The Impact of the Internet Friends on Committed Heterosexual Relationships

      The Internet is a tool that can be used in adaptive or maladaptive ways, depending on the determination, needs and knowledge of individuals and couples. Although sexuality and emotions are integral parts of most romantic relationships, researches on sexual behavior and relationships are not highly intertwined (Dewitte, 2012). In addition to this fact, objective data and research on sexual and emotional behavior through the Internet and the impact that it has on relationships are lacking. Specifically, it is not known if cyber friendships on the Internet correlate with high levels of intense conflicts and break ups among committed couples, or the contrary, if cyber friendships bring positive outcomes to relationships. The present study explores the impact of Internet’s cyber friendship on heterosexual’s sex life and their open or closed relationships. Central to this study is a questionnaire that deals with sexual, emotional, Internet friendships, infidelity, betrayals, and relationships issues. The reported data was obtained from 106 participants, 50 men and 56 women, mostly white (67.9%), committed to open or to closed heterosexual relationships, ranging in age from 18 to 70 years old. Primary attention was focused on how female and male respondents in open or closed relationships engaged with their cyber friends, and the impact that it had on their own sex life and relationships. The findings led to the conclusion that, overall, cyber friendships on the Internet have a negative impact on the sex life of heterosexual committed couples, especially a significant negative impact was found on closed relationships.
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