Is Online Romance Possible?
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I read the book titled Online Flirt Online Romance by İrem Hattat in one go: “Up till now most of us were following a pretty standard roadmap, as far as we have learned from our parents and close circles, that started with a romantic marriage proposal after getting to know each other, joining children in a few years, them leaving their home and us being alone again and finally ended with retiring. Divorces, custody disputes, and remarriages, which are the most important deviations brought by the modern age, were of course worrying. However, with the digitization of the whole world, everything turned upside down. The rules of love are being re-formed. There was no #Facebook or #Instagram in the 1990s. To be friends, young people could not poke and follow each other.
In our era, they really needed to spend time getting to know a person better. It was also incredibly difficult to meet new people. Then the world met #Facebook. Indeed, having a #Facebook account was a necessity. It’s like if you weren’t on Facebook, you weren’t living. In this book, I will try to explain how bilateral relations are affected by technological developments.” she wrote as an introduction to her book. Following is very interesting, let’s review it a little together, let’s see if you will find it interesting as well.
IS LOVE NOW AT OUR FINGERTIPS?
In the book titled Online Flirt, Online Romance (*) written by İrem Hattat, the intrigue commences with the statistics at the very beginning of the book:
Judging by the statistics of online dating apps, the market generated $5.61 billion in revenue in 2021. Of course, online dating applications in the Muslim world were not too late.
During my time in London, I came across advertisements on Muzz.com, from bus stops to tube stations. When I was curious and researched, I came across a site that was founded by a former Muslim banker from Morgan Stanley, which has 4 million users, especially for Muslims who want to meet for marriage purposes. The biggest difference of this site from others is the ability to find a third person as a companion in accordance with Islamic characteristics during an online chat. It is not correct to think of online dating only for a certain segment. For example, Muslim dating sites are making it easier than ever for single Muslims to date within their faith and find a partner who sees the world the same way.
Match.com. has wide access, Muslim Marriage Solution Compatible is the meeting place for single Muslims, and Helahel.com is a free Muslim matrimonial site designed according to Islamic principles, IslamicMarriage.com is a comprehensive database of Muslim singles looking for love and matches.
In Turkey, the situation is no different in terms of online dating applications. In 2022, the rate of households with internet access was 94.1%. The most used social media and messaging applications by individuals are WhatsApp with 82%, YouTube with 67.2% and Instagram with 57.6%.
When analyzed by gender; It is observed that men use WhatsApp at 85.9%, YouTube at 70.8%, and Facebook applications at 61.5%, while women use WhatsApp at 78.1%, YouTube at 63.7%, and Instagram applications at 55.9%. Now we live our love and our fights through our smartphones.
Later, the author explores the subject with sections such as The World Irresistible, Verbal Communication in Online Love. Online Relationships Have Illogical Features; as an example: “I’ve been dating this girl for two years and she suddenly started nagging me. What’s the problem? She wants to know my name.”, wait and see what else we will hear.
First Click Love and Attachment is the title of another episode, and this episode again starts with this interesting sentence: “Women can fake an orgasm, but for men, they can fake an entire relationship” (Sharon Stone’). I think this sentence sums up pretty well everything described in this chapter.
Episode 6 is about the Rules of Online Dating, and the episode’s introduction is crowned by a phrase from Melanie Griffith “You know, there’s a place that can drive a woman crazy when you touch it… Her heart.”.
The next part is Sexting and Fexting on WhatsApp;
Since smartphones have taken over all our communication, our romance and sexual communication have also moved to digital channels. Sexting, which is sexually explicit messaging, is a new digital form used by all ages, which can cause scandals. Kim Kardashian said at the Webbly Awards ceremony in 2016: “Nude selfie until you die!” In fact, this incredible speech also shows how common it is to take sexy pictures of oneself and post them online, unfortunately…
According to an interview in Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Jill Biden had a fight with her husband, US President Joe Biden, over phone messages so that the secret service would not hear. This is called fexting in English: fight with texting. We all actually use messaging platforms for all kinds of emotional messaging. Fights and arguments, of course, take their share of this.
WhatsApp is followed by WeChat, China’s most widespread messaging platform with 1.3 million active users, and Messenger with close to one billion users. We live glued to our phones. Keep some rules so that technology addiction doesn’t spoil your relationship. There are rules for arguing while texting, learn these rules. For example, messaging applications are not the right platforms to discuss, it is better to maintain face-to-face communication without taking a shortcut.
Later in the book, there are sections titled Online Dating Violence, Virtual Lies, Cheating and Betrayal.
In the section with the subtitle “My wife cheated on me in the virtual world”, what is meant is the following: Although the spouse accused of cheating has never met her virtual lover in real life, she cannot prevent the spouse who claims to have been cheated on from being harmed emotionally and morally. The question I want to ask you under this title and seek an answer is, says the author and asks: Should our imagination be subject to the same moral judgments in real life?
The introduction to Good Relationships and Communication in the Real World section also explains a lot: “Your job should not be to seek love. It should be seeking and finding the barriers you have created within yourself against love. Too many people are looking for the right person instead of being the right person.” says Glori Steinem (feminist activist).
The subtitle in this section, “Have you heard of Sexual IQ?”, gives us interesting information as a solution to many problems in the book:
Sexual IQ is an integral part of a quality sex life and a quality relationship. Sexual IQ is the ability of a person to accept his knowledge and values about sexuality, to perceive his sexual rights, to share his preferences, feelings, limits in sexual activity, forbidden and non-prohibited points, and changes he wants to experience openly and honestly with his partner. Only, couples with high sexual IQ give importance to a quality relationship rather than a score, and they can get rid of the pressure of over-performing. Thus, spouses can consult a doctor for sexual problems and determine the rules for healthy sexuality.
And the book ends in its final chapter, titled In Search of Risk-Free Love, with the following joke: “They ask us about the secret of our long marriage. Twice a week, we go to the restaurant and do not forget to have dinner by candlelight and dance. I go on Tuesdays, she goes on Fridays…” (Henry Youngman)
However, I think the relationships between souls that mature in advancing togetherness become more indispensable!
(*) Hattat, İ. (2023), Online Flirt Online Romance, The Kitap Yayınları, p. 261.
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