"Cyber Love… What Is It Really?"

By Hillman Minx

Down through our life span, the emotion of love takes on many faces. The newborn baby knows love at the suckling breast. Later it discovers the person at the end of that source of nourishment and experiences love. It revels in the caress and attention and returns the mother's love.

At an early stage of childhood, love becomes another word for "family." It basks in the pleasure of parents and siblings or family relatives and friends. Then comes another reality experience, "puppy love." That is a childish thing with little other than a new-found tender emotion for a special person. Soon after that comes "young love," when a person settles on another single person to express and enjoy together those budding emotions which are stirring deep in their bodies as they mature.

Next comes the time when sex rears its ugly head. Those tender partners succumb to the ever-increasing urges that overwhelm them. It's about that time that the emotion itself takes on a variety of twists and turns. Those turns are almost too numerous to mention, besides the usual boy plus girl thing. But these are also times when a life pattern is established and our pursuits of fulfillment depends upon the direction that our emotions have taken us thus far.

Now this was as things were before computers and the ubiquitous Internet. A strange phenomenon began to emerge. Folks began to take a word or picture on the net and give them a life to themselves. While the object of their affection contributed nothing further. They had never met, knew nothing of each other's person or personality, yet one of them, or both, began protesting their undying love and affection for each other.

I myself have been the victim of this kind of response. I still receive a great many e-mails from persons who have seen my postings or pictures, and without further ado, informed me that they are desperately in love with me. Well, if I've learned anything in my many years of experience, I know that love evolves from personal contact. It comes from being with, touching and sharing intimacies that can only be shared one on one. While these protestations are possibly sincere, they are unrealistic and misguided.

Of course I have seen faces or read writings that have stirred my emotions and caused me to want to know more. But they have not been an end to themselves. They have merely caused me to desire a more personal contact.

Recently after six or eight months of daily e-mail contact I finally had a face to face (more like body to body) encounter. I found that for a fact my initial emotions were founded in fact.

This is the advice I must give to every reader. Indulge your "cyber love," to its fullest extent but don't let it be an end to itself. Either rein it in or let it lead to reality. It is not a misguided emotion to allow yourself to be infatuated with words or pictures, but in due course validity is lent to these emotions only by a person to person encounter.

You might say that I'm for love IN ANY FORM. But along with that I must caution, Love without contact is really no valid love at all!

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