I am taking part in this year's Blogging from A to Z Challenge. This is my submission for V ...
Bloggers know only too well how many places there are online where friendship can flourish, but I must admit that I didn't expect one of those to be a dating site. But it was ...
When talk turns to 'friends/friendship' in the online dating world, what is generaly meant is a friends-with-benefits scenario. But one particular site set itself up as the 'thinking person's dating site' and provided a forum where daters could talk dating, or indulge in serious debate, lively and robust discussions even gentle chit-chat on whatever subject they chose. When I discovered it, the very busy and vibrant forum seemed to have cracked the concept of friendship-without-benefits. Of course, there was some flirtation and various people (myself included) did date after 'meeting' via the forum.
But the very best bit was that people used the forum to meet up socially - in real life. As a new singleton, most of my social group were coupled up, so it was great to make friends to do stuff with. I went to art galleries, gigs, enjoyed afternoon tea or cocktails, walked, joined a book club ... I met a great group of female friends, who would meet up for regular gatherings with much fizz, laughter and PJ wearing. There was a running joke that the site was rubbish for dating but brilliant for making friends. Many of the friendships made there have flourished and been maintained in real life.
Some people preferred to keep their real-world and pretendy-world friends apart. But I always mixed my real-life and virtual friends successfully. One day, the first of my virtual friends joined me for lunch at my local rugby club. It was the cause of much amusement when - after it became clear that we'd neither been at school nor worked together and had always lived no less than 30 miles apart - she was asked how we met. My friend has a great sense of timing and she knows her rugby boys - so she waited for a quiet moment, then announced in her best ringing tones: "oh we met on a dating site". It took her having a rather lively night with one of the players and my introducing them to the (male) love of my life before it was widely accepted that we weren't 'an item'.
Its never mattered to me in what world my friendships have been created. I tend to choose people for their character and personality. My virtual group of girlfriends are personality and opinion packed. Not a shrinking violet amongst them. Unsurprising, the same goes for the lot at the rugby club. And that's just how I like it ...
What type of virtual friendships do you have? Do you find they differ from your real-life ones?