Ever had a virtual relationship?
I don’t believe anyone sets out to have a relationship almost devoid of physical time spent together, but in this modern world it seems prevalent.
My relationship began as physical but over time he virtually disappeared from my life. When he’d reappear it seemed weeks would go by without seeing him and the only contact was through the phone. In fact when I’d refer to him, I’d always make a nod toward my phone.
He’d text and call on a regular basis, until I couldn’t take anymore of this virtual pen pal and I’d walk away. Of course he’d then show up for 15 minutes, then once again slink away to his cave.
Fear is a motherf**ker. Not valuing ourselves is an even bigger m’fer!
I hear from so many people that they meet someone and exist on text messages, including when first time words that should be uttered intimately are on a phone screen. The sender may feel fearful, but feels stronger sending these virtual greeting cards. It’s an empty emotional connection, without effort or possibility of an in-person rejection.
I never thought I would experience such a phenomenon. I couldn’t understand how this person wanted to stay connected to me, but only at a distance. I spent years trying to wrap my head around his desire to stay stuck and his words of hopeful action.
I ignored reality for a long time and played into my idea that all this was temporary and sooner or later he’d want more for himself.
He was not an ogre. In fact, most people he’d meet thought he was pretty confident. I knew the real story and how insecure he really was, with his self-imposed limitations in the way of his own desires for love and happiness.
All needs were unmet for he and I, besides a voice on the phone or some text messages. After awhile, these ceased to have any meaning to me.
He spoke of action as being like the character Ice from Top Gun, but it was only a distant dream and nowhere near reality.
I had a sense of huge unrest whenever he came into my life. I would think I could be without expectations and allow him to do his two-step, in which he would completely disregard my feelings and truth. I would end up in turmoil, talking about how it had become an impossible situation and he’d agree, then come up with the statement, “he wasn’t ready.”
In the beginning, I used to react, blame and get angry.
I got tired of it and asked myself over and over what was the benefit to being here? What did I get from phone conversations and text messages? What the hell were my fears that made this pain more acceptable than dealing with myself?
It was over a long period of time that I gained clarity about myself. I hid from a real relationship and I didn’t want to risk it, as much as I said I did. I wanted excuses to punish me and create suffering, so I would never feel good enough to have a real relationship.
On a certain level, I felt I only deserved so little and it was safe.
As my heart grew bigger for myself, my huge attachment to this man waned; I was objective and saw clearly how to change this trajectory for the rest of my life.
- Have clarity about what you really want for yourself in a relationship—if it feels funky and the conversations are all technology based, don’t tell yourself it’s enough. Speak up and say what you need. If it remains the same, ask yourself the benefit. There’s always a benefit, even in pain.
- Accepting what is. Period. I couldn’t change what he was doing; all I could do was see my part and redirect my thoughts and actions toward being in alignment with what I wanted universally, without attachment.
- Deal with your fears: why are you choosing the safety place of a virtual relationship? What are you hiding from and why is this comfortable?
- Increase your value. Live into your passions and your love for yourself. Be open to receiving and deserving (yup, this is where a lot of us get hung up). Create your standards for treatment and say “no” to what hurts you.
- Allow others to be as they are, if your virtual friend wants to stay virtual, let them. You get to choose if you engage or not, so make a choice that feels good.
Live in your body, feel your feelings and understand your fears. See where the fear started and challenge them, getting out of the comfort of sorta having someone in your life.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman