My brother met his wife of four years online, so without doubt you can meet people and fall in love through online dating sites.
However the question is can you fall in love with someone you have only spoken to online and not met in real life?
The simple answer, in my opinion, is a resounding NO.
You can certainly feel as though you are in love, the attention, the like-minded conversations, sensual flirting and even shared goals in life but until you meet in the flesh you have no idea if there is any chemistry between you.
Most people that search for love online are at a stage in their life where they are ready to fall in love, they want to find someone special so they often have feelings of ‘love’ before they have really spent time with someone.
Flirting online also makes you feel closer to someone, people say things online that they would never dream of saying in the early stages of dating offline. Time that you would spend dating offline (eating, going to the pictures etc) you actually spend online sharing secrets, sending naughty messages and creating an atmosphere of intimacy.
What you are in love with is the idea, the fantasy of someone but not the reality. In your mind you create a vision of what life could be with that person, how they would kiss or touch you, the things you would do together and your mind simply fills in the blanks with what you hope that person would be in your ideal world.
Meeting in real life can be a surprise, to put it lightly. You can meet people online that seem absolutely ideal for you, you discuss your lives as though you are destined to be together forever but when you meet offline there is simply no chemistry. Reality simply does not match the fantasy in your mind and of course that is a great disappointment.
Humans like to think of themselves as ‘higher beings’ but we are in fact animals, biological creatures that have instinctive reactions, we live by our senses. There have been many scientific studies about love at first smell and all studies show that we are attracted (or not) depending on our senses, including smell.
This means that attraction over the internet is only a meeting of minds, an agreement that two people could offer each other what they are looking for but until you actually meet off line you may feel emotionally attached to someone but I doubt you could actually be in love.
Love grows over time and is not the result of emails, so being ‘in love’ online simply means that you have met someone with the potential for a loving relationship but until you meet it is not reality, you are not IN LOVE.