Dear V: After three years of cyber bliss, I’m left in the real world friendless!


I was in a 3-year online relationship with someone that basically sucked my social life dry. She and I were so desperate to be together that we pretty much got to the point where nothing else was important and we ended up driving all our actual friends away. After a while this started to strain our relationship and we broke up, and now I feel all alone and don’t know what to do. I tried going back to my old friends, but many of them have moved on and with good reason. After these three years I have decided to go back to school and enrolled at UM this semester, but it’s been so long that I have been social (outside of the internet) that I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?


Sad in Cyberspace

Dear Sad,

Oh, to be young and in love!  Candle lit dinners, tickle fights, and of course: the nooky.  The loving bonds that shape relationships are formed through shared experiences.  And it is impossible to partake in these experiences online.  You can’t bore your mutual friends with photos from your road trip down the information superhighway.

Granted, online dating is becoming increasingly common and can be a great way for people to find love.  But for any relationship to succeed, things should move along—progress, if you will.  You can’t share your first kiss via e-mail.  You can’t have a date on AIM.  And you can’t [use your imagination here], even with the best of webcams.

It is understandable that you managed to find such comfort in someone so accepting of you, even if that someone was only accessible from a wireless hotspot.  And now, you’ve realized the importance of a life away from the computer.

And now, it’s time for a cliché: Pick your self up, dust your self off, and start all over again.  Fortunately, UM offers a lot of ways to meet people.  Join a club.  Get involved working in the community.  You could even talk to people in class.

People are much less cold and scary than you have them out to be.

Don’t be afraid to be outgoing and kind to peers. Keep up a confident smile, and people will be more drawn to you.  It’s hard to diss a friendly face.

The trickiest part of breakup aftershock is rebuilding your schedule.  As soon as you find a [constructive] way to keep yourself occupied during all the time you would have spent chatting with cyber-chick, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot more confident, and a lot less down in the dumps.

Best of luck!


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