Virtual Friendship

20 May

Letterbalm Heart on Computer ScreenDear LetterBalm: My Facebook friend and I certainly have no trouble communicating online. We can talk for hours about our lives, politics, movies, music, just about anything. But when we get together in person, our conversation is filled with awkward silences. We just don’t know what to say to each other. I can also see that our lack of connection is worrying him, too. This isn’t the first time I’ve met somebody online I’ve dated. I really want to give this a chance because I think he’s a great person, and I can tell he feels the same. What can I say? What can I do?

–Mute Isn’t Fun

Aw, this is sweet. But even a novice online knows that people will tell one another their innermost secrets when they’re interacting with a computer instead of in-person. And, you and your incipient Romeo think that the clever, witty, attractive selves you’re projecting can’t possibly be as wonderful in real life and will be judged so. Ms. L.B. wants you to acknowledge that you’re feeling uncomfortable, laugh with him about it, and both of you move on. Remember that the early days of dating are supposed to be awkward and tentative – some say that’s the delicious part. Try this icebreaker the next time you’re hanging out together:

Tony, I really think we’re great together, and I know you feel the same. I want to know more about you. Let’s fill in the blanks about each other’s lives – I’ll tell you all about me and my life and my family. C’mon, we have lots to talk about, including all the stuff we laugh about online with each other. Let’s go to that burger place we discovered and start talking.

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