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An internet relationship (or online relationship) is generally sustained for a certain amount of time before being titled a relationship, just as in-person relationships.
The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person.
More and more online users are starting to explore and experiment with aspects of their sexual identities, whereas before, they may have felt uncomfortable due to social constraints or fear of possible repercussions.
Most internet sites containing personal profiles require individuals to fill in "personal information" sections.
Online relationships are similar in many ways to pen pal relationships.
This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs.
Otherwise, the term is quite broad and can include relationships based upon text, video, audio, or even virtual character.
This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person. Michael Jaffe, author of Gender, Pseudonyms, and CMC: Masking Identities and Baring Souls, "the Internet was originally established to expedite communication between governmental scientists and defense experts, and was not at all intended to be the popular 'interpersonal mass medium' it has become", yet new and revolutionary devices enabling the mass public to communicate online are constantly being developed and released.
Substantially fewer reported using the Internet for the specific purposes of identifying potential sexual or marital partners." However, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 looked at about 19,000 married people and those who met their spouse online said their marriage was more satisfying than those who met their spouse offline.
Plus, marriages that began online were less likely to end in separation or divorce.