Online Relationships Part 3: 4 ways online connections are different to offline

November 8th, 2021

Online connections can be very different to offline connections

The way we talk online is very different to offline interaction, that is because certain aspects of the conversation can difficult to read. There is a recognised rule, the 7:38:55 rule. 7% verbal, 38% tonal, and 55% body language. We have to interpret what is of limited availability online, this can regularly offer up challenges. Misinterpretation is all too common. Initial misinterpretation and nerves can affect early engagement and ultimately longer term connection. It is emotionally easier to express introductions, longer term depth is far more demanding. This often results in easy enthusiastic inception, making the ultimate face to face of all relationships a mindfield.

Here are 4 ways online connections differ from offline:

  1. You seemingly know everything and nothing about your online connections
  2. Online engagement can be very contrived, true feelings can be elusive
  3. Online can influence ill considered behaviour due to understanding only a fraction of our new found love
  4. Face to face conversation are far more nuanced and personable, easier to read and more accurate

What do we really know..?

Hiding our emotional nuance is so much easier than face to face. Be smart, ask questions that expose the “real” person. It understandable we would ask… Hows your day..? But deeper more personal and open questions give a 3D image of the online person. Ask yourself… What questions would give me away..? Also when looking at self the reverse can be true. Talking online gives us a filter of protection, an ability to shroud the true “me”. We can manage, orchestrate an image very easily. Face to face exposes our vulnerabilities due to the need to respond in an instant, it exposes self more readily. If you suffer from being a shy individual, online can feel easier. With in person relationships it’s far more challenging to hide. It will require an articulate, and honest approach, remember the 38 and 55%..?

What helps..? Adapt your online communication, move from text to screens, messenger to facetime.

Being emotionally detached is too easy

You’ve connected online, everything seems great. There are signs of natural connection and enthusiasm.. but after a few dates, online or otherwise, they seem emotionally unavailable.

How to recognise this earlier online:

  • They show up late or change last minute plans.
  • Be honest, what vulnerability have they expressed..?
  • How do they handle your emotional expression..?
  • When their conversation is far too framed around the physical, and not enough on the emotional and psychological.

How to deal with:

  • Encourage them to engage, suggest they organise timings and dates. Give them the responsibility to see how they behave with harnessing a safe relationship.
  • Be upfront and honest about how important emotional intelligence is for you. Express that understanding someone from an emotional point of view encourages connection, and therefore attraction in your eyes.
  • Realise you may need to communicate in an adaptive way, they may communicate and understand differently to you.
  • Early on in the engagement, encourage emotional depth elsewhere until this new relationship can handle the emotional depth of your needs. Even if it feels safe, we don’t want a rescuer either..! Sometimes if we feel anxious about attachment we can be too much. Manage this by offering up a fun, engaging date.
  • Lastly and certainly not least. Be positive. Show an acceptance of difference, celebrate this, try not to see it has a blocker to the relationship.

However we begin this journey, relationships need depth, flexibility and understanding. Start where you mean to go on. Encourage these elements early on in your dating practices. Good Luck..!

For more information on online dating or to get advice today, contact Jay Pink at