The interest in virtual relationships has grown steadily over the years. For those who have not spent much time around computers, this seems silly and unhealthy. Why would you want to be involved with someone that you have never met and are not likely to meet? While the answers vary from person to person, there are a handful of reoccurring themes.
Simplicity. You can "spend time" with someone and never have to get dressed up or leave your home. Internet relationships also do not have as many expectations as the ones in our real world. We are able to talk about things we want to and shut the computer down whenever we tire of it.
Common interests. You have to meet people SOMEwhere on the internet. Whether it is a writing site such as Helium, a political forum, a pet chat room or even a dating site, you are both there for similar reasons. Having common ground to start on makes the growth of any relationship easier.
A sense of anonymity. Although there are news stories to the contrary, talking with people online feels "safer" than face to face. We are in our own homes where we feel comfortable. Unless the person on the other side of your screen is very computer savvy and very devious, your location remains a mystery to them. This provides people with a sense of security they are unable to get when on a date in real life.
Ease. People who are extremely shy find it difficult to go out on dates, Online they are able to "meet" people and get to know them through a form of non threatening communication. With the ability to log off at any time, people feel more comfortable about sharing their feelings and saying what they really mean.
Another aspect that can not be overlooked, is cheating. With the convenience of online communications, web cams and such people are finding it easier to cheat on their partners. They are free to go about their every day life and keep the affair compartmentalized on their computer and safely away from the mate.
These are just some of the examples why people would engage in virtual relationships. In a world filled with technology, it was only a matter of time until human interaction was taken care of online. There are many reasons why one would prefer an internet relationship to one in the real world. Ease, safety and convenience are the tip of the iceberg.