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Amitola Qusifor

Romantic Relationships in Second Life and Real Life

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I'm just curious as someone who is not married or in a monogamous relationship in real life, what draws a person who is married, etc. in real life to partner or date someone in Second Life who is not their real mate?

I've heard people tell me if their significant other found out, they would be upset, so why do it? I just want to understand, not judge because this happened to a family member of mine who visited another virtual community and left her husband for the guy she met online. Her ex considered it intelectual and even physical cheating (once she left). Was there something missing or love? I don't know. 

I believe you can love many people whether it's romantic or frienship but intimacy is also deep and can hurt the other person if they found out that their marriage mate was involved with someone else in secrecy.

What do you think, and how would you handle it, if it were you?

 

 

 

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Looking for what they do not have, a fantasy maybe? excitment that they do not have? feeling wanted even though it is not real, in most cases I guess, in my opinion I wouldn't want my boyfriend to cheat on me with someone online, as I wouldnt do that either, the moment someone lusts about someone else, or even fall in love with someone online, it means their own RL relationship was not good at all, or so I think, basically, if you have a boyfriend or g/friend or partner or whatever RL relationship you are in, do not go cheating if you dont want the same happen to you, what goes around comes around,

by saying this, I know there are some cases where people falls in love online and leave their RL partners for another tobe RL relationship, in those cases, well i guess, nothing much you can do, if love is strong

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Online is not much different in this case than the offline world...maybe it even makes it easier at some point. But always have people ended their current relationship because of a new person they have met and developed deeper feelings. Often they discover with those people what they miss in their current relationship.

I think most of these SL dates and relationships doesn't start with the intention to cheat. Some just get into it and can't pull themselves out of it before its too late. Others see it as just a fantasy or a game and then realize its more for them. Only a few may escape an already bad relationship.

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Hi Ami ; )

In my opinion, anyone who says something along the lines of OMG if my RL mate ever found out, s/he would DUMP me for cheating" is cheating. I know a lot of couples in SL who have RL partners who are not their SL partners. However, most I've encountered have RL partners who know about the SL partner. Those relationships seem to work out the best, from what I've seen. OK, let me qualify that, relationships between gay men I know who are gay in RL AND SL (as opposed to being married to a woman in RL and being gay in SL). In my experience, it doesn't usually work out so well with straight couples. One mutual friend ouf ours thinks it is because men are more able to compartmentalize than women. He and his SL partner both have RL partners and have been together about 3 years in SL, so maybe he's onto something. Neither of them consider it cheating, their RL partners don't consider it cheating, all four of them are on the same page with that. Its when people are reading from different books let alone different pages with their RL and SL that heartache comes about, from what I've seen. Oh, and I have known several RL couples who live supposedly separate SL lives but that never seems to work out because they know each other's avatars and hang out as "friends" and watch their RL partners have relationships with others. If a RL couple play SL, I think it works out best if they are partnered in SL together or don't know each other. Otherwise things get very blurry.

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I have not had a real life partner since I created my avi, so I honestly dont know. I think the reasons would be many though. I dont believe every case is people looking for someone to run off with and leave their RL partners, though, sometimes it is and sometimes that happens when it wasn't the original intent. I think some thnk of it as a game or maybe even like having a pet or something, I dont know. I think maybe some don't view it on the same level of seriousness despite any emotional connection with the SL person.

In the end, they are concealing a truth from their RL partner and I think will likely abandon either the RL partner or the SL one, or both. :(.

 

 

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I have been there. I have been the one here, in SL, that they spent their time with. I insist my relationships stay in SL only, and I told them I never wanted to hear any suggestions of us going RL and hurting their partner. I knew I was the one that was going to be hurt. When the day came, I looked at them and said 'We won. We won the game. We beat SL.'

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I have many relationships in SL...and I am very attached to all my girls. But I would NEVER EVER think about leaving my wife for any of them. I do have sex with all of them and she is aware that I am having sex in SL (she even brought it up to a group of friends of ours at their house one night...) but I realize that it's all fantasy. I love my wife and I love my family and there is nothing..I repeat NOTHING more important than that.

I do understand how these feelings can develop. It happens in online chat rooms a lot more often than SL, I think. As for me, that's the way it is.

These my two cents

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I can see the appeal of a sl relationship as an an escape from the rl one. Rl relationships take a lot more work as well as the person could be in a rut etc. My ex husband was one who had lovers on sl and never bothered me till he brought it to rl and had several affairs. Hence ex. However if it was kept all on the game I personally didnt care.

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Circumstance, the biological clock, all of the usual reasons why people cheat their partners. It is a bit easier with SL, granted, however if SL didn't exist would people still cheat? Yes they would, a failed relationship is failed, SL or no SL.

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in my opinion, if someone has an rl relationship instead of wasting time on virtual worlds why dont they try and work on their rl to improve it? i mean if someone needs an escape to sl from his relation its already problematic, so either work on it or end it. specailly if there are kids think about what a raw model of a father or a mother one would be if the the young ones saw their parent everyday in front of a pc screen instead of spending quality family time? i really dont like people with relationships rl ignoring them for a virtual fantasy.

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This is an interesting thread. But, I’m not seeing much acknowledgement of basic human nature or the influences of personality growth.

In RL… well you are in RL and you just happen to be doing something in SL, you contact people and form various relationships; co-worker, acquaintance, service provider, friend, lover, confidant, or whatever. You extend those behaviors into SL. It does not matter that it is in SL, it is still what you are doing and that is real.

Our self centered culture considers little beyond the individual. Also, our brains are geared to deal with a limited set of information and it actively filters the incoming sensory information. So, we have to push to consider what may be going on beyond what we imagine in our mind’s meta-model of the world. It is simpler to think we are in a ‘game’ rather than think of what we are actually doing. So, we do that to simplify the mental process. And we do that behavior of simplifying things in RL, even if we are role playing in SL.

In RL we can avoid a problem, just not go there or change the subject. As children we learn to manipulate our parents and others. As adolescents we improve our skills. While an adolescent we grow into the adult body and experience the full impact of our hormones. We learn how to get sex. At this stage it is easy to confuse lust, passion, infatuation, and many other emotions and mental conditions as love. Getting married as a teenager or in our early twenties to our first or second lover pretty much guarantees we will enter a marriage before we understand what love is or how to really relate to another human. For some relationship is about getting something they need. If it is just sex, the relationship often falls apart when the hormones are sated. Some people do this relationship thing well and learn quickly. Others spend a life time and never get it. Some people never mature emotionally. Here we call those immature people griefers.

I think because we can maintain a high degree of anonymity we are able to experiment in ways we would not dare in RL. Because it is physically safe we can be more daring and bold. If we destroy a relationship, we can create a new avatar and start over. We won’t get punched in the nose or shot, no physical pain. It is a great learning environment.

I find it completely rational that people learn new ways to handle relationships while in SL. I believe, no hard evidence, that many simplify our changed or experimental behavior to the idea we react differently with the other person behind an avatar. Rather than understand what we are doing different in our SL relationship than in our RL relationship and transferring that learning to RL some just change RL partners. It may work or not.

I suspect there are many reasons given for why people make those changes. I believe it all boils down to what we want to do. Often following the path of least resistance is the choice simply because it is the easiest and requires the least mental effort and self examination from the one making the decision. If we have some motive for expending more effort, we do. Some try to change their relationship. If they can figure out how to do that, things improve. If a partner is unwilling, it may be impossible.

It comes down to what we are getting from a relationship and what we believe we should do, what we believe we are entitled to, and whether we are givers or takers. In SL we learn new ways to work those things. We find new ways to communicate because most of the body language and other communication channels are not available. We have to talk/chat with the other person in SL and real ideas, thoughts, and feelings get exchanged. Often that is not happening in a RL relationship.

These ideas may provide a basis for understanding what is happening. But, the ways people are moved to behave and the specific reasons for their actions exhibit in an infinite array of behaviors that is bewildering. We never have ALL the reasons, motivations, or the experience and perception of the individuals involved. So, I believe we can never really know the why of any individual’s actions.

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

 But, I’m not seeing much acknowledgement of basic human nature or
the influences of personality growth.

Yes.   SL for me is an extension of RL, not a substitute.  The people I meet here, are part of my own personal life experience.  Just like in RL, I'm meeting people in SL who are single, engaged, married, and/or in various other combinations of RL relationships.  But, that doesn't preclude them from also being my friend, lover, confidant or business partner in SL. 

Very often the people I meet in SL live a great distance from the RL me.  So, SL is a place to share, grow, experiment, and play with these people. All of this can be done, without impacting our RL relationships, and simultaneously adds to our own myriad experiences and joys.

 

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Hi, having read all the replies I want to add my own experience and why I came to sl

I am in a relationship without any physical love, none. We simply live in the same home

In separate rooms, never touching one another.  We stay together for material things.

 

This all sounds horrible I know, but in my case I simply can't afford to live on my own

He also doesn't want to separate due to having to share with me anything.So, we do our own

Things, I do not go out in rl with anyone nor does he that I know of.  We don't have any children

So they none to be ignored.

 

I am very bored in my rl. And felt that perhaps sl would give me some excitement. So far I have not

Found anyone as a bf or lover. Just spend my time exploring and chatting with the few friends I do have. None are interested in being sexual with me.

 

I would never bring my rl into a sl  relationship. I am very careful to not mix the two.

 

I hope you do not judge me as I am trying to be a respected lady in sl that has high moral values

Just wanting some excitement in my boring rl

 

If I were in love in rl I would not be in sl. If my house mate loved me I would not be here. But, we

 

Do not love one another it is simply a financial relationship.

 

So this is my reason. I do not want to meet up with anyone in rl Just be friends.

Life is too short to not experience all we can.

 

And I do not judge anyone for what they choose to do in sl. Not my place and I ask that you give me

The same respect.

 

If you have never walked in someone's shoes then please don't judge.

 

Thanks,

Liz

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If you are just together for financial reasons why don't you two date others? If there is no love there what keeps you being "faithful" Essentially you aren't together but you wont touch anyone else? Im confused.

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Very well said Nalates :smileyhappy:.... 

In response to Ami's original question:

I agree with many of the posts on this topic. I do believe that people do things for different reasons and it is absurd to think that we will ever know everyone's motive or reason for doing any particular thing. I also feel that a lot of people come to SL and do not intend to really meet anyone worth developing feelings for and if (or when) it does happen they then have a dilemma on their hands (whether to keep their RL relationship or leave and try to make their SL relationship into something more). Either way, if someone chooses to leave their RL relationship without taking the necessary steps to try to make it work before they leave that RL partner, that is something that they must weigh in their own hearts. 

Many times, women cheat for emotional reasons, while some believe that men cheat for physical and/or respect that they are lacking in their everyday lives. I do believe that if someone is not meeting your need: albeit physically, emotionally, or whatever; maybe it is time to address it -- and I mean really address it -- or move on. 

I completely disagree with cheating on anyone you've supposedly 'committed to', especially with someone you barely know, like many in SL. I was raised to try everything to make my relationships (friendships, romantic, etc) work before walking away and to treat others the way that I would want to be treated.

In relationships, this simply means that if you don't want to be cheated on by anyone, you don't cheat on anyone either. It is really sad when someone chooses to lead someone else on, in an effort to fulfill their 'fantasy' or help them to escape their RL problems. What is the other person getting back in that situation? Nothing; they're just getting a little closer to having their heart broken. Sometimes we make things much more complicated than they need to be. Either work it out or let it go (applies to RL and SL). Life is too short to be misled or to mislead other people. 

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To Sephina

      Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, actually I could not find this thread till now.

 

You ask why we two don't date others, well for reasons that are both social and moral

No one that knows us know that we sleep in separate rooms, are not lovers, it is something we

Choose to keep private.  I understand why someone reading my post would judge me harshly, I am a very caring and loving lady, that only came to sl to explore my fantasy side. Perhaps, find some nice friends to have fun with. I have not engaged in SL sex. In fact I

Find myself rather tame compared to most ladies in SL.  Funny how I can't  allow myself to

Be that inner wild child. ( or woman ) You see my social standing  along with my moral values keep even my sl self from going into things I see other ladies and men engage in.

 

I often wonder if I belong here, but have found a few really nice people I do enjoy chatting with. And, on occasion dancing with. These people do not discuss their RL with me. Except to tell me what time zone they live in as I do with them. I have even shared the state I live in.

 

I hope this clears up my own situation.

 

Have a great day/evening

 

Lizbeth

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Ichigo Iskirra wrote:

Wow, that was an incredibly judgemental statement, followed by "nobody has the right to judge."
:o

 

"Nobody has the right to judge" is a judgmental statement in itself, and is consequentially self-referentially paradoxically ambiguous.

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