- the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
- something that is real
- the state of being real
- that which exists, independent of human awareness
- the totality of facts as they are, independent of human awareness of them See also conceptualism Compare appearance (sense 6)
- See in reality
fantasy or phantasy
- imagination unrestricted by reality
- (as modifier) ⇒a fantasy world
- a creation of the imagination, esp a weird or bizarre one
- a series of pleasing mental images, usually serving to fulfil a need not gratified in reality
- the activity of forming such images
- a whimsical or far-fetched notion
- an illusion, hallucination, or phantom
- a highly elaborate imaginative design or creation
So the fantasy relationship is something outside of normal reality. Ok the interaction feels solid enough, your imagination helps makes it feel pretty real and because It is intense communication, usually the body reacts ,as if in a real time relationship, situation. The trouble is you are getting a picture of the person from their point of view of the world, you see the person as they present themselves. We all want to present ourselves in the best possible light and try to hide our flaws, idiosyncrasies and intolerances and as for our bad habits… hey do we really have any? We maybe do that at the start of a lot of relationships real or virtual so what is the big deal. In a virtual relationship it is easier to edit the truth to select the information being supplied to leave out whole chunks and where information about somebody is sparse then our minds fill in the gaps painting a picture adding on qualities or behaviours that work with our view of the world. There is also an issue with virtual communication, things are out of context, no visual cues if you are texting or emailing, what is sent and what you read may not have the same meaning, therefore misunderstandings are likely to happen. People in lots of situations edit the truth and in a virtual relationship it is very easy to do, so send a picture of a younger self, or have that as an avatar, profess to be doing things that one is not .
People are going to say ah yes but over time you get to know the person and yes to a degree you do, you may learn of the frustrations and hurt happening with an ongoing partner but if you could view the story from the other persons point of view how different would it be? Your virtual buddy might demonstrate anger about something, but you are getting the words not seeing the emotions in practice, is that person scary, aggressive, petulant or sulky when angry? What are they like when they are down or grumpy, it may well be you only ever interact with them when they are in a good mood, or bored because at other times they probably don’t bother with virtual communication. What about those bad habits that are integral to our personae? The good thing is personal cleanliness and halitosis are not a problem in the virtual world!
There are going to be lots of great things about friends in cyberspace, those that enjoy the same hobbies and pastimes, that have the same political and ideological views, people you can discuss, debate and have a meaningful conversation with. So potentially really rewarding, if kept in balance with the fact it’s a virtual relationship you are having. If you are in a cyber relationship or thinking of embarking on one you need to think through what you want from the relationship, are you doing it because you are missing emotional support in the real world, You are looking for love, you are in an unhappy relationship and this is balm or maybe a way out? Are you looking for intimacy? Or are you just finding new people to interact with to fill times of boredom when nothing better is available in the real world? If you are not clear you can fall in love with your perfect virtual soul mate. relationships.
I suggested to somebody that they should be clear about what they wanted and articulate that because the way his virtual affair was going somebody was going to be very badly hurt. I was told he was not a robot; it didn’t work like that he couldn’t think through and be clear about what he wanted. Others say oh we play it by ear and are then are shocked when the other party suddenly wants exclusivity, gets jealous wants more time.
I hope this may generate some debate. More to follow