mercredi, août 16, 2006
Email relationships: are they possible?
Let me say right off the bat that approaching this whole subject fills me with anxiety and a disquieting feeling that I don't really know where I am going to land. That's because I am a graduate of the email pain and heartache school-or perhaps we should call it the company of those who rush in where angels fear to tread. I am a veteran of some email relationships that rapidly approached deep water-and sometimes seemed about to take me out past where it felt safe to swim. I'm not just talking about relationships between men and women-but I have to admit that it is in that arena that I am must prone to exercise my theatrical (or shadow) side. Anyone who is a decently skilled writer is capable of indulging in emails that are provocative while loaded with ambiguity, superficially intimate, baroquely fantastic and commitment free, and generally guaranteed to muddy the waters of a relationship that is not already shored up by face to face contact. My own guideline, after having had a couple of close calls, is that the only things I say in emails are items I would discuss face to face over a glass of wine. Good thing most of you haven't seen my emails- you would either shun me or ply me with liquour! The fact is, though, that when I go overboard I almost always feel bad in the morning. Perhaps it is because I am displaying a hunger for realtime intimacy that I am sublimating in the more facile hit that an intriguing respondent offers. I must admit that I am prejudiced in this regard, however-in the abstract, I can imagine email friendships in which two people engage in conversation that is truthful, and respectful, intimate without being intrusive, intellectually provocative without being tantalizing for the hell of it. There are some situations, also, where the miles separating soul mates make email the viable alternative-then there are people who email one another for years and end up marrying one another. I would love to hear from other email vets-have you been able to maintain healthy relationships with friends, lovers and spouses online? Maybe you will convert me from penitent skeptic to daydream believer yet!!!!