How do you move a relationship from online fantasy to reality?

Hey Guys,

A little background. I have been married to a guy for ten years and we separated last year. He was an athlete and was away from home a lot. He cheated over an over.

I have no idea how to date! I am athletic myself and have a real easygoing personality. I am pretty and have a degree in sports science, so I have a brain. I am a fun mummy. But I am standoffish. Or intimidating to some men.

I decided to go online dating and really found it difficult to trust anyone or anything they said. One guy kept coming into my radar.. And he is a coach. He is attractive; we connected when we started chatting. I was unsure about this site and my ex gave me a hard time about being on it. So I left. This ‘coach’ understood and we agreed to stay in touch via text.

We also stayed in touch through various coincidences. (Friends of mine knew him. I saw him on the beach. etc.)

I was attracted to him online, but now that I have seen him in person I am even more attracted to who he is. My friend laughed and said that it was unbelievable as I told her that was the guy I was having naughty conversations with online. (We started doing that.) I told him that I had seen him that day and that I knew his family and not to spook him too much, but I thought he was wonderful with the kids.

He replied and it was all good. Now we chat whenever but into our personal emails. He is away again. He turns me on so much sexually that I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it. It’s words on a screen. But during this time I actually went on a date with someone else and he was attractive but when he wrote something remotely naughty it did nothing for me! When this guy—my e-friend—sends me something, both my body and mind respond.

And after all of that. We talk about our desires and he has mever been with a women that likes sex, or engages in outside sex. So I asked him if I was too much for him sexually. He says not at all. And I asked him if he ever wanted to meet for real and he said yes.

What do I want to do?  I left him with an email that said give me a message when you are back. I heard nothing for weeks. I know it’s preseason and unlike most women I get it. We chat til all hours and I’m sure he is as turned on as I am.

What are the chances that we will ever meet? Or is this just two people enjoying orgasms online?


Dear Sue,

Thanks for your question.

First of all there’s nothing wrong with mutually beneficial online sex as long as you’re both comfortable with it. And in some ways if that’s working for both of you, we wonder if you should even try to rock the boat? Fantasy and reality don’t always mix, and when you introduce reality into a fantasy world of your own creation you need to be prepared for almost anything, or nothing.

The reason he’s hesitating is that he’s not sure he wants to delve into the real world with you. Maybe he values what he’s getting from you now and doesn’t want that to change. But we can totally understand why you’d want to make the attempt to transition this relationship to the real world. It’s a natural progression really, and frankly, fantasy can only go so far.

So let’s try to stay positive. Let’s say he’s open to the idea. What needs to happen is the two of you almost have to start over. Because there’s no way you’re going to just transition from fantasy to reality like it was some natural progression. It’s not. That’s not to say it can’t work, but even just from a tactile perspective it’s going to be quite a change. Both of you in the same physical location may even feel a bit surreal. So we suggest taking it slow. Very slow. You may think to yourself that that is impossible considering your history, but we think that’s the way to go.

Start with. Coffee. Tea. Conversation. Lunch. Walks holding hands. A museum. A concert. Possibly a movie. Work your way up to dinner. And go from there. We know this approach may not work, but jumping from the “cyber sack” to the real sack is going to be a bigger leap than you think. The sex may be great, but once you start factoring in real emotions, expectations, real world schedules, things may get confusing and complicated. And if you’re both not committed to sorting through the confusion it’s going to feel like—pardon the computer analogy—a virus hit your emotional wiring.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave us a comment below or ask a follow up question.

And definitely keep us posted. We’re interested to hear how this turns out.

See below for other posts/video/info on online dating.


ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks!


Other questions about online dating: 

Online dating; should I move forward? 

Online Dating: Friends with benefits or something more? 

Online dating; am I booty call or more? 

Divorced and online dating

Videos about online dating: 

Online Dating Part 1: How to set up a flattering and successful online dating profile

Online Dating Part 2: How to write a great written online profile (Before and After Version)

Online Dating Part 3: How to write a great written online profile  (Second example of BEFORE and AFTER version)

3 Comments on How do you move a relationship from online fantasy to reality?

  1. Thank you for the reply.

    We do have a surreal relationship going alongside our online one. You are right, when I was in his presence, without knowing it was actually him, I felt really nervous and uncharactertically quiet. I observed him talking to my girls but couldn’t find the words to say ‘hello’. It’s almost as if in real life, he took my breath away literally.
    I know that if we did meet it would be slow and steady. He actually is very much a gentleman and it thrills me to know what he secretely desires. I do hope one day we will really get to spend some time laughing together, either as friends or lovers.
    What I know is that this man keeps coming into my life for a reason and whatever it is.. I’m extremely fortunate to him in my life in any way.

    My only question left is would I ask him to meet when I know he is back? Or leave it up to him?

  2. @Sue……If you let him take the initiative you’ll have a better sense of where he stands with all of this. You’ll know if he truly wants to move this relationship from the fantasy to reality. However, it is possible he’s not sure how to do it. (We’re not convinced of that but it is a possibility.) Then in that case you could take more of the initiative. We lean towards waiting on him for a bit. A few more thoughts: You don’t share specifics about what you talk about to each other but it’s possible one of the reasons he wouldn’t want to meet is because he’d might like to keep his fantasy avatar separate, and in some ways it might be even embarrassing for him. (Until you got to know each other) Like sometimes if people talk dirty during sex or role play, but they’re actually very conservative people in their everyday lives. They would never want their partner acknowledging that out loud beyond the bedroom. (Does that make sense?) And finally, if he’s as high profile as you say, that could factor into this equation. Give it some time and see how it progresses. And certainly drop hints that you’d like to try things in person. Please keep us posted and ask as many follow up questions as you’d like. ps. And please let your friends know about us. We’d appreciate it!

  3. Hi guys back again and as u suggested, ive started dating again. My question is, how long do u wait before having sex when dating? I dont know the rules anymore lol. Thanks guys.

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