Don't expect commitment.
Don't expect intimacy.
Don't expect the person to be the person they claim.
Don't send pictures you wouldn't want your parents to see.
Don't actually fall for them.
If you're into just sending cute messages back and forth than by all means go ahead. But it will in no way be a relationship.. and calling him a boyfriend would be quite a stretch.
Those^ are the risks, but it's not always like that. If you love someone you've met online and you guys want a relationship, try not to keep things online for a VERY long time. try to make sure they really are who they say, and think logical.
An online relationship can be great if there's faith, trust and honesty. But people can be unreasonable and CRAZY sometimes. So be careful.
BUT if you are already in a relationship with someone in real life and also have a boy/girl friend online, well that's wrong to me.
Not to sound cliché, but you may or may not really know this person. They can put on an elaborate show to make themselves out to be someone they're not. I'm not saying all people do this. There are some people who keep it real. Just watch that you don't do anything stupid, and if you meet someday, make sure it's in a public place with lots of people watching, and maybe make sure that your back is to a wall. Just be safe.
My boyfriend and I started dating online, we actually met right here on GovTeen. In three days we'll have our anniversary and our relationship is stronger than its ever been. We've met in person already and we will be together for a month in June. We really are in love and dating him was the greatest decision I've ever made. Now I know people will read this and say that it's lust or it's not real and I don't know what I'm feeling, but I do. I'm smart and I know my feeling and I know the choices I've made.
So no, I don't think it's wrong to have an online boyfriend or girlfriend because the relationship can evolve, even if you don't meet in person. It might not always happen for everyone, but when it does, it's amazing.
Online relationships are not inherently unhealthy. The problems I typically observe as a result of online relationships relate to (a) unrealistic expectations or an inflated view of the relationship, or (b) when children or adolescents are drawn to online relationships because of an inability or lack of success with more personal, face-to-face relationships.