A man came into therapy whose wife had died a few months earlier and he was not able to move past severe grief. Within a matter of weeks, he informed me that he had found an friend from years ago on Facebook. He was surprised she was back in California and had left her last partner.
The next week he informed me that he was in love with this woman. I asked him when he saw her. He had not. He said the full substance of their interaction was through text. I asked, “You have not even spoken to her?” He said he had not.
I pointed out that he was not using his senses to establish a relationship with her. I suggested he at least meet her for lunch. She lived two hours away. He did not. Eventually arrangements were made for her to move in with him. I heartily encouraged him to see her in person, and this was finally arranged when she was coming close to his community to see a friend who was very ill.
A bit extreme, one might think. But it is the way too many people are communicating with each other. Many people I have talked to are meeting over the internet and waiting long periods of time to meet in person.
It will be interesting to discover, in time, how this is working in relationships.