Is My Online Fling Holding Me Back From Dating in Real Life? – The New York Times

I met a woman online a few months ago. We exchanged numbers and have texted nearly every day since. (She lives in Spain; I live here. We are both in our 20s.) What started as an online sexual fling has evolved into something more: We use pet names, watch TV shows together and confide in each other. We also have sex online. We know this isn’t a real relationship, but if we lived in the same place, it would be amazing! I have been honest about trying to date women where I live, which she dislikes hearing, but I haven’t had much luck. Do you think this online relationship is stifling my ability to find someone in real life?


No one can tell you what kind of relationship to want. There are countless varieties. Be careful about over-investing in fantasies, though. You have never met this woman in person. It’s all pet names and good times, with a few confidences thrown in — while you search for someone local. No wonder she doesn’t like hearing that: You’re killing the (artificial) mood!

Let me give you a taste of what’s missing here: stale morning breath, bickering about cleaning the bathroom and figuring out how to make up. Good times, right? But working through everyday friction helps create solidity and trust. I get the appeal of your stress-free setup, but I worry that your bad “luck” in dating is caused partly by the easiness of this virtual arrangement. You get to avoid most conflict and compromise, staples of healthy relationships.

I wonder, too, why you don’t mention visiting this woman after months of nonstop communication. If that isn’t in the cards, or if you want a more conventional relationship, move on (gently) — and reset the distance parameter on your dating apps. The next time you match with someone, keep seeing that person after the first bouts of difficulty. Try to work it out. The illusion of infinite choice on the apps is your enemy. Sure, there’s always another profile. But there’s never a good relationship without compromise.

When I was in elementary school, my dad ran off with his secretary in an unoriginal move. We saw little of him. …….


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