How to Stop Yourself From Falling in Love with a Person You'll Never Meet
Updated November 24, 2012
The advent of the Internet has changed how people connect and find love. These days, countless relationships have started and blossomed online. Meeting and falling in love with someone you met in a chat room, via message boards or even through an online gaming websites are not unusual now.
But the sad truth about falling in love online is that despite what your burgeoning relationship suggests, it’s near impossible to be together. So if you're carrying a torch for someone whom you'll likely never meet in real life, let alone be able to tell them in person what you feel for them, it’s often better to swallow the fact that your so-called relationship won’t go anywhere and it’s best to just let go. Admittedly, it is hard to stop yourself from loving someone, no matter where you met and how your relationship developed. But it’s not impossible to let go of a dead-end relationship. Here are some tips that might help you stop being in love with someone you’ll never meet.
- Honestly appraise what you really feel for this individual. Relationships that developed online might just be a crush or it can be a convenient substitute for something that’s missing in your life. Most of the time, a person is just looking for affection or is feeling uncertain about a real life relationship. Starting a relationship online might be seen as a perfect solution for people who believe that there are no available or worthwhile dates in their area or for those who are suffering from low self-esteem. Online loves might also seem to be ideal for people who’re laboring with some issues. For one, this type of relationship is extremely low-maintenance. Another reason people like online relationships is that you’re relatively guarded from heartbreak. There have been instances of people carrying on an online relationship for years without meeting the person, thereby avoiding the reality of finding out if feelings are authentic. Without a doubt, falling in love online can satisfy a person’s desire to feel a sense of belonging, especially if they’re sad, lonely or are desperately looking for something better than what they have at the moment. And because of all these complexities, it’s vital that you honestly assess your feelings and determine whether you’re really in love or you’re just running from something. Why don’t you ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your feelings –
- Do I spend almost all of my time online? This is actually a great indication on how you’re dealing with what’s happening in your real life.
- Is he or she more real than the people, friends and family that surround me every day? Do I interact more with my online partner than with them?
- Is the relationship exciting because of its secrecy? Is it invigorating because it’s easy to manage (you just log out of your computer)? Can I really share and express my thoughts with him or her? The clandestine nature and perceived openness of an online relationship is what makes some people hold it in higher esteem than relationships they cultivated in real life.
- Geography. If you’re both in the same area or country, then there’s a big chance you can meet and work things out. But if you’re at opposite ends of the map, then the odds that you’ll be meeting this person is next to nil. However, if you are both in the same country and haven’t talked about having a face to face meeting, then it’s a sure sign that it will never happen.
- Financial means. One major obstacle to meeting your online love is income. If one or both parties involved are still living with family, generates a low income or can’t find a better job, then the odds of you two meeting and starting a new life together becomes significantly lower.
- Bogus or made up emotions. Online relationships can easily blur the line between a crush and love. Remember that if the other person truly feels love for you then they’ll try hard to meet up with you. Unfortunately, the feelings both parties usually have for each other are often not strong enough to make more than a token effort. So open your eyes and stop kidding yourself that this relationship will last.
- It might feel like an affair. Even though there’s no actual physical intimacy happening, an online relationship might feel like an affair, albeit an emotional one, especially if one party is married or in a real life relationship. This feeling can hurt both parties and is often the reason why someone might not want to meet up. Some might even feel like they’re really cheating on their partners and this can be a hindrance to fixing what’s wrong in their lives.
- Complicated life situation. Your job, professional and personal demands are some situations that are hard to detach from. So if one or both parties in an online relationship are in a confining situation, then the chances of actually meeting each other become lower.
- Think about whether you’ll ever meet in real life the person you believe yourself to be in love with. Even though long-distance, Internet relationships might be tricky in the beginning, even to the people involved, this shouldn’t prevent people from trying to meet. The idea that relationships that blossomed online are impossible doesn’t really hold water now that there are numerous accounts of people who have hooked up successfully after conducting a relationship online. But if you’re enumerating reasons why you won’t be meeting in real life, it means that someone is not really serious enough to want to move to the next level, which is meeting in real life. Of course, there are things that can really hinder the chances of you two ever meeting –
- Think about all the different features of your life, feelings and relationship. Once you have really thought about how the relationship will affect your life and you still believe that it’s worth a shot, then by all means go for it. Come up with a plan on when and where you can meet. But if there’s honestly no chance that you’ll ever meet, accept reality, end it and move on.
- Stop the relationship before it goes any further. Talk to the other person in the relationship, admit that you both know you’ll never meet in person and tell him or her that you want to end things. There’s a very big chance that they’re also feeling the same way. But even if this is just a fleeting, online thing, you should be prepared to experience the same feelings that you would in any relationship that just ended. You’ll feel sad, hurt and broken hearted. Just make sure that when you put an end to the relationship you also end all contact and interactions and make a clean break. Try not to get into an argument over it. Treat it like you would any relationship that has ended in real life, stop all contact and don’t even consider being friends.
- Get the closure you need. What’s crucial right now is to ensure that both parties know that there’s absolutely no chance the relationship will work out or that you’ll be communicating again. It will be hard at first but it has to be done. But if you truly believe that you love the person, get the closure that you need from yourself. Bolster your esteem by telling yourself that you will love again, that online relationships are so difficult and uncertain and that there are a lot of “what ifs…?” if you continue with the situation. And don’t forget this one simple truth, that if you can find someone online who you feel strongly for and who feels the same for you , then you’ll also find someone in the real world who can feel the same thing.
- Don’t beat yourself up if hooking with the person face to face doesn’t become a reality because no one is at fault here. Online relationships and long-distance relationships are so hard, and anyone who’s in it should be commended. Just accept that the odds were always against you and you and your partner should both be in the same place or mindset to make the relationship work. Plus, real life relationships are hard enough. If you’re already suffering doubts or having problems with the relationship even if it’s just online, then be grateful that you don’t have to deal with those problems in real life too. Circumstances often change when you meet someone for real, and most of the time it’s not for the best. You can never be sure what would've occurred if you had met for real, so don’t beat yourself up over those doubts and fears. Give yourself the chance to heal and begin anew.
- You should also be grateful that you haven’t met the person in a real life setting. The difficulty of getting together, more often than not, is a precursor that things will go wrong and knowing or meeting your online partner for real will just make it even harder to move on. It might sound cruel and inhuman, but you just need to forget or pretend that they have even existed. Hasn’t it been said time and again that if you love someone, then you’ll want him or her to be happy. If you can't meet a relationship's basic need of meeting for real, then it’s a no brainer. You know that it’s in everyone’s best interest that you both go your separate ways. Think about how you’re ensuring the other person’s happiness by putting an end to the relationship.
- Chalk it down to experience. Don’t let the idea of the failed online relationship take you over or you’ll never forget the other person. Just chalk it down to experience. You haven’t lost everything and any relationship, no matter how it ended, is beneficial. Don’t let the experience go to waste. I’m sure you’ve learned something from it, whether it’s that long-distance relationships are trying or that you’re a lovable person who deserves so much more, the important thing is to know what the lesson is.
- Talk about the experience, your feelings, fears, hurts, joys and thoughts to someone you trust and who can give you sound, unbiased feedback. Talk about your feelings with a good friend who will tell you what the reality is, someone who loves you and isn’t afraid to tell you what you should hear instead of what you’re longing to hear. Never talk about or hint about your feelings, thoughts and fears to the person you just broke up with. Don’t burden them with it or give them extra ammunition to try to start something again. Communicating after a break up will just hinder the healing process and can make you feel antagonistic, hopeless or make you fall in love again.
- Avoid being in that same situation. Don’t start another online relationship with someone. Any deep-seated or tenacious feelings that are still present from the previous relationship will likely color your perspective about any new relationship. It can even hurt the chances of any new relationship from blossoming. Starting a new online or long-distance relationship will only affect you negatively in the long-run. Refrain from flirting or considering people you meet online in a romantic way. If it has to come down to it, go on a hiatus and stop going online for a few weeks or even months to avoid these situations. Remember that you deserve something better.
- Get back on the horse and slowly start a physical relationship that’s rooted in real-life. The saying "There are plenty of fish in the sea” is appropriate at this point. There’s someone who can and would love you out there, someone who’s in the same country or zip code. There are countless experiences to feel and focus your energy on instead of putting all your attention on a person who you’ll probably never ever meet. Think of the adventures you can experience with someone who’s real and here, instead of focusing on the pressures of how you’ll meet someone who’s probably living in another state or country. The best thing would be to hang out with friends, start a new hobby or exercise program and basically just focus on you. Remember that a happy, confident individual who enjoys life is one desirable person.