Like actually hanging out, eating together, watching movies together, playing games together, meeting each others' family and friends, holding hands, kissing, hugging, seeing what each other looks like when you HAVEN'T done your makeup and lighting for selected myspace picshoots, not being able to hide that HUUUGE zit or creeping pot-belly, learning what you're like when you're tired/sick/miserable, how you treat others (and each other) when you aren't hiding behind a computer screen?
Sorry... but I think MEETING someone online is just the bees knees... but having an entirely relationship?? Until you're in the same room together: you're still just roleplaying.
EVERYONE is pretending on the computer... even if it's just a little bit. NO ONE is quite the same online as they are "in real life". Add to that the fact that by virtue of being so far away and not having met, 90% of the blanks are left for you to fill in with your own idealized fantasies. Having a love affair online is sort of like writing yourself into a self-insertion fanfic: and while I appreciate that some people NEED that... I also think a lot of those people are really just scared to go out and have a one-on-one relationship with a person without the safety of a computer screen and half a world between them.
So, can you honestly say that when you talk to you boyfriend over the phone, your merely roleplaying?