Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SL Relationship Interviews - Anonymous Female 3

Romance Interviews Anonymous Female 3


In your relationship (s) who has usually been the instigator? If it was not you, were you even thinking of finding a relationship or were you "persuaded" into one?

I have had four committed relationships in SL. All of them have been more or less organic – we were people who hung out together and whose feelings gradually became more complex.
 

Is there a typical first date? What is it like? Do you actually do things in SL or is it just about the relationship on the internet and you happened to meet in SL?

I think most first dates are explorations together. You hear about a great sim, and you go to explore it, all the while having those intense “get to know you” IM conversations. I often say if people put the hours of one-to-one time in on rl relationships that they do in sl relationships, the rl ones would be just as compelling.

That said, I do know that some people arrive in sl determined to find a second life partner, and standard dates I know of would be things like going to Franks or Inspire Space Park J


After the first date, what do you typically do together?

My relationships have always started out of shared interests, and my lovers have always liked to do the same things I like to do. My SL is a busy one, so anyone I get involved with has to accept that work is part of life with me. They also have to accept that a heightened profile – at least in our circles – is part of the deal.


How quickly did you know it was love?

I don’t believe love happens quickly. Attraction happens quickly, and if you’re lucky, it forms the basis of a real bonding experience.


How big a role did sex play in this? Was it confined to SL or did it spill outside of it?

I was a late bloomer to SLex. My first partner and I both thought the whole thing was a bit ludicrous, and didn’t bother with it, though I was very curious, and also aware of how empathetic I was toward my avatar. In my second relationship I was keen and he was sceptical. I think of my third relationship as my first “adult” relationship, in that we were both enthusiastically sexual. In my last, and current relationship, SLex was an important part of the first twelve months, but has subsided now. In this relationship skype has also played a role.


How does SL enhance or detract from the sexual aspects of a relationship, if it was part of yours.

As mentioned, I strongly empathise with my avatar. If I like you, she will stand close to you. If you hug her, I feel it. So SLex is an important part of the relationship for me, but it’s also hard to sustain. Like most experiences in SL, the more immersed you are in the situation, the more genuine, or true to your real feelings, your responses are. So when you are newly enamoured of someone, the virtual closeness is easy. You spend all night with someone, in an emotional space, perhaps holding or hugging in virtual space, and from there the “mood” is right for sex.

Sadly, just like in real life, it’s possible to get complacent, and then the rigmarole of having virtual sex, being on land where you can rez, busting out the poseballs, editing the weirdness out, prevents you from bothering.

I think it would be possible to be conscious of this, and prepare for it, or take steps to keep the thrill alive, but it’s not what I am doing. We have no intentions of ever going to real life with our relationship, and we have had some rl issues to contend with, so we let it go and operate on a different level now.


What was your real life situation and were you honest about it to your partner(s) ?

I am single and a single mother, and my last rl relationship was very damaging. I have no intention of forming a rl relationship right now and am very open about this. In some ways I use SL as a substitute for the love life I am not willing to have right now, and even as a therapeutic tool.


What was your partner(s) real life situation and were they honest?

My partners have always been my friends first, so they have never been dishonest about their reality.


Do you think it is possible for two people to have a relationship in second life on one level and another relationship in real life? Why and how could that work or not work?

All of my lovers have had rl relationships running concurrently at some point with our sl relationship.


Did you meet in real life? How did that go? Was it as satisfying as your SL experience? (if no skip next two questions)

While I have been part of many internet meet-ups in the past, and have met lots of the friends I have made inworld, I have not hooked up with an SL lover, and I don’t intend this in the foreseeable future. I tend to form relationships with people in a different part of the world to mine, with people who have relatively stable rl partnerships, specifically to avoid taking it to rl.


What, if anything, were you most disappointed about?

NA


What, if anything, was the most pleasant surprise?

NA


Did you marry in SL? If so, what kind of a wedding and what was the expense involved?


I married once. We eloped, because the pressure to have a big wedding seemed out of proportion to what we were doing by partnering. Of course, as soon as we announced we had partnered, there was a big impromptu party, including photos all over the web. We became suddenly very aware of how easy it would be for his rl partner to see and be hurt by this information. I will never marry again in SL. I say that because I see no reason to end things with my current partner, who has a rl wife who might be hurt by that, but also, at least by observation, I find nothing kills a great relationship faster than marriage.


Did you have children? How was that?

Good grief no. I don’t even … what IS that about?


How long did the whole relationship last? How long after the marriage did it last? Is it still ongoing?

All of my relationships but one have lasted over a year. My current relationship has been going for more than two years


If applicable, how did you ultimately break up? Did either of you cheat on the other?

Of the four relationships I have been in, real life reclaimed two of them, one ended when I couldn’t manage feeling insecurity (turned out I was right, and he was cheating, of course) and one is current.


Ever been caught by a third party that also claimed a relationship with your partner? Were you blamed for the situation?

No. I am kind of too high-profile to hide J


Are you still friends?

I am still very good friends with all of my lovers, and am cared for by all of them.


What, if anything, do you regret the most?

I have no real regrets, though each ending has been very sad.


What, if anything, did you gain?

I have cried, laughed, learned and been part of truly enriching experiences with really remarkable men. I am honoured to have their affection.


How many relationships do you think you have had in SL?

As above - four


What is your opinion on relationships in SL and are they healthy for people to get involved in? What are the key points people should consider before getting involved?

I believe relationships in SL offer a rare opportunity to learn about yourself and others. SL is a social medium, in the first place. It’s just better with an accomplice. If you can build the foundations of your relationships on honesty and shared interests, you can potentially be part of an emotionally enriching experience, one that is as real as any relationship.

The first and most important thing is to figure out what you want, and be honest about it. Then look for someone who has also figured out what they want, and is being honest with themselves about it. Problems arise when people pretend they don’t want rl when they do, or when they pretend they want a monogamous relationship but they don’t. Or when they seize on the first mate they come across, without looking for someone who has similar interests and ethics to them.

SL is an excellent tool for knowing yourself. It distils the essential aspects of your personality, and puts you in the kind of “high-speed” environment where things develop fast. If you can keep up, and if you are interested in analysing who you are, you can learn a great deal, and the relationships you form will be a reflection of that.

Yes, you will hurt. Yes, you will struggle to manage it all. But you aren’t giving or getting anything real if you don’t.

Be aware of the possibility for compulsion. If your heart is hungry, you have no resistance to this very deep whirlpool you are in.

Be respectful. Be honest. Be kind. Look for people who are like you. Be true to yourself, because this is the one place where you can be exactly who you are and still be loved for it by someone.
 
This is the fourth of the next series of interviews for Blissimo concerning SL. This series is all about relationships. You can read the first interview here:
Interview 1 - Anonymous Female
Interview 2 - Anonymous Female 2
Interview 3 -  Shaye Windlow

This next series is probably a bit more revealing, and I anticipate that people will me more reluctant to share their actual names. I have no problem with that because the point of these interviews is to stimulate discussion, not to persecute or praise individuals. I appreciate the honesty the subjects have provided in sharing bits of themselves for that purpose. As with the first subject, I have asked for anyone interested to contact me and I will send them the questions. I can be reached in SL, here, or via email: blisswindlow@hotmail.com
 
SL REVIEW SERIES: 
 
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