A decade ago, the term “online dating” basically meant a hook-up session on Tinder. However now, post-covid, meeting people online – and creating a substantial and serious digital relationship has become as normal as a physical relationship.
“Digital relationships can be friendships, loving relationships, exchanges of support between creators and their biggest fans – all of which are formed online. These relationships can be platonic, intimate or romantic,” says Michelle Battersby of Sunroom. “Digital relationships have been around since the very first chat rooms. But with the pandemic and the social restrictions that have accompanied it, these relationships have become super common and, on the way to normalization.
“Any increased opportunity to connect with someone you might never normally get is a good thing. Before we were linked by people, we could only meet IRL, which in today’s society, seems somewhat restrictive,” adds Battersby.
For more, Michelle and relationship expert Chantelle Otten share their top tips.
What’s the best way to find a digital girlfriend?
Michelle – First, look for women who have made it clear that they are ready to go online. Some creators explicitly invite DMs, some have a dedicated Sunroom or OnlyFans for chatting and connecting. You will want to look for someone who shares the same values as you, someone you can learn from, someone whose outlook on life will enrich your life. Looking at a creator’s posts is the best way to gauge whether you like them as a person. Definitely look for people who are authentic in their posts, who are vulnerable, and who invite conversation and comments. Buying a subscription or sending a tip is a great way to show you’re invested in that person. From there, start a conversation with a message. And relax, as you would in any other conversation. On Sunroom, we have a bunch of features that make it easy to make that connection: you can submit a question that a creator can answer, you can do a 1:1 personalized experience, and you can make a voice note. Pay attention to the limits of a creator. Consistency is key when forming a digital relationship. Consistently show your support through comments, DMs, and tips. And always be respectful! Just because it’s a digital relationship doesn’t mean you can hide behind a keyboard.
How do you approach a digital relationship – versus a physical relationship?
chantelle – The internet is a wonderful tool and can connect you with people for a variety of reasons including business, socializing and entertainment. When it comes to digital relationships, the internet gives you a bridge to connect with another person you don’t necessarily meet IRL.
With digital relationships, you can share so much that you wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable sharing with someone in a physical sense.
When approaching a digital relationship, you need to make sure it’s healthy. Know the site or platform you are using and understand how to keep yourself and the person you are talking to safe. You also need to understand the difference between online and IRL. People who are more shy to do or say something IRL are more likely to be comfortable doing or saying something online. It is really important for this reason to set personal boundaries. If you don’t want to show something, talk about something, or do something, stick with it.
Sunroom was created for people to express themselves and connect with people in a safe and healthy way. Anti-screenshot technology also adds another aspect of security for users who want to ensure that the content they share remains private.
What are the risks and how can you overcome them?
chantelle -People are generally more daring online, so the risks could be people who make you feel uncomfortable or you might feel like because you can’t see them IRL you can’t do them entirely trust.
To overcome this, set boundaries from the start. Communication is the key to all relationships, especially digital relationships. Sunroom’s anti-screenshot technology will protect you and your image, so you don’t have to worry about your content falling into the wrong hands. You can also message directly on social platforms, which means you don’t need to give out your personal information.
Digital relationships are a wonderful thing and are super beneficial. But with any digital interaction, you should prioritize your privacy and only share what you are comfortable with.
What are the tips for having a healthy digital relationship?
chantelle – Healthy digital relationships are very similar to a healthy relationship you would have IRL. It is important that you treat both equally; in respect, communication and openness. My best advice is:
1. Check with the person you are connecting with and if they are comfortable with the conversation or the content you are sharing. My number one tip is to work with the basic foundations of consent, as you would with any relationship.
2. Healthy relationships start with you and what you’re comfortable putting online. Set boundaries before entering into a relationship.
3. Communication is key. Make sure you both start the relationship and discuss what you are looking for and what you expect from the digital relationship.