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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: September 2009

2 - The paradoxical nature of online relationships


I date this girl for two years – and then the nagging starts: “I wanna know your name …”

Mike Binder

After discussing some of the novel aspects of cyberspace in the previous chapter, I turn now to discuss the nature of online relationships. I will show that such novelty, and in particular the interactive nature of virtual reality, offers us a new type of personal relationship. Such relationships characteristically have features typical of both close and remote offline relationships. The coexistence of these opposing features cannot be found in offline relationships. Although my discussion is focused upon heterosexual relationships, most of the claims are valid for homosexual or bisexual relationships as well.

Detached attachment

If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all.

Joey Adams

A friend of mine told me that when he was married to his second wife, he met a wonderful woman and fell deeply in love with her. He did not know how to solve his difficult situation and after long deliberations he came up with the following brilliant idea: their relationship, he suggested, would be that of detached attachment. The woman replied that this was not close enough for her. He then got divorced and married this woman, with whom he still lives happily.