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They have the ability to venture outside of their comfort zone and act as someone completely different. They concluded that "when asked what they were looking for in an online relationship, the considerable majority of participants expressed interest in seeking fun, companionship, and someone to talk to.
The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication reports the results of a study conducted by Robert J. Most also reported interests in developing casual friendships and dating relationships with online partners.
Dating sites "are a place where sexual minorities, inter-sexed people and gay people are enjoying a newly found freedom".
Several studies have shown the availability of online dating to produce a greater closeness and intimacy between individuals because it circumvents barriers that face-to-face interactions might have.
"Participating in personal relationships online allow for almost full freedom from power relations in the offline/real world." A plethora of virtual sexual identities are represented in online profiles.
These profiles can be found on sites used for interpersonal relationships other than dating as well.
"The body, although graphically absent, does not have to be any less present." Older and less advanced sites usually still allow, and often require, each user to upload a picture.
The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person.