Madison rezzed in at the ‘Stuff Groups lounge as she regularly did, to see if any new designers had joined the groups, as she was perusing the ad/gift boards she noticed an incredibly dishy guy standing in front of the MenStuff boards. Being a profile perv (well that’s what they are there for right?) she read his profile and was instantly attracted to this avatar without even having uttered a word to him. “This is pure craziness” she mused to herself, “how can there be an attraction with no interaction?” Her IM pinged, as she checked to see who it was, her heart skipped a beat “Omg, it’s him”
Axe Darkstorm: Hi there pretty lady, are you by any chance checking out my profile? Lol, I know that sounds like a weird question.
Madison Kitely: *Chuckles* indeed I was, why do you ask?
Axe Darkstorm: Again this is going to sound weird, but I felt somehow compelled to look at you, as if you were sending me a message through the metaverse.
Madison Kitely: Ok well it does sound a little odd, but at the same time I have to admit to feeling a strong connection with you while I was reading your profile, apparently the gods of the metaverse have plans for us, lol, now who is sounding weird ….
Axe Darkstorm: Well then I think we should be friends don’t you?
And so a new relationship begins ….
** Names/characters of the above excerpt are the product of the author’s imagination, any resemblance to actual persons/avatars is purely coincidental.
As every wooing lover, dedicated spouse and love-struck individual with a secret crush knows, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Ivy thought it appropriate given that it is the month of love that we find out from you what your experiences on the love front in SL have been.
There is any number of reasons why people are initially attracted to Second Life, from “Curiosity” to “it’s a great way to meet people” to “role play”. What keeps them in Second Life is something quite different. Once you have found your feet and you are fairly confident that you know how to handle the viewer and how to get about to explore, you are hooked. Inevitably along your journey you are going to come across someone to whom you are attracted and with whom you become infatuated, even if you were not consciously looking for a romantic liaison, although this is not the case with everyone of course.
Please forgive me for being an incurable romantic. It’s not that I don’t realize that there is a world of hurt out there in our wonderful world of Second Life (personally been there done that got the T-shirt!) But I prefer to dwell on the positive aspects of relationships in SL and the potential for successful relationships. Granted you may not find that special someone straight away and you will no doubt have to kiss any number of frogs before your Prince/Princess Charming comes along to steal your heart. You are going to be lied to, deceived, cheated on, you are going to think he/she is the one, only to discover that they have any number of alts all with their own lives and partners, you are going to come across some really wacky sometimes scary individuals during your journey in SL. Accountability is so often missing due to the relative anonymity SL offers. You are going to be used to further your partner’s own goals, you are going to have your heart shattered and smashed into a million little pieces, you are going to be accused of being needy and to quote one of you who responded to our questionnaire, “The more I know about SL relationships the more I like my RL cat….”
BUT there are more fantastic people out there than there are lunatics and you stand an excellent chance of finding a soul mate, that extra special someone, the ying to your yang, happiness is there for the taking, you just need to be sensible and you need to be honest. Deceit is pervasive throughout SL, so it starts with you to ensure that you are entirely aboveboard with regard to your RL situation as well as your SL expectations.
Many of your stories follow remarkably similar lines (granted not all of them, as there are some that are truly unique) and many of you have taken your SL relationships into real life and I am glad to say it would appear that the majority of those that have gone RL have made successes of these relationships.
From your questionnaires it is clear that when embarking on a relationship in Second Life communication is of the essence. Not everyone subscribes to allowing SL and RL to crossover but then you have to make that perfectly clear at the outset of any relationship. For those who have gone the whole nine yards and have ended up getting married in RL, it has entailed extensive communication including emailing, texting, Skype and phone calls, followed by meetings in RL and then eventually getting married. Most of these relationships appear to evolve over at least 3 years with one or two exceptions happening over a much shorter period of time. Don’t be disillusioned by the fact that you have had a couple of unsuccessful relationships as you never know who is waiting for you around the next corner …. Persevere!!
Hoobastank – The Reason
6 months later ….
Taking a stroll through the stunning landscapes that make up Calas Galadhron Park, Axe stops at a little jetty on the water’s edge on the Gulf of Lune sim. He clicks on the birdhouse and the dance balls rezz.
Axe Darkstorm: Come over here my pretty lady
Madison Kitely: *smiles* ok babes
Axe Darkstorm: I have something I need to ask you
Madison Kitely: Oh you do, do you
Axe Darkstorm: *grins* yup
Madison Kitely: I am all ears, fire away
Axe Darkstorm: Madison, my darling would you do me the honour of being my partner?
Madison Kitely: Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes without any doubt
Thank you to all of you who participated in our research, we appreciate your time and effort and we wish you all much love and happiness for the future.
Pictures courtesy of the extraordinarily talented Roy Mildor