Friendship is Essential
On-line dating is great in some ways and not so great in others. There is a trade-off that is really important to consider. E-harmony is a popular dating service. The focus is on helping people find their 'match' in terms of a long-term commitment/marriage. As such, the information you are prompted to share is focused on what you are looking for in a mate, if you want kids, how you feel about relocating for a relationship....So your introduction to someone is very clearly focused on a romantic connection. The problem is that it can be very easy to connect with someone in writing--when you are matched with people who have very similar values and interests regarding marriage and commitment. So easy that you forget that you don't really even know the person, it just seems like you do. But there is a big difference between a friendship that develops gradually based on similar interests and getting along well in person and an experience where that is strictly focused on finding a marriage partner: Friendship is bypassed. It doesn't develop first, and may not develop at all. You may meet the person and feel that you have a romantic connection and feel confident that you have the same values and that you have found your 'soul-mate'. You could go on and develop a friendship--if you realize that you really don't know each other well in most respects. Or you could easily be swayed by the feeling of being in love and the prospects of a great future with this new person in your life. If you move too quickly and don't take time to get to know each other--spend time doing things together, finding out where your interests are and if you like the person as a friend--then you may find later that when the romance levels off that you have little to sustain your relationship. You may find yourself with what feels like a stranger all of a sudden. And it does happen that quickly too. Just like the feeling of falling in love tends to stop rather abruptly and leave you in the place of deciding whether you really love each other enough to remain together or if you should go your separate ways. So the main point is with online dating make sure that you develop a friendship after the initial romantic connection is established. You will need that to sustain you and it really is key to a healthy, happy, and lasting relationship.