I never discourage people from trying to find a Gaia girl- or boyfriend. It often does not work out and sometimes even involves online drama, but in the few cases it does work out it can be a great start. Although many people that join the sidelines ‘booing’ sometimes have their points as well.
It took me a few years until I realized that a Gaia relationship is nothing but perhaps a starting guarantee to meet up some day. A mere chat with someone’s thoughts, as face to face is always very different after all. Though the chatting can be very nice and comforting, a REAL relationship to me means more than ‘liking’ each other’s written/typed thoughts.
A computer (with your ‘virtual’ loved one) can be turned on or off when (in)convenient, whereas in real life that one girl/guy can keep talking to you when you don’t feel like it at all. You both have your own locations, you’re never in each other’s way. You have your own friend groups that may not fit with you guys criss-cross and perhaps your ‘loved one’ even has a few real life flirts in the meantime of being offline.
The factor of personalities also comes into play a lot more in real life. The capacity of typing up a story on who we really are never is a perfect match for our real selves. I often find people telling me things about them on Gaia, Skype, Whatsapp, Texts, etc. that don’t match up to the way they act. Does he say he loves socializing? He may just like socializing with a select few and quietly sit in a corner hating everyone at your party. Does he say he’s a shy type and not good with people? He may act very differently and go about making friends with everyone and anyone easily because in the end he's 'a nice guy'. -- That’s just a small example.
In real life chatting with your girl- or boyfriend is just one of the hundreds of other things you do. And that is exactly what a Gaia relationship represents to me – only one of those hundreds of things that are actually supposed to be in a relationship. If you can get it right however, then you have one of those hundreds of factors right, and perhaps a promise to try being together for real some day. So, if anything, it’s a way to start.