Christina Rasmussen

The Partial Truth of Virtual Relationships

Every friend and every relative, lives a whole other life inside our minds. 

There, they occupy worlds that have nothing to do with reality. 

These worlds are not play pretend, or unreal. 

They just appear more real to us.

They inhabit an intimate interaction with ourselves. 

We can hear their whispers. 

We ‘know’ their thoughts.

We often believe our mental version of them more than their real physical counterparts. 

But when the two versions come face to face in physical reality, we question which version is more real. I just spent a week physically living with 5 friends. 

Prior to this week, the versions of them inside my head were more frequent visitors than their physical reality ones due to the pandemic isolation. 

I had created very different impressions of them since I only had virtual data available to me before this week.  

When the two came together I could not believe their differences. 

My inner versions of them were at best partial. 

Normally these versions get adjusted often, but since we have been isolated in the last year there had not been any recent adjustments. 

The inner versions evolved without any real data, or real connection and interaction. 

I gave them my own narrative, I wrote their words out, I came up with what they must be thinking.

These women were so much larger, smarter, kinder, complex and brilliant than I ever imagined them to be inside my mind. 

The version I was getting from the zoom calls was not enough.

But it was enough to feel like it was all there was. 

My dear friend, we have lost so much more than connection throughout this pandemic period of our lives. 

We have been inside a part time adventure in relationships that can only go so far. 

I don’t know how you will do this, but you must find a way to the physical counterpart of the mental version of the people in your life. 

You must interact with both, but mostly with the physical one. 

The mental version of your family and friends is influenced by either your fears or your dream versions of who you want them to be. 

But they are never accurate, or true.

The pandemic didn’t just take away our connection with the people we love or want to love, but their true version of them. 

There was an imbalance that was invisible to us all. What a loss. 

Even if it is with a mask, 6 feet apart, go and be a part of the physical world and experience people outside of the digital reality as much and as often as you can. 

The loss you experience when this doesn’t happen often enough, is so much bigger than you can imagine. 

I am already planning my next adventure, in close quarters with some of my new best friends. 


I hope you are too. 

With physical proximity,


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