Thursday, July 1, 2010

Can Online Love become Lasting Love?

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"You may say, “What is this party? No party goes on for a year.” And you’d be right. I’m talking about an online message board. It took me two weeks after that first message to decide to give my witty admirer a chance but the rest as they say is history. I soon called him to the top of the line and we began to exchange personal information. Today he is my husband."

The above was first published on Afrikan Goddess, where I contribute to the LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP column.

In an article on, their readers debated at the chances of black women in America finding love online especially through internet dating agencies. The chances weren't good compared to other races, but the writer encouraged them to work it out saying, "We're smart, beautiful, fun-loving, resourceful women." I agree.

I have written an article of my own experience of online romance below.

I walked into the large hall quietly. It was a party and there were several rooms. I had been watching the people in the front hall through the glass doors for a while before making up my mind to join them. Some people glanced my way when I called out a greeting. Two older women walked over and said hi; they were smiling and I quickly warmed up to them. Soon a few more, including a couple of men, wandered over and we sat together, laughing and talking. Most of the people in the hall were glad to see a young cheerful person join the party. Somehow, I was able to shed my shyness with this group more quickly than I usually did.

There were halls to discuss politics, one to attend literary events and another to participate in debates. There was even a lounge especially for women and a place to talk about relationships and their palavas. I began to make friends, calling out to people across the hall, putting at ease the ones who had just joined and just generally having a good time. Sometimes, while the party went on, I went to one corner with a few friends and we chatted about our lives and things outside of the group. At other times, I left the party with some friends and we continued the discussion elsewhere. I gave some my number or email and told them to call me anytime.

As the months rolled past, it became clear that the party was a lot different from my usual life; I could talk on any range of issues I wanted at any time with any number of people. It was such a relief not to have to pretend, to conform to prejudged notions of how to be a woman. My writing was appreciated and my intellect respected. I could kick back and talk fluff today, yet when I quoted Rand the next day, no one raised an eyebrow. I relaxed and let the real me begin to enjoy herself. I learnt so much from so many different people. A lot of the ladies became good friends and soon, I also began to attract some attention from the guys.

One day, about a year after I joined the group, I got a message from an acquaintance. We had chatted a few times before, spent time together with other people, but never anything personal. I thought he was joking with his, “Hello, I know you’re so hot, can I join the queue?” I sent my own reply tongue in cheek as well. “Well, the line is long but you can take a ticket.” My heart beat fast as I did this because the sender of this mail was someone I had admired for some time. But a few months before, I had sent him Christmas greetings and it turned out he had moved away. Now he sent another mail. “I understand, let me know when it is my turn.”

You may say, “What is this party? No party goes on for a year.” And you’d be right. I’m talking about an online message board. It took me two weeks after that first message to decide to give my witty admirer a chance but the rest as they say is history. I soon called him to the top of the line and we began to exchange personal information. Today he is my husband.


I’m not saying every online romance becomes lasting love because mine worked out for me. I also know of a lot that never matured. However, neither does meeting in real life guarantee a serious relationship or marriage. What I am saying is that online romance is a valid means, another ONE way through which you can meet someone, just like meeting them at work, in the club, at church, etc. Some argue that you cannot love someone you have not seen. I do not agree. We are more than our bodies. Our writings or how we talk about life can give a window into our mind and soul. These are also great for getting to know another human being.

So of the several avenues online to meet someone - chat-rooms, dating agencies, social networking and message boards/forums - I favor the last because it removes the greatest disadvantages of meeting online. On message boards there are several other people involved so you get to see a more rounded character of the person you admire just like in real life. If you have the time and you’re interested, you can actually go through the person’s previous posts in the archives to check for character and consistency. It is no more just what he or she is telling you at that point in time but also what they said to other people, some months ago, a year ago and so on. I tell you, this is better than a credit card background check.

The next important part of online romance is communication. What do you guys discuss? Don’t burn phone cards talking about Kim Kardashian or the World Cup. OK, you can do that too. But more important, give each other time to talk about your lives. Ask questions and be as honest as you can. I’m not saying you should interview each other, but a relationship requires true and deep communication. You can talk about your dreams, your achievements and goals, talk about your families, people you admire in your life, your most prized possessions, your strengths and weaknesses, and maybe most importantly, talk about the kind of relationship both of you are looking for. This last will determine what direction your romance goes.

Finally, it boils down to the nitty-gritty. After starting a romance online, there is the temptation to just let it roll along on sweet talk via the phone, chat or email. You cannot live life online and in the same way, any romance that starts and remains solely online for say, one year, is a bit suspicious. The next thing a couple that met online should discuss when they realize that the admiration is mutual is how to meet up. Some say love is spiritual, that is true, but it is also physical. People in an online romance must find ways to balance both sides of the attraction. Apart from the physicality of attraction, meeting face to face also helps determine honesty. Is that really him? Is he really interested in me enough to make the effort?

Once you have met for the first time, you are no different from the next couple who first met in real life. Keep your head up and enjoy your love. I am proud to look at my sweetie and say, thank God for the internet!

You can go to AFRIKAN GODDESS to see what others are saying and take part in the conversation.


  1. Online love can become real love...true...I dont meet my boyfie online but i know the internet helped us get closer cos we have been in a long distance relationship for 3 years now and been together for 7yrs and thanks to the internet we can still I say Yes to online love,one just has to be careful

  2. for 9ja, the deceit is too much..saturday punch newspaper has a column for personal data for dating...a lady then wrote back to say how she was deceived by a married man..who happened to be a resident pastor!..After he had come to spend weekends at her place in lagos but didn't want her to visit, so her friends told her to pay him a surprised visit at ibadan where he lives, only to find a woman with kids & the man begging her that he did not love his wife!..she broke off the relationship....SO ONE MUST BE CAREFUL.

  3. Nice spin on the whole thing... Bookmarking for future reference.. :)

  4. Interesting piece. This has really encouraged me to go on with my relationship because i met my BF online too.

  5. Love on the net?that is outrageous?when was love reduced to such a thing as chat and post?Go ask Rome what love is and you'll realise you've been infatuated all along,even if you got married(funny)I wonder what you'll do when you really meet love.

  6. Myne, I am glad that you've brought this issue into the public domain, so people are aware of the pros and cons and can protect themselves! You have covered the pros and cons well.
    It's great to see that 'online dating' worked for you.

    Like you said, one should be careful. I know of an instance where the 'guy' turned into a psycho overnight. He cruelly and mockingly dumped her without any explanation. He apparently ran credit checks on her, hacked into her email accounts, etc, etc. He ran a tireless campaign, continuously taunting her online. The cyber-bullying was relentless.

    He had lied to her about his identity so she had no idea what was going on or what to do about it. Then the harrassment continued in real life. I have to stop there, as it is still going on.

    Anyone can be whoever they choose to be online. Care should be taken like you said to ensure one's safety.

    Making contacts online is still a good way to meet and know people. 'Just be very careful.

  7. Sisi Yemi, you're right. One must be very careful.

    @Neefemi, thanks.

    @NG, you see, that lady did it the wrong way. She for visit that man tey tey or talk to someone who knows him.

    @Bagacci, which future ref? LOL...

    @Shorty, I wish you the best hun, do give love a chance.

    @Gretel, who is Rome? :):)

    @NaijaLines, oh my goodness, that is so scary. I hope she is able to come out of it. One has to be very careful of people we meet and interact with.

  8. I believe you can find love online. I have said it before (lol somewhere else and I'll say it again) there is no hard and fast rule to anything. Although the pitfalls of romances springing from online love might be more frequent than the traditional family face to face and friend introductions, it does not deter from it being a valid, relevant and sincere way of starting a r.ship

  9. I totally agree with naija lines...while some people are honest, some other are just psychopathic humans...who may harm in return.

    its so easy to take on any persona whatsoever and this makes the online scene a bit scary....but its worked for some, so i guess the bottom line in all is to SHINE YOUR EYES...and be smart all the way.

  10. Interesting piece Myne... I have had an online romance experience and though we broke up after a year, we still are very good friends.

    Personally, I believe that online romance is a risk that one must weight critically before taking cus like you said, there are some psychopaths on the WWW who would take any opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting lovelorns who need some sort of companionship.

  11. I guess it depends on the parties. It's real pple who go behind the screen to look for work and to me it's on the same level as meeting someone you dont know on the street or wherever. I met someone online and we had a blissfull relationship for 2 years. That it didn't lead to marriage didn't mean it wasn't a good relationship. That said if one hopes to find something good online then one must be willing to pay subscription to reputable dating sites. I doubt all them free ones could yield anything unless you are extremely lucky.

  12. Miss Natural, thank you. It is a valid way and let's remember there are pitfalls everywhere. Everyone has to be extra careful these days.

    @Jhazmyn, yes o. I have heard some really bad stories. Sometimes even smartness does not cut it, but what can one do?

    @Enyonam, I'm glad to hear your story, not that you broke up of course, :). It is indeed a risk but if you go in carefully, you may just be lucky.

    @Parakeet, It does depend on those involved. Thanks for raising the issue of job applications online etc. In all spheres of life, one had to think things through before going in and I think that's the same for dating online.

  13. Well I see nothing wrong with initiating contact online. I know people who started dating after months of chatting on Facebook first. An old friend of mine even married someone she met on Facebook. That said, it's not something I would necessarily try (at least not anytime soon) unless I was curious/dared/etc.

  14. really? didnt know that. I believe u can find love anywhere, the beauty is finding it in the least expected places. as with everything else wat matters most are the people and not the circumstances, not everyone behind a comp is a pervert and not every dashing bloke u meet in church is a saint. Sure it takes a lot of work with online relationships, truth is some pple are worth it.

    @gretel are u for real? as in seriously?

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. It is possible. I married a virtual boyfriend.Completed two years of marriage.

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    Princesas de Deus (Princess of God)
    Click in the flag of the EUA/UE. Read in your language. Join!

  17. @ Neo,I'm real as real could be.

  18. I'm a skeptic when it comes to online dating. But hey, if it works for you go for it!

  19. Miss.Fab, if you spend any amount of time online, you'll find that you meet new people all the time. Some even become friends. I don't think it's difficult to imagine one going further.

    @Neo, thanks you, some people are definitely worth it.

    Genilda, thanks for commenting and I wish you a continuing great marriage and all the best with the site. I will check it out.

    Gretel, you no answer me o, lol.

    MBLS, thanks.

  20. Online relationship works when you're straightforward. I've had 5 boyfriends and met three of them online. Two of the onlines were like angels and it took me 2 un-online relationships to realize that. For me, it was easy to determine that I wanted to be with those men because the screening process was automatic and simple from the first conversation- intelligent, humourous and God fearing- at least for me, those were inevitable starters and i'm glad i started having bfs online.

  21. i m glad that i came across your blog.
    Yeah, i agree we do find love online but cannot say any thing on whether it will last or not.

  22. I met my hubby online 15 months ago. We were married 3 weeks ago :-) He's the love of my life.

  23. Myne, i really enjoyed reading this. We were there together!!!! I now wish i had taken it more seriously then. I really enjoyed that forum but sadly did not make too many friends cos i was being too careful. Maybe i should have, who knows i might have met someone.I really fancied someone on there though i never got to tell him. Was always looking out to read whatever comments he made. Good for you.

  24. Hi Myne, i just discovered your blog. You just got yourself a number 1 fan. So i read this & i felt like>> OMG! she is talking about me! I met my boyfriend on facebook just like ur story. In your case, u told him to join the line. I told him the line was for physical people & not for internet love. We were friends for awhile. We have been dating for four years now& i dnt think i will be happier with anyone.


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