of my family is behind the times when it come to computers and the internet. Some of them are learning, but they have a lot of misconceptions about it. Especially with chatting and meeting people online. They've never actually met anyone online and don't understand how I can have friends online or meet anyone online. I've tried to educate them, but they're stubborn.

I'm not naive. I know that people aren't always what they seem to be online and I've been careful about meeting people and what information I give them. I've tried to explain that not everyone online is a jerk or a rapist or a pedophile. That such a large portion of the population uses it and not everyone are those things. I certainly am not. And after awhile, even lying online will find its way back around because that's what lies do.

So, I've come to a point in my life where I have met these nice people (and I'm certain they are who they say they are with the aid of voice chat and webcams) and befriended them, but I met them online. One in particular I care very much for (as he does for me) and I don't know how to explain this to them.

I should point out that I have met someone online before and we dated. It went from online to offline. I lived with him for a bit. They had accepted him, but I didn't tell them about us until he was able to come see me in person. I would've thought the experience would've opened their minds more, but every once in awhile we'll get on the subject of meeting people online and their views will be the same as before.

Anyone been in a situation like this before? Any ideas or advice?

Updates:
I haven't got up the courage yet to tell them, but I need to tell them soon. I know they won't understand, but I can only hope they'll have faith in me and trust that I can make good decisions for myself. I'm not asking permission, I want their support.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Well, meeting online for sure isn't the traditional way and in no way is it accepted by the people .. let's say of the ages 40+ (most likely! sure, there are exceptions!)

    Meeting people online however is not a bad thing. Everyone I talk to about this agree with me to some extent. I had a word with a girl two weeks ago who's completely against online dating and stuff.

    I talked to her and mentioned that online DATING isn't actually dating. It's more like talking, smalltalk, etc... If you meet someone online the first thing you do is to actually GET TO KNOW THEM by the things they mention.

    Now the problem here occurs: you cannot actually trust them. You've never met and you've just got no reason to trust them. But neither do you have any reason to distrust them, except maybe for personal experiences.

    With "real dating" it's like

    attraction > dating > get to know the person > decide for more dates or quitting

    With online dating it's the other way around

    attraction > get to know the person > decide if that person may be worth dating > dating > get more personal > decide for a closer relationship / friendship (and if friendship would last depends on both persons interests..)

    With that in mind it's pretty important to keep your own words checked.. (well, my English sucks :D). So I've mentioned that first you get to know the people and then you date them. Now many people at this point call themselves "in love" or "having a crush"

    I would NEVER go that far (again) because it's just not true. You like a person, maybe if you had voice and/or video chat you might have a crush, too, but it's just not the real deal until you've met in person.

    After you've met once, more meetings will take place and it's actually no online relationship. It's more like a relationship which uses the internet to communicate way more than some other couples do!

    I mean, talking online (like with skype or other voice tools) costs no money at all. You can talk for hours if you got enough topics without worrying about the price ;-)

    I just don't believe in real online relationships. Like people who've never met. Sure they feel attracted but they just can't be sure if those feelings apply in person, too. But this is my personal opinion...

    So to finally answer YOUR question xD

    Just tell them that it's just like opening the phone book, pointing your finger on a random name and give it a call ^^ In the end it's no difference than meeting someone at a bar or in the book store and getting their number. The only thing you don't know at that time is their looks, age, etc...

    But when talking to them you get to know them, right? After all, looks shouldn't matter THAT much, I bet every parent told this to his children, right?

    With online dating it's JUST LIKE THAT.

    You pick someone random, get to know them and eventually more will happen.

    Well, hope this WAY TOO LONG answer has some answers for you in it :D

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    • Thanks :) I agree with online dating. This guy and I try to do as much as we can given the circumstances. We talk on voice and webcam as much as we can. We send each other videos and try to incorporate each other into our lives, but of course it's not the same as being there. We didn't meet on a dating site either. We met through mutual friends, but we're far away. So, it's a bit unique in that sense. I've tried to tell him it's no different than meeting someone on the street, but no go.

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    • Yeah, I guess it's something older people find hard to understand unless they've done it. Sometimes they seem open to the idea of meeting friends online, but they don't consider them real friends. I wish he wouldn't have to be here for them to accept him. I feel like I'm hiding it from them.

    • Don't you worry ;-)

      You're just afraid of their misunderstanding! As soon as - at some point in a future time - they'll get to know your friend, they'll accept him for exactly the guy he his and they'll see all the good you saw in him times ago! :)

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