Does Online relationships work?

C o n n e x I o n s    C o l u m n


Based on experience in his therapy practice, Riaan Swiegelaar gives us a clear understanding of relationship dynamics in our romantic, family & professional connections. This is his regular relationship feature…


Does online-relationships work?


New age dating: online dating.  Some love the concept. It is the  lazy person’s guide to meeting a date. You can meet a ton of potential partners at one time.  I found that more and more single people’s Saturday night guilty pleasure is sitting at their computer (probably looking like an absolute bum), and searching for partners online who may have the attributes of a potential love interest…

Pick a site ; any site. Really there are a ton of online dating sites, and you don’t have to use just one. If you have the time and desire your profile can be on as many sites as you like at one time. From the free dating websites, to those that will cost you some money, there will always be someone who you can meet and, someone who wants to meet you. If you don’t mind paying a little to possibly find love, then go for it.


So then why do people do it?

When meeting people online the sense of rejection is not so apparent. No one likes the feeling of rejection (and truthfully girls hate it more than guys do). In online dating terms if you send a wink, smile, or if you actually choose to write a message to someone and they doesn’t respond, then don’t take it to heart or feel defeated because you probably sent 10 other messages that night and received a response from one or more of them. You’ve guessed it: The vibe here is GAMES!


So if you have fears about online dating, don’t. Be smart, trust your instincts, and use your best judgment. Remember to make your first meeting at a very public place. If you can, try to have at least one actual phone conversation before going out to meet in real life. Texting and emails are nice, but you can save yourself time and trouble if you notice immediately that you have nothing to talk about due to long, uncomfortable periods of dead silence while you are on the phone. Sometimes “these people” never actually want to meet; hence why do people do it?



On the internet anyone can be whoever and whatever they want. Be careful about trusting people because you are so amused by the countless emails and by the nightly phone conversations. I say have a face to face meeting as soon as possible so you can check out body language, affect, and get somewhat complete sense of who the actual person is. You may fall quickly in love with the idea of who you think a person is and not the actual person.


If you know a person’s first and last name, don’t be afraid to do a google search (or maybe stalk them on facebook – that’s why its there!) . At least if anything comes up you have information that may ease your mind, or make you run for or from the hills fast; No – I don’t mean the hotel!


Internet dating can also be a frustrating experience. You will get a large amount of messages and request from people who you have no possible interest in. You can check the profile, if you don’t like what you see, move on. If this person continues to send you unwanted messages, I recommended blocking them to avoid contact.


The Unfortunately Ugly:

Not everyone you meet online will be who you originally thought they were. People are going to be people. Some people lie and deceive others for fun. So if physical attraction is what sparked your interest, then be aware that person may or may not look like that in real life. The picture could be ten years old, or someone could have had major physical changes since the date of that profile picture. So just be ready for anything when meeting someone.


Make your first encounter at some place safe or a beach walk, during mid day. That way it is not a romantic date like atmosphere, and if you need to bolt you can make up a good middle of the afternoon excuse. Also if someone prefers candle light dinners and walks at night, you might discover why at the break of dawn. Remember, the terms slim, athletic build, average, curvy, and a few extra pounds are all relative. You are what you want to be. Again, be prepared for any and everything!


You could be stood up at times. Maybe the person you were to meet got cold feet or was a complete flake. Don’t get yourself down about it. You really didn’t know that person anyway, and it is probably better that they are not in your life. Just move on. Call your friends, and let yourself enjoy the rest of the day…



In the next (holiday) issue: Holiday with the In-Laws


Riaan Swiegelaar is a Relationship Coach, Transformational Therapist and a Intuitive Healer. He runs a practice at the Far Hills Hotel. He can be contacted on 082 844 6588, or

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