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Author Topic: Relationships on the Web  (Read 3764 times)


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Relationships on the Web
« on: June 07, 2009, 12:19:26 PM »
In the Dark and Joint Ventures is a role playing forum for adults who are single or together in a 'relationship'. I want to start this article by defining what relationship means in reference to the title. It means how one relates to another. There are varying degrees of relationships from not knowing another individual to being exclusively married.

It is the desire of In the Dark and Joint Ventures to provide a community atmosphere where both singles and people in partnerships can come and comfortably write on adult subjects, hang out with friends and be happy. The internet however has added a new dynamic to relationships that can be frightening and unsettling at times or overwhelmingly wonderful in others. It allows us to interact with people on an intellectual level yet keep a physical distance that we often mistake for an emotional distance.

This article may not be the beliefs of every staff member of In The Dark or Joint Ventures but it is what we will use to guide this site by.

Welcome to the Web...

Now myth will tell you that the internet is not real life and that it is a much more dangerous place than that which you must physically experience each and every day. I tell you now that this myth is not true. Real people have real communications and affect real feelings via the internet each day. You can meet dangerous and deceptive people in person, you don't need a computer for that. Yes it is easier to lie when you do not have to look at someone face to face, but people get arrested for conning other people in person every day.

So what do I do...

Say hello and talk to people. Find something you have in common and start a discussion. This is the same thing you would do if you met a stranger in a park or in a bar. If you find that you have chemistry with this person then keep talking and develop a friendship. Now if you were face to face you would have given this person your phone number or at least your email address, for those more cautious. Online you have these options and more. There are places like this where you can send personal message or participate in a public one and there are various IM information that you can exchange.

But this is online, how do I trust the other person?

Just like the real world, you just have to take the chance. Will you try to be friends with people who turn out to be crappy? The answer to that is a resounding YES. But you will also find some of the best people that you will never have the pleasure of meeting face to face.

In the 'real world' I have had people I thought were my friends fail me, online I have had people I thought were my friends fail me. See... no difference.

In the 'real world' I have found friends who are wonderful and would stick by my side no matter what. While Online I got to meet a friend from Australia whom i had been friends with for two years (though I have since lost touch with him). I have found a beautiful ongoing 8 year friendship with a musician in Turkey. I have had my first writing partner stay at my house... now if i can only get her to write again (Lotus). I have friends on this board that I would prefer to give up my last breath than to give them up.

In short... to find friendship you have to take a chance at it. There is a risk of failing but there is a chance at success too. You will find both.

So I take a chance with someone, how can I be safe?

This is a reminder to be realistic. The first kind of relationship that you should offer anyone is a friendship. It is very easy to be romantic when all that pass between two people are words. A person's in-person personality is never going to match their online personality perfectly. This person may not be out to deceive you, but there are personality traits that my not cross over into the data stream.

Time is the closest answer you will get to know if you can truly trust someone. The amount of time you wish to wait to guess that answer is up to you. Just as in 'real life' what you give someone depends on how much you trust them.
Phone Numbers
  • Understand that if you give out your phone number either cell or land line there is a chance you may eventually need to change it.
  • If you give out your land line number and you do not have an unlisted number then your address can be found online.
  • Calling someone after they have asked you not to, harassing them or making a threat via phone is a FEDERAL CRIME aka... big jail time.
  • Caller ID allows you to decide if you are going to answer the phone or not.
  • This form of communication allows you to store messages and communicate at any time with out being online at the same time.
  • Messages can be forwarded to multiple people with ease.
  • Emails have spam filters. You can tell the email system to send a specific persons email directly to the trash so you do not have to see it.
Instant Messengers
  • Allows for real time communication.
  • Most have voice capability so you can talk with each other with out the exchange of phone numbers.
  • Conversations can be saved.
  • There is a block feature that prevents delivery of the message by that person. It actually prevents them from seeing that you are logged into that instant messenger.

If you need to know how to alter settings on a particular IM please post a thread related to that IM software.
Message Boards
  • They are places where both private and public socialization can take place.
  • They have rule and guidelines for interactions.
  • Most have ways of blocking unwanted contact or ways of reporting those that make unwanted contact.
Physical AddressI have never given out my physical address to anyone that I have not been friends with for at least two years. This I would not recommend unless you are 100 percent certain that this is a person you can trust.  If you need to mail or receive mail from someone then go get a PO Box.

What do I do if things go wrong?

So you have a falling out with someone you socialize with over the internet. In the best scenario is that you both just go your separate ways with out another work to or about each other. 

However some individuals have a problem doing this. They may feel like they can't be wronged and must continue to contact you until they feel vindicated. It is possible that this person thrives on causing chaos and making other people miserable. Maybe they are just so needy of attention that they cannot properly let go of the contact after you have ended the relationship. This person continues to contact you despite your desires that they cease to do so.

How do I handle unwanted contact?

Regardless of your personality, you must tell this person that further contact with you is unacceptable. Be clear that you will no longer accept phone calls, emails, private messages or ims. You may think to yourself that you do not want to cause trouble or a scene. It may not be in your nature to stand up for yourself and tell someone to stop. This is one time when it is important to do something contrary to a submissive personality and lay definite boundaries that you are willing to defend. If you do not stand your ground and make your rules clear this person will continue to harass you until they get board, also know that they will to it to someone else.

Once you have sent this message then follow through. Do not answer your phone if they call. Have emails sent to junk, delete and block the ims. You were living before this person, continue to do what you normally do after you break contact.

If the actions of this person really concerned you. Perhaps they were angry or threatening in their contacts. Maybe you find that they are talking about you with other people so that it affects your reputation or comfort on the site that you are both members of. If this happens then contact an administrator at the site and explain the situation. Be prepared to share proof: email, recording of voice mail, an IM log or anything else that you may have. If this person is treating you in a manor that frightens you are makes you uncomfortable than they could be doing this to someone else. You may not want to 'cause trouble' but they are already doing so. You cannot allow someone to chase you from a place that you want to be. Both parties should be able to co exist on the same site with out affecting each other in a negative way.

How do I know if I have stepped over the line?

So a relationship has ended. Maybe you have had a disagreement over something or your personalities just didn't mesh. Now you are angry. That's ok. Its a normal human reaction. So what do you do? You honor the other person's request not to contact them again. You let the problem slip by you and keep it to yourself.

If you
  • Send an angry or threatening message
  • Talk about this person in a negative manner to anyone else
  • Try to control someone by making them uncomfortable on sites where you both socialize
  • Try to contact the person after they have told you not to and you are not sending an apology
Then you have stepped over the line

What does that matter to this site?

It has been brought to my attention that some individuals do not come to this site as often as they would like because another individual on the site was making them feel uncomfortable.

Now it is no secret that I can retrieve private messages that have been made on this board as long as they are not deleted by all persons involved in the PM. This is not easy but it can be done. So no one is going to be stupid enough to send inappropriate PMs to anyone on this site.

However if you act in appropriately to anyone outside this site after they have asked you to cease contact then you will be reprimanded on this site. This site does not want to take sides in the lives of individuals outside our boarders but when you decide to violate rules of etiquette and decency so that it affects another's feeling of safety on this site then we have a problem that must be resolved.

If we are sent proof of harassment then one, many or all of the following can happen
  • You loose your ability to see who is online
  • You loose your ability to PM
  • You loose your ability to participate on the main boards. In this case you will be given your own board and those who write with you will be given access to it
  • You loose access to the site

Every member of this site is an adult. The rumor of this should never again cross our knowledge because no one should ever cross the lines as to affect another's feeling of security.

Friends come and go, it is an unfortunate part of life. If a relationship ends, let it end graciously. Because the excuse that you were well behaved here is no longer a safety net if you misbehaved else where.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 11:06:13 AM by GothicFires »


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Re: Relationships on the Web
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 12:26:53 PM »
This may not be an all encompassing article. I may have missed some ways that people can interact and exchange information that may need need to be done with caution. I may have missed ways that people have to protect themselves or points that someone should use to handle bad reactions to an ended relationship.

As I have never been in a situation where I have had unwanted contact I probably haven't covered everything in the list of things that one can do that could be considered 'stepping over the line'.

If you have information you want to add please write it up well and post it to the thread. If you wish to add something anomalously them PM me and I will edit my post to incorporate your points. 
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