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Partnership and having Alts


Livvya
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Recently I partnered for the first time in my sl life after having a wonderful relationship of many weeks. All those weeks we met eachother daily in SL, first IC in roleplay, after some time also OOC with our ALTs, and it felt so amazing that we just wanted something more and he wanted to partner me. I was so happy and thrilled.  All this time i knew however that he had alts, as I had a few too, but both not really playing on them

Then suddenly after a few days he came less online. I waited at the same time we always were online together and messaged him, got worried and then i found him playing on his ALT (one he thought i wasnt aware of). I Always told myself, that playing on Alts isnt really that bad, or hurting or ruining what you have.  But now I couldnt believe that he did this, it was the last thing I expected....and it did hurt me. I dont want to feel hurt, its his business and i should be happy with what we have, but somehow i feel so sad and confused about it. I dont want to ask him about it, I dont want to question him either, I want to feel trust, but same time everything seems so vulnerable in SL.

I want to know if others recognize it, if i should not worry about it, how i should take this.

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Recently I partnered for the first time in my sl life after having a wonderful relationship of many weeks. All those weeks we met eachother daily in SL, first IC in roleplay, after some time also OOC with our ALTs, and it felt so amazing that we just wanted something more and he wanted to partner me. I was so happy and thrilled.  All this time i knew however that he had alts, as I had a few too, but both not really playing on them

Then suddenly after a few days he came less online. I waited at the same time we always were online together and messaged him, got worried and then i found him playing on his ALT (one he thought i wasnt aware of). I Always told myself, that playing on Alts isnt really that bad, or hurting or ruining what you have.  But now I couldnt believe that he did this, it was the last thing I expected....and it did hurt me. I dont want to feel hurt, its his business and i should be happy with what we have, but somehow i feel so sad and confused about it. I dont want to ask him about it, I dont want to question him either, I want to feel trust, but same time everything seems so vulnerable in SL.

I want to know if others recognize it, if i should not worry about it, how i should take this.

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Have you considered talking to him instead of asking strangers for support? The only real answer you will get is one from him. Also I wouldn't see the alt as the problem, if he didn't had an alt, he probably would be less online with you anyway. Just ask him, I would say.

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You came looking for advice so I hope you don't mind that I take a moment to sort of talk, more generally, about SL relationships (the way I see them). It's my hope that these thoughts will both help you and also promote a discussion that might help others at the same time.

Make no mistake. SL is very real. It is also, not reality. The very things that make SL such an attractive social outlet are the very things that create the problems that SL invites into your life (potentially). People here are free to be who they want to be at all times. In fact the only thing that I think is retained from reality, within second life, is the subjective aspirations and desires of the people that "play" SL. Sadly, you can never know what these truly are. Again, there is no reality here, SL is SL.

I am in a very powerful SL relationship. I love the lady of my affections as deeply as I have any other relationship that I have ever been in within my 1st life. Actually, I'd say that I love her even more than that. My feelings are extremely real. I have very good reasons for these feelings as well. The connection is uncanny, amazing, and something I have no right to ever "ask for" in real life. We're both very mature people 1st life (and yes we speak very often by voice). We have hours upon hours about all sorts of sense and nonsense alike. Again, it is in every way a real relationship. It's not based in reality though. 

I cannot stress this next point enough. Second life relationships, if they are to be successfully navigated, require each participant to be VERY comfortable with themselves and honest with their partners. The very foundation of the relationship must be expressly communicated, upfront, with as much applicable honesty as is required. This is by no means EVER easy to do. I said previously that I had no right to ever ask for such a close relationship and I very well mean it. It's nearly impossible to have a perfect connection with someone.

In very real senses I create the backdrop for the relationship to exist. I Steele myself against embarrassment and I force myself to remain convicted towards her and true to my word in everything I do. I guard my actions against the possibility that I might fail to meet her expectations and I never expect anything other than what she says she is capable of doing for me. I don't use language where I apply ownership to her. I don't make demands of her (I ask politely for everything). I don't talk down to her and I go out of my way to make sure that she knows I try very hard to be as open and honest with her as I can possibly be. 

The above is very difficult to do. I cannot explain how you do it. You have to be really engages with your own mind and you have to be very accepting of yourself and your own place in your 1st life. If your 1st life is crap, undoubtedly that will spill over into SL. If the relationship is born under this type of 1st life anguish over who YOU are how is it ever possible for the person on the other end of that SL avatar to trust you? Without trust, how can you have anything like a meaningful relationship?

Now, there is something to consider in all of this... Is it possible that even with all of the foundational elements that we have set up in this relationship, she could still be lieing to me. This isn't a likely scenario but it is possible in some theoretical sense that every online relationship suffers this possibility. Again - however - this goes back to honesty with yourself. If you know how relationships work and have gone through the personal growth process to arrive at a place of equilibrium in your life, you usually posses the maturity to the read verbal, emotional, and voice conversation queues that are required to promote a relationship in SL. If you have that, then I think it's very possible to have a highly trusting relationship here. 

If the relationship has roadblocks in place, if it is not organic, perhaps as an example: I set a rule for our relationship that there will never be voice conversation between us. Given that rule, I have already sent a message, however innocently, that I cannot trust this person on some level. That might not be a relationship deal breaker but it NEEDS to be acknowledged and discussed to the point where both parties foundationally agree on the necessity of this relationship boundary.

In my own relationship we DO have boundaries. Boundaries are not unimportant (please don't read my previous arguments as saying such a thing). We both have lives that require SL never bleeding into a 1st life relationship. My god, on SOME level I know that both of us would love the idea. But, getting back to my earlier point, SL is not REALITY. It is fantasy. It's the closest thing you can get to living in your ideally desired world. The feelings are very real, own up to that but be honest about your 1st life at the same time.

The psychology of SL cannot ever be separated from your 1st life. If you fall in love here, expect all of the symptoms to occur in your 1st. Loss (or gain) in apatite. Staring blankly at the screen when they log off and you are not, yourself, ready to. Wanting to hang on their every word spoken or typed. Bragging to all of your friends (that will understand) about how amazing this person that you just met is... It's all the same. YOU are going to feel it. Prepare for that and don't become an obsessive asshat. Respect your partner's space. You don't own them. This is exactly the same in 1st life btw...

I know this post is epically long. Please, if it is TOO long, just ignore it. This is both meant to put ideas out there for feedback and to process my own thoughts on the matter. It's as much for me as it is for you and I can only hope some of my insights are useful. 

In summery: take relationships in SL as seriously as you do in your 1st life. However, realize that there are necessary boundaries that must exist here. It feels every bit as real but it IS NOT. It might sound paradoxical to people but it really isn't. Partners don't have to deal with our 1st life behaviors and we get a small reprieve from them as well. We don't have to stress over cleaning the house, bathing after we go dancing, vomiting on the floor... Those are unfortunate relics of the crap we deal with in our 1st lives. Allow that relationship to be "ideal" in SL but if you desire to maintain that relationship, it is really necessary for you to get real with yourself AND your partner very early on and keep committed to that concept of total-honesty. That all starts with you.

 

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Gosh! That's a new one. I've never heard of anyone using alts in SL to two-time a gullible partner before.

Ooops, sorry, that wasn't what I intended to write at all. Actually, what I meant to write is that it happens all the time to everyone, and the (temporarily) lucky ones are those that are sufficiently ingenuous not to realise they are being played, and who don't have their naivety shattered by a dose of reality.

Get real. This is a fantasy playground filled with liars and cheats. If you want decency, honesty and a loving relationship buy a pet rock.

Oh, and if you want to feel better about it and move on, take comfort in the significant possibility that "he" might actually have been an under-age lesbian...

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Rushmanyyz you sound like the perfect partner and you gave some good advice about maintaing an SL relationship but you did not really address the OP's concerns.  Do you and/or your partner have alts?  Do you both want to spend roughly the same amount of time in SL with each other?  Did that need to be negotiated?

 

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Livvya, part of the problem with SL relationships is that we don't get as many queues from the other person that we would get if we were face to face.  We all have certain expectations of our SL relationships and they don't always agree.  So things have to be discussed.  (Of course the other person could still lie but that is another issue.)  But Rushmanyyz is right before you can discuss the issue with your partner you must determine for yourself what you want in the relationship and what you can accept.

 

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Livvya wrote:

I want to feel trust, but same time everything seems so vulnerable in SL.

You can't just will trust into being... it never works.  You simply must confront him about his actions and discuss with him the insecurities you're feeling about yourself and your relationship with him.  Otherwise, those insecurities will just continue to grow until they've become completely unmanageable.  The last thing you need to do is fool yourself into believing that everything will be alright, while taking no steps to ensure the outcome which you desire...which should consist of your own well being, regardless of whether you're with this person or not.

...Dres

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Stop and ask yourself if what you're feeling is really only because he played Sl on an alt, or it it's because you might have expected that every minute of his free SL time should naturally be spent with you, now that you're partnered and all. If you did think that in some unwritten sort of way, then the fault for what you're feeling lies with you, and not him. He didn't live up to something you had expected or assumed, but unless you specifically addressed this kind of situation with him before you took the plunge then it's on you for bringing unvoiced, hidden expectations or conditions into a mutual partnership and expecting him to live up to them. This is SL, when it comes to relationships you assume nothing, talk about every.. EVERYthing beforehand, and know that all shortcuts to bliss are fake and deceptive.

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Second Life is about escaping reality for a few hours. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of escaping to SL. One is being somewhere else, but still being yourself. This means you behave in SL like you would in RL, you dreams, values, likes and dislikes are the same as RL. Relationships between avatars playing in that mode can evolve into long distance relationships between individuals and even more if the conditions are right. Other people want to escape the mold their peers, society, their family or their personal history made for them. They want to be someone else for a few hours. Relationships between that kind of residents stay on the level of avatar relationships. They tend to be not as long as the first kind of relationships.

The reasons why relationships that are purely SL tend to be shorter then other relationships are diverse. For some people it stays a game and they look for new entertainment after a while. Other people find another way to express a hidden part of their personality and don't need to play a certain role in SL. Some people can't be in SL because of health, family obligations, bad internet access and don't bother to tell their partner.

When two people in SL start a relationship, they have to be clear about their mode of playing and their expectation about SL. If not they are setting themselves up for major drama.

So I would advise you to talk to your partner and see what he want from SL and form the relationships of your avatars. Maybe he feels he needs to "be" his alts for a while - an alt who is not partnered. Maybe he senses you want more emotional commitment then he can give in his situation and he is avoiding you. You are partners for weeks now. It's better to get clear what the both of you want from this partnership then discovering a painful truth months or even years later with a lot of emotional involvement from your side.

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Don't assume that he is playing away just because he wants some time to be himself on an alt account...at the same time don't assume he isn't. The only way you're going to know is by asking him and hope that he will be honest with you.

If he says he just wants time to be himself and there's no other person then you have to decide if you trust him enough to believe that, and if the answer is yes, then drop it and learn to enjoy the free time too.

I had a very long relationship on SL that moved into RL and I trusted him completely, in the end it didn't work out, but that was because our RL relationship failed, and I'm slowly adapting to they way things are now. 

You need to sort this out now, only you can do it, we can all give you advice, but only you know if you have the trust in him and your relationship.

I hope you work things out one way or the other.

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While I can appreciate your feeling  hurt simply due to not expecting it, I guess my thing has always been that I understand (and think its healthy) to not want to do every single thing with a partner/love interest, nor spend every waking moment with them. I'm one who likes their  space even in rl  tho. SL I've found can easily feel like you "never" really can get away from the eyes/presence/scrutiny of your loved one just by virtue of appearing on a list, in a group, or whatever. You feel like doing "x" with yourself only and log in and "boom" the box flings open and there is the cheerful and unknowing presence of whoever.....  Has nothing to do with wanting to do something wrong, just wanting to "be alone for  a minute". At least for me. (I'm even like that with friends, not just dates X) ) Could be that thats the case with your partner. Only way to know is ask.

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Studio09 wrote:

Rushmanyyz you sound like the perfect partner and you gave some good advice about maintaining an SL relationship but you did not really address the OP's concerns.  Do you and/or your partner have alts?  Do you both want to spend roughly the same amount of time in SL with each other?  Did that need to be negotiated?

 

You know... I was posting all that at work while on break and I really got hastened towards the end of it. I realize that, yes, I never did successfully address the initial question. For that I apologies and next time I might save my diatribe and edit it off line before posting it in haste.

I think what I was trying to get at is that, making alts at least seems to violate the trust necessary in an SL relationship. Well at least alts that are to camouflage you from other people in SL (especially partners). With the simple act of creating a secret alt -however innocent you may try and make it in your mind- you are creating a rift in your relational trust. If you are OK with that and the boundaries that you have set up are congruent with doing so, then there's likely to be no issue (as long as people's feelings and needs remain consistent). 

When you make an alt, there is a purpose. I'd suggest looking at why you have alts. Is it to be free of the baggage of that other alt? Is it to explore a roleplay scenario? Is it to flirt with additional people? You have a reason and if your partner does the same, I think it is fully within your rights to question them about their motivations for having an alt they don't really want you to know about. 

Intrinsic within what I was saying is the necessity to remain in open dialogue with your partner. You should take an active interest in what they do. Hopefully your interests are similar (usually they are in SL). If you find that your interests differ then I suggest a bit of soul-searching about why you want to be in an SL relationship with them. Divergent interests here can (and usually do) lead to people getting bored with their relationships. 

I was asked if my partner and I spend the same amount of time on SL. That's an interesting question. Yes is the simple answer but it's more complex than that because we do other internet related things with eachother as well. Our interests are very much at the core of our relationship and we talk about these things quite often. SL is just a social medium for us to enjoy a "world" together. We indeed DID need to negotiate about our time in the beginning too. We both have 1st lives. Those lives have limits which we have discussed in great detail. Those limits create our SL boundaries and expectations of one another. Knowing your 1st life schedules is intrinsic to the health of that relationship.

One thing that popped up in relation to this was that her 1st life house was recently flooded (ironically the water came into the house as she was talking to me in SL). She had to abruptly go off line (duh) and for the next few days it was really hectic. That is a major limitation to these relationships. I was powerless to help but worried just the same. If we didn't have ways to communicate outside of SL I'd have gone totally bonkers thinking all sorts of potential nonsense. But, because we had a direct plan, a set of expectations, and open communication, I was still able to help support her emotionally (which is what she wants me around for).  

I hope the insight is helpful. It's a very hard thing to do. I suppose if I needed to inject an opinion regarding alts, it'd be: 

You can have alts but only if your partner knows about them and it doesn't disrupt the time required to nurture the relationship.

 

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Thank you for your answer.  I realized after I questioned you about your opinions on alts and about not answering the OPs initial question that I did not either.  I think it is very rare that two people can have interests that perfectly match so having alts would be useful.  Also two people wanting to spend the same amount of time with each other would be rare.   All that needs to be talked about or there can be problems.

 

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Good day...

Please forgive the snideness and rudeness that is probably going to come out of this post. I'm not usually like this, but this needs to be said....(Of course, after hearing these stories so many times, I can't help but think that maybe we're being trolled again....)

You knew he had ALTS...why does it surprise you that he would go off and play them if he gets bored?

You don't want to question or ask him about it? Then you need to deal with it.

Is he cheating on you with the ALTS? Who knows? Maybe?

You are being naive and childish. This is something that you have to figure out how to fix yourself without our help.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do and I apologize again for the rudeness of my response.....

 

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Studio09 wrote:

Thank you for your answer.  I realized after I questioned you about your opinions on alts and about not answering the OPs initial question that I did not either.  I think it is very rare that two people can have interests that perfectly match so having alts would be useful.  Also two people wanting to spend the same amount of time with each other would be rare.   All that needs to be talked about or there can be problems.

 

You know... It strikes me as exceptionally rare as well. To my thinking, it's likely akin to winning the lottery. I don't have study data to back anything up but the amount of things that'd need to line up are preposterous to even contemplate.

You'd have to have:

*honest self reflection for both partners.

*Stability in 1st life

*reluctance from both parties to engage in a 1st life relationship (for whatever reason) and be honest and accepting of it.

*Either a desire to be single in 1st life or an ability to fully share that partner with someone in either person's 1st life (for both partners).

*if there are 1st life partners in the picture, open communication and revelation of the relationship with those partners (and achieve those person's consent on some level).

*A firm ability to rationally evaluate the desires and needs in the relationship dynamic and a plan to cultivate those needs and assign time for them to mature.

*An active interest in maintaining a virtual relationship and the acceptance of the limitations of that relationship (this goes with an honest dialogue about your feelings when 1st life issues pop up). 

*Multiple ways to communicate with one another and a patient desire to communicate regularly (very easy in an age of skype and mobile phones. The desire is a totally different issue though).

 

The above could also very easily be the catalyst for a "stalker" relationship which adds another very real element to the improbability of such a relationship working. I'd like to think that people were always rational but they are not and that is really another thing that requires constant vigilance and dialogue with your partner to ward off or become safe knowing that isn't a likely outcome of your SL relationship. Distance can help this occur faster (it also increases the odds of finding a relationship like this) but adds in the additional complication of time-zones (yet another trade-off).

So yeah... entirely crazy to even try this sort of thing. In my first life I have a Bachelor degree in Philosophy (emphasis on phil of science/mind). Most of my electives were in psych (I was originally a Psych major) and I have a minor in history. I also have a degree in education and am currently back in school pursuing Neuro-Science. I joined SL because the concept fascinated me and I was admittedly, rather lonely and found dating in my 1st life to be awkward and unfulfilling. Once I accepted that (after a LOT of personal work on myself) I found someone in a very similar place in their 1st life. I am untypical (to say the least) and so is she. The odds of finding such a totally odd-ball couple is, in my estimation, not even worth considering. But it happens. 

I truly hope I am wrong and that all of you out there seeking a fulfilling relationship in SL achieve success with it. Be mindful though. Be vigilant. Protect yourself and be mindful to protect your partner as well. Talk about it, very openly. Open your mind and your heart to your partner and fearlessly just let the relationship be what it is. If you can do all of that... you will more than likely be happy.

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This is a rude and useless reply

The purpose of a forum is to ask for advice and opinions, it can help see things from a different angle.

She is hurt by her partners Alts..maybe because she wasnt aware he spends more time online with them, in secret than with her?

Then something isnt right and any sane person would get suspicious.

Partners dont have to hang together every free minute of the day but why not say so if there is nothing to hide.

Unfortunatley SL is full with liars and cheats and trust needs to be earned.

Honesty is the solution and not secrecy

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Hermione Lefevre wrote:

This is a rude and useless reply

I suppose that you mean MY reply is rude and useless....if you meant yours, then ignore what I'm about to say...:matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

I did preface my response by saying it would be rude...of course, that's like a child saying "I don't mean to be rude, but you're really fat...." doesn't make it any better, that's for sure. (I know, my kid did the same thing for a while) :matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

Here goes:

They dated for a few weeks...she jumped into a partnership knowing full well that he has ALTS. And after a few days, he went back to them? She is being foolish (IMHO) if she didn't think he would go and use them again. And the fact that she doesn't want to confront him about it, makes her more foolish.

She wanted opinions..maybe I wasn't overly helpful. Let's try this:

Ask him about them..then be prepared for whatever he has to say. If you don't think you can handle him playing his ALTS (and she didn't mention anything slexual going on with the ALTS), then unpartner him and move on.

Or don't...and deal with what comes with that.

Again, sorry if that sounds rude....SL feelings can be as strong as RL feelings. You need to figure out what it is you want to do. We can tell you what we think until we're blue in the face...the decision is up to you, dear....

Good luck

 

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Tex Monday wrote:


Hermione Lefevre wrote:

This is a rude and useless reply

I suppose that you mean MY reply is rude and useless....if you meant yours, then ignore what I'm about to say...:matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

I did preface my response by saying it would be rude...of course, that's like a child saying "I don't mean to be rude, but you're really fat...." doesn't make it any better, that's for sure. (I know, my kid did the same thing for a while) :matte-motes-sunglasses-3:

Here goes:

They dated for a few weeks...she jumped into a partnership knowing full well that he has ALTS. And after a few days, he went back to them? She is being foolish (IMHO) if she didn't think he would go and use them again. And the fact that she doesn't want to confront him about it, makes her more foolish.

She wanted opinions..maybe I wasn't overly helpful. Let's try this:

Ask him about them..then be prepared for whatever he has to say. If you don't think you can handle him playing his ALTS (and she didn't mention anything slexual going on with the ALTS), then unpartner him and move on.

Or don't...and deal with what comes with that.

Again, sorry if that sounds rude....SL feelings can be as strong as RL feelings. You need to figure out what it is you want to do. We can tell you what we think until we're blue in the face...the decision is up to you, dear....

Good luck

 

You know, Tex... It's likely you didn't read what I posted on here and it's admittedly very TL;DR but I sort of have to agree that you could have said the same things, more nicely, and with better results.

You have a son, it would seem from your response; is it safe to assume that you will be as rude to him in your relationship lessons, later on in his life? I think this woman needs the same sort of respect. She might not have the skills that you have acquired or the maturity and experience, in dealing with relationships, that would make the kind of joke you are trying to make (out of your "rudeness") as obvious as you'd like.

That all said, SL is a different minefield than your 1st. It has different rules, mores and etiquette. It takes time to develope these social skills. It might even take a bit of time to learn when to make a rude comment on a forum and when to try and actually be helpful.  

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Rushmanyyz wrote:

You know, Tex... It's likely you didn't read what I posted on here and it's admittedly very TL;DR but I sort of have to agree that you could have said the same things, more nicely, and with better results.

You have a son, it would seem from your response; is it safe to assume that you will be as rude to him in your relationship lessons, later on in his life? I think this woman needs the same sort of respect. She might not have the skills that you have acquired or the maturity and experience, in dealing with relationships, that would make the kind of joke you are trying to make (out of your "rudeness") as obvious as you'd like.

That all said, SL is a different minefield than your 1st. It has different rules, mores and etiquette. It takes time to develope these social skills. It might even take a bit of time to learn when to make a rude comment on a forum and when to try and actually be helpful.  

Hmmmm...seems I've put my size 11 boot firmly in my mouth....

things could have been said nicer, I agree. But we see so many of these things on the forums that you get a bit tired of it. And quite often, it is someone who is trolling...trying to entice opinions that they dont' care about.  I should probably ignore it (which I have done, so far, with another similar post) but some things just irk me....

Now..the comment about teaching things to my son was totally off base. And I am offended at your assumptions. He was never mentioned, except in passing and having nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I'm not going to apologize for my post...things are different here than in RL, as you well know.

she may not have relationship experience and my sincere apologies if she (or anyone else) feels disrespected by my words.

But the fact remains, IMO, that if he has ALTS he is probably going to use him. A relationship in SL of "weeks" may seem long term for SL, but partnering that quickly is never a good idea. He's going to play the other AVs...do things with his ALT that he can't do with her...whether that be zombie hunting or babe hunting.

Again, she needs to do what she feels is right. Confront him and let the chips fall where they may...or don't and wonder what he's doing while she's not around.

You may think I'm being an a**hole..and that is your right. And my apologies if I have offended.

ETA: the OP may not even bother coming back to look at our suggestions....

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