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Online Romance - For Good or Evil? 527

Posted by Cliff
from the your-mileage-may-vary dept.
Kitsune Sushi submitted this hot potato: "There have been a few discussions the past few weeks on Slashdot regarding female geeks (probably set into motion at least in part by that Linux Chix article), most of which have been cluttered by a number of "interesting" comments by various males. :) One post that struck me in particular suggested that many male geeks have a hard time finding a romantic interest because their female counterparts are often found in the same place they are: behind their computer monitors. This sort of begs the question: where do most geeks (male or female) most often find their potential partner(s)? Online? Off? Chat rooms? Matchmaker services? University? LUGs? Hmm.. Slashdot..?" What are your experiences with online romances?

"As this notion has so thoroughly sparked my curiosity concerning the subject, any comments on where anyone has looked or what they have tried (and whether or not they have been successful as of yet) would be most welcome. It would certainly be interesting to note whether or not most Slashdotters spend most of their time on a computer, and exactly what seems to "work" for certain people with regards to romance. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this conversation would be the following question: Has anyone ever met someone online and then moved to wherever they lived so the two of you could be involved in an actual relationship, and did it end up working out for the better?"

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Online Romance - For Good or Evil?

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  • I Know that for me, they have worked. And I have meet many great friends, and finally someone who is more than a friend :D

    I Love my Mandy :D
  • I ended up marrying my online romance - we met when the internet was still text - HTML what's that? on bbs.isca.uiowa.edu actually. I'm not on there anymore but it was interesting - long distance and computer. Phone bills were still high though :(
  • I married a geek last January. She is a database wizard and a perl goddess, and we met on the jobsite.

    It was truly a whirlwind romance, with her showing me how to implement of arrays of hashes and the like.

    Good luck to all of the single geeks out there--there is someone waiting for you!
  • Well I met this one guy in a chat room, and i was always bitching about not having a gf, and then one day my isp (jps.net) suspended my shell account, and i needed one, so he gave me one on his school's student run linux box.

    on login it displayed the names of a few new admins, one of which was female, so i asked him about her, and she happened to live not 5 miles from my house, and spring break was coming.

    so he (and his gf) hooked us up, and beyond that i won't go into details, other than saying she and i are still together, and i hope we will stay that way.

  • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:25PM (#1554893) Homepage Journal
    Angie and I started talking on the Trek forum on
    Delphi. I subscribed to them because they were the
    only people around at the time who offered no charge internet e mail. I think C$ charged 20 cents a piece or so.

    Anyway, we met FTF, dated for a year, broke up for a while, dated for a while, broke up for a year, got back together, and got married on September 25, 1999. Six weeks.

    Neither of us would do it again, but... We did get to talk A LOT before spent a great deal of time in each other's physical presence. That helped. It also helped both of us to be online, as we are both a bit shy in public.

    I could go on for hours, but basically, it worked, was no harder (or easier) than meeting someone in real life, and it isn't something we'd recommend.

    -George
  • by Hiro_Protaganist (87503) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:26PM (#1554894)
    Why was this posted at 8:14 on a Saturday night? Did you know you could get a good response from all of us non date enabled supergeeks :)

    _________
    Sometimes, when I'm feelin' bored, I like to take a necrotic equine and assault it physically.
  • by Signal 11 (7608)
    Atleast one couple was married online on the Userfriendly list (majordomo@lists.paralynx.com / subscribe userfriendly in the body). It works. There's plenty of HNGs (horney net geeks) out there to make it possible. I wouldn't however, recommend taking anything very seriously until you meet them IRL (duh).

    --
  • But I did meet one boyfriend at a summer academic camp for gifted high schoolers. Despite meeting in person, it turned into a long-distance relationship immediately - 3&1/2 hours by car is much, much more difficult to overcome if you have to ask your parents to drive you.

    In general, I'd say that online relationships are most definitely worth it if you don't restrict yourself to them. If you're leading a fairly normal (by non-nerd standards) life and happen to fall in love online, I doubt there'd be a problem with it. But if your life consists of staying in the basement and hitting on anyone of your preferred gender in the AOL chat rooms, I doubt anything's going to work out. (And if you're the type of person who sits in the house and hits on people in AOL chat, I hope you don't reproduce.)

    Marissa
  • I met my wife through a personals ad. Her ad was specific in what she wanted and I fit (except for height -- she is 5'11" and I am 5'5").

    She's not a geek, but she uses Linux and dosn't complain to me when her friends give her Windows-centric advise.

    I think I'll keep her.
  • Nothing beats real life. I met my wife at work.
  • But, One thing is, someone you meet online, doesnt have to be a Geek. My GF isn't a geek at all, which makes life difficult actually, I have learned more about being myself, and not thinking about computers constantly, cause she doesnt care about what new thing I learned today. She will listen, but won't understand. But I've learned to live with that :D and accept it!
  • That is the real world on the other end of that wire.

    Who do you think you're interacting with now, an AI?

    FWIW, I met my partner online on a local BBS chat room. So far, the relationship's lasted 50 times longer than any previous relationship of mine.
    --

  • Nah...couldn't be. After all, I'm sure a whole lot of dateless geeks are out playing Magic: The Gathering or AD&D tonight. :-)

    *looks around furtively*
    But, uh, I have a good reason to be home and checking /.! Really!

    Marissa
  • she does go to school accross the country from me, so a large portion of the year it is a long distance relationship via the net
  • I met my girlfriend about 2 years ago on IRC. It wasn't one of those "online romances", although we do email each other quite often, I met her online, and we started "romancing" irl.
    I have met many great people online and know many other people who have met their gf/bf online. I have also recieved a number of employment opportunities from IRC.
    The problem is, some people deliberately set out to go online and "pick up". If you just look for some nice people and a good chat, you're in fact much more likely to "pick up". Just choose a smallish server and join channels that interest you (such as #linux :)
    An unfortunate side affect is that the wider community has no real idea about IRC, online chat, online community and all the rest of it, so saying "we met through the internet" is often met by a shocked/rude/strange reaction, but that's just life I guess.

    Matt.
    --------
  • I always thought people who specificly search for a romantic interest either online or in real life are limiting themselfs. Make a lot of friends, get to know them well, and enjoy life. Let the rest happen on it's own.
  • by turnerjh (271) <cturner@pattern.net> on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:37PM (#1554911) Homepage
    Online relationships can work. Some people find a lot of happiness through them.

    BUT THAT DOESN'T GIVE EVERY LONELY GEEK ON THE NET FREEDOM TO GO HARASS EVERYONE HE THINKS IS FEMALE IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET WHAT HE WANTS!

    Having a lot of mud experience, I can say with certainty that there are a LOT of idiotic children out there who treat members of the opposite sex with incredible rudeness. How many women out there use male names in public forums to avoid unwanted attention?

    Don't go sending obscene messages, ICQs, mudtells, or whatever to ANYONE. If you're interested in someone, propositioning them for cybersex just isn't going to get you anywhere except a long term relationship with spanky and his five friends.

    Treat ladies with respect. Don't say or do anything you wouldn't do in real life in person in front of them. Behave. Treat them with respect, kindness, and understanding. Most of all, just be yourself. No one ever had a succesful longterm relationship pretending to be someone they're not.

    Chip
  • *gasp* My post was answered by a girl!! That's almost like a date! :)

    I have a great reason for being home...I'm installing Linux for the first time! Yah!

    _________
    Sometimes, when I'm feelin' bored, I like to take a necrotic equine and assault it physically.
  • I find it funny that people have this odd sense that anyone you meet online is a pervert or otherwise disturbed. This is most funny coming from people who themselfs are online. I meet almost all my new friends online and find it much better for getting to know people before judging them superfically but I still hear gasps from some people I know because of the fact.
  • Allthough I am only 16, and admitedly have no experience in either real or online romances, I have to question the chances of any online love affair.

    The first major problem lies in distance. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to find someone within your city or state, but chances are, you'll end up with someone who lives a considerable distance away. This usually is less of a problem when the two are adults (not teens or college students), but still the large costs in both money, time, and effort required to see the person may be overly taxing. Also, it brings up the issue of trust. You make take a distant relationship seriously, but should a nearby, real-life alternative come up, I doubt you'd have as much concern in remaining faithful to an online partner. They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder," but I think such a cliche proves itself wrong in this case.

    The second issue is that the person may be highly different in "real" life. I know I tend be a lot more confident, in-your-face, and open in online situations... as opposed to my shy, timid real life nature. I can imagine the same is true for a lot of computer geeks. And this could present a problem should you meet your "partner" and find them to be a lot different in a face-to-face situation. The whole attraction might not be as strong in person. It reminds me of personal ads, where people may say a lot of things through a closed scene, but vary greatly in real life.

    Which brings to mind another potential problem: phsyical appearence. I know it seems shallow, but looks have a lot to do with attraction. Most people have pics or quickcam's, but still I bet a fair share of online lovers who do meet are somewhat disappointed with each other's looks.

    Maybe I'm pessmistic, and maybe it's my romantic inexperience talking, but I don't feel like online romances can really suceed. Granted, I've heard a few exceptions, including here on Slashdot, but I remain skeptical. Btw, if you did have an online romance turn into a sucessful real life one, would you mind telling me how you dealt with the issues I listed... I'm always interested in learning
  • ...for on-line discussion. Yes, we can get some good, solid answers on Slashdot, but a there are too many factors that play into an equation like this to generate a solid, definite answer in this type of forum.

    First, let me talk about myself personally. There are simply too many little things that I'm looking for in a girl. Most of these can't be determined in an on-line enviroment.

    (My first-date test? I unlock the passenger door for her. If she leans over and unlocks my door, that's a Good Thing. Otherwise, well... it's generally been downhill from there.) I'm looking for little idiosyncracies in personality, little twists in taste, and other little details. Yes, they're little things, but I've been around the block enough to know what is important to me. These little things are what is important. And I've never been able to "see" these things in an on-line enviroment.

    However, other people may not have their ideas so well-defined. Being able to come home at night and actually talk to your SO about the problems and issues you encountered at work that day may be a very large issue. Having your SO be a "geek" might be a very important factor for some. I can certainly understand this - I've got a couple (good-looking) friends who are computer fiends. It's certainly a refreshing things when they rebute you in a "discussion" about some issue. I really do enjoy being with these girls, because I can be myself and talk about computer topics without fear of being dubbed a "computer dork". But - they're not for me.

    There is no simple yes or no answer to this kind of question. The answer to on-line romance depends upon what you're looking for, and who you are. The unfortunate part is that a lot of us don't know ourselves well enough to be able to clearly see what we want out of a relationship. I consider myself lucky because I do. It took some time, but with that time, things became gradually clearer. The only unfortunate part is the wait for that little woman to appear.

    J.J.
  • Why doesn't /. can change that "jobs" section on their site to a "personals" section? :)

    "Then I'll tell the truth. We're allowed to do that in emergencies."

  • i met my gf over 3 years ago on irc, but it wasnt in a geek oriented channel (it was #friendly on newnet, just a general chat channel). i was in rhode island and she was in alabama. the long distance thing was tough (one month my phone bill was over $300). but i dragged her up here and we are currently happily engaged! :)

    one thing i can say about chatrooms and whatnot is that i find myself less shy when i dont have to worry about talking to someone face to face. id never actually worked up the courage to ask someone out in person, but it was easier to get to know her from the comfort of my room. plus, i didnt have to worry about not "looking good" or whatever...when we finally exchanged pictures we were both in love so images didnt much matter (though my girl is beautiful =).

    she is a geek though, of biology. she was fairly net savvy when i met her and over the past three years ive trained her pretty well. she was running linux up till recently (she needs to run quickbooks now for her business) and shes getting pretty good at quake. what else does a geek guy need??! (ok, perl cgi is next on the list...woot!)

    just goes to show sometimes good things happen on the net...

    --Siva


    Keyboard not found.
  • Although i do spend way too much time on the computer (I'm going out later this evening. Really!) my significant others have been people i met first in real life. Although one i only really got to know through IRC chatting, and my geek girl roomate met her first boyfriend on a BBS.

    I'd say that the internet is great for flirting and getting to know people (without all those pesky real life inhibitions!) but its better to base any serious relationship at least as much on real-life encounters. Like programming together, or studying math with a "reward system" :)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Go out on a "date"; try interacting with someone in the "real world".

    ...he says as he posts to /. on a Saturday night
  • Actually I found my wife thanks to cyberfriends, I was still living in Italy at the time, after 5-6 months of huge phone bills and long, long emails, we decided to get together for a vacation of 3 weeks.

    Of course, after she arrived, we kept moving the return date, and did so until her ticket was going to run out, which made it 4 months ;)

    I was supposed to remain in Italy until after my M.Sc. graduation, but I couldn't take it and followed her to Canada two weeks after, with my computer (tower case, LOL) in the suitcase, needless to say it took quite a while to get cleared through customs ;)

    I finished the thesis, and went back to Italy to graduate, and came back again to Canada two weeks after (we kept in touch via email as usual) and got married on Valentine's day 1998, a little bit more than a year after we met online.

    It's funny to remember that for several weeks I actually thought that she was a guy pretending to be a girl just to have some fun ;)

    It's also funny to see that despite being labeled as geek for so many years, I was the first one among my friends to get married :)
  • In my personal experiences, meeting someone online can turn out (And for me has) either bad or good, just as meeting them in the real world can. My ex-girlfriend and I met on IRC, on a channel dedicated to the city we live in. We talked on there for several months, became friends, met at a few channel get-togethers, and than started going out together without the get together as an excuse. That relationship lasted about a year, and went pretty well. The breakup was a polite one, we are still friends. (The good news is, that one was my bad experience. =) As far as good goes, I met my current fiance on IRC as well, she had just left my town and moved to Chicago, and was feeling homesick, so she was hanging out in the local IRC channel. We became friends, and got to know each other much better through LONG chats via ICQ. After several plane trips for her from Chicago back to here (Dallas, if you're curious, btw) she decided to move back here.
    We are now happily 'living in sin', engaged to be married, and trying to decide on a date (12:01 AM January 1st anyone? =)
    I guess, to sum it up, 'dating' online is really no different than dating in 'real life'. You'll get some winners, you'll find some losers. Eventually, as they always say, you'll find someone who is right for you.
    Oh, and one more thing, don't go LOOKING for someone. That is the best way to assure you'll never find them. Just be friends to people, in general. Be a nice person, and the person who can make you happy will pick up on this, and want to be more than a friend to you eventually. (If that makes any sense.)
  • Sure hope I didn't just post a comment without a body. Something went wrong. Whatever.

    The deal is, I do spend _most_of my time behind the Monitor but certainly not _all_ if it. In fact, I just came back from a party (sober - yeah right) to find this article on /. So geeks spend their time away avoiding other people IRL? B(MF)S.

    Live,
    da Lawn
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Many people will probably consider the parent to this post to be flamebait. However, it does broach an important sub-topic.

    If you haven't found a girl who meets your sexual needs, then perhaps you need to keep looking, or need some more patience. They are out there. You'd be surprised what many girls will do, if you believe in open, honest sexual communication. If your partner is unable to open up and communicate, then I suggest you move on -- you'll have more than sexual problems in your relationship.

    Don't expect complete sexual openness on a first date. Sexual intimacy is something that grows with time. Particularly in the US, you'll find that many sexual topics are needlessly taboo, and take some time to broach and explore with a would-be partner. Take it slow, and open up only as fast as both you and your partner can handle it.

    The point, though, is to open up. I'm not saying you should walk up to a girl and say "Hey baby, wanna do me up the butt?" I suspect that'd earn you nothing more than a dirty look and a slap, even if you had a healthy gulp of Austin Powers' mojo beforehand. Rather, take the time to find out what each other is interested in, and explore each other's boundaries little by little. You'll have plenty of time to play together if you spend the time to build a strong foundation.

    --Anonymous, since there are alot of people who are offended by open, honest sexual communication.

  • Personally, I think this type of issue is pretty sad. We are'nt 13 yo's (I assume not :P). Go out and meet people. Party, have a drink or 20, make a fool of urself, who cares. Start becoming more sociable and go out as often as you can. Sitting infront of an Xray machine all day and night gets some work done but you become boring. Take a look at yourself and ask urself "Am I boring?"

    You probably are if you cannot socialize. Life is not about coding. The meaning of life is to simply make it enjoyable coz u dont live long.

    Especially when ur young, you need to make the most of life while you can. Live like there is no tomorrow. Party up, have fun and you will meet people. You can't pickup any1 without meeting ppl.

  • (My first-date test? I unlock the passenger door for her. If she leans over and unlocks my door, that's a Good Thing. Otherwise, well... it's generally been downhill from there.)

    too funny. Did you know that 'Mars & Venus on a date' specifically tells the woman NOT to lean over and unlock the driver-side door for the man on a first date? Of course, you may not be wanting to date the kind of person reading those books anyhow....
  • I have a great reason for being home...I'm installing Linux for the first time! Yah!

    You know, my first thought when I saw that was, "Hey! That's a good reason!" I'm going to get Linux installed in a couple months... Ok, so one of my friends is going to install it for me at my New Year's party - is that so pathetic??
    Yes. It is.

    Another comment so this doesn't get TOO offtopic - looking for a SO online doesn't guarantee that they won't be weirded out by your computer obsession when they find out, but at least it doesn't decrease your options quite as much when they tell all their friends.

    Marissa
  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:57PM (#1554930) Homepage
    ... And it's hard to break out of a lifetime's habits of shyness and discomfort around the opposite sex. I don't know why it's like that: when I hang around guys (and female friends) we can joke about and have a good time, but women seem (to me at least) to be fragile, where I have to mind my tongue and where everything I say or do is being evaluated. Paranoia? Most probably. I doubt it's out of fear anymore, more likely it's out of habit. I just have this feeling that I'm quite possibly one of the most peculiar people I've ever met, and have such a wide and varied range of tastes that I'm sure I'd offend any potential SO in one way or another (and have seemed to do so reliably since High School).. I also seem to attract psychos, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that. How about the young lady whom I met at a local tavern who gave me her email address, then after I sent a message, started sending me naked pictures of herself? So, I asked for a date or two and never heard from her again.. Or the gal whom I met in engineering class and would talk with and study with (oh boy, a nerd-girl, imagine my luck!) for months, lunching occasionally, then when I called to ask her out, her boyfriend picked up while he was cooking breakfast (either that or her ass was made of bacon because there was sizzling swine on the other end of that line).. Now am I the bad guy here? Am I reading too much into our lunchtime socializing? I wear deodorant and shower daily, I chew with my mouth closed, I wear clothes that are largely free of holes or stains and tend to be reasonably presentable (if monochromatic).. Am I screwing up the translation of the signals (or lack thereof)? WHERE CAN I FIND THE DOCUMENTATION ON THESE CURSED 'SIGNALS' I KEEP HEARING ABOUT? WHERE'S THE MAN PAGE? WHERE'S THE RFC? WHERE'S THE FAQ??? I'M TRYING TO RTFM!!!! It's enough to put a boy off entirely, and that isn't nearly the start of my pathetic dating career...

    Online? I used to do that in college (on vaxen oh so many years ago ;) but it never really seemed particularly fulfilling when it was good, and when it was bad it was so sordid as to throw me off quite thoroughly.
    Your Working Boy,
  • Wow! I feel like part of Slashdot history!
  • by Parity (12797) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:58PM (#1554933)
    For people that are terminal introverts, meeting other people is a serious problem. You only feel comfortable opening up among people you know, but people can only get to know you if you open up... I'm sure many of you know the problem.

    Somehow, online makes it a -lot- easier to just open up and talk, express yourself... that leads to flamewars, among other bad things, but it can also be a good thing.

    I have a personal rule, which is that no matter how intimate we feel online, nothing is decided before we've met iRL. Online is a good way to meet people and to talk, but it's a very different thing from being in someone's rl presence.

    It's also a good idea to have a 'safety'; the world does have nutty people out there. Make sure someone knows where you're going, who you're meeting, and expects you to contact back at a particular time. This advice probably applies more strongly to female geeks than males, but it wouldn't hurt men to be a little careful too. And, of course, meet for the first time in a public place, with other people around.


    --Parity
  • Female geeks tough to find because they are to much like male geeks is right.

    From my experience the trouble is that you have to know the female first, such as a classmate or something or other. because I spend so much time in front of my monitors when I do venture out into natural light I find that my topics of conversation often veer towards those that are of interest online. often from this I get strange looks from everyone except those that I know personally and also spend most of their times in the cathode ray glow. Those friends I made a school maintaing it's network. It all boils down to the ratio of male geeks to female. When we enter real life they just aren't common enough for us (or rather me) to even just score (keep in mind that this is from personal experience if you're luckier, I envy you). Standard women just can't understand why someone would spend 12 hours a night staring at text scrolling up a window.
  • I talked to a girl once. She smelled funny. She said "Would you like fries with that?". Mmmm... Fries....
  • On the telnet chat server [islandnet.com] I work on (NUTS [demon.co.uk] is the highest form of communication imho) we have two married couples who moved 500+ miles to be together. I also met my best IRL friend there, along with a girl who was my girlfriend for 17 months. I don't see any harm in it at all.
  • I met my wife in at singles function I went to. We were the first two people there and just hit it off. But before that, most of my online female contacts seem to get more into sex than an actual relationship. Don't get me wrong, sex is great, but a long term relationship is definitely better. The point is that there are a lot of women interested in sex online, but I found a lot fewer that were interested in a real relationship.
  • Frankly, I wouldn't know how to meet a woman EXCEPT for a computer. Fortunately, the computer has been the source of both of my marriages.

    I met my first wife on a BBS called Meganet in St. Petersburg, FL (local number, no longer around). Lived together within two weeks of first date, engaged for 1.5 years, married for over 5 years. Divorced in 1994.

    Then I met a much better woman pretty quickly on a unix bbs (again a local number) that later became http://matchmaker.com [matchmaker.com]. Engaged for 3.5 years, then got married. We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary, and no problems in sight. Our educations couldn't be more different (literature/poetry/philosophy vs. computers/music), and that leads to both of us teaching each other new things all the time. She is the wonderful kind of old-fashioned woman described in Uncle Robin's Advice article [slashdot.org] that is there for me, running the bath water and serving me late-night sandwiches!

    My first son was with my first wife, and my second son is a child she made with someone else who doesn't care a --bleep-- about the boy, so I treat him like my own.

    My second wife cannot have children -- fortunately for her, my sons were part of the package deal with me, so she does get to raise a couple of kids after all.

    Tim

  • I find my those people I know only electronicaly people function well as a contrast to my local social situation. The people i know come from completelydiffrent backgrounds than me, which lends an even greater generality to the observations I make. Luckly "she" is far enough away to make any kind of romance an incredibly impractical idea so the subject has never come up. If it did it would surely raise expectations for the connection too much. The wonderful thigns about purely electronic relationships is that they are very simple if conducted with a little common sense. I think it is a healthy thing to have a few of thiem around along with the usual gaggle of real life friends.
  • I am a student at Purdue University, I started a web site back in Janurary called PurdueDating [purduedating.com], after it becoming very successfull here, we were shut down by the University [purdue.edu] for being on their campus. After some debat we redesiged and opened up as CollegeDates.com [collegedates.com]. We've been around for a while, and have in our opinion been very successful. I've met a few people through the site, and it always makes me feel good when I hear about someone that has been dating someone for the past 6 months and they've meet through my site.
  • Having been in several online relationships and flings... one lasting for over 1.5 years... I feel I can shed some light on the subject. It takes a special brand of woman/man in order for it to work at all. You have to be willing to put your physical urges aside, at least until you've gotten to know them and (gasp) meet them. It's bittersweet torture... because you have a significant other, but OTOH you're missing out on a lot when you can't see them.

    Another pain in the ass is not knowing if someone is being totally honest. This is by no means a factual argument, but I was involved with a girl who more or less lied about everything, and if they are good liars it can last for months before you begin to realize. Being lied to is no fun in any situation, especially in the love department.

    My advice when it comes to getting involved online? Though none of my relationships worked out for the best, I won't completely argue against it. However, like others have said on here, don't get too serious about it while it remains exclusively over IRC, ICQ, e-mail, etc etc. Meet them, get to know the actual person, because we all present online personas that are not who we really are. Some aren't very different in person, and others completely change.

    So, before you settle down with a wife/husband/significant other, make sure they don't possess some personality trait that will make you regret ever getting involved. I'm stealing someone's quote here, but loving someone isn't about finding their perfections, but appreciating their imperfections.

    Cybersex? Puh-leeze, 1/2 the time it's a 14 year-old boy named Jimmy from Wisconsin having some fun at your expense. You're missing out on a lot when you're tapping out animal noises on a keyboard.

    The bottom line? If you meet someone and you've got good vibes, meet the person for crissakes! If they're still golden, go with it. Thanks for your time, and thanks for humoring a lovelorn geek who's run the gamut of online relationships.

  • Well, "online romances" as they are defined by the media - by having 'cyber sex' and doing all sorts of stupid typing shit doesn't work. But I found my husband online, met him in real life and I couldn't get enough of him.

    Coupla years later, our relationship is stronger than when we met and I'm seriously happy :).

    What doesn't work however is getting online to get sexed w/o any relationship. Duh - suprise. People in bars have been trying to figure this one out for ages.

    At any rate toodlez
  • My experience with girls related to computing hasn't been that great. Before there was an "online" (back in the 70s), I was goofing off in the computer lab at a BigTime CS school (think cornfields), when this rather, um, shapely gal walks into the terminal room. All geek eyes on her since she's wearing those hotpants (I told you it was the 70s) and she's obviously going to have back problems really soon, if you get my drift. So anyway, I keep banging away at this, um, Commodore Pet that C'dore put in the lab to entice geeks with, and this gal is RIGHT BEHIND ME STARING AT MY SCREEN where I'm really not doing anything productive... okay, I'm playing. She asks me what I'm doing, and I start mumbling about something inconsequential, when the geek in me kicks in and I blurt out, "Do I know you?" Turns out that she's the grad student house mom of my sister's University co-op house who I had met a couple weeks earlier. So we walk back to the co-op since we're both done anyway; she's "safe" (rats) since she's a house mom and she's going out with some guy that has a Camaro, so I can talk to her without falling down.

    Cut to a few years later (after a few years respite from the university), and I see a gal at the computer room who I'd been worshiping from afar in my class, and she asks me about one of our lab problems. At this point in my life I've learned to stare at THEIR shoes when I talk to girls, so I was able to mutter something close to what could be considered English, and she invites me out to eat with her at a Denny's. Hey, the kid is gonna score (or at least get into tryouts)... turns out that she's got a HTH, so again, I find myself with someone "safe", and so she wastes my time for the remainder of the summer (in the middle of shorts season!) being good "friends" on the weekdays, while she goes back to the HTH on the weekends.

    But it's progress.

    Cut to the fall semester where she brings in one of the two lab chicks at the school into our little friendship, and I'm kinda miffed that there's an interloper into this Relationship That's Going Nowhere, but little by little the interloper and I warm up and end up excluding the HTH gal. But after a longish relationship, she dumps me with no notice for an ubergeek coworker (who was married by the way, but that's another story).

    So the score is: no luck with any computer-related romances.

    So I go out and reacquaint myself with Mr. Sun and all that there is outdoors, and I meet this gal quite innocently while sailing. And we're still married to this day.

    Moral of the story: well there really isn't one, but it is kinda nice not being married to a(nother) geek.


    DT
    --
    Free Pittsburgh!
  • AS a fellow "geek" I have to say that my two places that I've met sig. others has been in school, and at work. Met a few possible candidates online, but the distance was a big issue [I am in the US and he was in SCOTLAND!] But working in a call center for computer technical support is a good place to meet nice, though sometimes socially handicapped men...who share some of the same interests...[i.e. RPGs, Linux, computers in general.....] ~The Pixie~
  • by MillMan (85400) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @07:11PM (#1554948)
    I don't recommend trying to meet women on irc, but if you're really that shy, it isn't all that bad. I've actually met a few really cool women on irc, had a 1 year relationship with one of them. The two women I knew the best weren't "geeks" themselves but get along with the geek personality really well. I have met a number of women from irc who I very much *don't* like, but real life results in the same thing anyway. No big deal.

    DO NOT become dependant on online socializing. Thats the way I was about 3 years ago, and even if you hang out with people from irc, it's still generally a depressing life. I still chat on irc a bit, but I don't TRY to meet women online anymore. If I happen upon someone who I really seem to get along with (important note: when you talk with someone online, you only "see" a small part of what they really are...you mind tends to make up the rest of what you think they are) I'll still meet them if possible.

    Bottom line: DO NOT BECOME DEPENDANT ON ONLINE SOCIALIZATION!! It's just bad. I think most people here will agree.
  • I met my girlfriend online, on an IRC channel, and moved from Chicago to Texas to be with her. That was two years ago, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself.....she'll say the same should you ask her :)
    We spent some months talking online, then on the phone....finally met FTF over thanksgiving of 97, and three weeks later, I had a Uhaul trailer and was on my way down here. We have friends for whom meeting on the Net has been a good thing too.
    If she and I were to break up for some reason, I'd probably consider meeting people online to be preferable to meeting ppl IRL. There's no pressure for doing anything besides talking and getting to know each other online, while FTF there are lots of things that can get in the way.
    That's my couple of cents.....
  • Well, it worked for me.

    About 4 and a half years ago I met my S.O. online, and it worked fine. Over the 'net it may be a different story, though - it's not a matter of meeting online or not, it's a matter of geography. I met my girlfriend via old-school BBSes (bulletin board systems), where everyone lived in the same geographic region of the state. My gf was about 15 minutes away.

    The thing is, while our relationship started online, it grew past that. First we moved on to phone calls, then to meeting in person. I think that on the plus side we got to know eachother as people better online and over the phone (skipping some of the initial guess-work that comes with meeting a person in person). However, eventually that has to give way. I don't really have much faith in cross-country relationships due to the lack of real personal contact. I've known a number of people who have been burnt from that.

    The 'net is inherantly global which, while very very cool in its own right, doesn't help relationships too much. With the death of the local BBSing scene(s), I'm not so sure it's as realistic that it'll work.

    Another point of possible interest: I'm a computer person, she's not. She'd call the boards regularly for chatroom use, while I was more interested in running my own board or perusing FidoNET. Geeks and non-geeks can and do get along. Trust me. :>



    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • Ok, so one of my friends is going to install it for me at my New Year's party

    Actually, I think that's fantastic...it's so Y2k ironic to be doing computer stuff on that night.

    It's *way* better than what I did last New Year's...hanging out at the near-riot in San Franciscos Union Square. I'm going to find me some nice quiet thing this year :)

    _________
    Sometimes, when I'm feelin' bored, I like to take a necrotic equine and assault it physically.
  • About three months ago a female geek posted a story at a popular geek humor website. In a joking style, it told the story of meeting a person from a software company at Linuxworld. Some thing may or may not have happened between the author and said person. The author says it didn't, others say otherwise.

    Whatever the truth is, the result of that meeting was somebody at said software company mass-mailing a rather detailed and humiliating description of these [real or fictional] events to every employee of the company.

    Responses ranged from the intelligent to "you're fat" to "your a lesbian" to "I checked your webpage and you're ugly". Half bored, and interested in what was causing all the fuss, I visited the authors webpage. It was probably one of the most interesting personal websites I have ever read. I've never actually been interested in anyone else's personal links, but I spent an hour discovering some of the most entertaining content I've ever seen online. Here was an engaging and intelligent personality surely worth the title of geek girl.

    Another article was posted on the same site questioning the authors credentials. Things intensified dramatically. Maybe eighty percent of responses to any article would consist of comments concerning this author. Not flattering or friendly - explicit, violent and unoriginal.

    Meanwhile, the author stopped writing any more articles. She also stopped defending herself. The comments continued unabatedly for two months. Last week they disabled their comments and write-ins after the volume and content of posts concerning the author became overwhelming.

    I revisited the webpage recently. None of the old content exists anymore, presumably after the same sort of filth ended up in her personal email. No more witty links, no more personal stuff, lyrics, poetry, stories, no more 'you know you're Chinese if'... now there's a transcript of Tori Amos's 'Crucify'.

    One bright spirit extinguished by so many bored horny fools. The world is a lesser place since you left it, MLM.
  • I didn't know people were allowed to do that anymore. I've always tried to stay very far away at work.
  • "The first major problem lies in distance. "

    This is a bit of a problem - She goes to school in Newcastle, and I go to school in Melbourne.. Which means we can only see each other every several weeks. There's no real way around it short of moving interstate. There are phonecalls, though, every other night... That goes a long way to shortening the distance.

    "different in real life / appearences"

    You don't expect things to hit off straight away, or at all. Don't take it too seriously, which is what a dozen other people have said.

    I never used to think it would work, either, but then I met this person two years ago.. *shrug*

    Have fun,
    rob
  • ...or anyone else I know. I'm sure there are a few people out there who are married to someone who used to be an online flirt, so it can happen. Just don't count on it.

    I met my wife when I moved and switched grocery stores. She worked in the deli of my closest grocery store... What can I say, she certianly knew how to handle my meat! ;-P I must have bought and ate more lunchmeat during those first two months of flirting than the first 18 years of my life total.

    Don't be afraid of leaving the comforting rays of the CRT and venturing out into the world. You never know who you'll run into out there...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think this says it all:

    A programmer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I`ll turn into a beautiful princess."

    He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

    The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

    The programmer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

    The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I`ll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."

    Again the programmer took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.

    Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I`ve told you I`m a beautiful princess, that I`ll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won`t you kiss me?"

    The programmer said, "Look I`m a programmer. I don`t have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that`s cool."

    TinMan

  • You sound like I did when I was your age (4 years ago).

    I have no success stories to show for that age differences. I think I'll try to ask that nice girl at safeway out. Better odds, and she has the physical appearance bit nailed. ;-)
  • Anyone up for a geek orgy? Of course the rule is all men must bring an eligible woman with them if they want admitted. Those wearing rubbers that look like penguins get to stand on the stage and show off for the crowd. Do you think we should test everyone for geek knowledge before they can get any? Anyone who wants to come reply here and I'll email you the secret location and password! :)
  • Just like going out to the bars, being social at parties, or being social at work, being "social" online isn't going to work for everyone.

    I met my husband on a BBS in seattle before we went out to college... "hey, I'm going to school out there", "cool, me too". So we chatted online, found common interests, met IRL before we went off to school, and saw each other a lot while we were in school.

    We're still in school, and two years after meeting we married. Worked for me! But that doesn't mean it'll work for someone else...

    That was on a BBS (duh I already said that), which is a little different than the "big bad internet" is now. It was local to my area (well, as local as "Seattle" can get), it took a certain style of person to seek out and hang out on a BBS (after the 'internet' had already developed), thus narrowing down the potential "field" of people-i-wouldn't-go-near-if-i-was-paid. People knew each other on the BBS, which you can't really say for IRC unless you scope it down to a single channel (or genre of channels).

    I would say we shouldn't narrow ourselves to any field. Just because you know people who hit it off on IRC doesn't mean you will, and you shouldn't necessarily *try*. Be social in any place and you are bound to meet people, eventually someone you hit it off with well.

    Going out and being "social" in a bar or at parties isn't for everyone. Some people meet their SO's at work (or in work-related places) without going out of their way to be excessively social. If you realise that your "potential" mate could be anywhere in the world, internet or otherwise, you're bound to find someone. Being social is being social whether it's on the 'net, in a bar, or at work.

    Just be careful on the 'net before you go out and meet someone IRL. All (except one) of the internet folks I've met IRL have come from BBS', though I'm sure that will change, and a BBS is quite different from what the 'net has become. If you get a bad feeling about someone on the 'net, listen to it, just like in 'real life'.

    -nicole
  • Long distance relationships are hell. But they can work, and be MORE than worth it. My current girlfriend:
    item a: we met on the Swans discussion list.
    item b: we became more phone friends than e-mail friends after a few months.
    item c: I didn't know she was interested in me, and likely still wouldn't were it not for the Pimpin' Cupid at thespark.com
    item d: She moved a time zone closer, we met and . . . .
    How geeky is THIS relationship!!!!

    But I've met people I thought I was interested in, and changed my mind after meeting them. And people I would date if they lived closer, but didn't think they were worth the distance. And my ex-roommate is now married and living in Japan to his former long-distance girlfriend.

    It CAN work. But be careful before you put too much of yourself into it.
  • Over the summer I began talking via aolim (mm.. gaim..) to a girl from my school who I hadn't know real well. By getting to know each toher better over the net, we eventually hooked up in real life . Conversing online allows you to say things that you may have trouble saying in real life, although important issues should still be discussed face to face in my opinion.
  • My first online dating experience started off fairly decently, but soured after a few months. It also had the dubious distinctions of being my first-ever serious attempt at a relationship, after years of having crushes on people (indeed, this one was influenced somewhat by a past crush), and of being my first long-distance relationship.

    It started around May 1997. I was (and still am) a frequenter of the Usenet group alt.tv.animaniacs (having been a fan of that show basically since Day One), and also of the IRC channel #watertower [wtower.com], and had been for a few months at this point. I saw someone posting on the newsgroup, expressing a desire to get more involved in one of the fan documents. I eventually helped her out, and told her about #wt, and we became close friends. In early 1998, I started to take a liking to her, as it were, and things started clicking very quickly. By August, though, things were falling apart. Both of us were very immature and inexperienced about this sort of thing; I had begged my way into the relationship in the first place (on the false belief that someone female couldn't be special without being a SO), she expected me to be something I just wasn't, and also could be very manipulative and condescending at times. It came to a head when I came down for a weekend, and she said I couldn't stay at her house -- this was a problem because she lives near a resort town, it was a Friday night in the middle of August, and I didn't have any hotel reservations or the money to even get a room on such short notice. I ended up sleeping in my car, and going home the next day. I was reluctant to talk to her for a long while, but eventually got over that...as far as I know, we're still at least acquaintances, but she hasn't been on IRC in a while.

    Now, I should note that I'm not very experienced about this; before I got to IRC, I was very paranoid about people I didn't know from HS or church. I'm only now shattering some myths and phobias I've long had about how talking to other people and having friends works. That said, though, there are cases where meeting online does work; some people from #wt have gotten together, with excellent results (one couple is now married).

    As of right now, I'm not sure if anything will happen again; my situation at the moment is such that having a SO would be a drain on my time and resources (not to mention the fact that meeting online increases the chances of an LDR substantially), so I'm not really looking. I'm hoping that the next time, things will go more smoothly for me and the person I'm seeing -- whether it starts online or off.

    -lee

  • We didn't start out having netsex, we didn't start out looking to find a girlfriend online. We just found that we liked each other, started talking, and over several months, found ourselves falling for each other - but nade NO plans until we'd met IRL.
    That was all we needed; we knew at that point that we'd found the person we wanted to be with.
  • by PenguiN42 (86863)
    All I know is one of my roommates's girlfriend is DAMN HOT, is a geek, and they met online. He lives in NY and she lives in CA, but she came to our school (we're sophmores, she's a freshman). I'm pretty sure his situation is rare though.

    (Asshole :)

    -------------
    The following sentence is true.
  • > How many women out there use male names in
    > public forums to avoid unwanted attention?

    Personally, I tend to go for a gender-neutral logon, and I notice a /lot/ more annoying solicitations when I switch to an obviously female nick. I hang out on MOOs a lot, and it's /amazing/ what some of these people will page you with when you're obviously a woman; on LambdaMOO, most of the women I know switch their gender to plural or neuter. It's sad that such deception is necessary, but that's been the case for as long as I've been into MOOs.

    But thank you, Chip, for being a gentleman. ^_^
  • This reminds me of a story about a friend of mine. He used to hang out after work at Kinko's (where he worked at, not because he dug copy shops) to use the computers, since he didn't have one at home. One day, he came up to me and a friend, and began to tell us about how he found this "hot lesbian chatroom" and that he "was the only guy in it" even though he "was pretending to be a woman!" Despite our observation that all the "women" in that room were really men pretending to be women, he refused to believe us. "I can tell! I can tell!" he insisted. The point to this is that when you meet that "woman" who is an 18 year old Asian teenager at a Catholic high school, whose headmistress forces her to perform bizarre bondage rituals, its gonna be a guy. If its that description, and you're on the Undernet, its probably me! ;)
  • by Pendulum (50917) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @07:33PM (#1554972)
    Okay, I am tired, I will keep this short.
    Last Jan., I saw a website I really liked. The guy who designed it (as a showcase of his work) seemed really interesting and intelligent. I wrote to tell him I was impressed, and we struck up a conversation. It was a wonderful correspondance; finally I had a guy who wasn't inmtimidated by my knowledge of computers nor scared by my Star Wars obsession. Long story short- in June, he asked me to visit him, and flew me to NYC from Central Ontario. We got along well, and were very attracted to one another. A good time was had by all. We didn't try anything like a comitted long distance relationship, and now I'm hooking up with a Southern Ontario geek, who also happens to be a musician. I met him through his music.
    My advice about meeting geek girls - be the best geek you can be. Sounds cheesy, but smart Really is the new sexy. I don't find receding hair lines a turn on, but they look pretty good if the brain they hover over is stimulating.
    I'd much rather you crack MS than buy me chocolate or flowers. Though I'd be more impressed with something realy neat, not cracker nonsense.
    And if you have a non-tech hobby, see if you can meet girls that way. I mean, we geek girls do get out ocasionally, too.
  • by pb (1020)
    I've never had a serious relationship with anyone who I've met online. However, I've always had a serious online relationship with those I've met in real life. It can be essential to helping maintain a long distance relationship, too.

    E-mail is always cheaper than a phone call, and a talk session (or any modern chat protocol-thing, ICQ, AIM, IRC, whatever) is more interactive, and sometimes more clear. (However, has anyone tried that internet phone stuff? I've been meaning to use Speak Freely with someone, but haven't done it yet...)

    However you can manage to find people people that intrest you, please do, and remember that computer networks are excellent ways to keep in touch and coordinate events.
    ---
    pb Reply rather than vaguely moderate me.
  • I actually met my significant other in a UNIX lab, at college, at about 1:30 AM. I guess i am really lucky, as most of my friends have not been able to find a girlfriend whose eyes don't glaze over when they mention an "dual-p2-600-512-meg-ram-linux-box-with-s-m-p" (thank you kristen:-)
  • ...to me. Now, wait, before you go reading FAR too much into that sentence, let me explain:

    I'm 19, male, and in college, and have yet to go out on a "date" at all. Why not? It's not due to any of the reasons you probably thought above (i.e. I'm not gay, etc), but because I simply have other things to do, and I suspect this is the case with a number of computer people. We're too busy trying to save the world from the evils of Microsoft, posting to slashdot at 11:35PM (CST) or doing other things that have nothing at all to do with computers, but don't seem to interest many females (laser tag and meeting at McDonald's after..well, nevermind the trouble I've gotten into).

    So, how accurate am I?

    --------------------

  • Treat ladies with respect.
    Amen.
    What has ever happened to Chivalry, manners, and general courteousness in the world? (or at least the USA)

    ok enough rambling...
    I met my current girlfriend of over 6 months in a first period class i was trying desperatly to get out of, thank god i didnt. She is the best thing thats happened to me in about a year and a half :) She's not a geek type, the Anti-Geek would more or less describe it. Oh well, im hopelessly in love.
  • girl geeks are just that, geeks. if you want to find girls you need to look beyold irc chat channels and computer trade shows. a sociable geek is much more likely to find a real girl than a loser.
  • I know of many peopel who have met peopel over a BBS, would you believe.
    Try logging on to Monochrome [mono.org] and you'll find loads of ppl on there who have met someone else and gone out with them even though there was quite a few miles between them.
    I've never gone in for that, but it is interesting to watch those that have.
    Some you can pin down to a stereotype but others you can't because they do have a real life outside of the BBS.
    It certainly is not an evil, I can be sure of that because one or two people have gotten married after meeting people on Monochrome. Then again several have got together, done stuff together and then fallen out again in a big way.
    To make one a success it demands that a) both are sensible mature adults who understand what is going on, b) that it is possible to actually meet or at least phone regularly, c)that no-one pins too much on anything and takes it as it comes and d)that you're the right people for each other in the first place!
    I guess I've always found on-line relationships to be somewhat cold until you hear a person's voice on the other end of a phone line or meet them in person.
    At the end of the day you have to remember you're talking to a person who will be a bit like you with their own thoughts, feelings and so on.
    If you can't inject a vital spark of humanity in there then it will neverget past the initial stages without a lapse into formula and predictability.
    Just my thoughts, anyway.
  • Installing Linux for the first time is only a good excuse if you actually had something else to do. ;-)

    Finding a SO online is really no guarantee of anything. I took a chance and did a f2f meet with a charming YL I had met online. During dinner, while discussing 'internet-addiction', I remarked 'This is probably the longest period I've gone without email in six months.' To clarify; I am usually forced to wear a pager 24x7x365. My email is forwarded to the pager on a 15 minute delay. That day I had left early on personal-time and was not considered 'on-call', so I had left the pager at home.

    I hope you all will agree with me that the explaination is sufficient. She didn't, and openly called it 'sick'.

    The discussion turned to hours actually spent in front of 'the box'; I'm an IS 'everything man', and a software author, so the number was two digit, and almost four times hers. The 'date' went down hill from there. I figure she labelled me an 'oddball'. Conversation, which up to then had been flowing, easy and entertaining suddenly did a nose dive towards grating.

    Needless to say, I now avoid face-to-face contact until I know someone well electronically.
  • WHERE CAN I FIND THE DOCUMENTATION ON THESE CURSED 'SIGNALS' I KEEP HEARING ABOUT? WHERE'S THE MAN PAGE? WHERE'S THE RFC? WHERE'S THE FAQ??? I'M TRYING TO RTFM!!!!

    I was listening to Drew and Mike, a local radio morning show on WRIF in Detroit, and discovered this book [meetingwomen.com], which is supposed to be all about these 'signals', but I have yet to pick up this book... Anyone else read it/has it worked for them/etc.?

  • Almost all of my current friends I met on-line, either directly or indirectly. "Meeting people online" is a means, not an end. I met my most recent girlfriend (albeit rather rocky, but we are still best friends) when I fixed her computer. The one before that I "met" when she directed a three-page flame at me. C'est la vie. People act differently in person than they do on-line... much differently. When behind a screen, they shed inhibitions and shells, and can open themselves up. It's usually pretty easy to tell when someone is bullshitting you. And, hey, talk is cheap. But it's often all a lot of us have to give. If people are more willing to speak about themselves on-line, then that is that. I have but a few criteria I look for in a SO.. but they are odd enough that it's one hell of an uphill battle to find someone. And the only way to find someone is to get out, meet people, spend hours conversing.. and find out what makes them tick. Without the pretense of "I'm looking for a relationship." I view people as books.. one has to take the effort to turn their pages. But admittedly, one really nice thing about on-line conversations via IRC or ICQ or whatever is that you can multitask.. consider your answers, choose the right words, and use it to lighen up a dreary day at the office. But, um, anyway. There's no quick way... good things take time. Perhaps even a lifetime. - Pizza
  • I have had an online romance before. I honestly loved that girl, who shall remain anonymous (not like she reads /., never had a geek girl before). So it's not like I don't know what an online romance is like. If you really love the person, cybering can get pretty steamy.

    But nothing compares to seeing the look in your lover's eye in that passionate moment during sex, or the warm feel of their skin against yours on a cold night in a warm bed. For guys, nothing compares to seeing your girl's face light up when you buy her flowers for no reason other than to show how much you love her.

    There's no way text or video chat can ever come close to that...

    -Warren

  • biggest mistake i ever made in my life

    it was worth it though. i think..

  • I've had soc 101 so I feel I'm an expert in this arena, and based on a few years of meeting chicks online, feel I must contribute. One thing I've found to be true of both sexes who are looking for a date online is that in most cases there's a good reason. I don't think it's unfair to call it a last resort, in spite of the undeniable benefits of getting to know someone before appearance comes into it. Granted that, I think most people turn to the net for love when the usual channels aren't working. This applies to myself as well, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have a hunchback.. Given that physical attraction is, for the vast majority of the population, a requirement for romance, it seems like a lot of effort just to find out the other person ain't that good looking. Of course, if like me you're just spending work time doing it, nothing lost. And there's always the longshot that pays off. One problem with it is that I think many geek guys are a bit intimidated by women, and the role men are supposed to play when picking one up. It's much easier to be interesting on irc at 20 or even 40 wpm than to try to think of stuff to say to a woman when you're face to face. That's a double-edged sword though, as it can make your RL self even less adept at making a good impression. I know if I email a girl for too long before talking on the phone it's a real transition to be charming at full speed, but maybe I'm just slow. I think the chances of finding someone you can get along with isn't all that great, but it's no worse than in the carbon community. for me it's all moot, because the only time I've ever fallen in love is when I wasn't looking.. My suggestion to all you lonely guys is to go out with your friends and have a good time, go to places where there are women, and you'll eventually find one. And take a chance and talk to that cutie in the black leather boots.. the worst that can happen is you'll crash and burn, (I know) but you'll get more comfortable approaching women.
  • I met my wife at Arby's, where we both worked during our high school years -shudder at the thought-; been together ever since (over 10 years). Aarrggghh! I still have the same jacket I used to wear to work. It just hangs unused in my closet, still reeking from those unmistakable Arby's grease stains! I guess I keep it to remind me how much I hated working in the fast food 'industry', just in case I get lazy and start playing too much Tombraider when I should be working (can't wait for Tombraider 4, coming this November hopefully); lest I slip back into that particular circle of Hell. Now, why did you have to make me drudge up all those repressed memories? My wife Teresa was the only good thing that came out of that place. That's my story.
  • I have a personal rule, which is that no matter how intimate we feel online, nothing is decided before we've met iRL.

    This cannot be stressed enough. I've had numerous online relationships (maybe even more than started IRL ), mostly thru people I've met on newsgroups, or people who started emailing me after seeing my website (a fan site). Many of them included meeting IRL, and of those, a few turned into nice, long relationship, and the rest ended very soon after the first RL meeting.

    That said, the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone even considering an online relationship is this: just because you can find a lot of things in common before meeting doesn't mean you're perfect for each other- keep in mind that you haven't really met them yet! Every major failure was attributed to one thing: building things up wayyy too high before the actual RL meeting, so that we were both set up for disappointment.

    My current relationship is long-distance, and with someone I knew a little bit online before meeting IRL at a concert w/ a group of other online fans. Perhaps one of the reasons things have worked out so well is that we didn't spend that much time talking online before actually meeting IRL. We met almost a year ago, & now I'm planning on moving there for a while (pending a telecommute-OK from work, heh) until we figure out where we both want to live more permanently. We spend lots of time on irc or ytalk, & I even installed linux on her poor old 486 (shortly after which the windows partition crapped out & became completely useless). :) Being a rich geek can also come in very handy for those nightly, hours-long phone calls & frequent plane tickets, as the last successful LDR I was in was during college, so we didn't get to see each other very often...

    Anyway, it is possible to find someone online, and being online certainly helps LDRs. It's even possible to find 'fun' (i.e. non-committal) relationships online. Just don't let the fact that it's easier to talk online allow you to rush into things before you're ready.
  • Ik met the love of my life on the internet, via a newsgroup. We then met IRL and then learned each other better via email. The real romance was started IRL though. Alas, she's no longer my SO, but it may work, and I am very glad that I met this woman via the internet.
  • Indeed it can work, it worked for me... I met my soul mate online on the AOL instant messanger, and she's from NC and I from TX, but I am transfering colleges to be with her and will live a happy life from here on out :) there is someone out there for you, keep looking :)
  • One of the nice things I have found about online relationships of any sort is that you get to choose who your relationships are with, by virtue of the commonality you share in the 'spaces' that you meet. Your neighbors and friends are often the result of main chance - wh o moved in next to you, or who happened to apply for a job at your company.

    Online, we tend to form our communities by looking for special interests. X-Files people tend to hang out on alt.tv.x-files or #X-Files on Usenet and IRC. Cat people go to their own spaces. So we define the types of people with whom we associate, by virtue of the communities to which we devote our time.

    We are no longer limited to local geography. We can meet neat and interesting people all over the country - any country with Internet access!

    And therein lies the rub.

    I have had several great online relationships - business relationships, friendships, and romances. The romances are the hardest because it is difficult, if not impossible, to consummate the relationship, when typing with one hand (grin). I am still on very good terms with my cyber-girlfriends, but we couldn't overcome the steep barrier to entry (if you'll pardon the pun) of plane fare and such.

    I'm in Texas. One girlfriend is in Toronto, one in Washington State, another is in Oz. I've been fortunate that I have one online buddy who lives down the street from me, but he is the rare exception.

    In the long run, it all depends on random chance that you will meet someone you can get to. At least there are more females online than when I started 20 years ago (BIG grin).

    Mark Edwards [mailto]
    Proof of Sanity Forged Upon Request
  • Well, if luck does exist, then i believe i've had some... around here i'm considered a geek (that is, a guy who knows WAYY too much about computers and the like), and i'm regular looking (which means i don't scare off women), but i'm not the shy type. I've met a lot of women in chat rooms at IRC from Undernet (yeah i know it's a risk, but it's sometimes worth it!).

    I've had relationships with two women that i've met in there... one lasted for 3 months, but we had some differences, and the other one i'm still on it, going for 1 1/2 years and still no real trouble brewing! :)

    I've found out that one probably has more luck with women who:
    1) have the same tastes as you (that means DON'T BLUFF!)
    2) you don't have to lie for her to like you (either online or offline)

    I've also found out that most women prefer offline relationships than "cyber-relationships", and feel that guys who can mostly express themselves online have lots of trouble getting a 2nd date :)

    Just be yourself!
  • My story starts over a year ago now, But first a little background. I'm a geek, been one since about the age of 7 when I first discovered my parents old (at that time new) Texas Instrument computer and an old book that taught the BASIC language. From there I jumped to an Apple IIgs, and then from there a Mac in High school. I was tormented for being a geek all through school, elementary the most, high school was better once the other kids discovered that I could program games for them. Not once in highs school did I ever have a date, let alone talk to a girl more then about 15 words max. Ok, enough with the background, now time for what you're reading this for... Last October I enrolled in a Computer Systems Specialist course, and for the first time I saw someone who I was actually interested in, I mean she was everything I could ever have hoped for. 5'3, red hair, freckles, slightly hyperactive personality, and above al, a geek girl, but of course being the geek that we all are (most of us anyway) I was to darn scared to even speak to her, I worshipped from afar hoping beyond hope that she might possible make the first move. And she did, for an athletic, rugged, everything I'm not guy in my class (read jerk), don't ask me why he was in a computer class, but he was. I knew he was a jerk, most people in my class knew he was a jerk, but for some reason she didn't see it. During on of the class' break times she was outside with "him" and a few of her friends. I was sitting on a bench several feet away when she called and waved me over, heart leaping I went over and we all talked for the time that we had left. For the months after that we grew to become what I thought was pretty good friends, in hope that she would relies how much of a jerk he was a turn to maybe to me instead. He and She grew steadily closer though, to the point where they were discussing moving in together, she wanted to get married. About 4 months ago my classmates and found out how much of a jerk he really was, he had been seeing someone else, everyone once again knew it but her. When she found out what he was doing in was hell. She threatened suicide, and I thankfully managed to talk her out of it. The whole time (almost a year now), me feelings for her grew ever stronger, and I think she began to pick up on them. One day she handed me a handwritten note, my heart leapt, almost I was sure then entire building could hear it beating. So I read the note, "I want to thank you for being here for me when I needed you, you are a great friend, but that's all you are to me. You don't have to be with me every day, I'll be ok now". Once again my heart leapt, but in the opposite direction, I just stared at the note, not believing the words there staring back at me. I didn't know what to say, I was devastated, I now know what it's like to have your heart ripped out and ground into chunky salsa upon the floor in front of me. School is over now, and I'm still not over her. I think I just need to get as far away from her as possible, so I'm moving to another country. No, I'm serious, plans are made, tickets booked, passport and visa ready. That country is Australia to b exact, I need to do this, I need to go in search of myself, and in search of someone to be there for me when I have something as bad as what happened to her, happen to me. This is an example of "real life" that I hope doesn't happen to any of you, it really hurts. Wish me luck, and maybe "moving to another country" could be the technique you're looking for. After all, my Pennsylvania Dutch accent has got to get me some attention in the land of Oz... Best of luck to everyone who has the patience to read this, wish me the same, I'm going to need it.
  • I listen those two guys as well, and actually bought the book as a gag gift for a terminally single co-worker. The book seems to have been written by someone stuck in the seventies; Everything is almost laughably dated. Additionally, most of the book is self-contradictory psychobabble.

    All in all, the book deserves a taste of Tate, and I think the author should be placed under suspicion.
  • I'd expect online romance to be as successful as online job searches. About 4% of people got jobs through the internet last year. I used to participate in online dating services as an undergrad. Nothing ever came of it and since then I figured there are better things to do than lead around a Mary Cleaver wannabe.
  • I met my current girlfriend through ICQ and it has been the healthiest relationship I've been in. However, I can't recommend putting too much expectation in finding love through internet. I started going to college 10 years ago and I've known many couples who met online. It seems about 1 out of 10 seemed to blossom into something with a future. There are many reasons why this happened:

    1. Introverts are attracted to Internet. A lot of relationship grew out of mutual loneliness. I'm not saying all introverts are lonely, but a lot of them are.

    2. Lack of accountability. I've seen both sides. I don't think women are better than men in this. When you don't see the other person, it's easier to forget about them. It's hard enough to find people with honesty and integrity in real life nowadays, what do you think of your chance of finding one in a "Young swinging professionals" chat room?

    3. Geographic barrier. Rarely you meet someone you like online who lives within an hour drive from your place. This leads to a long distance relationship, which is another can of worm by itself.

    I was very skeptical about my own relationship because I was too aware of the problems that may come with it. I only have a couple of advises for those who're thinking of going into it:

    Don't Force It
    Just like any other relationships, let things grow naturally. It's also important to handle things more delicately than usual. Prepare for the chance that you may not be suitable for each other after all. Women are also too often getting emotional over doing something that's been sickeningly glorified by movies like You've Got Mail.

    Maintain your cool
    Most geeks I know (including myself) are fiercely loyal to their partners. Sometimes we misplace our trust and get blinded by red flags. Always be tough on yourself and ask those hard questions. Sure, you could end up overanalyzing it, but I've never seen one that failed because of it. Most failures are caused by "playing by heart" too much and not enough "listening to reason".

    Online and long-distance relationship is not for everyone. Even if you think you can handle it, make sure your partner can too. I've mentioned honesty and integrity before. Other helpful qualities are maturity and good communication skills.

    As I said before, I can't recommend this for everybody. My girlfriend and I are very aware of what's going on around us. We saw other couples crashed and burned and we tried to learn from their mistakes. We talked to couples who have gone through the same process and made it, and we tried to draw inspirations from them. Sure, it sounds like a disney movie, but it works for us. It never crossed our mind that we could skip all those troubles by asking slashdot about it. :)

    wan
  • (laughs)

    That was two years ago. I got over it. I just get to know them a little better digitally before the f2f.
  • I can certainly attest to that (not the marrying part)! However, I am not an HNG myself, though I do happen to inhabit the UF list. I wonder how long until they give me a title.. (probably something incorporating the word ``Loser'' if Signal 11 gets his wish)

    It is a nice, relaxed atmosphere, however. ;)

  • Hey, admin-types? Want to generate some action on this site? Want a few more people looking at all those nifty Web ads?

    The above idea.. is fabulous! Can you /possibly/ think of a better way to attract more network life of the geek variety?

    (I, for one, am all for it)

  • Vicki and I met on a Usenet newsgroup, rather than interactive chat. Maybe it's because we're older than most geeks, but communication where you actually put some thought into every sentence you write worked better for us. We started exchanging email, we met face to face about 2 months later. 6 months after that, I got a job in her city so we could start dating like real people. About two years after that we got married. I'm sure you horny young geeks think that's an incredibly long time to wait, but we'd both been married before and we both had kids, so we had to be sure this was right.

    Anyway, check out our wedding web page [rit.edu]
  • ..and I know.. I work the graveyard shift, myself. 10 pm to 6 am, and I'm always too wired to sleep when I first get home, so guess when I sleep? Right before work. Guess when that is? The time the rest of humanity is awake! (at least in my time zone)

    As a previous poster suggested, however, looking for dates at work might not be so bad, especially in this case, because at least you'll be on the same fscked phase. ;)

    Speaking of which, I should force myself to sleep now..

  • I divied this long post into various sections with bolded text.. Take advantage of this fact if you don't want to read my boring history!

    ..you know, just because I'm bored and such. I myself haven't had much luck with meeting women online. And at least when you meet them in person they live close, so it is fun while it lasts (that is, before you get screwed over.. this is assuming it doesn't last, of course).

    The Abbreviated History:

    However, the number of potential SOs I've met online pale considerably to those I've met IRL. I myself tend to get involved one of three ways: 1) someone takes an interest in me and adamantly pursues me (sometimes I'm not too crazy about the person, but most women who are -- I hate to say ``odd enough'', lest I curtail further efforts.. I don't think them odd, I just think the situation odd, because it's.. not a usual occurance -- to pursue me, but usually I'm receptive) 2) I meet them through mutual friends and get to know them fairly well before we just sort of become an item 3) I meet them online in some fashion or another. I've never been like the women described in example 1.. I just don't wander up and randomly hit on someone I think is cute at school, work, wherever (this is changing soon, I think). Well, maybe I have, but more in the fashion as described in example 2. I make friends with them, and things naturally progress..

    A number of women I've met online were just total washouts. I've had a few that the first time I talked to them on the phone, I knew that it was a lost cause (due to lack of interest on my part). I've only met two such individuals IRL. One was in Canada. This actually turned out fairly well for a while. Personality conflicts eventually killed this one, and we are not on speaking terms anymore (I wager a psychosis of some kind on her end, but we won't get into that today). With the other, it was more of a casual flirtatious thing (as in example 1, except I was somewhat ``desperate'' at the time, and make any excuse to travel, even if only to meet friends, not potential SOs). This flared (very, very dimly) for only a short time before mutual disinterest in the notion set in. I still visited. Was an alright visit (I'm oversimplifying, for brevity's sake, on most of all of the above). However, again, not on speaking terms at this point (longer story which ties into the previous paragraph in obscure and frightening ways).

    Now we come to the second female I've met online that seemed worth my time in a very real and productive way (which includes this paragraph, and the paragraph before the one previous.. that is, the previous paragraph doesn't count in this tally). However, this seems to have panned out badly. (that is, current status unknown, though outlook appears dim) Again, this is due to personality conflict.

    General Thoughts:

    All in all, even the best prospect can turn sour. My most recent interest seems to have panned out despite being virtually perfect with regards to interests, personality, intelligence, even physical attractiveness (though this is emphatically not a major factor).. due to little things. Some personality quirks simply do not appeal to others. For me, one is presumptuous. I choose my words carefully, and when people divine implied meanings that simply aren't there and act upon them without consulting me in a reasonable fashion.. I'm going to tell them to fuck off.

    To ``Summarize'' My Thoughts:

    My closing thoughts: It doesn't matter where you meet your SO. Always keep your options and eyes open, lest you miss out on an oppurtunity. Actively hunting for a date just for the sake of dating isn't likely to net you a real find (unless you're simply not interested in the long term). Being honest and direct is a Good Thing. Most females I've met who had romantic potential lied to me or decieved me in some way. They were dispensed with with exceptional expedience.

    Honesty and trust forms the foundation for all healthy, stable, worthwhile relationships. If you have to lie to someone for them to be with you, if you're not worth trusting.. there is nothing there but a lie if you're together. It's meaningless. True love is the only real fulfilment, and it can not be won through deception.

    You should also never lower your standards. Some compromise is good, because you'll never meet ``the perfect man/woman'', though you may meet the perfect one for you. If your personalities clash, don't force it. If you were meant to be together, some conflict will arise, as with all relationships, but it shouldn't be too much of a headache, or else you might want to wonder why you're together if you argue more than anything else. If you lower your standards, however, you're going to end up with someone you don't really want, simply because you're lonely. Obviously, this is not going to work out. Don't waste your time.

  • Computing has been pretty good for my real life. My first two serious romantic relationships started on M-Net, as did a long-standing friendship which was the critical contact allowing me eventually to leave a dead-end job in Michigan for what turned out to be a fairly rewarding career in Massachusetts. After that move, I met the woman who is now my wife, via alt.personals, and we exchanged email for several months before we met IRL. During a hiatus from that relationship before we got married (don't ask) I had another brief relationship, started this time on LambdaMOO.

    Those are my credentials as a veteran of on-line romance. Now, the point I want to make is that the net is just a medium. To me, these relationships I've had aren't "net relationships" any more than using a phone to communicate makes them "phone relationships". They're relationships with people and the medium doesn't really matter.

    There are many people who seem to develop an online persona that's different from their RL one. I'm not just talking about the sort of contextualization that causes us to interact differently with our children in the back yard and our boss at a cocktail party; I'm talking about something that's almost clinically recognizable as multiple personalities. These people often fear "crossover" between their real and virtual lives, and resist bringing the two together, because of what people may discover about their own "other self". Does this sound like a formula for long-term success and stability, romantic or otherwise? Obviously not. Most people who are online long enough eventually outgrow this phase and learn that the proper emphasis in "being yourself online" is on "being yourself" rather than "yourself online". People who maintain the separation too much or too long need to figure out what's so wrong with their real lives that they rely on their virtual lives as a refuge. Only then, IMO, can they expect to get anything substantial out of their interactions online.
  • UserFriendly, of course, is already doing this, although coverage is a bit thin, at least in my area.

    I'm starting a new personals site that seems to have attracted some interesting people (albiet mostly in the UK). My main interest was in making a more creatively-oriented, entertaining personals site. The profile system is very individualistic; it makes the answers fun to read.

    Visit it at http://207.151.18.18/ - and note that it's completely free to use - no strings, no catch, you can reply to anyone you want as soon as you set up an account.

    My for-pay competition is at http://www.match.com (probably the best one), http://www.americansingles.com/ and http://www.adultfriendfinder.com . Incidentally, I think the latter is a scam for the most part.

    http://www.relationships.com appears to be free, and it has some interesting profile ideas. However, like the other services, it strikes a "too corporate" note in my mind.

    I hope you'll try mine (and the others, if it pleases you) and let me know what you think. Bear in mind that it's about a week old, so there won't be too many geographically desirable matches just yet. Give it a little time and you might be surprised.

    D

    ----
  • Gosh, the posts in here have been depressing. Although my I met my SO (a geek babe) at work, I would've never become intimate with her had we not started to talk on IRC. In (seriously overrated) real life, you have to think about your image and interact with someone who's doing the same thing. It's horribly bogus. In the realm of an online chat, you can be whoever and wherever you are. You can whip up a beach on a desert island against the backdrop of a sunset in the ocean, or, far more romantic, a server farm full of supercomputer hardware (check out my Big Iron), all in a few lines. Your only limit is your imagination. It helps if you're an able knight of the written word of course... The pen is mightier than the tongue (hmm... lesbians aside).

    That's not the main thing of course. What makes online dating so real is that many restrictions fall away. It's much easier to overcome the embarrasment of asking a personal question, and you can formulate it much better because you have the time to think about it. This makes for an environment where you open yourself up much faster. Generally, it's much more honest as well. It's easier to describe intimate personal details when you don't have too look in the other person's eyes.

    The effect is that what's connecting online is two people at a deeper level than all social interface crap. We're talking inter-process communication, just short of having shared memory, rather than 2 GUIs trying to interact by reading eachother with cameras and doing real-time vector-processing. (Consider that geeks are generally bad at that real-time stuff).

    Additionally, if you're so physically attracted to eachother like my SO and I are, you at least have the opportunity to control your libido ;-) Or, of course, let it run wild, no matter how far away you are. (She and I are on different continents ATM).

  • I can't say that I've ever really met/found any interest in women who were as obsessed with their computer (and, hence, programming, etc.) as I am, but I'll throw this out there, anyway. ;)

    Two things to avoid: dating someone who is precisely like you and dating someone who is nothing like you. This seems obvious, but it merits being said once or twice (or more). You need to have enough common ground to relate, and enough differences to make it interesting.

    For me, finding a creative/writer type with a sense of humor that matches mine (along with being honest, direct, trustworthy, and otherwise possessed of a sweet, loving/lovable personality, but let's be brief for once) is much more important to me than finding someone who also sits in front of the computer hacking away merrily on her favorite software project.

    This is not to say that a relationship wouldn't work out between two people utterly obsessed with their computers (I myself would not turn down an oppurtunity based solely on such a false misconception), but it pays to focus your attention on other aspects. What's the worse that could happen? Your SO actually drags you away from your monitor every once in a while? I, for one, rarely object (read: never).

    However, dating someone who is totally computer illiterate.. maybe not the best idea in the world..

  • If you don't know, ASK. "Would you like me to get that for you?" or whatever question is appropriate to the situation. You will likely get one of the following responses:


    1. The angry overreaction. "What the hell's wrong with you? I can do it myself!" In this case, you know not to ask her again, and you also know that she might not be (IMHO) the world's greatest relationship material. Not because she is independent or a feminist (I am both) -- because she overreacts to little things. If you LIKE walking on eggshells it could still work, but I'd look elsewhere. :)


    2. "No, it's OK, I've got it," accompanied by a friendly smile. This one's definitely independent and feminist as well, but she's calm about it. However, depending on circumstance, this could be a fairly clear indication that (if this is what you had in mind) she's not interested romantically.


    3. (My usual flirting tactic back when I was single, and still used on my boyfriend from time to time.) She lets you do whatever for her, and then she makes a big, showy display of doing something similar for you. If she's anything like me, this is a fairly clear sign of interest as well as an attempt to weed out those guys who are extremely insecure about their masculinity. If you like her and value her company, you will accept this with good cheer and even look forward to it. ;)


    4. She giggles and lets you do whatever for her. Can be good, can be bad. She might be impressed by your chivalry, or she might be deliberately feigning helplessness because she's a) a Rules Girl or b) otherwise trying to put on a fake charming personality. If she's genuine and you like that sort of thing, this could work. But RUN, don't walk, from those who feign helplessness and/or incompetence -- it's even more irritating than legitimate, actual stupidity. These are the same girls who will only eat half of an expensive dinner that you bought because they're worrying about how fat they are since they have to *gasp* wear a size eight! (Yeah, I'm a bit bitter. A good male friend of mine just got dumped by one of these after several years, and he had no idea it was coming. Ugh.)

  • ... on what you mean by "not good looking." If you want Cindy Crawford, you'll have problems. But there ain't that many Cindy Crawfords offline either.


    I've met a few guys from the net (as well as a lovely lady) and none of them have ever been disappointed by my appearance. I consider this a good thing. Of course, I'm not looking NOW *grin*, but I do think that you could do worse than finding someone on the internet. However, your best bet is probably to start talking to someone in something other than a "flirting" or "cybersex" area.


    I did a lot of the net-romance thing in college. Two were complete psychos (why I stayed with one of 'em for five months, I'll never know), one just didn't work out and we don't really talk anymore, two that I was fairly serious about and starting to consider moving fell apart due to lack of transportation, but I'm still friends with them, and one I never met (due to his being on another continent) and we were never really a couple for that reason, but the interest was there and we are still friends ... he says he's going to come to my wedding. :)


    My boyfriend had a more difficult time meeting people online -- then again, he was living with parents (unlike me), and it's probably more difficult for guys due to the whole supply and demand thing. We did NOT meet online, and we're in the same town, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we'd run into each other online a few years ago. :)

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt

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